PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM

College coaches, despite the amount of power they wield, have never been completely bulletproof.  Even those who win 300+ games (Bobby Bowden) can wear out their welcome for not living up to expectations they helped create…and many are held to “personal conduct” standards as befits a university ambassador (no punching players, no riding motorcycles with mistresses, etc.).  But usually under the guise of “education” coaches are safe during the season–even when they’re presiding over a lame-duck regime.  Not so in 2015—less than one month into the season the Big Ten has already seen one coach get pink-slipped while another is handed a three-game suspension.  Illinois jettisoned Tim Beckman one week before the season opener amidst allegations he influenced medical decisions…and now Rutgers suspends Kyle Flood for three games after an investigation into aggressive academics.  While the timing of both of these decisions seriously hamstrings both programs, each school is doing the right thing by placing player safety/academic integrity over a win-first mentality.  Would we see such in-season actions in Columbus or Tuscaloosa?

Alma Mater Update– Bring on Central Michigan?  If memory serves last year the Orange needed a week off to prepare for the Chippewas (and looked it in a 40-3 stomping).  Is Eric Dungey and his 60% completion percentage merely the byproduct of facing Rhode Island and Wake Forest?  Will things change once SU starts to face schools with one-word names?  After watching Toledo shock Arkansas and Bowling Green bludgeon Maryland, I’d not sleep on a visiting school from the Mid-American Conference.

Maryland vs South Florida– the Terps make a quarterback change as Caleb Rowe takes the reins from Perry Hills.  Rowe has the stronger arm but does not have the wheels Hills possesses (like that 36-yard scramble against Bowling Green).  He’s also torn the ACL in his left knee twice.  They’ve also made moves to extend the passing game by installing wide receiver DJ Moore as first-string:  the freshman leads the team with 21 yards per catch.  These moves will all be for naught if they can’t clean up a defense that coughed up 48 points to Bowling Green–including 28 in the fourth quarter.  Terps in a nailbiter, 34-30.

Virginia vs William & Mary– how huge is this game?  Coach Mike London’s looking to avoid UVa’s first 0-3 start since 2009…when they opened the season by losing at home to the Tribe.  This year’s team has already had to deal with getting blown out on the road as well as having their heart broken at home.What’s worse–getting blown out on the road or losing a heartbreaker at home?  The Tribe is coming off a bye week after blistering Lafayette…can they repeat the opening month magic six years later?  This week’s tailgating offering from Kippy & Buffy at Scott Stadium:  Barboursville 2012 Reserve Viognier with brie on Lesley Stowe’s raincoast crisps.  Cavaliers come through, 31-12.

Virginia Tech at Purdue– two things we know about the Hokies…:  they’re not in the same class as #1 Ohio State and they’re much better than FCS school Furman.  We also know that Brenden Motley will only improve in his second week as the team’s starting quarterback…but he’s not the passer that the Boilermaker’s Austin Appleby is (62% completions, 275 yard average).  Don’t look now, but Saturday’s kind of an ACC-Big Ten Challenge with five interleague matchups–highlighted by a clash of 2-0 teams in Duke and Northwestern.  Not exactly Coach K going up against Tom Izzo.  Hokies hang on, 27-21.

Navy vs East Carolina– the Midshipmen begin American Athletic Conference (of America) play with a cross-divisional clash (I know, the Mids should not be in the West Division, but the SEC has Missouri).  ECU came oh so close to upsetting Florida in Gainesville last weekend…and now they have to switch gears defensively to face the Midshipmen.  After a week off, Keenan Reynolds is licking his chops preparing to play a Pirates defense that allows over 5 yards a carry. Midshipmen make it happen, 38-29.

Howard falls to Hampton, Georgetown loses to Dartmouth, James Madison rips Albany.

Last Week: 7-1.

Overall: 15-1.  Don’t worry, I cool down as the leaves change…

Advertisements