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Texas A&M Football

Around CFB: The guys you are glad you are NOT after Week One

September 6, 2022

All of us would trade places with a college football star for at least one week.

Who wouldn’t want to spend seven days on campus basking in the glory, adulation and whatever else may accompany star status?

Given that opportunity, most Aggies would’ve surely wanted to live a week in former quarterback Johnny Manziel’s shoes. Based on photos that appeared on social media, some would undoubtedly choose the week of Halloween 2012. Of course, the week after beating Alabama be a popular pick, too.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
In his first showing following the national title game, Stetson Bennett put on a show in a blowout victory of Oregon on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta.

How about trading places with Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett after the Bulldogs won the national championship? Or even spending a week as Jared Casey?

Who’s Jared Casey, you ask? He’s the Kansas walk-on tight end who caught the game-winning two-point conversion in the Jayhawks’ 57-56 victory over Texas last season. Imagine the following week he had.

Alas, such magical opportunities are only possible in movies and fairy tales.

Though one cannot spend a week as a hero, one can still be thankful for not spending this week as a goat.

At least you’re not:

• Virginia Tech first-year head coach Brent Pry. He debuted with a 20-17 loss to Old Dominion.

• East Carolina kicker Owen Daffer. In the last three minutes of a 21-20 loss to No. 13 NC State, Daffer missed an extra point and a 42-yard field goal.

• LSU special teams coach Brian Polian. The Tigers fumbled away two punts, had a field goal blocked and a potential game-tying extra point blocked on the game’s final play.

• Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz. His defense outscored his offense in a troubling 7-3 win over South Dakota State. The Hawkeyes managed only one field goal and two safeties. Complicating matters, the offensive coordinator is Ferentz’s son, Brian.

• Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff. It’s bad enough that he’s losing USC and UCLA to the Big Ten. He also has to negotiate a TV deal for a conference that went 0-3 against Power 5 opponents in the first week. That included No. 7 Utah losing at Florida and No. 11 Oregon getting destroyed by Georgia, 49-3.

College football quiz

What teams play for these trophies …
A. Floyd of Rosedale?
B. The Old Oaken Bucket?
C. The Bronze Boot?
D. Keg of Nails?
E. The Iron Skillet?

Heisman watch (if my ballot was due today)

Kyle Robertson-USA TODAY Sports
Stroud’s early Heisman candidacy features a top-five win over Notre Dame.

1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, QB: Stroud completed 24 of 34 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ 21-10 victory over No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday night. That doesn’t seem like a great game, but the caliber of competition has to be considered. Also, Stroud completed four of four passes for 36 yards on a game-clinching 95-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.

2. Bryce Young, Alabama, QB: The passing numbers aren’t eye-popping. Young threw for just 195 yards in a 55-0 victory over Utah State. But he had five touchdown passes. He also rushed for 100 yards, including a 63-yard run.

3. Anthony Richardson, Florida, QB: Richardson starred in a 29-26 upset of No. 7 Utah. He passed for 168 yards and rushed for 106 yards and three total touchdowns.

4. Stetson Bennett, Georgia, QB: Maybe this guy is better than he’s given credit. He certainly starred in a 49-3 blowout of Oregon. Bennett completed 25 of 31 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns.

5. KJ Jefferson, Arkansas, QB: In a 31-24 victory over No. 23 Cincinnati, Jefferson accounted for 285 yards and four touchdowns. He passed for 223 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Projected playoff participants

1. Alabama: The Tide did not work up a sweat against Utah State.

2. Georgia: The Bulldogs did not work up a sweat against Oregon.

3. Ohio State: A tough win over Notre Dame can’t be ignored.

4. Clemson: Waiting on Cade Klubnik to take over at quarterback and betting the Tigers will be the class of the ACC.

This week’s best games

Mickey Welsh/USA TODAY NET
Nick Saban and Steve Sarkisian meet as opponents for the first time in Austin on Saturday.

No. 1 Alabama at Texas: That is if you’re into the disaster film genre.

No. 24 Tennessee at No. 17 Pitt: Last year, Pitt posted an exciting 41-34 victory in Knoxville. Expect another close, high-scoring game. The Panthers scored 38 in their season-opener. Tennessee scored 59.

No. 20 Kentucky at No. 12 Florida: The days when Florida bullied Kentucky are gone (for now). The Wildcats beat Florida last season, but the Gators looked like their old selves in an opening win over Utah.

No. 9 Baylor at No. 21 BYU: One of three games matching ranked teams. And frankly, two teams with realistic playoff aspirations. Only one will be left after this week.

No. 10 USC at Stanford: Only one week into the season and USC may already be the Pac-12’s only hope for the playoff.

Quiz answers

A. Minnesota and Iowa
B. Indiana and Purdue
C. Wyoming and Colorado State
D. Cincinnati and Louisville
E. TCU and SMU

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Around CFB: The guys you are glad you are NOT after Week One

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