Friday, September 6, 2013

On Tajh Of The World- It's Your Week 2 College Football Talk With Chooch

The college football season really gets going in week 2 with some great match-ups. First, though, let’s take a look back at week 1.
Clemson gets it done
For years, jokes have been made about Clemson’s inability to take the next step into the elite realm of programs. Despite winning a national championship in 1981, the program has struggled to achieve much consistency, a problem which has been exacerbated by the recent rise of in-state rival South Carolina. Things are looking up for the Tigers though, after a thrilling 38-35 victory over Georgia in week 1. The program’s last two wins have been over top 10 SEC teams (the other being over LSU in the Chick-Fil-a bowl last New Year’s eve). Tajh Boyd firmly planted himself in the Heisman top 3 (see later in this article), while Sammy Watkins showed himself to be an elite NFL prospect at receiver. Now, Clemson must survive as the hunted, with every opponent now looking to knock the Tigers off their pedestal. Clemson should be favored by a ton in every game until the showdown versus Florida State in mid October.
Oregon doesn’t miss a beat
New coach, same results for the Ducks. New head coach Mark Helfrich kept the machine rolling this past weekend as the Ducks crushed FCS Nichols State. Smart move by Oregon to keep a good thing going by promoting Helfrich. As an Oregon native, he might stick around longer than Chip Kelly too.
LSU a national title contender
LSU’s 37-27 victory over TCU is a lot better than it may appear on paper. TCU should challenge in the Big 12 and fought the Tigers tough, but LSU showed its elite talent. Expect to see LSU competing with Bama and Texas A&M later in the season.
Johnny Manziel is a spoiled brat
I mean, who actually likes the guy at this point? Some guys can handle the fame and others can’t.
Week 2 Preview

Game of the week
Notre Dame at Michigan: You’ve probably seen or read on espn that this is the last meeting between these two teams at Michigan Stadium for awhile. While nostalgia will fill the air Saturday night at 8, this game has crucial implications in the present. Both teams are looking for a signature win to help them climb the rankings. For Notre Dame, this game is a chance to prove that its 2012 season was no fluke, and that the program is back on solid footing. For Michigan, this game could springboard the team to a big year and potentially and undefeated record heading into a showdown with Ohio State in the season’s final week.
The key to the game for Notre Dame will be corralling quarterback Devin Gardner, who showed a smooth and elusive running style and an ability to keep plays alive last week versus Central Michigan. Michigan doesn’t currently have a healthy stable of receivers who are going to push Notre Dame skill and speed-wise, the way a team like Alabama did in the title game last year. As fellow 2 Man Weave contributor Keytwitty noted to me last week, the big chances will come when the plays break down- how much can Gardner buy time and take advantage of discipline breakdowns in Notre Dame’s secondary?
For Michigan, the key will be the lines of scrimmage. Notre Dame boasts an advantage on paper here, with 2 first round draft picks on the defensive line (NT Louis Nix III and DE Stephon Tuitt) going up against 3 inexperienced interior OL for Michigan, including a walk-on at left guard. Wolverines LT Taylor Lewan, a future first rounder himself, must find a way to neutralize Tuitt. Michigan’s young but talented defensive line must also hold its ground against a very solid offensive line unit, led by the left side of T Zach Martin and G Chris Watt, two 5th year seniors.
I tend not to make score predictions, and this week is no different, but I can say pretty confidently that I expect a close, nail-biting, make me drink a lot type of game Saturday night.
Other games to watch
Florida at Miami: An old rivalry resumes this Saturday at noon as the Gators travel south to Miami to take on the Hurricanes. This was a nasty rivalry back in the late 80s, but hasn’t been played as frequently since. Miami is looking for a statement win against a top 10 SEC foe in year 3 under Al Golden, while Florida is looking to get its offense going after a mixed bag in week 1 vs. Toledo.
Oregon at Virginia: The Ducks make a rare trip east to take on a young but up-and-coming Virginia Cavaliers squad. Coach Mike London has done a great job of upgrading the talent level at Virginia by keeping many of the underrated state’s talent at home, but there’s not enough talent yet to slow down the Oregon offensive machine. A respectable showing would be a big plus for the ACC.

South Carolina at Georgia: The Bulldogs find themselves on the brink after last week’s loss to Clemson. hey still control their own destiny to reach the title game if they run table (most likely), but a loss to SEC East rival South Carolina this week would be crippling. With LSU in week 4, Georgia is staring at a potential 1-3 start, which would almost certainly seal Mark Richt’s fate. he Gamecocks meanwhile are full of optimism after an impressive week 1 performance against North Carolina. A win this week would launch a run to the SEC title game.
Texas at BYU: Texas looked good last week against New Mexico State, but it was New Mexico State. t will be telling to see how the Longhorns offense looks against an upgrade in defenses. BYU, meanwhile, must bounce back from a tough 19-16 loss to Virginia in week 1.
Heisman Watch
1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Bridgewater picked up right where he left off in last year’s Sugar Bowl, having a field day in Louisville’s opener. The potential #1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft also controls his own destiny in the Heisman race, with a chance to put up absolutely monster numbers.
2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: Left off my initial list last week (dumb), Boyd cruises up to the top 2 with an incredible 5 touchdown game against Georgia.
3. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: With plenty of chances to put up video game numbers, expect Miller to stick around this list.



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