Did last weekend’s college football action end with Texas firing AD Steve Patterson, or did the upcoming weekend begin with the dismissal of a man NEVER suited to run the most profitable athletic department in college? I’d say a little bit of both.
Patterson deserved to be fired because he ran UT athletics more like a retiree living on Social Security checks, while simultaneously alienating coaches, faculty members – including the school president Gregory Fenves – and most importantly the influential boosters who paid his salary. While those are the reasons Patterson was dismissed, his firing two days after a mediocre performance against Rice, preceded by an embarrassing loss at Notre Dame in week one is no coincidence. Good luck getting Oliver Luck.
As for last weekend, as is often the case early in a season, we got more questions than answers.
- Is Alabama a true title contender like they looked against Wisconsin in Dallas or a team that hasn’t solved its two biggest issues (quarterback play & leaky pass defense) as it displayed in the home opener against Middle Tennessee State? We’ll find out when they host Ole Miss this Saturday. The Rebels have been unstoppable offensively and QB Chad Kelly (nephew of Bills/Gamblers Hall of Famer Jim Kelly) has been the most overlooked QB of the ’15 season so far.
- Staying in the “Heart of Dixie” Auburn either completely missed in its evaluation of quarterback Jeremy Johnson, or he’s going to have one of the bigger turnarounds in college football history, because he’s looked horrible so far. That answer should come against LSU Saturday in Baton Rouge.
- Can Michigan State compete with Ohio State and can Oregon rebound from the loss to Sparty in East Lancing? (No & Yes I say)
- Just how good is UCLA and true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen? I’ve been buying the Bruins for two years now, looks like I was a year ahead of schedule. They host BYU this weekend so UCLA better hope this game doesn’t come down to the last play because former Elite 11 Co-MVP Tanner Mangum is a sure bet in those situations. (Mangum was a top prospect in ’11 but went on his Mormon mission so he’s just now a true freshman.)
- Will Oklahoma’s late rally against Tennessee propel the Sooners into the Big 12 race alongside TCU and Baylor? (Too early to tell.)
- Don’t overlook Georgia Tech. After Notre Dame escaped Virginia with a last second win the Irish will host the Yellow Jackets this weekend in South Bend. The Irish are now down a their starting QB, top 3 running backs, and a TE. GT I still consider a dark horse for the playoff.
- And finally, just how good are those Houston Cougars, who went into Louisville for a very impressive win against the Cardinals, and Is A&M for real this year? Right now you could argue the SEC West will come down to A&M and Ole Miss, but the Aggies started ’14 5-0 before dropping three straight while being outscored 142-51 against MSU, Ole Miss and Alabama. The Rebels were 7-0 and ranked 3rd before losing 4-5.
Brien Straw co-hosts the Bstraw & PaulyG Show weeknights on SportsRadio 610. (FALL HOURS: Tue. 9:00pm – 11:00pm, Wed. & Fri. 8:00pm – 11:00pm.)
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