About first weekend of college football…
Five things I think I know after the first weekend of the football season:
• Ole Miss’s recruiting class was just as advertised. There were Rebel freshmen all over the field playing key roles in the victory over Vanderbilt. The rookies made play after play after play. The Rebels should only get better.
• Mississippi State’s defense is SEC calibre, holding down one of the nation’s most explosive offenses for most of an afternoon in Houston. Offense? Well, State has a lot of work to do in that area. As good as Oklahoma State is, the Cowboys would be a middle-of-the-pack team in the SEC West. State has got to find a way to score or it will be a long season.
• Turnovers are by far the most important stat of the game, any game. Todd Monken’s first game should have been a victory, but Southern Miss turned the ball over six times, allowing Texas State to leave The Rock with a victory. USM has lost 13 straight and now faces Nebraska, Arkanas and Boise State all on the road. That 6-1 turnover ratio will have to be reversed at least once for USM to win one of its first four.
• Alabama is still the best team in college football. The Crimson Tide is No. 1 until they lose.
• Johnny Manziel, a great player, remains a punk. If I were Kevin Sumlin I’d bench him again and keep benching until he learns a life lesson, which may or not be possible. But I’d find out.
Eye-opening stat of the week (you may have missed): Troy’s Corey Robinson set an NCAA record by completing 93.8 percent of his passes (30 for 32, min. 30 att.) against UAB. Most QBs don’t do that well in pre-game drills.