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Posted by on September 6th, 2012 in blog, CFF Features, Dan Pierson | No Comments

Nick Saban’s boys are once again dominant.  College football is almost always about who can get the best players (duh!), so when the greatest defensive mind in the sport combines with some of the best recruiters in the nation, and they work for a university with top-notch everything and unlimited funds you get the current rendition of the Alabama Crimson Tide.  I know it’s cool and popular to hate on Coach Saban but facts are facts, the man is building a dynasty in Tuscaloosa… winning 2 of the past 3 BCS titles has put ‘Bama back on top of the college football globe, but where Saban and his staff are really destroying the competition is in the procurement and development of elite talent.  According to ESPN’s rankings, Alabama hasn’t had a recruiting class ranked lower than 3rd in the nation since Saban took over, and in that same span haven’t signed fewer than 7 Top-150 recruits in each class.  But as many programs can attest, it’s one thing to recruit well and quite another to win on the field.  Alabama obviously excels here as well, not only winning games but developing their top-notch recruits into top-notch NFL prospects.  According to this excellent article on Saban’s recruiting prowess  ‘Bama has produced 11 1st-round draft picks in Saban’s tenure, far more than any other program.  All appearances suggest the Tide won’t be going anywhere for a long while.

               USC’s offense is going to be basically unstoppable.  Not exactly ground-breaking analysis I know, but seriously the amount of talent they posses on offense is almost unfair.  Granted Hawai’i isn’t exactly Alabama or LSU, but the stats the Trojans put up on Saturday are straight out of NCAA ’13 – Matt Barkley 373 yards passing, 4 tubs, no INT’s; my guy Marqise Lee 10 catches, 197 yards and a TD, 100-yd kick return TD; Robert Woods 2 TD grabs; Penn State transfer Silas Redd 6.2 yds\carry and a tub of his own.  Basically USC’s stars showed they are just what they’ve been advertised as – a collection of talent that’s ready to challenge for a BCS title. 


               Is the Honey Badger coming back to LSU?  He’s re-enrolled at LSU, but as of now maintains that he’s only back to take classes and “finish what (he) started…and do it the right way this time.”  Les Miles won’t comment nor speculate if #7 will ever actually be #7 (or another number) again on the field, but usually these things have a funny way of ending up exactly how they appear to be  – in this case Mathieu back on the field and up to his old tricks.  And honestly, if he truly does address his weed “addiction” and can stay out of trouble great for him.  If he doesn’t play another down for LSU but uses this as a positive tool to fix his mistakes and get his degree, even better.

               If you can “learn” anything from a victory against Arkansas State, we learned that Marcus Mariota is going to be a stud.  In his first college game, the freshman QB completed 18 of 22 passes for 200 yards and 3 TD’s… in only 1 half as Oregon benched most of their starters at halftime.  We also learned that wearing retro colors with new designs equals an awesome uniform.  The Ducks unveiled yet another new look on Saturday night, and as the resident gear expert I give it major props. 

 The chrome feathers on the yellow helmet were fantastic, and while the black feathers on the shoulders aren’t for everyone… they looked great in my opinion.  Can’t wait for November 3rd when Oregon invades the Coliseum to face off with USC in the game of the year out West.




               Lastly, major props to new head Coach Jim McElwain of Colorado State for becoming the first CSU coach to win his debut in 42 years – and doing it against arch-rival and hated big brother Colorado.  While I’m a die-hard Buffs fan (but didn’t graduate from there) I can remain somewhat neutral towards the Rams.  Since Sonny Lubick left, CSU fans have had little to cheer about but McElwain could quickly change that.  The former Alabama OC has instilled a renewed sense of discipline and responsibility in Ft Collins and it appears to be paying immediate dividends.  Down 14-3 late in the 2nd quarter, McElwain’s troops did not panic and were able to scrounge out a TD in the final minute of the first half.  The 2nd half was absolutely dominated by the Rams who made the necessary adjustments and basically played with way more passion than CU.  Final score – 22-17 Colorado State.  While the Rocky Mtn Showdown has lost some luster in recent years (due to the putrid state of both programs) it’s always fun to beat your rival, and McElwain can use this victory to rally the troops even more and get his team to believe they can get back to the upper tier of the Mtn West conference.

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