Four Down Territory: QBs Starters & Transfers, ACC Launches into Big Opening Games & 150 Ext
With week 1 upon us Pigskin Stew is back with Four Down Territory…..and a 150 Extra!
First Down: QBs As Tennis Players: A friend asked me last week why teams wait so long to name starting quarterbacks. Sometimes the two contenders are both good and it takes time. But in 2019 the Transfer Portal is a factor. Coaches hope that by waiting until game week the runner-up will essentially be stuck there. Some QBs have become like tennis players with tennis parents hell bent on getting them somewhere to play early and be pros. The transfer portal has made it easier to jump from one school to another. Also learning the offense in no-huddle offenses lessens learning new verbiage making it easier to play quickly at a new school.
Second Down: Speaking of Transfer QBs: Four high-profile/playoff contending teams are starting transfer QBs. #4 Oklahoma has Alabama’s Jalen Hurts and #5 Ohio State has Georgia’s Justin Fields. Second-year transfers are at #6 LSU (Joe Burrows from Ohio State) and #7 Michigan (Shea Patterson from Ole Miss). The most intriguing move is Jalen Hurts to Oklahoma, a successful, experienced guy. After leading Alabama to the National Title game in 2017 but losing his starting job in 2018, he came into the 2018 SEC title game and led Alabama to a win over Georgia. Will there be a QB more driven to get to the playoff and face his former team than Jalen Hurts?
Third Down: The ACC Network Launches: No conference has a bigger statement opportunity in week 1 than the ACC.The conference has three conference games in week one, but what jumps out are the non-conference match-ups. Miami opened last week against #8 Florida--one of three non-conference Top 10 match-ups (Duke vs #2 Alabama and Louisville hosts #9 Notre Dame on Monday night). The other match-ups include Utah State (11-2 last year) at Wake Forest, UNC vs. South Carolina (7-6) in Charlotte, Syracuse at Liberty (6-6), East Carolina (3-9) at NC State and Florida State playing Boise State (10-3) in Jacksonville. In eight ACC non-conference games there are no FCS games and only one of the eight teams had a losing record last year. Five opponents are coming off 10+ win seasons, three are SEC schools and their combined 2018 opponent record was 73-31.
Fourth Down: Other Notable Non-Cons: #7 Northwestern at #10 Stanford: This is a huge match-up in the US News and World Report College Rankings.(#1 Princeton hosts #2 Harvard on October 26th for the US News and World Report National Title)….. #11 Oregon vs #16 Auburn in Arlington, Texas: This game is a must-win for the Pac 12. Oregon going to a neutral site and beating an SEC team is only one game BUT the perceptions that come from this opening weekend game will last the entire season. Oregon QB Justin Herbert is one of the best QBs that almost no one on the east coast has seen play on TV. Saturday night he and the rest of the Ducks can make a splash…..Houston at #4 Oklahoma: Sunday night new Houston coach Dana Holgorson brings his frenetic style to face OU. Oklahoma’s defense, an Achilles heel in recent years gets a week 1 test against a head coach with an excellent offensive mind.
150 Extra: For college football’s 150th anniversary, Pigskin Stew will feature college football relics from a wide range of schools from our collection. Today’s relic is a paperweight issued by the NCAA and corporate partner Chevrolet for the 100th anniversary in 1969. It commemorates the first game played on November 6, 1869 in New Brunswick, NJ between Rutgers and Princeton (then called the College of New Jersey). This paper weight is still in use today on the desk of this Pigskin Stew writer…..