NCAA Football Report (Week 1)

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The College Football season would open this past weekend with plenty of hype as teams began their quest towards the National Championship. As teams started their sprint to the bowl season there was plenty to talk about. Teams that should win and how good they would be along with teams that should lose but may surprise some people. One of the biggest stories surrounding College Football in the first week was the controversy surrounding last year’s Heisman winner. Johnny Manziel would sweep the nation last year when he led the Texas A&M Aggies past the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Since that point Manziel would take the nation by storm and would move up the Heisman Trophy rankings. By the end of the season Manziel had won the trophy becoming the youngest player to win the Heisman and would become the face of the NCAA. Then came the offseason as Johnny Manziel would be seen hanging out with the Miami Heat, rappers, and at frat parties. The entire offseason would come to a head when reports surfaced that Manziel had signed memorabilia for cash. Selling any memorabilia for cash is a clear violation of NCAA rules and whether you agree or disagree with the rule it is still a rule. The NCAA would begin to investigate the claims as Manziel could have been suspended for the entire season. The standard was set in 2011 when Terrelle Pryor and other Ohio State players were suspended for exchanging memorabilia for tattoos. If any money had changed hands Manziel could be suspended for an entire season ending his hopes of repeating as the Heisman performance. Before the first game of the season the NCAA would hand out their punishment as they would suspend Manziel for two quarters leaving him out of the first half of the season. The NCAA would claim that they could not find any evidence of money exchanging hands and so they would hand out a sentence that had essentially punished the report. The punishment was questionable though as 2 quarters was a slap on the wrist for the infraction. Whether or not it actually did happen would come down to the investigation that seemed to last all of one week before they handed down their light punishment. What made it more questionable is the situation that Manziel finds himself. Manziel is the face of the NCAA right now as the Heisman Trophy winner and one of the most exciting players in college football. The NCAA likely was not looking very hard for the transgression as losing their best player in a year full of lawsuits that have already put the league under a microscope. Manziel may have not taken the cash for signing memorabilia and may have never broken the rule. The fact that the investigation lasted so much less than most investigations take in the NCAA has made many question whether the NCAA was truly committed to suspending the face of college football. To make everything worse in week 1 when Johnny Football returned to the lineup and threw a TD pass that he would celebrate with a taunt that looked a lot like feeling money in his hands. The taunt would give the Aggies a 15 yard penalty and would immediately show the world that he had not learned from his mistakes this offseason. The taunt would not win Manziel over and would see a lot of people turn on the QB while many of the people watching would see it as a sign that he had broken the rules. Johnny Manziel has had a rough start to the season and he is not making it any easier on himself. He will remain in the headlines as the investigation and his actions will remain under a microscope as the season moves on and the NCAA remains in the national spotlight.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Braxton Miller, QB (Ohio State)
The Ohio State Buckeyes are under a microscope this year as they went undefeated last year but were not eligible for a bowl. This year they are eligible and they will try to go at it again this time trying to get to the National Championship. Braxton Miller is a big part of the Buckeyes run to the national Championship this year and that is why he sits at the top of this ranking. Week 1 was not the best game as Miller could not keep the Buckeyes offence going all game. He would not reach past 200 yards and would throw two TDs against Buffalo, a team that he should have been better against. The good part for Miller was that he was not great in a week that a lot of people were not great and so he sits at the top although another bad performance against San Diego State might start his decline.
Stats (1 Game):
68.2% (17 rsh)
178 yds (77 rsh yds)
2 TD (0 rsh TD)
1 INT

2. Tajh Boyd, QB (Clemson)
The Clemson Tigers had a big opening night game that would go a long way to advancing their attempt at entering the top of the rankings. They would do just that as they would beat the Georgia Bulldogs in primetime putting the NCAA on notice of the team from Death Valley. Tajh Boyd would be a big reason for this as he would help lead them to the win and will hope to continue the run this year. Boyd would lead the team like a true Heisman hopeful has to in his first game of the season. Throwing for three TDs and running for another two, Boyd made the difference in a big game for Clemson. Now the challenge will be for Boyd and the Tigers to continue to win and avoid the let down they have become known for. If Boyd can continue his performance  and be great against South Carolina State his move up the ladder will continue.
Stats (1 Game):
60.0% (13 rsh)
270 yds (42 rsh yds)
3 TD (2 rsh TD)
0 INT

3. AJ McCarron, QB (Alabama)
The Alabama Crimson Tide are ranked #1 again this year as they continue to push through the season on their way to the National Championship. In week 1 they would not look like their dominant selves against Virginia Tech who would be able to hold the Tide offence to a smaller number than they were used to. AJ McCarron would lead this offence and it was not pretty for most of the game as he struggled to get in a groove. The offence would not have a lot of opportunity though as the special teams would take control of the game. McCarron would fall to his biggest detriment in this offence as the Tide are not a pass first team instead preferring to run and kill the clock. McCarron needs to step up next game against Texas A&M and if he does he may be able to stay in the running.
Stats (1 Game):
43.5%
110 yds
1 TD
1 INT

4. Johnny Manziel, QB (Texas A&M)
Stats (1 Game):
75.0% (6 rsh)
94 yds (19 rsh yds)
3 TD (0 rsh TD)
0 INT

5. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
Stats (1 Game):
57.1% (5 rsh)
234 yds (113 rsh yds)
1 TD (2 rsh TD)
0 INT

 

AP Top 25:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
2. Oregon Ducks (3)
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (2)
4. Clemson Tigers (8)
5. Stanford Cardinal (4)
6. South Carolina Gamecocks (6)
7. Texas A&M Aggies (7)
8. Louisville Cardinals (9)
9. LSU Tigers (12)
10. Florida State Seminoles (11)
11. Georgia Bulldogs (5)
12. Florida Gators (10)
13. Oklahoma State Cowboys (13)
14. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14)
15. Texas Longhorns (15)
16. Oklahoma Sooners (16)
17. Michigan Wolverines (17)
18. UCLA Bruins (21)
19. Northwestern Wildcats (22)
20. Washington Huskies (–)
21. Wisconsin Badgers (23)
22. Nebraska Cornhuskers (18)
23. Baylor Bears (–)
24. TCU Horned Frogs (20)
25. USC Trojans (24)

 

Key Scores:
#18 Nebraska Cornhuskers 37 – 34 Wyoming Cowboys
– The Cornhuskers would not have the best opening day as they would battle back and forth with an unranked team in Wyoming and although they came out on top Husker fans may want to be concerned about their standing in the top 25

Washington Huskies 38 – 6 Boise State Broncos #19
– In a rematch of the Las Vegas Bowl the Huskies were looking for revenge after narrowly losing to the Broncos and they would get the revenge as they would earn the big win while opening their new stadium

Eastern Washington Eagles 49 – 46 Oregon State Beavers #25
– In the biggest upset of the week the Division-1 FCS Eastern Washington would beat the top 25 ranked Oregon State Beavers mark in the perfect setting for an opening game upset setting the tone for the season

#8 Clemson Tigers 38 – 35 Georgia Bulldogs #5
– The Tigers have been in the background for the last few years and they would get their first chance in primetime to show the nation that they are ready for the spotlight and would do just that beating the Bulldogs in a great game

 

Next Week:
Florida Gators vs. Miami Hurricanes (Saturday September 7th; 12:00 pm ET)
– The Gators look to continue their winning ways against their in-state rivals in a battle of 1-0 teams with the Gators having a lot more to lose and Miami playing spoilers without a chance to make a bowl this year

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Georgia Bulldogs (Saturday September 7th; 4:30 pm ET)
– Georgia is reeling after a big loss under the lights of the first night game of the year and they will take on SEC rival South Carolina who won their first game but were not convincing in their first game and will look to change that against the Bulldogs

Sam Houston State Bearkats vs. Texas A&M Aggies (Saturday September 7th; 7:00 pm ET)
– Johnny Manziel will start his first game this year and after all of the controversy and the taunt that highlighted week 1 it will be interesting to see how he reacts and if he can be the same player that won the Heisman last year

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Michigan Wolverines (Saturday September 7th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Fighting Irish will begin their Big Ten play against longtime rival the Michigan Wolverines and they will need to improve after a sloppy first game as Michigan will be coming out to prove they are better than the Irish who were undefeated last year

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