Emerging Storylines In College Football 2017

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Two weeks of the college football season are behind us and four storylines have developed. 

Courtesy: LBC9 News

1. How warm is the hot seat for Sumlin? Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M came into this season already knowing that he’d need to win at least 9 games and finish strong. So he wanted to begin 2017 with a bang. Everything seemed to be going in that direction in the opener. His Aggies were up 44-10 on the road late against UCLA. But the Aggies didn’t finish. Final score: UCLA 45, A&M 44.  The Regents started calling for his head, and they weren’t likely assuaged by A&M’s pathetic home performance, 24-14, against Nichols–a team that should have provided a blowout win. TAM spends more money on athletics than any other public university–money that’s spent with intent. I think we know how this story will end.

OSU’s Urban Meyer

2. Big Ten Repeat? The Big 10 had a great first week. In the marquee match-up, Michigan dominated both lines of scrimmage against short-handed Florida, and Maryland got a huge win on the road against Texas. Only Purdue and Rutgers lost, but those squads went down to Top 25 opponents, Louisville and Washington, respectively. The good news is that there are signs of progress. The Huskies blew out RU last year–they didn’t this time–and the Boilers took Louisville down to the wire. But just like the Big Ten always seems to do, the conference splashes cold water on fans’ excitement. In Week 2, OU blasted #2 OSU in Columbus and lowly Eastern Michigan went to Piscataway and shocked Rutgers. Will the Big 10 continue to be “The Big Engine That Couldn’t”? We’ll see.

3. Will scoring stay on the rise? I don’t mind a high-scoring football game from time to time, but what the heck has happened to defense in college football? There was a time where we’d see the occasional 50-47 shootout, but now it seems routine. A good example is the Week 1 game between Mizzou and Missouri St. MSU moved the ball up and down the field, scoring over 40 points in the first half alone. The Tigers matched the Bears with its offense. Final score: MU 72, MSU 43 (115 total points). It would be nice to see defense back to college football, and (thankfully) ‘the D’ showed up (in a few places) during Week 2. UGA beat ND in a squeaker, 20-19; and Clemson outlasted Auburn, 14-6. That shows you what better teams are made of.

Courtesy: Lonestar Gridiron

4. What’s a priority? You’d have to have your head in the sand not to understand the impact that hurricanes are having on America. College football wasn’t unscathed, either. Harvey caused the cancellation of numerous games in Week 1, and Irma did the same in Week 2. Some of those games will be made up later in the year, but others will not. That means some teams will finish the year playing 12 games, while others will play only 11. I’m not sure what impact this situation will have on a national scale. But of this I’m sure: fans don’t ‘get it” when they demand that games be postponed, not canceled, and played later. I will admit there was a time where I felt that games should be played no matter what. Doing otherwise could jeopardize the integrity of the season, I thought. But I’ve since learned that there are more important aspects in life and football isn’t at the top of that list.


About Brian Trapani

Brian Trapani was born and raised in Central New Jersey and now lives in Monmouth County. As a kid, he played different sports but had a special love for baseball. Brian played the game through college. He got immediately into coaching after graduating and has been coaching in some capacity for the last 15 years. Brian currently coaches a middle school baseball team at a small school down the Jersey Shore. He also works as a Special Education Teacher. Beyond coaching, Brian loves all sports. He’ll watch any game at any time. His favorites are baseball (of course) and football. He also loves sharing his passion for sports through writing. Brian appreciates any and all feedback about his sportswriting, whether it’s positive or negative. Happy reading, sports fans! (Oh, almost forgot…. Brian is also a proud first-time uncle and godfather to a beautiful 7-month baby girl. :)

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