published Monday, September 2nd, 2013

5-at-10: Labor Day rewind: Five lessons from the opening weekend of college football

Gang, we pride ourselves on being here every Monday through Friday. Is it Labor Day? Sure it is. But we're here, laboring away. (See what we did there Spy?)

That said, there is normally an abbreviated version of your 5-at-10 on holidays and during vacation. Instead of the 2,000-word opus we normally trot out, we'll keep it short (relatively) and sweet (mostly) with a top-five list of the college football lessons we gleaned from the opening weekend.

It was excellent times. Mostly.

From the "Talks too much" studios, the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

  • photo
    Alabama defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (3) is pursued by Virginia Tech running back Trey Edmunds (14) as he returns an interception for a touchdown in their football game in Atlanta on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Leading the blocking for Sunseri is Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32).
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

1) Alabama is really good. Yes, they did not play as well as a lot of people thought they may, including the 5-at-10. That said, let's rise up and try to have perspective on this: Alabama did not play well. The offense struggled to find a comfortable pace. The special teams and defense accounted for three of the Tide's five TDs. But.... BUT, they beat one of the nation's top-20 programs over the last 20 years by 25 points. And that's when they did not play well. What other team in the country can beat a BCS big shot by almost four TDs when they bring their C-minus/D-plus offensive game?

2) The Fab 4-plus 1 picks started like the Beastie Boys and Orson Wells. Yep, a banner 5-0 start against the spread for the 5-at-10's picks opened the year. Let's review:

• Ole Miss covered the 3 at Vandy with a late TD.

• LSU covered the 4 against TCU with relative ease. LSU looked the part, didn't they?

• UCLA worked Nevada, easily covering the 18 with a 58-20 win. UCLA may be the team we ride for a while this year. We like the cut of their jib.

• UAB covered. Getting 5, they lost to Troy 34-31 in overtime.

• Oklahoma State covered the 13 in a 21-3 beatdown of Mississippi State.

Here's hoping you bankrolled some entertainment to start the season. Giddy-up

  • photo
    Tennessee head coach Butch Jones got solid play from several freshmen in the Vols’ win over Austin Peay on Saturday.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

3) Tennessee handled their BID-ness efficiently and directly. Yes, you anti-Johnny Vols Fans will say, "but it was only Austin Peay," and that's true. But the Vols walked the walked and dropped the hammer. That's how you steamroll an overmatched opponent, smashing them quickly and overwhelming them completely. Tennessee scored on its first seven possessions and as Weeds pointed out, did not commit a penalty. That's impressive stuff in week 1.

4) Insanely painful weekend for Johnny Bulldogs Fans and Johnny Mocs Fans. Wow. And for Georgia to lose Malcolm Mitchell for the season adds injury to the insults. That said, Todd Gurley is a man. As is Tajh Boyd.

5) We still have a slew of things to cover, so No. 5 will be a final top 5 in 10 words or less — yep, the famous 5-in-10 by the 5-at-10.

a) Johnny Goofball: Lessons lost on Manziel the punk.

b) Gus Bus debuts with win: Big plays lift Malzahn, Auburn to win.

c) Upset specials: Seven FCS teams collected $2.3 million combined — and got wins.

d) Oregon is for real: Yes it was a cupcake, but yikes at the speed.

e) Louisville will go undefeated: 49-7 win over Ohio impressive; hey, a Mike Dyer sighting.

Enjoy and discuss what you learned from week 1. Also, Paschall and the TFP sports editor will be on Press Row starting at 1 p.m. on ESPN Radio 105.1 FM. Give us a holler at 648-051. It don't cost nothin'.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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chas9 said...

The Rock Hard Cooky Puss band is still fighting for your right to potty, but Orson Welles' early entertainment success was followed by an epic descent into wretchedness.

I thought B. J. was gonna stick. Surely he'll get picked up by somebody. (He lasted longer than that big Florida alum T-squared.)

UK's loss to The Hilltoppers was disappointing but not a shocker. WKU ain't bad, as the UTers will find out next week. Good thing The Vols got a tune-up game under their belts. Note to John Jancek: Try to stop that Andrews kid.

We'll give The Cats another game before measuring them, but unless the D-line stiffens, it'll be a rough ride for the Stoopsers. (On a positive note, Kentucky gained seven yards per offensive play.)

Tivo magic allowed me to toggle between watching the Lexington laddies and an impressive Dawgs-Tigers scrap. Fun to watch some of the nation's best skill players. I wish UGA well, but I suggest Clemson is a great team to ride out the season with. Go ahead and trust, Jay.

September 2, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.
chas9 said...

If Aaron Rodgers goes down, I guess the Packers will have to play a wide receiver at QB. Looking around the roster, Randall Cobb should do nicely.

September 2, 2013 at 11:09 a.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

Jay-

How do I listen today? Off work and at home- thought I'd give you a listen on the interweb thingy.

Vols looked OK. Defense was much better. Offense still needs work, but there's stuff there to work with.

I went 3-2 in my five picks from last week. Lost USC-Hawaii and Utah-Utah State on Thursday night, but then covered with Rice, Alabama, and Syracuse. Both of those two Thursday night games changed in the last 30 seconds of the game, otherwise I would have been 5-0.

Not impressed with Alabama's offense. There should be real concern about the offensive line at this point. Still don't see a lot of teams that can beat them on their schedule. Ole Miss? LSU? Texas A&M? Not an A&M believer, but maybe.

Clemson impressed me. Tahj Boyd just won the Heisman. At least for this week. Does Clemson show up at North Carolina State on a Thursday night in two weeks? Let's see them not pull a Clemson there.

You're right about Johnny Hancock. I've now gone from liking him last year, to being annoyed but saying he was young this offseason, to thinking he was a liar, to thinking he was a brash, stuck-up liar after the first game. Yikes.

I wasn't as impressed by LSU as everyone else seems to be. I guess I'm not really buying the TCU hype, so beating them by ten didn't do a lot for me. Really could have fallen behind late in the fourth quarter to a team I think is probably overrated. That being said, TCU is a team I root for in the Big 12, so I hope I'm wrong about the Horned Frogs.

How about Boise State-Washington? I picked Washington by 7-10, but was shocked to see 38-6. That was impressive.

September 2, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Well, this is an interesting situation. Mocs go on to be the Mocs, BJ can't get a break, and North Dakota State upsets those JayHawk wannabes in Manhattan (KS).

I shared with my one friend/associate whose full bore Alabama (both him and his mother are alumni) broke the news on this (I don't have cable/ESPN etc.) I'm still waiting for an NDSU/Alabama match-up.

There isn't anything I can add that has not been address days earlier or even today by Weeds and other commentators. The Mocs know what they need to do. Sadly, this event will not bold well for attendance. Especially with Appy and GSU going bye-bye and their final games with us being away games. D:

But what can you do?

I'm just going to enjoy this holiday, drizzle and all (yay rain! :D ) and continue writing.

Hope you have a wonderful and safe Labor Day. ;)

September 2, 2013 at noon
BIspy4 said...

5, I told you Logan Thomas was ... not ... that ... good. 5 of 26? The CFL wouldn't want him next year. No, Bama did not play well, though Virginia Tech's D might have had something to do with that. But the Hokies used to pride themselves on great special teams (Hello Beamer Ball!).

Beamer's not on the hot seat - before last year, he had four straight 10-win seasons. But they weren't very good last year and just got off to a horrible start.

Um, Georgia fans, come back from the ledge, OK? You're not going to do substantially better than Richt, who's winning percentage eclipses Dooley's (who, let it be known, had his share of lackluster seasons). You lost by 3, on the road, to a ranked team. You also are not beating South Carolina, but don't wallow in misery after losing to a good Clemson offense.

And I thought FCS was dying? That's what the FBS crowd down here would lead you to believe. For what it's worth, Savannah State might be the worst college football entity since the earth cooled.

September 2, 2013 at 1:29 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

And since coming back from Lasik surgery, Dan Struggla is .... (drumroll please ... hey, drum roll... that sounds tasty ... I'm hungry)

2 for 14.

New eyes. Same old Struggla.

September 2, 2013 at 3:28 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - I read the 5 at 10 when I can. I haven't had the chance to hear the show on 105.1 yet. If it's anything like your guest appearances on Sporttalk, I'm sure it's Heisman worthy. For the Friday mailbag...what advice would you give Tebow? Convert to the TE position? Go to the CFL? Go to the CFL and convert to the TE position? Enter the 9 to 5 work world? Actually, it's more like 7 to 7, but who's counting...

September 2, 2013 at 7:13 p.m.
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