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Buckle up, foiks. This season is going to be unlike anything we've ever seen before

The 2014 college football season is officially three days old. Within those three days, this is what we've seen:

- A national title contender lose its Heisman Trophy favorite quarterback for the season.

- USC endure a week straight out of one of Barnum and Bailey's three tents, and then find a way to run 105 plays with 62 scholarship players. 

- Steve Spurrier lose his second season opener in a quarter century as a head coach, and first in a decade at South Carolina by allowing a school-record 680 yards of total offense. 

- The top-ranked defending national champions begin their title defense in the same stadium where the champion will be crowned four and a half months from now, and immediately receive a greater challenge than it saw at any point during the regular season. Unranked Oklahoma State had the ball with less than five minutes to play and 50 yards of FieldTurf ahead of darting quarterback J.W. Walsh until P.J. Williams forced and then recovered a fumble.

- Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin went on the most awkward first date of all time as No. 2 Alabama struggled to separate itself from a team that missed a bowl a season ago.  

- LSU nearly see its FBS-record 45-game regular season non-conference winning streak come to an end in a resounding thud, only to see Les Miles eat some grass and drink some tiger blood as the Tigers completely flattened Wisconsin in the fourth quarter.

- Georgia turn a 21-21 halftime deadlock into a 45-21 statement win behind a 198-rushing yard, four total touchdown performance by Todd Gurley.

- Auburn gave one of its quarterbacks the first half and promptly saw him complete 12-of-16 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns, and then play another quarterback in the second half and witnessed him ignite a running game that finished with 302 yards on the ground.

- Popular national title pick UCLA traveled cross-country and spent much of its Saturday afternoon getting pushed around by a team that went 2-10 last season. 

Again, this season is three days old. We've barely gotten started. Madness hits the West Coast next week. USC at Stanford in the afternoon, and Michigan State at Oregon at night.

We already know this historic 2014 season will arrive at a destination completely foreign to this 145-year old sport. But the ride to get there will hit all of us in ways we never could have imagined.

And that's what makes this the best sport in the world.

 

Video: When keeping it real goes wrong

I'm sure Eastern Michigan thought this was a bad ass idea right up until sledgehammer swing number three.

There is a happy ending here, thankfully. The Eagles managed to hold off Morgan State, 31-28.

The best from today's action - updated all day

Well, this is one of the best days of the year. Hundreds of football games (at all levels) and everyone is undefeated as of this morning. Let the games; and the journey, begin...


Penn State began the morning with an important win for the program in James Franklin's first game as head coach. Penn State's defense thwarted UCF's offense in the first half; but UCF brought on freshman QB Justin Holman in the second half and he played a great game. He threw the ball well, ran it well and made heady decisions. Impressive start for this young man; but in the end, Penn State got the ball back with about 1:20 to play and down one. Hackenberg drove them to the 20 and Penn State made the field goal as time expired for the win. Fun second half to watch.

I loved this play.

Over on GameDay, clearly my favorite segment was "Coaches read mean tweets". Saban and Hoke were good; but I loved how Muschamp and Mullen responded to theirs.

This keen observation took place about a minute before halftime.

I flinched in my seat when I saw this live.

Big 4th down call for Jim Mora. What's he thinking? Well, have a listen.

So, how'd that work out?


Some observations from the early games:

  • Both Penn State and UCF will win a lot of games this year. UCF's QB Holman came out of nowhere and could be special.
  • Ohio State struggled to get their offense going and had a challenging time defending Navy's offense. I'm sure Urban is happy to put that game behind them.
  • UCLA looked out of sync the entire game. Nothing flowed. No rhythm. They got the W; but we saw more questions than answers. UVA's offense needs to get better fast.
  • Pitt just demolished Delaware (62-0).
  • North Dakota State hasn't lost anything.
  • Youngstown State was in their game against Illinois until they wore down a bit in the 4th.
  • UAB looked like a completely different team from last year. They waxed Troy 48-10.
  • Kentucky handled their scrimmage against UT-Martin with ease. 
  • NC State had to fight from behind to get the win over Georgia Southern.  

During West Virginia's hyper-efficient opening drive:

N.C. State 24, Georgia Southern 23.

So Auburn is off to a 21-7 lead over Arkansas behind the very strong play of their "backup" QB Jeremy Johnson...

Muschamp & Mullen own #MeanTweets - "Shitter's full"

Gameday rolled out a new Jimmy Kimmel inspired "Coaches read mean tweets" segment. Enjoy.

Saban and Hoke started it off (see ESPN video at bottom); but Muschamp and Mullen stole the show. 

Muschamp remains "in character" with the I will kill you eyes. 

Mullen embraces his inner Cousin Eddie. 

4th and Goal from the 1 in double OT. What's your call?

Tied at 20 in double overtime on Friday night, Syracuse head coach faced a fourth and goal from the Villanova one-yard line. The Orange had tried three straight runs up the middle to no avail, something that had become a theme all night. 

This is what Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer dialed up.

Villanova scored on the ensuing possession and then, as all road underdogs should do when given the chance, opted to go for two and the win. It never had a chance.

I don't want to point out that Syracuse needed a fake field goal and a stuffed two-point conversion to beat an FCS team at home in double overtime... but Syracuse needed a fake field goal and a stuffed two-point conversion to beat an FCS team at home in double overtime.

Hard-nosed, indeed. 

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