Let's set this one up, because it's the first week of the season—and maybe the brain hasn't quite caught up to the heart yet.
Yes, this week marks the return of college football in our lives. It starts tonight. Yay. And yes, week one typically brings a whole set of excellent and wonderful games, and those who venture in hyperbole tend to have a field day every September.
But I'm different. I'm like Al Pacino in that I believe that a week of college football games has to "come together as a team or crumble as" a mere series of unrelated games. (Whatever, shut up. The pun sounded like a good idea in my head.)
I believe that much like a football team that wins and loses as a team, a slate of football games is only as strong as its weakest game. Therefore, let's examine how weak week one is by identifying its weakest link.
For the curious among you, yes there is a method to the madness that will be this recurring exercise. A game will be deemed to be particularly weak according to the following:
- if it matches two "particularly awful, not good at football" teams;
- if it is likely to result in a blow-out.
The Ohio Bobcats were a decidedly below average FBS team in 2014, finishing in the 21st percentile, and they'll have a plethora of middling options at quarterback this season. If they managed a 6-6 record it's because... well it's because they scheduled games against the likes of the Idaho Vandals, that's why.
Meanwhile, Paul Petrino's team will look to build on a terrible 1-10 season where their default mode was "mediocre". On their best day, Idaho performed only better than two thirds of the FBS—but don't tell that to head coach Petrino. He'll yell at or try to fight you.
Forget the fact that he made three of his players' shoplifting charges disappear; Petrino's greatest magic trick was convincing Ohio of playing this awful game in the Kibbie Dome.
The Weakest Of The Week: New Mexico State Aggies at Florida Gators
According to the two above criteria, this game is the jackpot of weak for week one. The New Mexico State Aggie would like you to know that they have dreams too and that they want so dearly to do more in the Sun Belt Conference. Read between the lines and you'll understand that the team hasn't done anything worthy of celebrating since—what, finishing second at 7-5 in the conference in 2002? Man :(. The Aggies are the little engine that thinks it can, but can't and never could.
Florida is still Florida and Florida is sooooo bad I can't even. Under Will Muschamp, the Gators offense was one with no fangs and among the sorriest in the country. Watching the team try to pick up yards was an exercise in patience, and Florida men are not the patient kind.
The Gators have one good unit, the defense, but that unit will play without Marcus Maye and Alex McCalister. Because of its defense, a very green offense led by quarterback Treon Harris and a bunch of nobodies will be a non-factor, and the Gators are still "threats to beat any team they play". Presumably, that includes NMSU. (Even an NMSU that's actually Bama. Roll Tide.)
Because Florida is so bad, yet so much better than New Mexico State, we'll likely see some of the Gators' backups. They'll try to make plays but because they're backups, they'll mess things up; and more dumb and bad plays are staples of a weak game.
Tune in, folks!