Pocket Change – The Weekend in Football


Hello everyone!  After a week hiatus we’re back with our weekend in review, Pocket Change.  This weekend had some serious movers in the NFL and college football.  While most of the country might have been focused on the big name teams over the weekend, some of the lower profile teams have continued to make moves and are finally beginning to gain some recognition.

The football season’s first quarter is now in the books, but it’s not who looks good in the first quarter that will ultimately decide the championship.  Beginning the season hot doesn’t win you anything, but starting poorly could put a team in too deep a hole to recover.  As long as you haven’t buried yourself early, it’s always better to be a second-half team.  Just ask the Detroit Lions.

So with that said, here’s some pocket change from the first quarter of the season…

The Top 10 college football rankings have already had some turnover and I wouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon.  There are too many good teams and too long to go in the season to expect all those teams to remain atop the polls.  The fact that some of those teams play each other soon – LSU-Alabama, Oklahoma-Oklahoma St., Clemson-Georgia Tech – will make for an interesting season the whole way through and whittle the contenders down to only a few.  If you are a college football fan, it can’t get much better.  We are in for a treat with that lineup.

Where in the world did the Kansas State Wildcats come from?  Nobody could’ve predicted the string of victories they are starting to put together.  First the ‘Cats shut down Miami on the road, then they won a shootout against an incredibly explosive Baylor team.  Out of the smoldering rubble of the Big 12 North K-State seems to be building a newer, more improved version of their former selves.  It doesn’t appear that they have the ability to knock off their more established competitors from the South (Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas) but after the way their season has started anything’s possible.

For some teams in the NFL there has already been a season’s worth of frustration in the first month.  Too many problems with some contenders could be a harbinger of darker clouds on the horizon.  Poor play in the trenches should have already put Pittsburgh on alert.  The Steelers seem to have suffered so many breakdowns that it’s hard to recognize the defending AFC Champions from any other also-ran.

Tony Romo, although heroic at times in this early season, has shown his propensity for giving away games once again.  Now I don’t want to lay blame at Romo’s feet for everything.  The losses the Cowboys have suffered have been due to breakdowns at inopportune times on both sides of the ball.  Of course turnovers make it much more difficult, but with the position they were in the defense should still have been able to stop the opposition enough to win.  Giving up a big lead is never one person’s fault.  Momentum can be a fickle foe in any game, and when the trailing team gains momentum, it can be a very hard thing to stop.

What in the Harold Carmichael is going on with Philly?  Were they not supposed to be dominating the league?  Maybe the inexperience at linebacker is beginning to show itself.  Maybe the inexperience in the defensive coordinator is too.  Injuries, however small, seem to be creeping in slowly but surely with this team, and if there’s one thing that can bring any team down, injuries are it.  If I’m an Eagles fan I’m thinking they better right the ship now and hope the backup quarterback is getting reps every week.  With Washington and the Giants out to good starts in the division it’s going to be tougher to catch up as the season goes on.

With the first full month of football behind us, it’s time for teams to start positioning themselves for the second-half push.  Nothing has been decided, but the first part of the season is when teams learn about who they are and what they can do.  Being consistent in the second quarter of the season is where the contenders can help create some separation between themselves and the other teams vying for playoff spots.  Who will match their first quarter consistency in the next four weeks?  What will be revealed about this year’s contenders?  By Halloween we should have a pretty good idea which teams are in it for the long haul and which are not.