In college football, first impressions are everything. If you don't believe this, just ask Wolverine Nation, who is soul searching this weekend trying to find a way to salvage their season; and it's only week one. Florida State is hopelessly on the same page, for now, but I wouldn't question the opportunity for television and the BCS Godfathers to hook the two teams up in January during Bowl season.
If there is one word that described the ninth Bowden Bowl, it was atmosphere. The passion displayed by the fan base from both teams was outstanding. Dressed in Orange, Death Valley was amped and carried the Tigers to their first half explosion. Speed was also evident on both sides, and I can't remember any team in recent memory with a trio of athletes like Clemson has this year. James Davis (102 yards), C.J. Spiller (150 yards) and Jacoby Ford (ACC 60 meter indoor champion) all shined while Tommy Bowden was creative in sharing the wealth among the trio.
Clemson was by far the sharpest on the night, taking advantage of excellent field position and aggressive play calling, the Tigers bolted - scoring 21 unanswered points in the first quarter-and-a-half. The Seminoles were the ugly opposite in the first half - keeping their streak alive as they have played a brutal string of six consecutive openers where the offense has looked abysmal.
After firing five of his longtime coaches while bringing back longtime assistant Chuck Amato - paired again with longtime defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews - Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden couldn't have been happy heading to the locker room at half-time down 24-3. His offense went nine straight possessions in the first half without a first down and between the false-start, illegal procedure and ineligible receiver down field penalties, mixed around an in-opportune time out taken early in their second possession, you wondered how the Noles' spent their time in the off-season?
Coming off a season that included 6 losses, the most in the Bowden era, I expected a little more from the offense, especially given their performance over UCLA in last years season ending bowl venture where they routed the Bruins after UCLA had upset the mighty Trojans . On this night, the offense had no spark, was extremely conservative and inept, considering they couldn't execute the basic elements of the game plan in between the self-destructive penalties. However, part of the problem was the explosive Clemson defense, who has ranked in the Top-10 among every defensive category in the last five years.
Although speed and athleticism was evident on both sides, Clemson clearly dominated the game, extending their recent success in the series as they have now won four of the last five Bowden Bowls. Florida State has been hurt as much by their scheduling as they have scheduled quality opponents in Miami and Clemson to kick off their yearly campaigns.
While I have much more respect for teams that schedule in this manner as compared to Ohio State taking on Youngstown State, USC facing Idaho or defending champion Florida drilling Western Kentucky - maybe the Noles' would be better off doing the same.
My final review tonight was similar to the last three season opening games the Noles' have played. The offense is broken, especially given the number of quality athletes within the Seminole program, and the empty looks on the sideline tell a story of a group of young men who may not "buy in" to the coaching anymore. There is something grotesquely out of sink within the Seminole program and if they lose next week, coach Bowden better start spending some time in the University Chemistry lab as it could be anarchy.
Clemson, meanwhile, has the look of a team on a mission and one who may have arrived on the college football scene. The only negative was the number of players being carted off the field. I'm wondering if they will be able to sustain this level of play throughout the season.
We couldn't have had a better opening weekend to the college football season. We had an upset for the ages, coming on the heels of last years season ending upset for the ages with Boise's triumph in the Fiesta, a Golden Night in CAL, unanswered prayers from Touchdown Jesus, a welcome back memorial in Blacksburg and some impressive performances from some aspiring BCSBuster wanna-bee's.
So without further ado, I give you my Week One BCSBusters Top-25 with an emphasis for the defensive side of the ball as defense is the fundamental element of all championship aspirations, but the offense must be able to carry the defense because all defenses will falter at some point in the season.
A word to the wise! The BCSBuster Poll ranks a teams performance from week-to-week and does not take into account where a team is projected or speculated to finish by season's end. I judge the individual performances from Saturday-to-Saturday, so if you lay an egg (a.k.a. - Texas, Michigan, USC and Florida State) you will drop like a rock.
BCSBusters Poll AP Writers Poll Coaches Poll CBS Sports Poll
5.BCSBusters Poll AP Writers Poll Coaches Poll CBS Sports Poll
10.BCSBusters Poll AP Writers Poll Coaches Poll CBS Sports Poll
15.BCSBusters Poll AP Writers Poll Coaches Poll CBS Sports Poll
20.BCSBusters Poll AP Writers Poll Coaches Poll CBS Sports Poll
Just Off The BCSBuster Week #1 Radar!
Even my son gets up in arms regarding the recent "Bash The PAC" episodes running rampant in college football. Equally annoying is the fact that Michigan is still ranked in the Top-5, along with Florida State, who is still ranked in the Top-25. What's a young fella to do?