Opinion: Kudos to the Cougars and the Sooners

Michael Moses

Stir of emotions in college football season opener

Florida, Texas and USC blew out high school teams during the opening weekend of college football. Their seasons seemed to start off great in the box score, but it was No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners’ loss that most impressed me. Their season started off better than their fellow top-five teams.

You see, people (well, the BCS) want to automatically dismiss the Sooners for their loss to Brigham Young. Here’s what these “football” brains don’t see – Oklahoma was battle tested. Sure, they lost, but it’s not like BYU was a Charleston-Southern or Louisiana-Monroe. A 14-13 loss to the 20th-ranked team in the country is better to me than a 62-3 blowout win in which your starters barely play a half of football (Gators, I’m talking to you).

Oklahoma had the cojones to schedule a challenging non-conference game. The fourth-ranked team in the country, USC, on the other hand, wanted to challenge themselves on a different level. “Let’s see how fast we can get to 50” (they beat the mighty San Jose State Spartans 56-3). No. 2 Texas had more of a fight, though. They only beat Louisiana-Monroe by 39.

BYU is a team that is used to winning (32 wins in the past 3 years) and has swagger like a Mormon Jay-Z. With star quarterback Max Hall leading the way, the Cougars are an experienced team both physically and mentally. Hell, I know he only dressed for the game, but their star running back from a season ago just got over the swine flu.

I can hear everybody now: “Sam Bradford was out for most of the game!” or “He might be out for the season!” Yes, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner might be shelved for the year, but that doesn’t take anything away from the Cougars. On the other hand, it does severely hurt the Sooners’ chances in the future.

The running back tandem of DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown must pick up the offensive load for newly appointed freshman quarterback Landry Jones. But if anybody is up for it, I think a pair of 1,000-yard rushers can handle that job.

A shocker would be Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount. Blount went Jackie Chan on Boise State defensive end Byron Hout and punched him in the jaw following the Ducks’ loss to the Broncos. Coming off a year in which he scored 17 touchdowns, Blount was held to negative five yards on eight carries. What came after the game was worse than his performance during.

It wasn’t just the punch that got him suspended for the remainder of the season. Boise State fans were booing, screaming and taunting Blount as he was escorted off the field. That’s when LeGarrette went borderline-Ron Artest and charged toward the crowd. Players, coaches and authorities were restraining Blount as if he were a raging bull out of the gates.

Some people do not agree with the suspension severity. I say good for him. If you “simply” punch a player, that’s one thing. To charge after fans and look like you belong in a straightjacket? That’s another. That’s what got you the yearlong suspension and ultimately cost you your senior year of college football.

Contact sports columnist Michael Moses at [email protected].