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IT’S ALL HAPPENING: THE WEAKENED EDITION

Starting Five

1. “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes/Saying, ‘Te’o!’/He can play, oh!/” What do you call a Hawaiian kid of Mormon faith playing middle linebacker at a school with a French sobriquet that dubs its teams the “Fighting Irish?” All-American. Notre Dame, led by Manti Teo’s 12 tackles, silences No. 10 Michigan State in East Lansing, 20-3.

Heisman candidate?

2. Peter Brady hosting Saturday Night Live’s season premiere? Actually, it was “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, who killed. Some of us really appreciated the “Farrah Fawcett, will you go out with me?” line.

Every girl in our 7th-grade class had this ‘do.

3. The USC band’s drum major underwent a pre-game breathalyzer test and things only deteriorated from there. Southern California loses to Stanford for the fifth time in the past six years. Suddenly Troy’s national title hopes and quarterback Matt Barkley’s Heisman candidacy are in greater peril than $4-per-gallon gasoline in the Southland.

4. Oh, he had a happy birthday alright. Beaverton (Ore.) Aloha High School running back Thomas Tyner rushes for 634 yards and 10 touchdowns on his 18th birthday. The Warriors defeated Lakeridge 84-63 and we fervently hope this game is replayed in its entirety.

5. When it was Alabama 38, Arkansas 0 on Saturday, we tweeted this: “Is it too early to name Jessica Dorrell the Chevy Player of the Game?”

The Reserves

Reviews of all the games featuring teams in the Top 25 10:

1. Alabama (3-0) magnetic-zeroes Arkansas, 52-0

The Tide are the first opponent to shut out the Hogs in Fayetteville since October, 1966.

2. USC (2-1) is Redd-uced at No. 21 Stanford, 21-14

Now what does Silas Redd do? Cardinal senior class will graduate having never lost to USC. The last senior class at any Pac-12 school from any year that can say that, to our knowledge, is the ’89 class from UCLA.

“Do we have a play for fourth-and-40?”

3. LSU (3-0) does not spudder versus Idaho, 63-14

Last week Washington, this week Idaho. Who’s next week, Montana? Mike the Tiger is yawning.

4. Oregon (3-0) trails Tennessee Tech before winning, 63-14

This Tim Day authentic locker panel could be yours for just $50.02. (Did Phil Knight’s last check bounce?)

5. Florida State (3-0) preaches defense to the Demon Deacons, 52-0

The Seminoles lead the nation in all five of the most vital defensive categories (Scoring, Total, Rush, Pass, Pass Efficiency)

6. Oklahoma (2-0), idle

7. Georgia (3-0) dawgs Florida Atlantic, 56-20

On the season Todd Gurley has 287 yards — on just 28 carries. That’s 10 yards per carry.

Gurley. Man.

8. South Carolina (3-0) hammers UAB, 49-6.

The Gamecocks say QB Connor Shaw’s shoulder is “bruised.” He says it’s a “slight fracture.” Dr. Lou, your diagnosis?

9. West Virginia (2-0) inaugurates ’12 James Madison to defeat, 42-14

Geno Smith, who played in home of Redskins yesterday, is this September’s RGIII: nine TD passes and nine INCs on the season.

10. Michigan State (2-1) succumbs to No. 20 Notre Dame, 20-3

Fighting Irish win their first road game versus a ranked team since 2005, move to 3-0 for first time since 2002.

 

“NO PROSE, PLEASE” WEEKEND CFB PREVIEW

This week we’re simply going to try one-liners. Like Everett Golson, this feature is a work in progress.

 

No. 1 Alabama (2-0) at Arkansas (1-1)

CBS 3:30 p.m.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’ hit tune “Home” begins “Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my ma and pa…” Hogs, minus quarterback Tyler Wilson, will put up non-magnetic zeroes.

No. 2 USC (2-0) at No. 21 Stanford (2-0)

Fox 7:30 p.m.

(Loathe to type anything for fear that Lane Kiffin might ban me, but you should know that Cardinal are 99th in pass defense after facing San Jose State and Duke, neither of whom dress out Marqise Lee or Robert Woods)

Wake Forest (2-0) at No. 5 Florida State (2-0)

ESPN 12 p.m.

The nation’s leading pass-catcher? Michael Campanaro of the Demon Deacons has 22 receptions in two games. Sideline reporter tip: Campanaro’s parents are both chefs.

His parents are culinary, and he is extraordinary: The nation’s leader in receptions, Michael Campanaro

No. 20 Notre Dame (2-0) at No. 10 Michigan State (2-0)

ABC 8 p.m.

In the last three years the Irish have been undone in the Mitten State by true freshman Tate Forcier (Ann Arbor), Little Giants (East Lansing) in OT, and Shoelace, all with 12 or fewer seconds remaining. The state of Michigan has the Upper Hand over the school from south of the border.

 No. 13 Virginia Tech (2-0) at Pittsburgh

ESPNU 12 p.m.

The Steelers are 0-1, the Pirates have lost 10 of 12 and the Panthers are 0-2 including a two-touchdown home loss to Youngstown State.

No. 14 Texas (2-0) at Mississippi (0-2)

ESPN 9:15 p.m.

We just want to see Bevo walk through the Grove.

North Texas (1-1) at Kansas State (2-0)

Fox Sports Net 7 p.m.

The Wildcats are eighth in the nation in scoring offense (51.5 ppg) – sixth if you exclude schools that have played Savannah State.

Part Belldozer, Part Barkley: K-State QB Collin Klein

No. 16 TCU (1-0) at Kansas (1-1)

FX 12 p.m.

“Decided schematic advantage” versus a Gary Patterson defense that leads the nation, albeit after one game against an FCS opponent, in scoring defense, total defense and pass efficiency defense.

 

Massachusetts (0-2) at No. 17 Michigan (1-1)

Big Ten Network 3:30 p.m.

The Minutemen may be the “Allowing-a-point-per-Minutemen” this afternoon in Ann Arbor. They surrendered 45 to Indiana last week.

No. 18 Florida (2-0) at No. 23 Tennessee (2-0)

ESPN 6 p.m.

Can you believe the Vols have lost seven straight to the Gators? This dormant rivalry gets revived tonight. Call it a “revivalry.”

Houston (0-2) at No. 24 UCLA (2-0)

Pac-12 Network 10:30 p.m.

The Bruins’ Johnathan Franklin leads the nation in rushing (215 ypg) and one of his two 200-yard games came against Nebraska. Huge opportunity tonight for him against a Cougar defense that is 111th versus the run.

“NO PROSE” CFB WEEKEND PREVIEW

Ten games, broken down as succinctly as possible…with thanks for the idea to our friend Sorp, an attorney who holds a couple of patents but not a patent attorney. Sorp recommends you buy his book, “Why You Should Not Go To Law School.” He also recommends that you not go to law school.

 

Miami (1-0) at No. 21 Kansas State (1-0)

Noon, FX

Tagline: Wildcats strike!

Spread: Wildcats minus-7

Studs: Miami RB Duke Johnson; Kansas State QB Collin Klein

NCAA Rankings: Canes, 99th in Total Defense (542 ypg); Cats, 7th in Rushing Offense (324 ypg)

Pathos: Wildcats won at Miami in third game of last season, 28-24, en route to 7-0 start.

Tailgate Trivia: From a W or L perspective, the Canes’ 2011 season was palindromic.

Air Force (1-0) at No. 19 Michigan (0-1)

3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2

Tagline: Go Blue meets Wild Blue Yonder

Spread: Wolverines minus-21

Studs: Air Force RB Cody Getz; UM safety Jordan Kovacs

NCAA Rankings: Falcons, 1st in Rushing Offense (484 ypg); Wolverines, 93rd in Rushing Defense (232 ypg)

Pathos: Appalachian State, Utah and Toledo have all won at the Big House in the past five seasons. Will the Wolverines still be licking their wounds from last weekend’s beating by Bama?

Tailgate Trivia: Air Force has a 19-game losing streak versus opponents ranked in the AP poll; Getz rushed for 218 yards and three TDs in his first start last week.

Purdue (1-0) at No. 22 Notre Dame (1-0)

3:30 p.m., NBC

Tagline: No Suspended Starting QBs

Spread: Fighting Irish minus-14

Studs: Boilermaker DT Kawann Short; Irish MLB Manti Te’o

NCAA Rankings: Purdue, last in turnovers (5); Notre Dame, T-4th in Turnover Margin (+3)

Pathos: Are the Irish really as good as the looked last weekend in Dublin? And just how long a leash does QB Everett Golson have if this game is close?

Tailgate Trivia: The Irish traveled 3,500 miles to play Navy, but will travel a total of 254 miles for their next six games.

Preying Manti

No. 24 Florida (1-0) at Texas A&M (0-0)

3:30 p.m., ESPN

Tagline: Sumlin wild

Spread: Even

Studs: Gators, Offensive bleepin’ coordinator Brent bleepin’ Pease; Aggies, RB Christine Michael

NCAA Rankings: Florida, 93rd in Passing Offense (145 ypg); A&M has yet to play.

Pathos: Welcome to the SEC, Aggies! Welcome to the Union, Gators (Florida has not played a regular-season game west of Baton Rouge or north of Lexington in 21 years).

Tailgate Trivia: Johnny Manziel will become the first freshman to start at quarterback in the season opener for the Aggies in 68 years.

Syracuse (0-1) vs. No. 2 USC (1-0)

3:30 p.m., Met Life Stadium, ABC/ESPN2

Tagline: Trojans take Manhattan (and East Rutherford)!

Spread: Trojans minus-26

Studs: Syracuse, QB Ryan Nassib; Trojans, Everybody (Okay, let’s go with WR Marqise Lee, LB Hayes Pullard, CB Nickell Robey)

NCAA Rankings: Orange, No. 1 in Passing Offense (470 ypg); Trojans, USC, No. 1 in Kickoff Returns (100 yards per…not that they’ll get many opportunities)

Pathos: Trojan QB Matt Barkley, the Heisman favorite, spends his 22nd birthday in the sports media capital of the country in preparation for his December return.

Tailgate Trivia: Syracuse has lost six straight.

Savannah State (0-1) at No. 6 Florida State (1-0)

6 p.m. ESPN3

Tagline: Little Big Horn never had a sequel

Spread: Seminoles minus-70.5 (yes, that’s correct)

Studs: Savannah State, head trainer Clint Brif; FSU WR/KR Rashad Greene, DE Bjoern Werner

NCAA Rankings: Tigers are last (in both FCS and FBS) in Scoring Defense (84 ppg); Noles, No. 1 in Sacks (6 pg)

Pathos: Say a prayer for the Tigers, who lost by 84 at Oklahoma State and for the second consecutive week find themselves on the wrong side of the largest point spread in college football history.

Tailgate Trivia: Savannah State will pocket $475,000 for this game. That may literally be blood money.

 

Washington (1-0) at No. 3 LSU (1-0)

7 p.m., ESPN

Tagline: Live Tigers at practice!

Spread: Tigers minus-24

Studs: U-Dub TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins; LSU RBs trio of Kenny Hilliard, Alfred Blue and Michael Ford

NCAA Rankings: Huskies, 4th in Sacks ( 4 pg); Tigers, 10th in Rushing Offense (316 ypg).

Pathos: After a miserable opener, heralded Tiger DEs Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery (no tackles last week) will look to put a whuppin’ on a U-Dub offense that  lost its starting running back for the season last week and will start three sophomores on the offensive line.

Tailgate Trivia: LSU is 28-0 in non-conference games under Les Miles.

No. 16 Nebraska (1-0) at UCLA (1-0)

7:30 p.m., Fox

Tagline: Traditions collide

Spread: Huskers minus-6

Studs: Husker QB Taylor Martinez; Bruin RB Johnathan Franklin

NCAA Rankings: Huskers, 3rd in Passing Efficiency (212.49); Bruins, 3rd in Total Offense (646 ypg)

Pathos: Jim Mora makes his home debut as Bruin head coach after an impressive win at Rice (not exactly a “Punting is winning” entrance), while Husker QB Taylor Martinez returns home to his native SoCal.

Tailgate Trivia: Ten different Huskers caught a pass against Southern Miss last Saturday. There have been entire seasons of Husker football without that many players recording a catch.

Different game, but familiar sight: Franklin leaving defenders behind

No. 6 Georgia (1-0) at Missouri (1-0)

7:45 p.m., ESPN2

Tagline: Show Me Old Man Football

Spread: Dawgs minus-2

Studs: Dawg QB Aaron Murray; Tiger WR Dorial Green-Beckham

NCAA Rankings: Georgia, 77th in Rushing Defense (199.0 ypg); Mizzou, No. 2 in Turnover Margin (+ 4 pg)

Pathos: Mizzou makes its SEC debut against the SEC East champion Bulldogs.

Tailgate Trivia: The two schools last met in the 1960 Orange Bowl, with the Dawgs winning 14-0.

Come back, Shayne! “Okay.”

Duke (1-0) at No. 25 Stanford (1-0)

10:30 p.m.

Tagline: The GMAT Bowl

Spread: Cardinal minus-15

Studs: Blue Devil WR Connor Vernon; Cardinal LB Shayne Skov, who returns after a year of injury and a one-game suspension.

NCAA Rankings: Blue Devils, 100th in Pass Defense (348 ypg); Cardinal, 100th in Passing Offense (125 ypg)

Pathos: The Cardinal looked shaky in a three-point win versus San Jose State last Saturday, but luck (if not Luck) was on their side. The return of Skov will provide renewed vigor.

Tailgate Trivia: Duke’s last road win versus a ranked opponent took place 41 years ago… at Stanford.

 

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WEEK 1

Starting Five


1. “They call Alabama the Crimson Tide/Call me MGo Blue…” On an opening weekend with a surfeit of glorified exhibitions, everyone won by Alabama playing Michigan…except perhaps the Wolverines.

2. Oklahoma State drowns an entire litter of puppies, hopes no one paid too close attention.

3. USC wins its first game off probation, Penn State loses its first game on probation.

4. A hurricane hits the Gulf coast, causing the postponement of a game in…Corvallis, Ore. Butterfly Effect?

5. Notre Dame’s all-time record on foreign soil improves to 3-0 (or, depending upon your opinion of Mississippi, to 3-1).

The Sideline

If you could select a single play to embody the SEC’s dominance of the Big Ten since Florida beat Ohio State for the national championship in 2006, wouldn’t Alabama DB Dee Milliner’s shove of Michigan’s Ray Roundtree out of bounds (unflagged!), subsequent interception and then pummeling of Denard Robinson be it?

Dee Milliner of the Tide

Four schools in the AP preseason Top 25 (No. 7 Florida State, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 19 Oklahoma State and No. 22 Kansas State) played Football Championship Series (FCS) foes and won by a combined score of 253-26. Missouri, an SEC team that is just outside the Top 25, rocked FCS opponent Southeast Louisiana 62-10.

It isn’t that these victims were out of their league, it’s that….well, that’s exactly what it was. FCS schools literally do not play in the same division of their FBS hosts who pummeled them and then handed them a check. Let’s see, you take physical advantage of someone who is not in a financial position to deny your offer and afterward you hand them a check. Is there a word for such an arrangement?

The cover of next week’s Savannah State-Florida State game program?

College football has manifold problems, but some of them are fixable. This is one such issue. Either prohbit wins versus FCS schools from counting toward bowl eligibility or, as voters, use your vote to punish schools for scheduling such games. Florida State is about to play its second consecutive game versus an FCS foe, Savannah Guthrie State, this weekend (the same team that came within 84 points of shocking Oklahoma State this past Saturday). That’s one-sixth of its schedule against opponents that have as much of an opportunity of winning the BCS national championship as Rancho Santa Margarita High School, and even less of a chance than RSMHS of beating the ‘noles.

Seminole fans will rightly point out that their team played Oklahoma last season and plays Florida out-of-conference annually. We applaud that. You don’t have to fight Muhammad Ali every time you step into the ring. But you should at least touch gloves with an opponent that has a puncher’s chance.

***

USC wide receiver Marquise Lee caught 10 passes for 197 yards and one touchdown (on the Trojans’ first play from scrimmage, a 75-yarder that was mostly YAC) in the 49-10 win against Hawaii. The sophomore from Gardena, Calif., suddenly has USC SID Tim Tessalone wondering if he must stage dueling Heisman campaigns. A few thoughts:

1. Did you know that Lee was not considered the best wide receiver on his own Junipero Serra High School team? Lee was a four-star, while George Farmer earned five stars from Scout.com.

2. Lee was considered more valuable at another position. “Lee is a much more natural defensive back than receiver,” wrote Scout.

3. Hawaii coach Norm Chow was a college assistant coach for 39 seasons, a few of them spent at USC. So Chow finally becomes a head coach and his first in-game decision is to defer after winning the coin toss and put the ball in the hands of Matt Barkley?

Marquise de Sod?

The hardest hit we saw anyone take this weekend was the blindside hit a Boise State female cheerleader took when a Bronco player ran into her out of bounds. Fortunately, her helmet did not come off so she was permitted to cheer the next play.

 Quotable

“You get paid for certain things, but I don’t know if at the end of the day, some things are worth the payments you get.” –Savannah State coach Steve Davenport after his team surrendered 84 points to and accepted $385,000 from Oklahoma State

The weekend’s most impressive SEC team that did not play for the national championship last January? Our vote goes to Tennessee. Quarterback Tyler Bray was 27 of 41 for 333 yards, two TDs, zero picks, in the Vols’ 35-21 defeat of N.C. State, while the defense intercepted Mike Glennon four times.

Air Force continued to redefine the term misnomer as it rushed for 484 yards versus Idaho State.  Cody Getz, the Falcons’ five-foot-seven senior running back, had 218 yards on 17 carries for a 12.8 yards-per-carry average.

Few get Getz in the open field

More FBS-FCS MacBeth Memorial (“Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”) scores: North Carolina 62, Elon 0. Arizona State 63, NAU 6. Missouri 62, SE Louisiana 10. New Mexico 66, Southern 21. Fair is foul, and foul is fair.

Cal returned home to Memorial Stadium after a one-year hiatus due to a $321 million renovation, but Nevada beat the Golden Bears, 31-24. The Wolf Pack won in Berkeley for just the second time in 25 visits, the last victory coming in 1903.

Are you an AP voter? Great. You’re not going to even glance at the preseason poll to help you inform your decision on this week’s vote, are you? You realize the preseason vote is simply a guesstimate based on absolutely no relevant empirical information. The only relevant empirical information occurred this weekend. So, yeah, it’s okay to put UCLA or Notre Dame in the Top 15 if you think the Bruins or Irish were that impressive. It’s just Week 1. You don’t have to marry this ballot, just buy it drinks and hold open doors for it.

The spread for Savannah State at Oklahoma State was 67.5 (the .5 was a nice touch, no?). Cowboys still covered by two touchdowns and a field goal.

Top Ten*

1. Alabama

2. USC

3. LSU

4. Oregon

5. Best Virginia

6. Clemson

7. Michigan State

8. Ohio State

9. Tennessee

10. Georgia

 

*You must play an FBS opponent to be eligible for this poll. 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING, Week 1 fooBAW EDITION

Starting Five

1. Alabama vs Michigan (Saturday, ABC, 7 p.m.) The last time the Wolverines played an SEC opponent, they lost by 38. And, in case you forgot, that team was Mississippi State, less than two years ago. We love Shoelace, but Bama’s O-line versus Michigan’s D-line spells migraines for Jim Delany.

2. Boise State at MICHIGAN STATE (Friday, ESPN, 7 p.m.) Since becoming head coach in 2006, Chris Petersen has only lost one game that was played 1) off the Smurf Turf and 2) before Thanksgiving weekend. That was a 10-7 loss at U-Dub on Sept. 8, 2007. The Spartans have not lost in East Lansing since 2009, to a team coached by Joe Paterno. We like Sparty here.

3. Clemson vs Auburn (Saturday, ESPN, 7 p.m.) In an opening weekend in which we have Tech vs Tech (Georgia-Virginia) and Cougars vs Cougars (Wazzu at BYU), this Tigers vs Tigers contest may be the best of the mirror games. Sammy Watkins, arguably the most exciting player in CFB, will be missed, but these are still two big-boy programs.

4. Notre Dame vs Navy (Saturday, CBS, 9 a.m.) The Irish, who have lost three of their past five to the Midshipmen, win if they keep it at two or fewer turnovers. Navy flew from Baltimore to Dublin. That’s cheating, no?

5. Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech (Monday, ESPN, 7 p.m.) Remember that Yellow Jacket offense that led the nation in rushing offense and passing efficiency and was averaging 51 points per game through five wins last season? Well, they return seven starters including leading rushers Orwin Smith and David Sims. Tech has quarterback Tajh Boyd, who at 6-6 has that Cam Newton thing going on.

The Red Grange Award


On October 18, 1924, Harold Edward Grange (you can call him “Red”) of Illinois returned the opening kickoff on the opening play in the history of Memorial Stadium 95 yards for a touchdown against Michigan. Later in that first quarter Grange scored on runs of 67, 56 and 44 yards. That’s four touchdowns covering 262 yards in one quarter against a Wolverine defense that had allowed a total of four touchdowns the previous two seasons.

History, though, remembers 10/18/24 as the day that beckoned Grantland Rice’s famous lede (“Outlined against a blue, gray October sky…”) after Granny watched Notre Dame score a desultory 13-7 win over Army. And you wonder why so many people hate Notre Dame.

Red Buttons never got a dinner and Red Grange never got an award, and this has always left us flummoxed. It wasn’t as if he lacked a cool sobriquet (“The Galloping Ghost”) or charisma: he made the cover of Time. Grange signed with the Chicago Bears the day after playing his last college game. He was decades ahead of his era.

And his name reminds us of a Peter Gabriel song. What’s not to love?

There’s a Fred Biletnikoff Award, a John Mackey Award, a Davey O’Brien Award (but not a Danny O’Brien Award, at least not yet), a Ray Guy Award, a Ted Hendricks Award (the 1970s’s Oakland Raiders lead the world in players who have had college football trophies named in their honor) and many others.

And yet there is no major award for, with all due respect to Jim Thorpe and George Gipp, the most spectacular player from the Golden Age of college football. If ever there were a player who personified what the Heisman Trophy purportedly stands for — as opposed to what ESPN’s Lee Corso believes it stands for (starting QB on the top-ranked team), then that player is Red Grange.

Grange scored six touchdowns that afternoon in the Illini’s upset of the Wolverines, amassing 402 total yards and ending UM’s 20-game unbeaten streak. Certainly if Rece Davis had been invented then, he would’ve been awarded a helmet sticker.

We want even more. The signature achievement John Heisman, the namesake of college football’s, if not sport’s, most well-known individual award, was to coach Georgia Tech to a 222-0 victory (we were tempted to employ the term “drubbing” here, but we don’t know what a “drub” is) over Cumberland College. Most people don’t even know where Heisman played college football (Brown –what is it with Brown and ignominious football coaches? — and Penn).

We completely endorse the definition for the Heisman Trophy (“…the most outstanding player”). We just believe that it is named after the wrong person, and so it is with that in mind that we here at Medium Happy are creating our own Red Grange Award that, too, will be bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player.

And if you are wondering about our clout, did you know who votes on the Mackey Award? The Nassau County Sports Commission. Can you name anyone on the Nassau County Sports Commission? Exactly.

Bill Hubbell, myself, and a coterie of willing volunteers whose names you will recognize (as soon as we blackmail persuade them to participate) will vote on the award and we will rely on one criterion: “…the most outstanding player.”

So to begin, let us name our preseason Red Grange Award favorites…

(Waiting)

(Still waiting)

(Hellooooo?)

You get the point? We are naming no one. It’s August 30 and as of this moment nobody has played a single down yet. Hence, nobody is a favorite. Last year doesn’t matter. No one is going to “jump ahead” of anyone on our Red Grange Watch list after Week 1 simply because everyone, even Ego Ferguson of LSU, is currently in a dead heat. That’ll change.

Stay tuned for weekly updates on the Red Grange Award.

Week 1 Quick Hitters

–It may not be a fair metric since it is also a function of the opposition, but look out for the schools that win by 40-plus points on opening weekend. Those are the schools who are already running downhill with a load of momentum. We like West Virginia (versus Marshall), Arkansas (versus Jacksonville State), Florida (Murray State), Wisconsin (Northern Iowa) and USC (Hawaii) as the most likely to hit that mark.

–Anyone know who the FBS’ active career rushing leader is? His team hosts San Diego State on Saturday night (answer at bottom) He has never played a down for the school for whom he will start this weekend.

–Cal returns to Strawberry Canyon and Memorial Stadium after a one-year hiatus for a $321 million renovation to host Nevada.

– For the record, and before the rest of the country discovers his unique odyssey, we at The Daily (bow your heads) were on the Jesse Williams story last December. Brent and Kirk will surely be talking him up on Saturday night.

–Former Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist opens another season against a school whose name begins with South (South Dakota State). Odds are that Crist, now at Kansas, will start the second half this time.

Answer: Chris Polk, Washington, 4,049 yards  Montel Harris, Boston College  Temple Owls