Steveo’s Salvos – September 30, 2015

Last week, teams on our schedule this year won 13 and lost 5.  Five did not play. We decided to drop our Nov. 7 game plan to see either Lafayette or Lehigh based on who had the more competitive game that day against Colgate or Holy Cross respectively. Both teams are looking feeble thus far as are their guests. Lehigh is 2-2 while the other three are 1-3 and going nowhere. Fordham (3-1) looks like the cream of the Patriot League this year. The last two Saturdays, Princeton defeated Lafayette, 40-7, and Lehigh, 52-26. Neither team is going anywhere. We may decide to go to a D-3 game that could feature two undefeated teams vying for a conference championship and an automatic playoff if we see Franklin and Marshall at Johns Hopkins. New venue and more competitive contest than other higher division games we’re contemplating…

Since Lafayette and Lehigh have already stumbled this season, we don't have any plans to see them this year. Last year we saw them play the 150th game against one another at Yankee Stadium.

Since Lafayette and Lehigh have both already taken too many tumbles this season, we cancelled plans to see them this year. Last year we saw them play the 150th game against one another at Yankee Stadium.

This week’s game is under the duress of Hurricane Joachim crawling up the east coast. We’re keeping a close eye on it. This would be a huge disappointment to miss as it’s our only weekend planned in Annapolis which we love to go to every year. Besides, it’s undefeated Navy (3-0) hosting archrival Air Force (2-1). Don’t think this game means anything to these schools? In preseason practice interviews, Navy co-captains NT Bernard Sarra and QB Keenan Reynolds were asked by pundits if the new membership in the American Athletic Conference meant that their priority now was winning the conference. Both, interviewed separately, answered that the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy was still their team’s top priority. Supremacy over the other two academies still takes precedence for Navy, Air Force, and Army. Not only will it be a great game, but Keenan Reynolds has already scored nine TDS in the first three games. That brings him to a total of 422 career points, 78 short of Wisconsin RB Montee Ball’s all-time record of 500. He’s still got nine regular season games ahead of him and possibly two more with a conference championship game and a bowl game. Maybe Navy can send some ships to sea to escort Joachim away from the east coast this weekend…

Junior Toneo Gulley (22) returns among a stable of slotbacks in Navy's offense this year.

Junior Toneo Gulley (22) returns among a stable of Slotbacks playing for Navy’s offense this year.

Just when we thought pollsters were waking up to reality, they fooled us again. When will they learn? Auburn drops out of the polls with an overtime win over FCS Jacksonville State, a loss to LSU, and a loss of confidence in their QB Jeremy Johnson who was all their rage before the season. He got benched against Mississippi State. State had been bounced the previous week from the Top 25. A loss to LSU and a waste of a blowout against FCS Northwestern State dropped them. So they beat Auburn 17-9. Not only do they climb back in, but they leap past teams with more impressive resumes like Michigan, Cal, and yes, even SEC foe Florida. This week they play No. 14 Texas A&M. They win and they both stay in. They lose, who knows what the pollsters will do? This SEC love affair is sickening. Half of the teams in the American Athletic Conference already have more impressive wins than MSU does, and they are only in the “also receiving votes” category. That may change soon… Last week, Rutgers defeated Kansas at home in what many considered a game between the two worst teams among the Power Five conferences. Luckily for RU, it was home game as KU continued on a 32-game road losing streak. Unluckily for Rutgers that now has seven players suspended for various criminal activities, their upcoming schedule looks like this starting on October 10: No. 2 Michigan State, at Indiana (4-0 now and facing reality this week against Ohio State), No. 1 Ohio State, at No. 19 Wisconsin, at No. 22 Michigan, at Nebraska. Talk about losing streaks…Then they meet in our Game 500 against Army at West Point. Army (1-3) won last Saturday at Eastern Michigan, 58-36. The Black Knight defense was playing better up until this one. By the time Rutgers shows up, they could be slightly dinged up coming into Michie Stadium. The Black Knights with their triple option may be more formidable than RU thinks. They rushed for 566 yards and seven TDS against the Eagles (1-3)…We decided to keep our DH Saturday of October 10 intact. In a noon start, we will see Army host Duke who had a key win over Georgia Tech last week, 38-22. The Blue Devils (3-1, 1-0) face Boston College this weekend and could take a second significant step to challenge for the Coastal Division title. QB Thomas Sirk mixes up the run and pass well. After this game is over, we head down to Jersey on I-287 expecting to see No. 2 Sparty thrash around Rutgers…

Army practiced hand-to-hand combat in their spring game to get ready for the likes of Duke, Rutgers, andNavy, who we will see them all play this season.

Army practiced hand-to-hand combat in their spring game to get ready for the likes of Duke, Rutgers, and Navy, who we will see them all play this season.

The alma mater, Juniata College, faltered this last week to 1-3,0-3 with a 24-7 loss to Franklin and Marshall. Next up for them is D-3 No. 10 Johns Hopkins averaging 52 points per game. It made us note both F&M and JHU are undefeated and could be on a collision course for the Centennial Conference Championship. The game is at Hopkins which we hear has top rate facilities based on funding from its D-1 Lacrosse program…My move to get Ohio State at Michigan tickets this year looks better than I thought. Jim Harbaugh’s got the Wolverines at 3-1 with a 31-0 win over BYU who was ranked last week. He’s got them playing nasty again. That’s going to be some game at Ann Arbor. I picked the right year for that rivalry! Kicking around USC vs. UCLA next year…Charlotte and Old Dominion both are coming down to earth now at 2-2. We see them play in Norfolk on October 17. We see that Appalachian State whipped ODU, 49-0. What scares us is that we saw Appy beat Georgia State a year ago, 44-0. We thought the Monarchs would be much better than GSU this year. GSU fell to the 49ers, 23-20. The lost to Middle Tennessee, 73-14! As we suspect, there will be lot of points scored by these two teams when we see them play at Foreman Field. We go with the primary intention as adding Charlotte as our 129th team to maintain our goal “to see ’em all!”…Notre Dame (4-0) stomped struggling UMass last week, 62-27. Now the Irish visit 4-0 Clemson in what some people consider a playoff game into the CFP. Even if the Irish win, they have Navy and USC after the Tigers, but we look forward to October 31 now as we plan to see the Irish visit Temple in The Linc in Philly where both teams could be undefeated. TU only beat UMass by two points two weeks ago. After a bye last week, it was probably a good time to have off to reflect on where they are now. Their schedule leading up to the Irish is not as formidable starting at Charlotte, Tulane, UCF, and then at ECU. The game in Philly is already close to sold out. Temple fans showed up faithfully for their win over Penn State. It should be raucous if both show up undefeated…

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ND’s defense suffered many injuries prior to last season’s Music City Bowl victory, but they are healthier and better this season to take on Clemson this weekend.

No one in the AAC is ranked yet, but among Houston, Memphis, Navy, and Temple, we might see one of these challenging for that non-Power Five team in the CFP this year. Also, look for some of their head coaches to become hot items when Power Five schools are looking to replace their fired Head Coaches at the end of this season –particularly Justin Fuente of Memphis and Tom Herman of Houston…Colorado (3-1) defeated Colorado State to finish 3-1 in very weak non-conference games. Now the fun begins before we see them host USC on November 13. Picked to finish last in the PAC 12 South, they next play Oregon, at Arizona State, Arizona, at Oregon State, at UCLA, and Stanford. I say there are a few upsets in that mix…Other scores of note: after a 17-10 loss to Ohio State, Northern Illinois fell at Boston College, 17-14. NIU is no slouch when it comes to competing with Power Five teams. QB Troy Flutie threw a TD pass for BC…Buffalo is 2-2 after a loss to Nevada. John Massimilla saw the Bulls loss to Penn State, 27-10. He said to me last week, “Watch out for Buffalo.” We said this from the beginning. New HC Lance Leipold looks like he will do wonders there after winning six D3 championships at Wisconsin-Whitewater. He’s hardly had a chance to recruit yet. Success this season will prove he can coach. Next up for the Bulls is 2-2 Bowling Green. The two wins came over Big Ten Bottom feeders Maryland, 48-27, and Purdue, 35-28. We think Leipold will eventually find a home in the Big Ten and do great things…East Carolina had a big non–con win for the AAC beating Virginia Tech for the second year in a row, 35-28…Central Florida is struggling at 0-4 including one-point losses to Florida International and to FCS Furman. George O’Leary’s squad has nothing but AAC games left including Temple, Houston, Cincinnati, and ECU…In D3, No. 2 Mt. Union marinated Marietta, 61-0 while UW Whitewater got by D-2 NAIA Morningside, 33-30. The Mustangs of Sioux City, Iowa were 3-0 with an average score of 70-9 coming in before it fell to the defending D-3 national champ. They were selected as the preseason Top NAIA team by The Sporting News. Wesley College in Delaware ,now of the New Jersey Athletic Conference, defeated North Central of Illinois in a battle of perennial Top 25 teams (64-6 in ten years 10 conference play), 50-49. On the opposite end of the spectrum, two other new schools in the NJAC met, Salisbury State thrashed Southern Virginia, 91-3. It just doesn’t seem right. Craig Bohl is taking his lumps in his second year at Wyoming after three straight FCS championships at North Dakota State. New Mexico beat his Cowboys, 38-28, to fall to 0-4… In the FCS, our plans to see Villanova or New Hampshire in this year’s playoffs look sketchy. Both are unexpectedly 2-2. Last week, Nova was beaten for the first time in 14 tries by the Penn Quakers, 24-13. The Wildcats got stoned at Stony Brook by the Seawolves, 31-6. The good news though is that the James Madison Dukes look to sit atop the Colonial Athletic Conference. If we attend the D-3 Championship on Friday night, December 18 in Salem, VA, we may be able to see the Dukes play in a semi-final the next day in Harrisonburg right up I-81…Who’ll stop the rain, Joachim? Blow out to sea as we have an appointment for a big game in Annapolis this Saturday. Go Navy!

Despite the return QB Sean Goldrich at UNH, the Wildcats have struggled early this season.

Despite the return of Senior QB Sean Goldrich at UNH, the Wildcats have struggled early this season.

 

 

About Steveo

This website is dedicated to my unique and ongoing adventure to continue to see every major Division 1A (I despise the moniker “FBS”) football team play in person at least once. I’ve seen all 124 teams in existence as of 2013 play and plan to attend games with the five newest editions in the next few years. This also records my ongoing adventures attending as many college football games as possible every season. I “officially” started this crazy goal in 1979. The upcoming 2014 season will be the 35th straight year of sharing this fun endeavor with others in person and through weekly reviews about each game I attend. Entering 2014, I have attended 459 NCAA football games at all levels. My book, Tales from the Tailgate: From the Fan who’s seen ’em all! published in 2011, tells my story over 30 years of when I attended a game in person played by each D1A team for the first time. Now, I haven’t attended a game at every major stadium on each campus (yet) because I’d probably be unemployed and definitely divorced by now. However, I’m proud to report that I remain gainfully employed and have been married to the same woman (“Saint Laurie”) for almost 25 years. We have two kids that have recently ventured away from our home in Byram Township, NJ over the last few few years. Our daughter Alex is a junior at the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!), and our son Eric is now enlisted in the United States Navy (Go Navy!). You will find that my site and my book focus on enjoying a passion for college football and great opportunities to have fun with friends and family around the country.

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