Saturday, October 21, 2017
Around the Nation: College Football- Savannah State gets kicked around for money; Local players in the Heisman race; Big games for Week 3
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor,
Published September 13, 2012

 Johnathan Franklin, UCLA, Dorsey High School

A year ago UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin (Dorsey High School) said that he wanted to win the Heisman Trophy.  Nobody took him seriously.  Now that he has started the season with two 200+ yard games in the first two games of the season, and he is leading the nation in rushing, people are now taking him serious. Photo by Jason Lewis


What is Savannah State thinking?

Savannah State University, a historically black university, wants to play with the big boys.  Not because they believe that they can compete with the best in the nation, but strictly for the money.

The university has a $5.1 million budget for the athletic department, which would be tough for most schools not known for their athletics to meet.  So for a total of $860,000, they sent their football team to get whacked out by Oklahoma State and Florida State.

The two big time schools appeared to dial up a win, because giving Savannah State a call, and a large paycheck to play in the game, was as automatic of a win as there is.

Against Oklahoma State, Savannah State was a 65 ½ point underdog, and for bettors that laid the points, they walked away happy as Oklahoma easily covered that huge point spread with an 84-0 victory.

After that game the Las Vegas bookmakers had to make the largest point spread ever when Savannah State traveled to No. 6 Florida State.  The point spread opened at 70 ½ points. 

Florida State went a little easy in the game, only winning by a score of 55-0. 

If there were ever a reason to play college athletes, this is probably it.  For Savannah State University this was just a money grab.  For the players on their football team, that was a butt kicking of epic proportions.  It must have been easy for school administrators to schedule that game, because they were not the ones who had to suit up and play the game.   They should give all their players something really nice for taking the field against teams that they had no business playing against.

But every now and then the little guy does beat the big time program.  That’s what happened when No. 8 Arkansas dialed up Louisiana-Monroe for an easy victory.  Things did not go the way that Arkansas expected, as Louisiana-Monroe pulled the upset, winning 34-31 in overtime. 

The loss dropped Arkansas out of the polls, which was the second largest drop ever.

Heisman Trophy watch

The PAC-12 is putting in work, as a number of the top players in the nation are playing here in the west.  And most of them are from right here in Los Angeles.

USC quarterback Matt Barkley still leads the way, and so far there has not been any reason to put any other player ahead of him.  Through two games he has six touchdown passes with only one interception, and he is completing 76.7 percent of his passes.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has only played one game, but that was a great one.  Well, it was against Marshall.  He completed 88.9 percent of his passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in the 69-34 victory.  Up next is James Madison, so expect another big game out of Smith. 

Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas (Crenshaw High School) does not get the ball much, but when he does he scores.  He has 10 rushes and eight receptions in two games, and he has accounted for five touchdowns already.  Oregon plays Tennessee Tech this week, so expect another big game from Thomas.

USC’s Marqise Lee (Serra High School) is still in the picture.  After catching 10 passes for 197 yards with one receiving touchdown and one off of a kickoff return in the season opener, he had another 11 receptions against Syracuse, three of them for touchdowns. 

UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin (Dorsey High School) said a year ago that one of his goals was to win the Heisman Trophy.  Nobody took him serious.  Well for the first time he is in consideration.  The season is only two weeks old, but he leads the nation in rushing and has two 200+ yard games.  In a game that has become pass happy, he is showing that it can still be done the hard way.  Just hand him the ball and he’ll run by everybody on defense.

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is out of the race for the time being.  Being stopped cold against Alabama in a blowout loss will do that.

Big games this week

No. 2 USC has lost three years in a row to Stanford, who is ranked No. 21.  But Stanford had Andrew Luck for all of those games.  He is now gone, but Barkley has stayed.  Neither team has been tested yet, so this game will tell a lot about both teams.

Notre Dame usually gets a ranking that most people do not agree with.  Right now they are No. 23, and they will be tested by No. 10 Michigan State.

No. 18 Florida travels to No. 23 Tennessee, with the winner having a leg up in the SEC East standings.  No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 LSU are clearly the teams to beat in the SEC, but both teams play in the Western division.  Tennessee and Florida will look for a chance to knock one of those teams off in the SEC championship game, but No. 7 Georgia and No. 8 South Carolina also play in the East.  Even with a victory this Saturday, Florida or Tennessee will still have their work cut out for them.


Categories: Football

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