It's halftime in Pasadena with the Vols up 14-7, so the week isn't officially over yet. However, I think we can begin to evaluate what just happened. So here it is: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Nick Saban and the Tide
For my next trick, I will switch Tommy Tuberville with Tommy Bowden. I'll bet you'd all love that, huh?
Last year, Saban was the most expensive coach by win in the country, leading many to wonder if Bama pays him too much. After this weekend, some will wonder if they pay him too little. His young team looked like a well-oiled machine in Atlanta, where he made Tommy Bowden look like an amateur. It's hard to say how good his team really is, considering that Clemson was probably overrated and that Bama had consistency issues last year. But considering the youth of the Tide, they may only get better, which is a scary thought for the rest of the SEC.
Pete Carroll and Southern California
Carroll's team also looked very well prepared as they demolished UVA in Charlottesville. Maybe it has something to do with how bad the Gamecocks always look in openers, but I think it's really impressive when a coach can have his team firing on all cylinders right out of the gate, and Carroll always seems to have guys ready on opening day. Just ask Auburn and Arkansas. Look for this team to destroy Ohio State when they play.
This is getting a lot of attention all over the place, so I won't harp on it too long. But, really, is this a BCS conference? They fell flat on their faces in every important out-of-conference match-up they participated in over the weekend. From NC State's thrashing at the hands of a less-than-stellar South Carolina, to VT's loss to ECU, to UVA's beatdown at the hands of USC, to perhaps the worst of them all, Clemson's pathetic performance against Bama, the ACC can't wait for conference play to begin.
Sly Croom and Mississippi State
Sly Croom's job this year is to prove that MSU can continue to improve on the breakout season it had last year. Needless to say, losing to LA Tech was not the kind of start he needed. Croom needs every win he can get to make it back to a bowl game this year, and he won't get many of the gimmes that Tech should have been.
Mike Sherman and Texas A&M
Arkansas State? WTF?
Tommy Bowden and Clemson
Nick Saban doesn't deserve all the credit for his shocking upset of this supposed national title contender. Tommy Bowden and staff did everything they could to lose this game. In a move that I find completely perplexing, their two great backs, CJ Spiller and James Davis, only carried the ball eight times, for a total of 20 yards. Idiotic doesn't even begin to describe this. The team also looked generally unprepared, with the young offensive line looking especially bad. All in all, it was typical Bowden: on a national stage with a chance to confirm high preseason expectations by beating a good but not great team, he layed a huge egg as a superior coach totally outclassed him. Luckily for Bowden, his team may still be the best team in the putrid ACC.