It looked like we were going to have plenty of positives to comment on Texas A&M in who they were tearing apart UCLA through three quarters Sunday night in the Rose Bowl. That was going to be a statement of a good first weekend for 2017 football with the SEC. But we can say that UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is not a quitter,
Getting hit hard and unable to develop a pattern because A&M's defense delivered for the first three periods, the game changed. A&M felt it could step off the throttle, leadng 44-17 with one quarter left on a Sunday night. The flight back to College Station would be enjoyable.
Then Rosen woke up from the dead and buried the Aggies for 292 yards passing and four touchdowns in the fourth quarter for a 45-44 comeback victory, the second largest deficit for a Division 1 team to overcome.
It's great for the West Coast and those who like UCLA. It leaves an awful taste in the mouths if you follow the SEC. A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is barely hanging on the end of the rope. It will take an absolute miracle for the Aggies to recover in order to save Sumlin's job after three consecutive sub-bar 8-5 seasons.
I don't know even if a win now at Florida in October will be enough. Florida is not at the crossroads yet, but a sign of concern is being exposed for the Gators, whose offense was lackluster and the defense couldn't handle it on their own Saturday afternoon in Arlington with Michigan, who had to replace 19 starters.
A&M needed something to go with a very effective running game. That's called a passing attack. Going nine of 30 for 89 yards with two youngsters was not the answer.
One was injured. Redshirt freshman Nick Starkel left in the third quarter with a foot injury. He could throw the ball slightly better than true freshman Kellen Mond. Mond ran for better than 50 yards from the read option, but was lousy in three completions out of 17 attempts for 27 yards.
A&M's offense bogged down in the second half with two field goals and a third attempt that missed late in the fourth quarter.
The defense could not provide a knock out punch. They got knocked out in the final 15 minutes for almost surrendering 300 yards in one quarter to a QB that is pretty good, despite his cocky mouth for a mediocre team in the Pac XII.
Fans and the media will be talking a great deal about this game prior to next weekend and the Florida embarrassment to Michigan with the running game gaining 11 yards and the offense producing ZERO touchdowns. Two interceptions returned to the end zone for scores lifted the Gators, only for a period of time.
This may be enough to over throne conversation of Alabama. The Tide's 24-7 triumph of Florida State in the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta was by two basics that follow the coaching pattern of Saban. Hard hitting defense and play of the special teams.
Not to mention the defense coming up with a legitimate tackle on FSU quarterback Deondre Francois, ending his season with a patella tendon tear in his knee. The Seminoles chances to be among the best, even with the loss, are not that good right now.
A collapse by A&M takes away a solid performance by LSU in the Louisiana Superdome of a not so impressive Brigham Young team, a good outing by South Carolina in the home of the Carolina Panthers against North Carolina State, decent play by Georgia against Appalachian State and Auburn romping over Georgia Southern, despite erratic play from new QB Jarrod Stidham and issues from injuries and discipline in the backfield one game into the 2017 campaign.
The Pac XII survived some challenges on Labor Day weekend to go 8-0 between Saturday and Sunday and 11-0 for the weekend.
Heading into a Monday night game between Tennessee and Georgia Tech in Atlanta, the SEC stood at 11-2. The ACC failed three times, two losses coming to the SEC and North Carolina unable to protect the home turf and lose in a shootout to California 35-30.
But the state of Texas is in worse wear than those who suffered damage by Hurricane Harvey. Aside from the A&M collapse, Texas gets thumped at home by Maryland, Baylor loses to Liberty University. TCU and Texas Tech had one sided wins while Houston didn't get to play at Texas San Antonio from the effects of the Hurricane.
There's one thing about college football. It gives the media and the fans plenty to discuss. And that's just for opening weekend. Labor Day causes the water cooler conversation to be pushed back for one day.
Basically, there's nothing more to be said about this. Those who didn't win, pick yourself up and get ready for the next one. Even if A&M and Florida win this week, in which they should, the pain from Labor Day weekend will still linger for some time.
Photo of Texas A&M in the 1st half of Sunday's game vs. UCLA, courtesy of USA Today.