13) Oakland Raiders traded star LB Khalil Mack to the Bears Saturday, getting two first round picks in return. Consensus on the Interweb is that this is a good trade for Chicago. Teams also swapped four other draft picks; Bears got a 2nd round pick in 2020, Raiders got a 3rd.
This says that Jon Gruden has all the power in Oakland; GM Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis were supposedly not real anxious to trade Mack, but they also weren’t close to signing him to a new contract, either.
Chicago quickly gave Mack a 6-year, $141M contract extension. After the trade was announced, Bears dropped from 100-1 to 40-1 to win the Super Bowl; Raiders went from 20-1 to 40-1.
12) Auburn 21, Washington 16- Huskies gained 398 yards, but scored only one TD; they were 5-14 on 3rd down, -2 in turnovers and missed a short FG. SEC teams are now 9-3 in their last 12 games against Pac-12 opponents.
11) Penn State 45, Appalachian State 38, OT— 11 years ago this weekend, App State won at Michigan, when the Wolverines were #5 in country. App State was a I-AA team then; they’re in the Sun Belt now, and was a 24-point underdog here- they scored 28 points in 4th quarter after trailing 24-10, but the Nittany Lions tied the game with 0:42 left and avoided the upset in OT.
10) Cincinnati 26, UCLA 17— 6:00 left in the game, Cincy led 19-17; UCLA had 4th-and-1 from its own 36 with a true freshman (backup) QB playing, and the Bruins went for it, threw the ball, and failed miserably. Poor start to the Chip Kelly era in Westwood.
9) Maryland 34, Texas 29— For second year in a row, Terrapins upset Texas as a double-digit underdog; this game was delayed a while by stormy weather.
8) Michigan State 38, Utah State 31— Spartans were favored by 23.5, but needed a 13-yard TD with 2:00 left to hold off the gritty Aggies, who threw for 319 yards and look to be an improved team this season.
7) I-A teams that lost to I-AA teams:
— San Jose State (-2.5) lost 44-38 to Cal-Davis.
— Temple (-14.5) lost 19-17 to Villanova.
— UTEP (+7) lost 30-10 to Northern Arizona.
— Kansas (-9) lost 26-23 in OT to Nicholls State.
6) Rutgers 35, Texas State 7— Bobcats’ only score came on a pick-6; they had zero INT’s all of last season, which is hard to believe. Not sure I’ve ever heard of a team going thru an entire season with no INT’s. Bobcats were -15 in turnovers LY, -14 the year before, going 2-10 both seasons. Hard to win with terrible turnover margins.
5) West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14- Will Grier passed for 429 yards, five TD’s, as Mountaineers opened their season with a decisive win on a neutral field in Charlotte. Total yardage in this game was 547-301.
4) Illinois 31, Kent State 24— Huge sigh of relief from Champaign; Illini trailed this game 17-3 at the half. Total yardage was 469-453, not a good omen for the Illini’s Big 14 hopes.
3) Ole Miss 47, Texas Tech 27— Signing Day for college football is usually the first Wednesday in February; every year on day after Signing Day, I ask here why Texas Tech doesn’t sign more defensive players, and then in the fall, when their defense sucks, I ask again.
Last two years, Texas Tech lost eight games that they scored 30+ points in.
2) Buffalo Bills cut WR Corey Coleman, who they acquired from Cleveland this month; Bills now have $50M of dead money on their salary cap- next highest is Dallas, with $26M in dead money.
1) Cowboys’ TE Rico Gathers was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession by police in Frisco, TX Friday, as he sat on the bubble to make the Dallas roster. No bueno.
Gathers played basketball at Baylor; not sure what else to say here, other than your job as a player is to give the team reasons to keep you, not reasons to cut you.
Somehow, Gathers still made the Cowboys’ 53-man roster; we’ll see if he sticks.