Yada, yada, yada
You'd have thought Nick Saban felt the Alabama news media insulted his family the way he carried on this week about all the praise his team received after its shockingly easy romp over Michigan.
He said writing and speaking about how good the Crimson Tide look does not show "proper respect" toward their next opponent, Western Kentucky, merely a 40-point underdog Saturday.
"To make presumptions like you all make really, really upsets me," he said. "It really does. It's so unfair. You don't need to write about that."
On the bulletin board
While we're on the subject of unhappy SEC coaches, let's visit Missouri's Gary Pinkel, who was upset with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson for referring to Georgia's style of play as "old-man football."
Pinkel called the statement "wrong and irresponsible" and added, "He got caught up in the moment. He made a mistake. We don't do that here at Missouri."
Then again, the Tigers, who begin life in the SEC on Saturday night against the seventh-ranked Bulldogs, might be tired of hearing how they can't match up with the size and speed of teams in the conference. Having a home game to start will help.
The other new SEC team, Texas A&M, will make its debut Saturday at home and is ready to show Florida and its conference colleagues some unusual traditions.
Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease said he remembered one visit to Kyle Field when the fans started swaying. "You can't look at it or you're going to get, like, vertigo," Pease told the Orlando Sentinel. "Those stands started moving."
Other elements of the 12th Man, as the Aggies call their fans, are hissing (not booing), yell leaders (not cheerleaders), and kissing your date when they score. Also, their fight song (called a war hymn) contains the word chigaroogarem, for which there is no definition.
Don't walk, run
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien got a laugh this week when he referred to his walk-ons as "run-ons."
Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis would appreciate that term, having climbed from walk-on to the Badgers' No. 1 receiver. Despite his status, he still practices as if he were fighting for that one last spot on the travel team.
"You've got to earn everything that you get," Abbrederis said in an AP story. "At the beginning of camp, people are like, 'You're the No. 1 guy.' I don't ever listen to that. You've got to act like you're not and just keep working hard to earn that."
You won't find Brandon Connette on Duke's depth chart, but that's only because the coaches have no idea where to list him. Connette, a redshirt sophomore, quarterbacks the Blue Devils' Wildcat formation and has lined up at running back, wide receiver, and tight end. Duke has a trick play where he is on the field with its other two quarterbacks. During practice, given his versatility, "I'm really running around all over the place," he said.
The Blue Devils play at No. 25 Stanford looking for their first road win over a ranked opponent since 1971.
What would Vai do?
An area where special teams coaches struggled last week was the new rule that says a touchback on a kickoff now puts the ball on the 25 instead of the 20.
Penn State ran two kickoffs out of its end zone against Ohio and failed to reach the 25 either time. Of course, with kickoffs having returned to the 35 after originating at the 30 last season, there will be more touchbacks, an idea the rules-makers like because fewer kickoff returns should mean fewer injuries.
Expatriate of the Week
Ryan Nassib, a graduate student from Malvern Prep, established three Syracuse passing records last week with 45 completions, 66 attempts, and 482 yards and amassed 512 yards of total offense in a losing effort against Northwestern last week.
Nassib will get some national exposure when the Orange take on No. 2 Southern California at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands. He may have to put up similar numbers to keep up with the high-powered Trojans. "We're all looking for our first win," he said. "But this is definitely a game that, if you win, people are going to remember for a lifetime."
Games of the Week
Georgia at Missouri, 7:45 p.m., ESPN2: The Tigers make their Southeastern Conference debut at home, where the quarterback duel between the No. 7 Bulldogs' Aaron Murray and Missouri's James Franklin will be worth watching. The Tigers' Marcus Murphy returned two punts for touchdowns last week.
Penn State at Virginia, noon, 6ABC, WNTP-AM (990), WNPV-AM (1440): The Nittany Lions take to the road for the first time since the NCAA sanctions and might see a crowd that's a little more hostile than normal.
Miami at Kansas State, noon, FX: Checking in on second-year coach Al Golden, who hopes the Hurricanes' 41-point output last week points toward his team having a chance at a road upset over the No. 21 Wildcats.
Southern California vs. Syracuse (East Rutherford, N.J.), 3:30 p.m., 6ABC: Former Penn Stater Silas Redd returns East while the Orange's Ryan Nassib (Malvern Prep) tries to build on his FBS-best 512 total yards last week.
Florida at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m., ESPN: The Aggies begin a new era in the SEC with no warm-up; their opener was postponed by Hurricane Isaac, while the Gators look to get their offense untracked.
Purdue at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m., NBC10: The Fighting Irish put up 50 on Navy in their opener behind Everett Golson, who will assuredly see a better defense in the Boilermakers.
Wisconsin at Oregon State, 4 p.m., FX: The 13th-ranked Badgers head out west for their only nonconference road test after receiving a scare last week from FCS school Northern Iowa. - Joe Juliano
The Real Top 10
1. Alabama 1-0
2. Southern Cal 1-0
3. Louisiana State 1-0
4. Oregon 1-0
5. Oklahoma 1-0
6. Florida State 1-0
7. South Carolina 1-0
8. Georgia 1-0
9. Wisconsin 1-0
10. Michigan State 1-0
- Joe Juliano
Contact Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @joejulesinq.