Week 1 Rundown
The only constants in life are death, taxes, and Alabama football dominating. What an opening week of surprising results. How much second guessing of picks is already going on across the Jacknife leagues? The good news is, college football fans never overreact to Week 1 results, because they know there are still 3 months of football to go. But those national title contenders did not look like national title contenders this week. It started off with Ohio State trailing Minnesota at half and needing late in the game to put them away. Oklahoma's improved defense was nowhere to found against Tulane and the Green Wave were driving for the winning score. Clemson and Georgia couldn't muster an offensive touchdown between the two of them. Maybe we need to look to the top tier of the Group of 5 teams for that next team behind Alabama? Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina put on some beatings like we were expecting of the other teams. Who knows? Maybe it will be one of those 2007-type seasons.
Those paycheck games came back to bite many an FBS foe this week. Six FCS teams had victories this weekend - and one of those wins was not against Kansas! And there were quite a few that almost pulled off some other upsets. One of those FCS wins came against a ranked team in Washington. Washington was part of a terrible opening weekend for the PAC 12 north. That division went 1-5 for the week and nearly went 0-6, but Oregon pulled out a 4th quarter win against Fresno State. Staying in the PAC 12, UCLA is finally getting the results they were expecting when they hired Chip Kelly many moons ago. They had a huge win against a ranked SEC opponent. UCLA is already 2-0 on the season, so things are looking up early for them.
The ACC had a rough weekend as all of their top contenders went down. Clemson lost to Georgia, which was not an unexpected result, but it's still a loss. Miami was the victim of Alabama's annual opening weekend beatdown. UNC had a terrible loss against Virginia Tech. They cannot lose that game and consider themselves serious contenders. Maybe playing on the road will actually be difficult this year with fans back in the stadiums. While Duke and Georgia Tech are not contenders, they lost to a couple of underwhelming foes in Charlotte and Northern Illinois. The perceived weakness of the ACC will make it difficult for Clemson in the strength of schedule department at the end of the season even if they run the table.
In the Big 12 Iowa State played a game as being the hunted for the first time, and they almost lost to FCS Northern Iowa. Maybe they will learn from that game going forward and see what it takes now week in and week out. Maybe the most impressive team from the Big 12 this week was Texas. They were the team many expected to struggle against a ranked Louisiana team, but they actually handled their business. It's a good thing Sark-after-dark has Tom Herman's players this season. Oklahoma St. almost lost to an FCS foe. Baylor struggled with Texas State. West Virginia fell to annual September national champion Maryland. But don't worry. Reinforcements are on the way for the Big 12 in a few years - reports say Cincinnati, UCF, BYU, and Houston are all going to join the conference. Cincinnati and UCF might become the 2 best teams in the league even if Oklahoma and Texas are still there. I kid. I kid.
Beyond LSU losing on the road, the SEC had a pretty ho-hum week. They all pretty much took care of business. Vanderbilt was one of the FBS teams that loss to an FCS team, but that's not surprising. Mississippi State had a 1-point win against LA Tech. But they pretty much did what they needed to do as a conference.
In the Big 10, it looks like it might be one of those Iowa years. After everyone got a little excited about Illinois after their opening win against Nebraska, they reminded us they are still Illinois by losing to UTSA. Michigan State might be bouncing back from some down seasons? Might be too early to tell. Michigan had a big offensive output against a decent Western Michigan team. But as Ohio State goes, so goes the Big 10.
Looks like it will be a fun year!