Good teams were Good
The typical dominant teams had the typical crushing victories to open the season. Clemson smacked Georgia Tech. Alabama overcame a slow start to whoop Duke. Jonathan Taylor ran over USF. Ohio State, Georgia, Texas, UCF and Texas A&M all crushed their first game of the season.
Mazel Tov to the New Coaches
Several new head coaches picked up their first victories with their new teams. The headliners were Ryan Day leading the Buckeyes to a win over Florida Atlantic, Matt Wells getting his first win heading Texas Tech, Mack Brown guiding UNC to a win over South Carolina, and Les Miles overcoming a slow start offensively, as Kansas topped Indiana State. Notable G5 winners included Eliah Drinkowitz at Appalachian State and Scot Loeffler at Bowling Green.
Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma can claim the last two Heisman Trophy winners in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, and the opportunity for Riley and the Sooners to claim a third consecutive Heisman winner looks promising after just one game. This year’s candidate would be Bama transfer Jalen Hurts, putting up a record-setting performance versus Houston. He went 20-of-23 for 332 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 176 yards, and another three scores.
SEC Struggle Bus
It was not a great weekend for the SEC. Tennessee had the the most notable loss of the weekend dropping to Georgia State. Joining the misery, South Carolina lost to North Carolina, Missouri was grounded by Wyoming, and Ole Miss fell to Memphis. Throw in Arkansas struggling against Portland State and Auburn trailing Oregon for a majority of its opener game, and the SEC aint in the best spot entering week 2.
Hugh Freeze Special
A fantastic weekend for Hugh Freeze affiliated programs. Recovering from surgery, Freeze spent the entire 24-0 Liberty loss to Syracuse coaching from a hospital bed in the press box. Meanwhile, the internet stays undefeated.
Nothing to see out west
The Pac-12 suffered a pretty damning blow to its public perception, the most notable being Oregon’s late loss to Auburn. Never mind UCLA losing to Cincinnati. Even in the wins the Pac-12 had losses. In an unspectacular 30-23 victory over Fresno State, USC lost its starting quarterback JT Daniels for the season with an ACL injury. In similar storyline, Stanford topped Northwestern 17-7 but might be without starting quarterback KJ Costello, who was on the receiving end of a a helmet launching hit that sidelined him for the rest of the game.
- This year’s crop of new transfer quarterbacks had a pretty solid debut weekend. In addition to Hurts, Justin Fields threw for 234 yards and 4 TD’s in his Ohio State debut and Jacob Eason threw for 349 and four touchdowns with Washington. Austin Kendall threw for 270 yards and two scores in West Virginia’s victory over James Madison.
- The nation’s second longest active win streak belongs to Army, with nine consecutive wins dating back to last season. The Black Knights topped Rice in the season opener with a total of three completed passes.
- The Big 12 (10-0) and Big 10 (12-2) are the two standout conferences from the opening week of the season. Both had their share of good wins (Ohio State, Oklahoma, Wisconsin) but also had some very ugly wins (Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota).
- The Mountain West may have already locked down the G5 “playoff” spot and certainly have the best set of pelts already on the wall, with big wins by Hawai’i (over Arizona), Nevada (over Purdue), Boise St (over FSU), and Wyoming (over Mizzou). Fresno even threatened USC late. There’s even more chance for MW glory in week 2, with Nevada @ Oregon, Oregon St @ Hawai’i, and Minnesota @ Fresno St.