College football week 1 is in the books. After every week fans can take away things from what happened on the field. Here are 5 things learned from college football week 1.
1. It’s Going to be a Wild Season
With week 1 of college football in the books, fans were reminded of why the sport is so loved. Fans are back in the stands, traditions are back and most importantly, there are some awesome upsets that have already happened. The FCS has done a great job against FBS teams so far with these wins: Eastern Washington over UNLV, South Dakota State over Colorado State, Montana over a ranked Washington, Holy Cross over UConn and East Tennessee State over Vanderbilt.
On top of the FCS over FBS upsets, there have been some others. Most notably: Utah State over Washington State, Nevada over California, Northern Illinois over Georgia Tech, UTSA over Illinois, UCLA over LSU, Penn State over Wisconsin, Virginia Tech over North Carolina, Charlotte over Duke and Georgia over Clemson. While some complain that the top four teams never change, there is a lot of excitement if fans look for it. Even if the top teams stay the same again this year, there is a lot of fun to be had this year.
2. The College Football Playoff Debate is a lot More Fun Now
The first week of the college football season delivered on every note and that includes shaking up the College Football Playoff picture. Georgia was able to defeat Clemson in a defensive struggle, which means that it may not be the same four teams in the CFP this year. Clemson has made the CFP for six straight seasons and probably has to run the table and get some help to make the CFP.
On the flip side of the Georgia-Clemson game, Georgia is now in play for the CFP. It may come down to two SEC teams getting in with Alabama and Georgia both getting in. Other contenders lost or struggled in the opening week to make things more exciting. North Carolina lost to Virginia Tech. Wisconsin lost to Penn State. LSU, Indiana and Washington all lost. Oklahoma, Iowa State and Oregon all struggled with inferior competition. There could be a lot more shakeups to come.
3. Bryce Young is a Star
In week 1, Alabama destroyed Miami in 44-13. There were plenty of impressive performances, but the most notable thing about the game was Bryce Young’s debut at quarterback for the Crimson Tide. Against what was thought to be a solid team, Young completed 27/38 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns.
Coming into Alabama, Young was hyped up as a prospect, but no one can tell if the hype is real until they take the field as a starter. Young not only looks like he will be a great draft prospect in 2023, but the rumblings that he is the best Alabama quarterback also look to have some validity. This isn’t to say he won’t struggle at any point, but he had a very impressive debut.
4. Iowa is the New Favorite Win the Big Ten West
Iowa was one of the few teams that had big wins in the opening week. They hosted Indiana, who had a great 2020 season and were projected to be good again this year. From start to finish Iowa had control of the game and ended up winning 34-6. The Hawkeyes were one of the projected favorites, but the win helps solidify that.
On top of Iowa dismantling Indiana, Wisconsin also lost a Big Ten game to Penn State in week 1. The Badgers not only lost, but it looked like their offense may struggle again this year. It’s a long season and anything can happen, but it has to feel good for Iowa to be in the driver’s seat after week 1.
5. The Pac-12 had an Awful Weekend
Starting with the good for the Pac-12, UCLA won a big game against LSU. Chip Kelly seems to have things on the right track. USC beat a very good San Jose State from a year ago. That’s about the only good news for the conference.
The bad starts with Oregon because they were expected to be a top 10 team in the country. Their offense struggled to move the ball consistently with Anthony Brown at quarterback and then Kayvon Thibodeaux, the best defensive end in the country left in a walking boot. They beat a solid Fresno State team, but it did not look pretty. Washington, a top 25 team, lost to FCS-level Montana. Stanford had no offense and lost to Kansas State. Later in the night, Oregon State lost to Purdue, Arizona to BYU, California to Nevada and Washington State to Utah State. Pac-12 supporters claim that east-coast bias hurts their conference, but the conference really did more damage to itself than any other Power Five conference.
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