It doesn't look like any team is going to stop Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas this season.
The opening weekend of the 2012 college football season didn't offer up many surprises, as it was mostly filed with top-ranked teams blowing out lesser opponents.
Still, there was actually a lot to be learned from the action that took place.
Here's a look at 50 things we learned from Week 1 of the college football season.
"They just send one star to the NFL after another. They just reload."
ABC/ESPN's Brent Musburger pretty much hit the nail on the head with that comment during Alabama's 41-14 domination of Michigan.
Alabama may have lost a ton of key players to the NFL over the offseason. However, the Tide have once again reloaded, and Nick Saban's squad is ready to make another run at a BCS championship.
QB A.J. McCarron looks like a poised veteran leader. The offensive line, led by Barrett Jones, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker, is the best front five in the country. The running back corps, which includes battering ram Eddie Lacy and explosive freshman T.J. Yeldon, is deep and talented.
Plus, the defense is yet again loaded with elite playmakers such as linebackers C.J. Mosley and Nico Johnson, cornerback Dee Milliner and safety Robert Lester.
I picked Alabama to repeat as BCS champions before the season started, and right now, I feel pretty good about that prediction.
Denard Robinson has entered both this season and last season on many preseason Heisman favorite lists, but just like last year, Robinson will not be the one who ends up standing on stage accepting the award this December.
The dual-threat quarterback flopped in his biggest showcase game of the season against Alabama, completing just 11 of his 26 pass attempts and throwing two interceptions.
Robinson could still regroup and potentially lead the Wolverines to a Big Ten title this year. No matter how well he plays in the final 11 games, though, Heisman voters surely won't forget about his disastrous performance on the big stage.
I'm sorry, Pac-12 defenses (USC, that includes you), you're not stopping Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas this year.
Thomas is arguably the most explosive and dynamic offensive playmaker in college football. He proved that in the season opener against Arkansas State, as he totaled 119 yards of offense on just seven touches and scored three touchdowns.
Even though the speedy 5'9'', 173-pound sophomore will have to split carries with fellow back Kenjon Barner this year, Thomas has to be considered a legitimate Heisman contender.
The "Black Mamba" is going to put up up some truly insane numbers in 2012.
Tennessee QB Tyler Bray was one of the top performers of the opening weekend. Bray came out and lit up the N.C. State defense, throwing for 333 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-21 victory over the Wolfpack.
The 6'6'', 215-pound junior finally looks like he's ready to put his immense potential to good use in 2012, and he's got the chance to be one of the most productive passers in the country this season.
Even though he'll be without Da'Rick Rogers, his top receiver from last year, Bray should be just fine throwing to the talented receiver tandem of Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Nobody outside of East Lansing was talking about Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell as a Heisman contender before the season started, but they'd better be now.
Bell looked like a beast in the season opener against Boise State, rushing for 210 yards and scoring both of his team's touchdowns in the 17-13 win.
The 6'2'', 244-pound junior is a big, physical and powerful back who possesses remarkable athleticism and agility for his size.
With Bell set to carry the load for the Michigan State offense this season, the Spartans have to be considered the favorite to make it back to the Big Ten championship game in 2012.
Don't be surprised if you see the beastly back sitting in New York City on the second Saturday of December.
Spencer Ware and Michael Ford may have been LSU's two most productive running backs in 2011, but it looks like the Tigers now have a new pair of rushers to rely on this season.
Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard were the two stars of LSU's 41-14 victory over North Texas, as they combined to run for 264 yards against the Mean Green.
Both Blue and Hilliard are the type of big, physical backs who should thrive behind LSU's talented offensive line this year.
While Ware and Ford will also receive their fair share of carries once again, it looks like LSU is going to ride Blue and Hilliard to success in 2012.
If it wasn't for a missed extra point by kicker Tyler Bitancurt, West Virginia's offense would have matched its 70-point performance from last season's Orange Bowl in the season opener against Marshall.
Instead, the Mountaineers had to settle for 69 points. Nevertheless, that's still obviously outstanding.
QB Geno Smith showed why he has to be considered one of the early top contenders for the Heisman Trophy, as he completed 32 of his 36 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns while also adding 65 yards and another score on the ground.
Explosive receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey caught 19 of those passes and scored three touchdowns.
The real surprise of the day was the performance of RB Shawne Alston, who totaled 123 yards on just 16 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Sure, the defenses that West Virginia will face in the Big 12 are going to be much more talented than Marshall's, but this was definitely an encouraging start to the team's season.
Clemson is another team that's going to have one of the top offenses in the country this season.
Even though star sophomore receiver Sammy Watkins wasn't in the lineup, the Tigers totaled 528 yards of offense in a 26-19 win over Auburn.
RB Andre Ellington was the MVP of the game, rushing for 231 yards on 26 carries.
Ellington, Watkins, QB Tajh Boyd and WR DeAndre Hopkins form one of the most dangerous offensive skill-position groups in the country. The four of them should lead the team back into contention for another ACC championship in 2012.
Robert Woods was the one who was showered with all the preseason publicity and attention. However, it was his teammate, Marqise Lee, who proved to be USC's real No. 1 wide receiver when the Trojans battled Hawaii.
Lee caught 10 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown in the 49-10 blowout.
The 6'1'', 195-pound sophomore is arguably the most talented wide receiver in all of college football, and he seems like he's ready to put together an All-American campaign in 2012.
Woods is certainly a special receiver in his own right, but Lee is the Trojan pass-catcher that defenses are really going to have to worry about this season.
Boise State has started the past three seasons with an impressive win over a BCS opponent (Oregon in 2009, Virginia Tech in 2010 and Georgia in 2011). That streak finally came to an end when the Broncos lost to Michigan State in East Lansing, a defeat which will knock them out of the polls.
Chris Petersen's squad could only muster up 206 total yards of offense against Michigan State's dominant defense, and it's clear that this team is not on the same level as what we've become accustomed to over the past few years.
The Broncos' many critics can breathe a sigh of relief, because this year, there will be no debate about whether or not Boise State belongs in a BCS bowl game.
Marcus Lattimore had surgery to repair a torn knee ligament just 10 months ago, but you wouldn't have been able to tell that if you watched him against Vanderbilt.
Even though Lattimore may not be 100 percent at this point in his recovery, he still showed why he's the best running back in college football, as he rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the 17-13 win.
The 6'0'', 218-pound junior looked explosive and powerful as he burst his way through the Commodores defense.
Lattimore will be South Carolina's key player in 2012, and if he performs as well as expected, the Gamecocks definitely have the chance to contend for an SEC title this season.
In his first collegiate game, Marcus Mariota proved that coach Chip Kelly made the right decision picking him over Bryan Bennett to replace Darron Thomas as the team's starting quarterback.
Mariota completed 18 of his 22 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns in a 57-34 win over Arkansas State.
The 6'4'', 196-pound redshirt freshman looks like a natural leader, and he should develop into a breakout star in Oregon's offense in 2012.
Devin Smith's fantastic one-handed touchdown grab against Miami (Ohio) has to be the early leader for best catch of the season.
Smith may have only caught two passes in the game, but he certainly made that one count.
Before the season started, many onlookers (myself included) were hyping up N.C. State's David Amerson as the best cornerback in the country and a future top-10 NFL draft pick.
Amerson didn't live up to the hype against Tennessee, as he got torched not once, but twice, for long touchdown passes.
The 6'3'', 194-pound junior has a whole season to redeem himself, and scouts surely won't forget about the 13 interceptions he had as a sophomore last year.
However, that's obviously not the start he was looking for, and since there are so many other great cornerbacks around the country, Amerson better make sure he steps his game up soon, or he could easily be surpassed.
After watching the mediocre performance turned in by QB Tommy Rees in 2011, it seemed as if a lot of Notre Dame fans were excited by the idea of Everett Golson getting a shot to start the season opener against Navy.
Golson ended up making the most of the opportunity, as he completed 12 of his 18 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown in the 50-10 win.
The 6'1'', 185-pound QB made a few mistakes, which was to be expected, but overall, he showed good poise and an intriguing skill set.
Rees will return from his one-game suspension this week, but Golson looks like he should be able to hang onto the starting job for the full season.
Braxton Miller had an up-and-down freshman campaign in 2011. However, he now looks like he should make a drastic improvement in Urban Meyer's spread offense.
Miller proved that he was a true dual-threat quarterback against Miami (Ohio), completing 14 of his 22 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns while adding 161 yards and a score on the ground.
The 6'2'', 210-pound sophomore appears to be a perfect fit for Meyer's offensive system, and the former highly-touted high school recruit should really make the most of his potential in 2012.
This offseason, Penn State lost its most valuable offensive player, RB Silas Redd, who left a gaping hole to fill in the backfield when he transferred to USC.
It's clear that the Nittany Lions miss him dearly.
His replacements, Bill Belton and Derek Day, are both quality backs, but they combined to rush for only 89 yards in the team's 24-14 loss at home to Ohio.
New head coach Bill O'Brien may want to turn the offense into a pass-first unit, but 92 rushing yards per game is just not going to cut it.
When starting running back Isaiah Crowell was booted from Georgia this offseason, many fans were wondering who would be the player who stepped up and replaced him.
The Bulldogs had plenty of options such as sophomore Ken Malcome, highly-touted freshman Keith Marshall and experienced senior Richard Samuel. However, it looks like Todd Gurley might just be the best back on the team.
Gurley ran for 100 yards on just eight carries and scored three touchdowns in the team's 45-23 victory over Buffalo.
The 6'1'', 218-pound freshman has the size, speed and instincts to develop into a star in Athens this season. He's definitely a player to watch out for in 2012.
Miami's offense received a big blow when the team's leading rusher, Lamar Miller, announced that he would leave school early and declare for the 2012 NFL draft.
It looks like freshman Duke Johnson might just be able to step up and fill the void, though.
Johnson put together an eye-opening performance against Boston College, as he rushed for 135 yards on just seven carries and scored two touchdowns in his debut.
The 5'9'', 183-pound speedster has the chance to be one of the top freshman players of the 2012 season, and he should be able to handle being the team's new featured back without a problem.
Florida's offense certainly didn't earn an "A" grade for its sloppy performance in the season opener against Bowling Green.
The Gators got a big performance out of RB Mike Gillislee, who ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns. However, the team's two quarterbacks—Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett—combined to throw for just 145 yards in the 27-14 win.
Driskel is definitely going to have to improve and be a bigger part of the offense once the schedule gets tougher because the Gators won't be able to compete for an SEC East division title with those kind of passing numbers.
I heard some Auburn fans describe QB Kiehl Frazier as the "Next Cam Newton" when he initially arrived on campus as a highly-touted high school recruit last year.
After watching Frazier's performance against Clemson, however, it's obvious that he has a long way to go before his name even belongs in the same sentence as Newton's.
Frazier completed just 40 percent of his passes in the 26-19 loss, and the supposed dual-threat quarterback added little as a runner, finishing with negative-13 total rushing yards.
The mistakes are understandable given that this was the sophomore signal-caller's first start and he's still getting comfortable in new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler's system.
Still, Frazier's going to have get a lot better in the coming weeks if Auburn wants to avoid finishing near the bottom of the SEC West in 2012.
Montee Ball and Danny O'Brien
Wisconsin was up 26-7 against Northern Iowa early in the fourth quarter of its season opener. However, the Badgers failed to put the game out of reach, as they gave up two late touchdowns and let the Panthers back in the game before ultimately winning, 26-21.
That has to be a lesson to the team that no lead is safe, not even in a game against an FCS opponent.
After combining to rush for 1,839 yards and 21 touchdowns in his first two seasons, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez entered the 2012 season with a reputation as one of the best running quarterbacks in college football.
The problem was that Martinez had yet to prove that he was a true dual-threat quarterback who could be equally effective as both a passer and a runner.
The 6'1'', 200-pound junior looks like he heard the criticism, though. He came out and smoked the Southern Miss secondary, completing 76 percent of his passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns in the 49-20 win.
Martinez now looks like he's finally ready to become a true national star in 2012.
With the eyes of the college football world focused on Penn State's first game of the season, Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton had the perfect opportunity to show off his skills for the nation to see.
Tettleton made the most of his chance, as he led the Bobcats to a surprising 24-14 victory over the Nittany Lions.
The 6'0'', 200-pound junior completed 31 of his 41 passes for 324 yards, added 47 yards on nine carries and accounted for all three of his team's touchdowns in the winning effort.
Although he hasn't received much national attention since he plays in an off-the-radar conference, Tettleton now seems like he's ready to really make a name for himself in 2012.
BYU put together one of the most dominant performances of opening weekend when the Cougars beat Washington State, 30-6, in their season opener.
QB Riley Nelson showed some serious skills, as he completed 25 of his 36 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cougars defense also came to play, as the unit held Washington State's pass-happy attack to just 224 total yards.
This is a team that looks like it has all of the pieces in place to put together another double-digit win season in 2012.
The team that BYU beat, Washington State, looks like it has a lot of work to do in order to just be competitive this season.
Mike Leach's return to the sideline after a two-year absence certainly didn't go well, and his team's offense didn't look like anything that closely resembled the explosive passing attacks we were used to seeing at Texas Tech.
Not only was the offense unimpressive, the defense looked like it was weak at all three levels.
Leach is going to have a lot of work to do with this team, and it certainly doesn't look like this squad is ready to win the required six games that it takes to become bowl eligible.
Another coach who has a long season ahead of him is new Memphis leader Justin Fuente.
Fuente's debut definitely didn't go very well, as the Tigers were beaten 20-17 at home by FCS school Tennessee-Martin.
This is a team that won just two games last season, and it looks like it will be a struggle just to match that total in 2012.
New UCLA head coach Jim Mora raised a few eyebrows when he chose red-shirt freshman Brett Hundley to be the team's starting quarterback, even though the Bruins had two experienced seniors—Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut—returning.
Hundley looked like he was deserving of the starting job in his debut against Rice, as he completed 21 of his 28 passes for 202 yards, ran for 68 yards and accounted for three touchdowns in the 49-24 win.
The athletic 6'3'', 223-pound dual-threat signal-caller is definitely going to cause plenty of headaches for opposing defenses in 2012.
Another UCLA player to watch out for in 2012 is RB Johnathan Franklin.
Even though he's rushed for over 2,100 yards in the last two years, Franklin hasn't received much recognition since UCLA just hasn't been very good.
That should change this season, though, as Franklin looks like he should compete for the Pac-12 rushing title in 2012.
The 5'11'', 195-pound senior started off the season in strong fashion by rushing for 214 yards and three touchdowns in the Bruins' 49-24 win over Rice.
Nevada had the opportunity to make a statement against a notable BCS opponent when the Wolf Pack made the trip to Berkeley to battle California. They definitely took advantage of the opportunity.
QB Cody Fajardo led the team to a surprising 31-24 upset as he totaled 327 yards of offense.
The Wolf Pack look like they have the talent on both sides of the ball to compete with Boise State for a Mountain West championship in 2012.
California's Jeff Tedford was already facing plenty of pressure going into the 2012 season, and now that Cal has a loss to a non-BCS opponent on its resume, that heat has been turned up even higher.
Over the last five years, Tedford's teams have averaged just seven wins per season, and fans and school administrators are growing impatient.
If he doesn't get things turned around quickly, 2012 could be Tedford's last season on the sideline at Cal.
Youngstown State really took it to Pitt's defense.
The Paul Chryst era at Pittsburgh began with a major disappointment, as FCS school Youngstown State embarrassed the Panthers, 31-17, at Heinz Field. The defense has to assume a lot of the blame for the disastrous defeat, as the Penguins racked up 381 total yards and four touchdowns.
Chryst had better fix the defensive flaws in a hurry, especially with games against Cincinnati and Virginia Tech on the horizon.
This offseason, Iowa lost its top offensive player, RB Marcus Coker, who transferred to Stony Brook following his impressive 2011 campaign.
His replacement, Damon Bullock, had some big shoes to fill, trying to replace a back that ran for 1,324 yards. However, Bullock handled himself extremely well in his first game as a starter.
The 6'0'', 195-pound sophomore carried the ball 30 times and compiled 150 yards on the ground, but his most important play was a 23-yard go-ahead touchdown run that gave the Hawkeyes a 18-17 win.
Bullock may not be the same type of workhorse that Coker was, but he should give Iowa a reliable rusher to depend on in 2012.
N.C. State QB Mike Glennon may have all the traits that NFL scouts are looking for—mainly his combination of size, arm strength and accuracy.
Still, if Glennon can't figure out how to take better care of the football, he's never going to develop into a high NFL draft pick.
The senior signal-caller threw four interceptions and fumbled a ball into the end zone, which resulted in a safety, in the 35-21 loss to the Tennessee Volunteers.
Glennon may have one of the best arms in the country, but he's got to make better decisions and learn where he can and can't fit the ball into.
New Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez is trying to shake off the stink that surrounded him following his three disappointing seasons at Michigan.
Luckily for Rodriguez, he now has a dynamic dual-threat quarterback, Matt Scott, to lead his spread offense.
Scott had a sensational performance in the team's 24-17 overtime win over Toledo, completing 30 passes for 387 yards and two touchdowns while adding 74 yards on the ground.
The athletic 6'3'', 197-pound senior seems to be a great fit for Rodriguez's offensive system, and he has a chance to be one of the Pac-12's biggest breakout stars in 2012.
LSU's offensive line
LSU's offensive line, led by potential All-American offensive tackles Alex Hurst and Chris Faulk, is one of the most talented units in the country.
That's why it was so disappointing to see the Tigers struggle the way they did against North Texas' pass rush in the season opener.
New starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger got whacked on a few different occasions, and he had to leave the game briefly because of a hard hit.
That type of effort won't cut it against top-notch SEC defensive lines. LSU's front five better step their game up in the coming weeks, or else Mettenberger may not survive the season.
After winning just three games in his first season, it didn't seem like things could get much worse for Colorado coach Jon Embree. But then, the Buffaloes opened up this season with a 22-17 loss to in-state rival Colorado State.
After such an uninspiring effort, it looks like Embree's squad will likely compete with Washington State to be the worst team in the Pac-12 this season.
Colorado may be bad, but the Buffaloes aren't the worst BCS team in the country.
That honor belongs to the Maryland Terrapins, who manged to put up just seven points against William & Mary in their season opener.
Maryland will probably receive some publicity this season for modeling Under Armour's awful-looking uniforms.
The Terps certainly won't be garnering any attention for their actual play on the field in 2012, though.
Giovani Bernard and Bryn Renner
North Carolina may not be eligible for a bowl game this season, but the Tar Heels are still going to be worth watching this season.
That's because the team will feature one of the most powerful offensive attacks in the country in 2012.
QB Bryn Renner and RB Giovani Bernard helped the Tar Heels total 524 yards of offense in a 62-0 shutout win over Elon.
With Renner, Bernard, WR Erik Highsmith and one of the strongest offensive lines in the country all combining forces, North Carolina will have the firepower to beat any team on its schedule in 2012.
Everyone expected Stanford to miss star quarterback Andrew Luck, but I doubt anyone expected the Cardinal to beat San Jose State by just three points in their season opener.
Sure, the Spartans are a pretty decent non-BCS team, but there's no reason that they should almost upset a team that won 11 games and played in the Fiesta Bowl last year.
Stanford's new starting quarterback, Josh Nunes, threw for just 125 yards in his debut, but he was bailed out by RB Stepfan Taylor, who ran for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Unless Nunes improves a great deal in the coming weeks, it looks like Taylor is going to have to be the one who carries the Cardinal offense in 2012.
Former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie made his return to the sidelines on opening weekend after being out of the game for a decade.
Davie led his new team, the New Mexico Lobos, to a 66-21 win over Southern.
With that victory, the Lobos managed to already match their win total from 2011.
After an outstanding freshman season in 2011, Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater doesn't look like he's about to have any sort of sophomore slump this year.
Bridgewater completed 19 of his 21 passes for 232 yards in a 32-14 win over in-state rival Kentucky.
The 6'3'', 218-pound sophomore looks like he has what it takes to lead Louisville to a Big East championship and a BCS bowl game in 2012.
James Franklin and Zac Stacy
Vanderbilt may not have been able to pull off a big early-season upset of South Carolina thanks in large part to a missed pass interference call. However, the Commodores still managed to make a statement to the SEC that they are no longer a team to be taken lightly.
The offensive trio of QB Jordan Rodgers, RB Zac Stacy and WR Jordan Matthews is going to cause plenty of problems for opponents in 2012.
Plus, James Franklin is the type of passionate coach who will always have his team ready for battle every week.
Oklahoma has a lot to prove this year following the meltdown that occurred in the final few weeks of the 2011 season. You would have thought that the Sooners would come out with a ton of energy and really beat up on UTEP in their opening game, but instead, they struggled to score in the 24-7 win.
The Sooners are going to need much better efforts than that if they want to win the Big 12 and compete for a BCS title game berth in 2012.
Last year, Houston's offense featured the most productive passer in the country, Case Keenum. However, it doesn't look like Keenum's replacement, David Piland, will be anywhere near as good in 2012.
Piland completed just 17 of his 44 passes in a surprising 30-13 loss to first-year FBS member Texas State.
The loss drops Piland's record as a starter to just 2-7, and his underwhelming performance has to be concerning to Cougars fans.
QB Collin Klein was the Kansas State player that soaked up all of the spotlight during the Wildcats' surprising 10-win season in 2011. However, it looks like Klein is going to have to share some of that spotlight with RB John Hubert this year.
Hubert started off his season with a huge performance in the team's 51-9 win over Missouri State, rushing for 152 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries.
The 5'7'', 191-pound back looks like he could have the type of impact in 2012 that we saw from former Wildcat Darren Sproles back in the early 2000s.
Baylor may have lost Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III and the school's all-time leading receiver Kendall Wright, but the Bears still have all the ingredients to put together another explosive passing attack in 2012
Griffin's replacement, Nick Florence, threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns in the team's 59-24 win over SMU.
With explosive receivers like Terrance Williams, Tevin Reese and Lanear Sampson surrounding him, Florence should put up some monster passing numbers in 2012.
It feels like Robert Marve has been in college for a decade, and it was good to finally see him get a chance to show off his skills in Purdue's opening game against Eastern Kentucky.
Marve stepped in for suspended starter Caleb TerBush and led the Boilermakers to a 48-6 victory.
The senior signal-caller completed 30 of his 38 pass attempts for 295 yards and three touchdowns, and he proved that he was definitely able to handle leading the offense.
TerBush is expected to assume his starting job again, but if he struggles, Marve could be an intriguing potential replacement.
Texas' Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron form one of the most powerful running back duos in college football, and the two of them asserted their dominance in the Longhorns' 37-17 win over Wyoming.
Brown and Bergeron combined to rush for 215 yards and three touchdowns against the Cowboys.
The two backs both look like they're ready to put together big campaigns in 2012.
Florida State vs. Murray State
It's great to have college football back, but let's be honest, Week 1 was pretty bad.
With so many top-ranked schools choosing to start off the season with cupcake opponents, the first weekend was mostly filled with boring blowouts.
Even the marquee matchup of Alabama and Michigan was a dud.
What's the point of watching Oklahoma State embarrass a team like Savannah State by 84 points, or watching Florida State hang 69 points on Murray State?
What does that prove?
It's a joke that schools charge money for these farcical games, but that's just the nature of the sport these days. Profit trumps quality and tradition.
Luckily, Week 2 will feature a few more intriguing matchups such as Washington at LSU, Florida at Texas A&M, Georgia at Missouri, Nebraska at UCLA and Miami at Kansas State.
Right now, it's simply hard to make any true judgements about most top-ranked teams considering the quality of their opponents was so awful. However, we should learn more about the top contenders once conference play finally kicks in and the teams start to treat the games with more importance.