College Football: Week One Review

Bryan FlynnAnalyst ISeptember 8, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners walks off the field after a 14-13 loss against the Brigham Young Cougars at Cowboys Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  Bradford suffered an injury in the second quarter and did not return to the game.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The first week of college football for the most part got off to a great start. The first week had everything a college football fan would want.

There were upsets, great games, and plenty of shake up in the top 25. While no conference proved to be the most dominate, one did take a huge fall.

There was a slight black eye on all of college football at the end of the Boise State and Oregon game. Boise State won and Oregon will be trying to show that the end of the game is not what their program is about.

So let’s take a look back at the first week of the college football season.


ACC Takes it on the Chin Opening Week

The ACC did not do itself any favors the opening week of college football. The ACC’s bad week began on Thursday night with North Carolina State's lackluster performance against South Carolina.

Things only got worse on Saturday when Duke and Virginia lost to FCS teams at home. Duke lost to Richmond with bad special teams play on two missed field goals and a blocked punt. Virginia committed seven turnovers in a loss to William and Mary.

Even the flagship program of the ACC the Virginia Tech Hokies could not muster much offense in a loss to Alabama. There is no shame in losing to Alabama but a win would have eased some of the talk after the Duke and Virginia losses.

Maryland traveled to California to take a beat down and Wake Forest lost at home to Baylor. Every ranked team in the ACC but two lost the first week.

Georgia Tech and North Carolina both handled their business versus weaker teams at home. Boston College and Clemson both gave their rookie coaches wins in opening games.

Overall, the ACC will be trying to outrun the Duke and Virginia losses for the rest of the season. The conference did not stack up well against the rest of the country and went down against teams from the SEC, PAC-10, and the Big-12.


Big Ten Fights Off Upset Minded Non-Conference Opponents

The Big Ten had to face teams that were ready to pull upsets all weekend long. Give the Big Ten credit by not folding and losing.

The tests started with Indiana on Thursday night versus Eastern Kentucky. That carried onto Saturday with teams trying to get over on a Big Ten team.

Minnesota needed overtime to get by Syracuse and Ohio State need a pick to beat Navy.

 Iowa had to block two field goal attempts in the final seconds to beat Northern Iowa and Wisconsin held on for a win after a Northern Illinois rally.

Good news for the Big Ten was Michigan, Penn State, Purdue, and Michigan State all won in blowouts. Also, to be fair Ohio State did face a very good Navy team.

The let down of the weekend could have been the beat down Illinois took at the hands of Missouri in the “Arch Rivalry” game. Most thought that Illinois might challenge for the Big Ten and Missouri could have to rebuild from all the losses after last season.

The Big Ten held sever the first week of the season. Week two will give the conference a chance to make some statements.


Big-12 Suffers Three Losses in the First Week

The Big-12 was on its way to handling its business the first week of the season. That is until Oklahoma went to Texas to play BYU.

Every team in the Big-12 but two won their opening games. Oklahoma State beat a very good Georgia team at home.

While most teams in the Big-12 played cupcakes in the opening games they did all win. Baylor went on the road to beat Wake Forest and Missouri beat Illinois.

Oklahoma played a very good BYU team and lost not only the game but Sam Bradford as well. It has to feel like two losses for the Big-12 in one game.

BYU held a record setting Oklahoma offense to just 10 points before half time. The Sooners were struggling before Bradford even got hurt.

Oklahoma with Bradford had a better chance of winning the game than redshirt freshman Landry Jones. BYU looks for real, but injuries keep mounting up for the Sooners.

The other loss by the Big-12 was the slow start by Colorado that led to a loss to Colorado State at home. Colorado was supposed to be a factor in the Big-12 North this season.

The Big-12 did not have a bad opening week but the loss of Sam Bradford could hurt later this season.


Big East Struggles For Respect

Every team in the Big East is struggling for respect this season. While every team won its opening game but Rutgers who was playing conference foe Cincinnati and Syracuse playing Minnesota.

Week two offers a couple of games for the Big East to make a statement in. The third week of the season could tell us how good the Big East will be this year.


PAC-10 Hopes to be More Than Just USC

The most telling part of the first week of the season for the PAC-10 could have been Washington. The Huskies played a very good LSU team hard and were in the game until the end of the game.

Try not to read too much in to the game since it was a 9:30PM start and did not end to 1:00PM for LSU. The good thing is Washington did not get rolled over by the Tigers is a sign of improvement.

The rest of the PAC-10 held sever with wins except for Washington mentioned above and Oregon against Boise State. Washington State lost as well to conference foe Stanford.

Overall the PAC-10 was able to make everyone forget about the Thursday night debacle by Oregon, a team that could not get a first down for two and a half quarters and the end of the ball game.

By the end of Saturday night most people were focused on USC and Ohio State the next week, and if California can challenge for the PAC-10 title.


SEC Goes 1-1 in Top 25 Games

The SEC flexed its muscle for the most part in the first week of the season. South Carolina got the conference off to a good start and it continued all for the rest of the conference.

The SEC did not play many close games against weaker teams. Most of the games were well in hand by the middle of the fourth quarter as well.

Florida rolled as expected and after a slow start so did Ole Miss. Tennessee put up a ton of points and even Miss. State won big.

The SEC had two top 25 matchups and was able to split the games. Georgia lost a road game to a very good Oklahoma State team.

Georgia is in a slight rebuilding year and Oklahoma State could be a BCS team. Alabama kept Virginia Tech in their ball game with mistakes and turnovers.

The Tide was able to get past the Hokies and could be better this season than last season. Overall the whole SEC could be better this season than last season.


BCS Busters Keep Their Dreams Alive

The top two candidates for the BCS from non automatic qualifiers both took big steps for a chance to bust the BCS.

Boise State beat Oregon in the first game of the season and what could be the toughest test of the season. The Broncos still have big games on the road against Fresno State, Hawaii, and Tulsa. Boise State will have a target on its back the rest of the season as teams will want to ruin the BCS dream.

BYU took the biggest step overall to busting the BCS. The Cougars beat the No. 3 ranked Oklahoma on a neutral field. Even when Sam Bradford was in the game BYU held the high powered Sooner offense to just 10 points.

BYU will get the biggest push for the BSC mainly from the schedule they play. The cougars will play Florida State, TCU, and Utah at home. Plus Colorado State beat Colorado which will help the image of the whole conference.

Utah is still in the conversation but has a long way to go. The Utes will get Oregon and BYU on the road.

Other teams might get some pub later in the season but so far these three teams have the best chance to make a BCS run.


Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week One

Charlie Weis and Rich Rodriguez got off the hot seat for a week to let some other coaches on. Week one could have sealed the fate for two ACC coaches.

David Cutcliffe is on the hot seat after a loss to Richmond and Virginia coach Al Groh is on the hot seat after losing to William and Mary. Both teams are from the FCS and were supposedly guaranteed wins.

Dan Hawkins is on the hot seat after dropping an in-state rivalry game to Colorado State. The Colorado coach was expected to have a team that challenged for the Big-12 North.

Chip Kelly could be on the hot seat as well. Not for the after game events against Boise State, but for the lackluster offensive performance, which could doom Kelly. It took the Ducks nearly three quarters to get a first down in the loss.

There is one Big Ten coach that could be on the hot seat. Ron Zook at Illinois could be on his way out this season after the poor game against Missouri. Zook can recruit but the questions about his coaching will keep creeping up if Illinois does not win eight to nine games.


Teams That Could Surprise

Baylor was the sexy bowl pick out of the Big-12 and after a road win against Wake Forest could be a bowl pick everyone thought they would be. It’s early in the season and the Bears still need five more wins.

Syracuse has been the doormat for the Big East for the last few seasons. After pushing Minnesota to overtime in a winnable game, the Orange could be a better team that pulls an upset or two before the season ends.

Missouri was thought of as a team that needed to rebuild but that was before they spanked Illinois. The Tigers look like a factor in the Big-12 North this season. Missouri is still the North champions; the title might be hard to take from them.

The Huskies of Washington could be the most improved team in the country. The time zone difference could have had an effect on the game but LSU ran in to a fired-up Washington team.

The Huskies will win a game this season and it looks like Steve Starkisian will get this team ready to play every week. It’s early but Washington could be a team on the rise for years to come.


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good: Great start to the college football season. Great games all weekend long. Plus some big upsets along the way.

The Bad: No matter if you are a Sooners fan or not, the loss of Sam Bradford is sad to see. Bradford is one of the best players in college football. Even Texas fans have to hate to see a great player like Bradford going down to an injury.

The Ugly: LeGarrette Blount and Byron Hout post game actions. Both players hurt their teams by the way they acted after the game. Still this is not the first time a winner has made a loser eat crow for something they said and Blount should not have taken a shot at Hout.


Later in the season we will look at Heisman contenders but after one week its way to early to tell. One Heisman note is that Sam Bradford will not repeat after missing two to four weeks from his injury.

This could have gone from a three horse race to a two horse race. As long as Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow stay healthy they are in the driver’s seat.

The college football season is off to a great start and shows promise of only getting better. As the Carpenters said: “We only just begun.”


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