My Take on Week 1

David HedlindAnalyst IIAugust 31, 2008

My take on opening Saturday

The upsets.

Utah 25 Michigan 23

Louisiana Tech 22 Mississippi State 14

Arkansas State 18 Texas A&M 14

East Carolina 27 Virginia Tech 22

Bowling Green 27 Pittsburgh 17

Cal Poly 29 San Diego State 27

Alabama 34 Clemson 10

The near upsets

Minnesota 31 Northern Illinois 27

Arkansas 28 Western Illinois 24

Maryland 14 Delaware 7

San Jose State 13 UC Davis 10

Cal 38 Michigan State 31

Questions Answered

Is Alabama back?? Sure looks like it. The tide took #9 and ACC favorite Clemson behind the wood shed and walked away 34-10 winners. Alabama got significant and quality play from their # 1 ranked recruiting class. Julio Jones was the most hyped recruit and he came out with 4 receptions for 28 yards and 1 touchdown. Not a bad start for a freshman. Roll Tide may be rolling through the SEC sooner than most expected. It looks like Saban may be worth the money after all.

Is Oregon rebuilding or reloading?? From the looks of the 44-10 shellacking they gave Washington I would say reloading. The biggest questions were about replacing Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart. To me running back wasn’t going to be a big deal due to the history the Ducks have had at this position and I was right. QB play was good in my opinion. Roper took over when Costa got hurt and he started decent enough, but late in the first half he did not look very effective before going out with a concussion. Masoli and Harper took over and put up 30 points in the second half. The Ducks could be just as dangerous as last year.

Will the Georgia Tech option offense work?? It worked well enough for a 41-14 win. Granted it was Jacksonville State but it appears Johnson’s offense will work just fine. And if the results of some of the other ACC games are any indication of the competition they will be facing I see big things ahead for the jackets. Side note: Navy looks ok as well with Niumatalolo taking over. Navy put a 41-13 hurt on Towson.

Can Harbaugh rebuild Stanford?? Last year they beat Pac 10 champ USC and their biggest rival Cal. They opened this season with a conference win over Oregon State. Remember Oregon State has had 10 and 9 wins in the last two seasons. This could be the start of something.

How will West Virginia do without Rodriguez?? While they still have White taking snaps and Devine running the ball, West Virginia doesn't appear to have lost a step. They play East Carolina next week who is coming off a huge win over Virginia Tech. I think this game will tell us a bit more than we learned against Villanova.

Questions Not Answered

Who is the dominant conference?? Big 12 member Texas A&M lost to the Sun Belt’s Arkansas State. SEC member Mississippi State lost to Louisiana Tech from the WAC and Arkansas had a near miss with DIAA Western Illinois. Washington State from the Pac 10 got beat up by Big XII middle tier team Oklahoma State. Big 10 member Michigan lost to Utah from the Mountain West, Michigan State lost to Cal who went 7-6 from the Pac 10. Minnesota barely escaped MAC member Northern Illinois. The Big East’s Pitt lost to MAC team Bowling Green. By far the ACC came off the worst though. The favorites for the conference title Clemson and Virginia Tech both lost in upsets. #9 Clemson lost to # 24 Alabama from the SEC, really only a marginal upset, and Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina from the Conference USA. Don’t forget the other losses and close wins.

How will Rodriguez do at Michigan?? So far he has started 1-0 losing to a team from a Non BCS conference. While it was a close game, close doesn’t count. It his defense, Utah is a good team, the winningest non-BCS team against BCS teams, but it is still a 0-1 start.

Who will be Oregon’s QB?? I know I said Oregon filled their holes fine and I do believe they did, but now the question arises of who will be the # 1 from here on out?? Costa is out for the season. Roper threw for 114 yards and a touchdown and a interception. He suffered a concussion and was out for the rest of the game. Masoli took over and ended up throwing for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions. Throw in the run ability of Harper who ran for 60 yards and a touchdown in limited play and you have a serious QB competition.

Who is leading for the Heisman?? The same guys that led before. No one appears to separate themselves but no one dropped off either. At some point in the season there needs to be separation. I wouldn’t have expected it in week 1.

How is Bennie Wells' injury?? Is it his foot?? Ankle?? I suppose it doesn't really matter. The problem is the fact that he is injured. X-Rays were negative but now reports are he will receive treatment on Monday. The next game is Ohio but then the Buckeyes go west to play USC. Will he be ready to go??