What happened to the ACC on week one? The ACC had possibly the worst opening week ever for a BCS conference since the start of the BCS. With the ACC going only 2-4 against bowl division opponents (Division-1A) the conference's two preseason favorites losing to lower ranked teams, the ACC has lost all of its remaining credibility. Clemson, who was known for its Thunder and Lightning running game and strong defense was clobbered by Alabama 34-10 and failed to gain a single rushing yard in the game. East Carolina outplayed Frank Beamer's Virginia Tech on special teams to win 27-22 while South Carolina shut out NC State 34-0. They all seemed to struggle on offense and could not handle the more physical play of the SEC. Along with a 1-9 record in BCS bowl games, this week continues to cement it status as the worst BCS conference in college football.
Surprise: UCLA Going into their game against Tennessee, UCLA was decimated with injuries and started third string quarterback Kevin Craft. Tennessee on the other hand has the best secondary in the nation and looked like they would power through the Bruins. After a disastrous first half where UCLA lost three key seniors while Craft threw four interceptions, UCLA turns it around in the second half to beat a heavily favored Tennessee team in overtime.
Disappointment: (Outside of the ACC) Louisville With losses of star skill players such as Brian Brohm, the Cardinals were expected to have a down year. However, there was no excuse for their performance against a Kentucky team at home that is expected to finish towards the bottom of the SEC east on Sunday. Louisville lost the game 27-2, with an intentional grounding penalty 5 by Kentucky preventing a shutout. Hunter Cantwell, a potential NFL prospect, only completed 46% of his passes and threw three interceptions and zero touchdown passes. What looked like a bowl team at the preseason, Louisville based on this performance will have a long season this year.
What to watch for next week:
This upcoming weekend has a weak slate of games, but nevertheless here are some the most intriguing match-ups of the week.
Oregon State vs. Penn State- Joe Paterno actually has somewhat of a challenge this season in the non-conference and is a good litmus test for how good this team is. After losing Stanford, can Oregon State avoid another annual slow start and get a big win in Happy Valley.
West Virginia at East Carolina- East Carolina After beating Virginia Tech, can the Pirates pull off another big home win against Big East favorite West Virginia. Pat White will be much tougher to defend than a shaky Sean Glennon.
Stanford at Arizona State- After winning their first conference opener since 2001, can Jim Harbaugh lead Stanford to another upset win over ASU? How well Arizona State plays against Stanford may determine whether they can handle Georgia when they visit the desert.
Common Sense Top 25 Week 1:
4) Ohio State
5) West Virginia
7) Arizona State
8) Texas Tech
11) South Florida
12) Wake Forest
18) Fresno State
20) Penn State
21) Boise State
24) Virginia Tech
New Entrants: Alabama, UCLA, Utah
Who's out of the poll: #18 Clemson, #24 Rutgers, #22 Oregon State