What I Learned About College Football in Week One

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What I Learned About College Football in Week One

Well, the way the media tells it (and by media, I mean that sports/entertainment conglomerate that is ESPN), we are to have learned that the SEC rules, the ACC stinks, and USC is number one.  Oh, but my friends, that just will not cut it.

 

ACC

In this world of crazy politics and insane people, we can all rest assured that every Saturday in fall leaves us with more to have learned than the dominance of the SEC and the fall of the ACC.

Take Week One, for instance.  Lost in all the wreckage of attacks on the ACC were two good performances by Wake Forest and Boston College.  Wake handled Baylor as if the Deacons were a serious top 15 team.

And Boston College?  All they did was hold the nation's leading returning rusher, Eugene Jarvis, to just 51 yards, showing a great defense in beating Kent State 21-0.

 

BIG EAST

There has been no real change in the pecking order of the Big East, but there were some head-scratching moments.  For instance, West Virginia Q Pat White went ballistic and threw five (yes, that is right, five) touchdown passes.  Sure, it was Villanova, but still he looked extremely accurate.

Before going off the deep end and writing Pittsburgh off completely, we need to see what happens in the next 11 games.

Louisville is going backwards in a hurry, and head coach Steve Kragthorpe is looking more and more like he should have stayed at Tulsa.  The Cardinals showed no offense against a Kentucky team not too heavy on defensive talent.  However, there was a nice welcome change, considering the defense played well for the first time since 2006.

 

BIG TEN

The Big Ten probably had the best game no one saw.  Northern Illinois and Minnesota came down to a last second Hail Mary attempt by NIU that was knocked down by Minnesota receiver Eric Decker for a 31-27 Minnesota victory

We saw that Terrelle Pryor is good and Beanie Wells gets hurt, but we knew both of those things coming in.  There is still a question out on Penn State as to whether they can keep their offense going all season.

Do not, I repeat, do not cancel the season at Michigan.  Utah is that good.  Remember those QBs at Michigan are inexperienced.  That is what is going to happen in the first game of the season.

 

BIG 12

In the Big 12 there is an understanding that no one will stop Missouri's offense, but there seems to be a contingent of teams looking to be able to outscore them.  How did Mizzou give up 451 passing yards to Juice Williams?  It remains to be seen if Williams is in fact that good.

Texas was one of the teams stepping up to the plate to challenge for offensive supremacy in the conference with an unbelievable game from Colt McCoy, who looked like he was channeling his freshman year mojo with three touchdown passes and 103 rushing yards in beating FAU.

Oklahoma State deserves some more attention for their victory over Washington State—not so much for beating them, but the way they did.  The offense and defense looked good.

We learned that Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman's seat is getting warm.  Losing to Arkansas St. at home is not the way to start off your career.

 

CONFERENCE USA

People need to pay attention to C-USA—seriously.  Southern Miss, Tulsa, East Carolina, and Houston are on the verge of something big.

Tulsa showed they still have offensive prowess even with a new starting QB.

Southern Miss showed that they may not need the "one year away" label with their 637-yard, 51-21 win on Saturday.  The game against Auburn next week is going to be a fun one to watch.

East Carolina looked like the old Marcus Crandell/David Garrard-led Pirates that used to cause all kinds of havoc against BCS conference teams.

 

PAC-10

The Pac-10 race might be more interesting than people think.  USC looked really dominant, but Oregon and Arizona State look sneaky good.  If Cal can keep the offense going while fixing the defense a little, then there may be more to their story.

Washington head coach Ty Willingham is going to have a rough go this season if his defense is going to continue to play like that.

I am just throwing this out there before anyone in Westwood gets too excited.  Just wait until the Bruins show some consistency on offense to start claiming USC will be on the way down.  But it does look as if (for now at least) they will not waste another championship defense.

Arizona and Stanford are going to beat some teams they were not supposed to.  If you are looking for this year's "Kansas," Arizona might be a nice place to look.

 

SEC

Man, the SEC East was a Tennessee loss away from looking like the best conference in the nation.  Vanderbilt beat a really good Miami University team, South Carolina looked unstoppable on defense, and Kentucky got a defensive performance they have not seen in a while.

Of course the big guys UF and UGA looked good, but Tennessee looked about as good as I thought they were.  The problem was that as badly as UCLA played on offense, you would have thought the Vols could close the deal when they had the lead late.

The West showed some signs of life, mainly from Alabama.  That was a performance, and yes, love him or hate him, Nick Saban is a good coach.

With that said, this team almost beat LSU last year but lost to UL-Monroe.  I am not saying they will lose to a lower-tier team.  I would just like to see how they do in games against Kentucky, Ole Miss, Arkansas St., and Mississippi St.

Speaking of Mississippi St., how did that happen?  Losing to Louisiana Tech might not have been so bad if Tech played better.  They played a B-minus game and still came away with a victory, one that was gift wrapped for them with turnovers galore by Miss St.

Arkansas, even though they won, was not too much better.  The defense was not supposed to be a question mark for the Hogs, and yet they gave up 157 rushing yards to Western Illinois RB Herb Donaldson.

 

WAC

Fresno State came out firing on all cylinders and showed they are poised to be in the BCS hunt.  Wait, we have heard this before—just come get me Nov. 28 when they play Boise St. in Boise.

 

MOUNTAIN WEST

Everyone knows about BYU, but Air Force, TCU, and Utah let the nation know that this is not a one-horse conference.

Air Force is beginning to look like the Fisher DeBerry teams that used to just reload each season with players who can run the offense extremely well.

TCU looks to have the defense back that made them a staple in the top 25 in recent years.

Utah seems to be the best choice to challenge BYU, but that game against Michigan was too heavy on mistakes.  Too many penalties and too many missed interceptions caused the Utes to have to sweat out the last four minutes.  They need to also finish drives with touchdowns.

 

MAC

Wow, Miami and Kent State did not look too good.  Considering that offense was both teams' strengths, the fact that they both went nowhere should send some red flags.  Bowling Green's good-looking win over Pitt would lead some to believe that they are the favorite in the East.

Also, Temple and Buffalo blew out FBS opponents and looked good doing it.  This could be a great division race in the East.

Central Michigan and Ball State did what they were supposed to do against FCS opponents, while Western Michigan did all they could against Nebraska.  Overall, nothing really changes in the West division.

 

SUN BELT

You would have thought that FAU would perform better, and considering how good Troy and Arkansas St. look, this season could quickly become a tougher one than originally anticipated.

Arkansas St. has been on the verge of beating a higher level FBS conference team for three years now.  Finally they get it done on the road, and they made plays to keep the victory.

Troy is breaking in new people everywhere, so you would have thought Middle Tenn. St. would have a chance.  But apparently they just reload at Troy.

 

INDEPENDENTS

Shun White gained 348 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns.  If Navy can just keep churning this offense out like this, there is no telling how long they can keep this bowl streak going.

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