College football Week 1 roundup with the 5 things that matter, winners and losers, overrated and underrated parts of the weekend, and what it all means.
College Football Week 1 Roundup
– Irish, ACC, Smart Schools Winners & Losers
– ACC & Pac-12: One Really Big Thing
– Bama’s win: Most Overrated Thing
– Texas won a big game: Most Underrated Thing
– You’re up, Georgia: What It All Means, Week 1
Winners & Losers From Week 1
Winner: Notre Dame QB Jack Coan
Wisconsin sure could’ve used the poise of the former Badger against Penn State. Instead, the new Irish QB put on a show in the win over Florida State, throwing for 366 yards – the most from a Notre Dame passer since DeShone Kizer hit Syracuse for 471 in early 2016 – and four touchdowns with a pick.
Loser: Notre Dame run defense
The Irish allowed 264 rushing yards to the Noles. That makes it three games in the last four as a program allowing 200 or more on the ground. The one time it didn’t give up two bills was in the blowout CFP loss to Bama. Before last year’s Syracuse game, the Irish hadn’t allowed more than 100 yards in any of their previous six games.
Winner: Big 12
Reports of its demise weren’t greatly exaggerated, but they turned out to be a tad wrong. Not only is about to expand – most likely – with BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF, but it was solid on the field with West Virginia’s loss to Maryland the only blemish. Kansas State beat a decent Stanford team, Texas Tech got by Houston, and even Kansas picked up a victory.
Loser: American Athletic Conference
The league is about to lose three of its most important schools to the Big 12 unless it pulls out a whopper of an idea. Things weren’t much better on the field with the conference looking painfully thin. Tulsa lost to UC Davis from the FCS world, USF got shut out by NC State, Temple was annihilated by Rutgers, and Navy was ripped by Marshall as part of a 4-7 start for the league.
Winner: Mountain West
The conference appears to have survived the latest round of expansion – although it’s still ripe to get picked clean by the Pac-12 – with the Big 12 looking more towards the AAC. Yes, Colorado State and UNLV lost to FCS teams, and Boise State lost to UCF, but Nevada got by Cal and Utah State stunned Washington State. Overall, a 9-6 start isn’t bad.
Clemson’s loss mattered, but it’ll be okay. Miami getting destroyed by Alabama and North Carolina losing to Virginia Tech hurt mainly because of the rankings. Duke fumbling away a loss to Charlotte and Georgia Tech dropping the date with Northern Illinois made things even worse.
Winner: The smart schools
The US News & World Report college rankings might be a bit overblown, but they get the most pub. Among the best major national universities and their academic rankings, Notre Dame (19) survived FSU, UCLA (20) came up with a signature win over LSU, Michigan (24) looked great against Western Michigan, and USC (24), Florida (30), and Boston College (35) all won, but …
Loser: The really, really, really smart schools
Stanford (6) should’ve been better in a rough performance against Kansas State. Northwestern (9) got run over by Michigan State, Duke (10) suffered an embarrassing loss to Charlotte, Vanderbilt (14) came up with a whopping three points against East Tennessee State, and Rice (16) couldn’t hang with Arkansas.