The first week of the greatest college football kickoff is in the books and boy did it live up to its billing. Upsets, shocking finishes and game altering plays all took part of the weekend narrative. Here are some of the things that we learned this past weekend.
ALABAMA, CLEMSON, AND FLORIDA STATE ARE TOO GOOD….RIGHT NOW
It’s only one week into the college football season but it does feel like both Alabama and Clemson have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. ‘Bama made the resounding statement vs. USC at the tune of 52-6 but while the score certainly won’t indicate it, the Clemson Tigers and specifically their defense showed a lot of championship pedigree whether people agree or disagree (which many go with the latter). Winning in Auburn to kick off the season in a hostile environment is no easy feat. Clemson passed their first test of the season out the gate.
Lastly, the Florida State Seminoles despite a slow start in the first half – trailing at one point 28-6, flipped that deficit into a 45-34 victory over Ole Miss. True freshman QB Deondre Francois was brilliant in his first ever start. Clearly, right now the gap has widened just a bit with these three teams vs. everyone else.
LES MILES IS ALREADY ON THE HOT SEAT
By now we are all too familiar of the back and forth late last year between Miles supporters and the LSU brass. Ultimately embattled Tigers coach LesMiles was able to keep his job by virtue of his popularity at the school and overall success of the program. However a disappointing loss opening weekend to the Wisconsin Badgers combined with an unimpressive look from the LSU football team, a “winning” season may prove costly of this becomes a trend. The Tigers entered the season at #5 in the country and are already behind the ball. Fans and boosters will get impatient and another 9-3 campaign may not save Miles this time around.
TEXAS IS RELEVANT AGAIN
So there are many times you don’t want to oversell one win. Especially a week one win. There are a few factors to consider, though:
1) It was a win over a talented #10 Notre Dame.
2) Considering how last season went — especially the beginning of the year when Texas regularly lost games in embracing fashion, this is huge.
This is possibly a turning point as well for head coach Charlie Strong who’s had a pretty rough two seasons with many asking for his dismissal last season. It’s a long season yes, but this could be the start of really good things for the Longhorns and who knows — maybe they are a Big 12 contender again.
OKLAHOMA LOSING HURTS BUT DOESNT NECESSARILY TAKE THEM OUT OF PLAYOFF CONTENTION
On my podcast in the last few weeks, I’ve belabored the point that the Sooners have one of the easier schedules in an attempt to secure a spot in this season’s four-team playoff. The burden with that is Oklahoma’s margin of error was/is razor thin. Needless to say their 33-23 loss to a very impressive Houston team did not help matters. However, one thing I did not take into account was that many voters who vote at the end use a lot of recency bias and do weigh how a team plays late in the season.
Using this logic — if the Sooners are able to run the table the rest of the way, which would include a win vs. Ohio State later this season under this scenario, they could still be right in the thick of the playoff race.