Finally, the college football world is here.
Games started on Thursday and continue through Labor Day night, but for the most part, we’ve gotten a look at the majority of the contenders.
And we’ve found out several teams that will not be contenders – unless you are a fan of the FCS race.
So, let’s get right to it and discuss “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” from the opening week of the season:
Clemson has faltered so many times in big games that the phrase, “Clemsoning” has become common language in college football.
Well, Saturday night, in front of the Death Valley faithful, Dabo Swinney and the Tigers made sure there would be no faltering, upsetting fifth-ranked Georgia behind Heisman candidate Tajh Boyd.
Sure, the Bulldogs were without a few key players, but hailing from the mighty SEC, they were still expected to knock off the ACC preseason favorites.
Instead, we saw the emergence of Roderick McDowell and a quicker, faster-to-the-ball Clemson defense that rattled UGA all-star QB Aaron Murray.
The Tigers now need to prove they belong in the talk for the national title, with a key showdown vs. Florida State down the road. Not slipping up against non-ranked teams will be the only way Swinney can achieve greatness.
Another team nicknamed the Tigers, LSU, flexed strongly against a Top-20 team in TCU.
Last bowl season, Les Miles and the Purple and Gold faltered vs. Clemson, but they quickly erased that memory by keeping the upstart Horned Frogs from taking the stage.
This LSU team still needs a lot of work, but they will always feature playmakers on defense, strong running backs and a knack for winning the close games – all features under Miles.
Chip Kelly has moved on, but scoring quickly and in bunches remains the norm for the Oregon Ducks.
Marcus Mariotta, De’Anthony Thomas and the rest of the Quack Attack made quick work of Nicholls State under first-year head coach Mark Helfrich, piling up 66 points.
The going will get tougher down the road for Oregon, but this showed that even without Kelly, they will be a contender to the BCS throne.
Johnny Manziel had quite the offseason, resulting in a minor suspension from his school. The NCAA wasn’t able to find anything to pin on Johnny Football, but they likely will continue looking after this weekend.
Once Manziel returned to the field, he was his old-self, albeit an improved one. He showed better pocket presence and made more plays with his arm than his legs.
Unfortunately, he also made more gestures with his hands than just signalling for audibles and plays.
Manziel mimicked the money sign, pretended to autograph something and got in the face of a Rice player before pointing to the scoreboard and receiving a penalty. Head coach Kevin Sumlin benched him following the last tirade, but you can be sure he’ll be starting again next week.
While I get Manziel’s frustration with everything that went on, this was a chance for him to prove all those saying he is a bad apple wrong and just do what he does best – play football. Instead, he fell right into the hands of those people.
If Nebraska wants to be a true title contender, they can’t have games like this week.
Cruising right along, veteran QB Taylor Martinez and the Huskers turned the ball over, made penalties and nearly squandered a lead vs. Wyoming.
Yes, Wyoming. Not Michigan. Not Ohio State. Not even Oklahoma. WYOMING.
You can be sure that Bo Pelini and the defense haven’t slept a wink since last night, trying to figure out a way to fix a unit that surrendered 602 yards to the Cowboys.
Not the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
It started with Towson stunning Connecticut, was followed up by North Dakota State upsetting Kansas State and rolled right into Saturday.
The FCS – also known as the Football Championship Subdivision – made a statement during the opening week by defeating FBS left and right.
Eastern Washington toppled Oregon State on its home field, Eastern Illinois did the same to San Diego State and Northern Iowa left in-state rival Iowa State looking speechless in Ames.
While teams are forced to stop scheduling as many FCS opponents, those programs are closing the gap. Scholarship limits are coming into play, forcing top-level recruits to head to the lower ranks for playing time.
While none of these “upsets” are on par with Appalachian State’s win vs. Michigan a few years back, it could be the start of several coaches being placed on the proverbial hot seat after one week.
Even when they didn’t win, they showed promise, as William & Mary took West Virginia down to the wire, as did Southern Illinois vs. Illinois.