What We Learned From A Wild Week 1
More rambling thoughts and reactions from Week 1’s stacked slate.
It was a pretty strange week in SEC country. Alabama did what it does every year, and asserted its dominance right out of the gate by dominating a name program (beat USC 52-6). One can always hold out hope for the perfect storm of miscues and the Tide loss, but true freshman Jalen Hurts is probably the most talented QB to play at Bama in the Nick Saban era. And he’ll be there for at least the next three years. Yikes. They outgained SC by almost 300 yards, had near-perfect balance on offense, and were dominant on defense.
Outside of that, Georgia and Texas A&M probably tie for the most impressive week 1’s. A&M has a defense for once, but with a questionable offense still likely has a 9-win ceiling at most. Based on what I saw with the Dawgs, they SHOULD be considered the favorites in the SEC East. Here’s hoping they can shore up the rough edges before the big game in Oxford in 17 days.
The rest of the SEC was, quite frankly, trash. Mississippi State literally CLANGA’d the goalpost to lose to South Alabama, 21-20. Florida couldn’t get anything going on offense and beat UMass 24-7. Tennessee should’ve lost to App State. Arkansas should’ve lost to Louisiana Tech.
Among the impressive losers, Ole Miss’ first half against FSU was SCARY good. Second half was typical Ole Miss. Auburn was probably most impressive in forcing an off night from Deshaun Watson and having a couple of chances to win late.
LSU was not an impressive loser. For the first time, I understand the “Fire Les Miles” camp.
The most hilarious things transpired with the remnants of the SEC East. South Carolina and Vandy proved that, while stubborn, are going to have to drag teams into rockfights to compete in-conference this year (they won’t). Mizzou…only gave up 26 to West Virginia? Scoring 11 registers as an improvement over their vs. P5 points per game a year ago. And Kentucky. Oh, Kentucky. The offensive coordinator they fired this offseason put up the final 34 points CONSECUTIVELY in a hilarious 44-35 Southern Miss win.
If Tennessee and Florida don’t get it together, Georgia had freaking better return to Atlanta in December.
Teams I Like Better Than Others, Ranked:
- Alabama– self explanatory.
- Florida State– I was ready to bury them as they fell behind 28-6, Deondre Francois looked completely lost, and the defense looked even more lost. A couple of Chad Kelly mistakes let the Noles back in, and the rest was history. Second-half FSU is the second-best team in the country.
- Ohio State– drubbed Bowling Green 77-10, which is fine. If they can take advantage of Oklahoma’s unwillingness to run the ball on Sept. 17, I’ll call them a playoff lock.
- Houston– not their fault that OU didn’t run the ball.
- Clemson– the defense (probably because Auburn) was stout, and Deshaun Watson won’t be that off again all season.
- Stanford– Pac-12 is hot garbage.
- Ole Miss– yeah, they lost, but the Landsharks were SWARMING and the offense was unstoppable…for a half. If they can put that together consistently (they probably can’t!) they can still be a problem.
- Michigan– (begrudgingly)
- Louisville– Lamar Jackson had 8 first-half TD’s. Sure, the opponent was Charlotte, but…damn.
Cool Things That Happened:
This is the coolest sports thing I’ve ever seen: Nebraska took a delay of game to honor fallen punter Sam Foltz. And Fresno State declined the penalty.
— Tanner Hartman (@t_hartman10) September 4, 2016
Texas and Notre Dame played an amazing game. Shane Buechele and new OC Sterlin Gilbert looked like a possible answer for Texas’ long-running QB problems, and Charlie Strong got carried off the field for the second time in under a year. He doesn’t deserve the criticism he’s gotten for cleaning up Mack Brown’s program, and he may be turning the corner. Or not. You never know with Texas these days.
FCS UPSETS! Virginia’s 37-20 loss to Richmond was too predictable. Washington State lost to Portland State to open last year, and finished 9-4. They followed that template with a loss to Eastern Washington. Northern Iowa ruined Matt Campbell’s debut at Iowa State 25-20 (and makes you wonder if the Big XII expansion rumors can include relegation of ISU and Kansas). EVEN THOUGH KANSAS WON A FOOTBALL GAME, knocking off fellow FCS member Rhode Island.
Back later today as we start looking towards week 2 (which is garbage, by the way).
Posted on September 7, 2016, in ACC, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Big 10, Big 12, Clemson, Florida Gators, Florida State, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Pac-12, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.