2017 College Football Week 1: What We Learned

It’s September, which can only mean one thing: College football is back! Here’s a few things we learned this opening weekend:

  1. The state of Texas didn’t have a great football weekend, and most of their teams were overrated coming into the season. Texas started the pity party with a 51-41 loss to the Maryland Terps in Austin, in what can only be described as a frustrating beginning to the Tom Herman era. Baylor then finished Saturday off with a tough 48-45 loss to FCS no-name Liberty. Finally, the much anticipated Texas A&M vs. UCLA Sunday night matchup went perfectly for the Aggies, until the 3rd quarter that is, when UCLA pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in college football history, scoring four touchdowns in the 4th quarter on their way to a 45-44 victory. You know it’s been a bad weekend for Texas football when the state’s best wins came from Texas Tech, TCU, and SMU.
  2. The coaching hot seat conversations have begun. No one, of course, is on a hotter seat than Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin after the demoralizing loss in California following an overall disappointing season last year, but he’s certainly not the only one who should be watching his back. While coaches like Brian Kelly (Notre Dame), Jim Mora (UCLA), Butch Jones (Tennessee), Rich Rodriguez (Arizona), Todd Graham at (Arizona State), and Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech) all started out the season with wins, they’ll need a lot more than a 1-0 start to keep their jobs.
  3. Alabama is good, like, really good. This isn’t as much something we learned this weekend as it is stating what continues to be the obvious. Alabama ran the football beautifully against the third ranked team in the country, while forcing three turnovers in a dominant 24-7 win. They proved once again that they deserved the top spot in the nation this year. This is a team that will easily go undefeated if they can increase their third down efficiency.
  4. The AP may have hit the nail on the head with their preseason poll. Besides unranked Maryland over #23 Texas, there were absolutely no upsets in the Top 25 this week. Now, that being said, almost every top 25 team played an easy FBS or FCS team, and it’s still ridiculously early in the season, but there’s still something to be said for what will likely be a minimal shakeup in the poll this week.
  5. The Heisman race is completely up for grabs. Many of the early favorites to win this year’s Heisman Trophy didn’t have phenomenal performances this past weekend. Sam Darnold (QB-USC), Jake Browning (QB-Washington), and J.T. Barrett (QB-Ohio State) are just a few of the candidates who showed that they have a lot of work to do to receive college football’s highest honor.

Despite the lack of major upsets, this was an exciting weekend of football, capped off by a riveting Monday night double-overtime one-point victory for Tennessee over Georgia Tech. This is one of the most exciting times of the year, and it’s just getting started.

Sam Smith

Sam has been with MSB since 2015. He covers stories ranging from all things Maryland to breaking national stories, specializing in the NFL, and college football and basketball. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas, where he attends Southern Methodist University (SMU).

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