Week 1 from the college football season is officially in the books and it’s time to take a look at the biggest winners and losers from the weekend.
- Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. This is a player that is impossible not to root for no matter who he is playing for. From all but forgotten in 2018 to the SEC Championship game hero to deciding to transfer to OU, Hurts has been through it all in his college career. All he did in his Oklahoma debut was account for over 500 yards of total offense including 6 touchdowns (3 passing and 3 throwing). The script isn’t finished yet but what we are witnessing is definitely the stuff of Hollywood.
- Auburn’s Bo Nix. In this biggest game of the weekend and with Auburn trailing Oregon by one point with time winding down, true freshman quarterback Bo Nix found wide receiver Seth Williams for a 26-yard go-ahead touchdown with nine seconds left to beat Oregon in dramatic fashion. Could this win help propel Auburn to the special season that Tiger fans have been waiting for since 2013?
- Wisconsin. With all the talk about Nebraska galloping comfortably towards the Big 10 West title, Wisconsin showed up big with a resounding 49-0 victory over Charlie Strong’s South Florida squad. The program has been so solid under Paul Chryst that you almost forget how good they are and it’s time that the nation starts paying attention to the Badgers.
- ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit. The former Buckeye quarterback and current popular ESPN college football analyst was taken back while getting to watch his sons Tye and Jake suit up for Clemson for the first time.
- The Kansas Jayhawks. Don’t look now but Les Miles’ Kansas team is 1-0 after edging FCS Indiana State 24-17. Reportedly, 32,000 fans showed up to usher in the dawning of a new football era and with Coastal Carolina and West Virginia remaining on the schedule, Kansas should find its way to 3 wins in 2019.
- Hugh Freeze coaching from a hospital bed. The Liberty coach was still fighting off a staph infection and coached his team from a hospital bed inside the stadium (his team lost to Syracuse 24-0) but this certainly is a lasting image.
- Tennessee. So it appears that Tennessee, in fact, is not back. The Volunteers lost at home to Georgia State, a program that has only been playing football for eight years. Tennessee had an immense amount of hype heading into 2019 and fans were convinced that Jeremy Pruitt was the guy that was going to turn this thing around. Luckily for Tennessee, the rest of the SEC East was just as bad.
- Mizzou. The Tigers lost a road game at Wyoming, a game it should never have been playing in the first place and blew an offseason of momentum and excitement. Head coach Barry Odom has had difficulties getting his teams to play at the beginning of seasons and now Tiger fans are having to deal with another embarrassing loss when many thought the team could contend for an SEC East crown.
- More SEC problems. Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt also looked bad in losses (Vandy’s is excused as they played Georgia) and Arkansas was pedestrian at best while winning. Perhaps this is the year the the SEC becomes “just another conference.”
- Florida State. Picked by many to be a program on the rise, the Seminoles got off to a fast start before being upended by Boise State at home. This is not a terrible loss by any means as the Broncos are poised to flirt with an undefeated season but this was a game FSU needed to win to get things heading in the right direction.
- USC. The Trojans survived a scare from Fresno State at home and lost starting quarterback J.T. Daniels for the season. We all know head coach Clay Helton’s seat is about as warm as it gets in Los Angeles, but things keep getting worse for the Trojans. They will start a true freshman quarterback the rest of the way and, for many, the shine is already off the season regardless.