Biggest winners and losers: college football week 1

Undoubtedly, the 2016 college football opening weekend was one for the ages and featured top-quality matchups from Thursday-Monday. There was everything from huge upsets to heart-stopping comebacks and college football was perfectly showcased while running unopposed by the NFL for the first week of the season.

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Winners

  • Alabama. As if they needed more accolades to add to their resume, Alabama did nothing but absolutely obliterate a top-20 USC team while breaking in new quarterbacks. The Tide proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are still at the pinnacle college football world until someone knocks them off.
  • Houston. The Cougars made a definitive statement on Saturday by dominating a top-5 Oklahoma team that had playoff aspirations of their own. If Houston runs the table it’s going to be very difficult to keep them out of the playoff come December.
  • Texas. Are the Horns back? They certainly made quite a statement by knocking off Notre Dame Sunday night, a team they lost to 38-3 a year ago. It appears Charlie Strong has things rolling again in Austin and if their two quarterback system continues to work, Texas is going to be near the top of the Big XII standings by seasons end.
  • TV Networks. Notre Dame/Texas pulled in almost 11 million viewers on Sunday night, a monster number for ABC and as the ratings continue to pour in from the weekend, it’s very clear that fans were more than happy to have college football back on their TV sets.
  • Nebraska’s Classy Move. Nebraska punter Sam Foltz died tragically this past summer in a car accident. The team honored Foltz by taking a delay of game penalty which Fresno State politely declined. It was truly a touching moment and gave unique perspective to the power of sports and the real emotions that come with them.
  • Kansas. The Jayhawks won their first football game since November 8th, 2014 on Saturday against the mighty Rhode Island Rams 55-6. What followed on the field was a celebration that has not likely been seen at a sports venue in America in quite some time.

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Losers

  • Josh Rosen’s Mustache. Would likely have been a huge hit had UCLA not been upset on the road by Texas A&M. Rosen came into the game looking like a red-headed stepchild to Jeff Hostetler and he threw a key interception late in the game that helped send it to overtime where the Bruins would eventually fall.

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  • The SEC Struggle Bus. Not since 1992 had seven SEC teams lost their first game and while games like Auburn losing to Clemson is certainly excusable, it was not exactly a banner weekend for college football’s best conference. Not only were Mississippi State and Kentucky stunned at home by inferior opponents, but Tennessee and Arkansas had to survive at home against Appalachian State and Louisiana Tech respectively. Meanwhile LSU’s hopes of being a playoff team probably ended about 3 hours into its season as unranked Wisconsin triumphed at Lambeau Field.
  • Inauspicious Coaching debuts. Not the greatest start for two new Power 5 head coaches as Bronco Mendenhall’s Virginia Cavaliers were beaten soundly at home by the Richmond Spiders while Barry Odom’s Missouri Tigers were largely non-competitive on the road in a 26-11 loss at West Virginia.
  • Northwestern. Speaking of bad home losses, the Northwestern Wildcats were denied a victory in Evanston Saturday by the Western Michigan Broncos 22-21. Could head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s stock be falling at Northwestern despite winning 10 games a year ago?
  • The Notre Dame Six. The Irish had six players arrested a few week ago in two separate criminal incidents. Those gentleman missed a heck of a game Sunday night and could have been of use during the hotly-contested matchup with Texas, a game in which the Irish dropped 44-37 in overtime.
  • Chad Kelly Dissed By Porn Star. It appears Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly had more on his mind than beating FSU recently as known porn star and Florida State Fan Mia Khalifa shared some DM’s that had previously been sent by Kelly. Insult to injury as the Rebels blew a 28-3 lead against the Seminoles and wound up losing 45-34.

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Avatar of Clint Switzer
Full-time sports fan, part-time contributor to society. GASN Sports co-founder, podcast host, filmmaker and writer.

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