Everett: Taking a look at week one of College football
Joe Everett | Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Man, it’s good to have college football back.
Week 1 provided us with drama, intrigue, revelations, upsets and almost cataclysmic upsets (looking at you, Appalachian State). It’s early in the season, and therefore fans get overly optimistic or pessimistic about how the season will go after one game. We’re human, and it’s fun to jump to conclusions, but I’m here to provide some potential sanity. Outside of a certain game in South Bend this weekend, here’s what I’m believing and doubting from Week 1 in college football.
The Top 5 teams in the country will all contend for the College Football Playoff (CFP)
This one’s pretty easy. No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Wisconsin all looked the part as usual this weekend, highlighted by the Tide rolling to a 51-14 win over Louisville Saturday night. The powerhouses will remain the powerhouses. Wisconsin feels like the odd one out in this scenario, but the Badgers have been so remarkably consistent over the last decade and have a much easier path to the Big Ten Championship — and if they win that the College Football — by playing in the Big Ten West division.
Miami isn’t back and LSU is
In a battle of perhaps the two most inconsistent and frustrating programs to be fans of, LSU beat Miami 33-17 this Sunday night, prompting fans to remark that “The U” is not in fact “back” and that LSU is. Besides the reality that the phrase “we’re back” is relative and vague, I don’t think Mark Richt and Miami are going to slide back into mediocrity, and on the flip side I don’t think LSU is a viable contender for the SEC crown. LSU hasn’t beat Alabama since 2011. When the Tigers beat the Tide, I’ll say the program is “back.” For now? Both programs are viable contenders for New Year Six bowls.
The Pac-12 will still qualify a team for the CFP
The conference of champions didn’t have a stellar weekend to say the least. The Pac-12’s best chance to qualify a team for the CFP was Washington, but the Huskies fell to No. 9 Auburn 21-16 in Atlanta. Washington could still get in are if runs the table the rest of the way, but that’s a tall task, and the conference fell short of claiming a marquee victory over a premier SEC team. Continuing the topic of overall conference pedigree, Chip Kelly and UCLA losing to Cincinnati doesn’t help either. Perhaps USC now stands as the conference’s best hope to land a spot in the CFP, but the Trojans face a tough schedule ahead of them and will be relying on a true freshman quarterback in JT Daniels. I don’t see the Trojans or Stanford making it in.
Virginia Tech will battle Clemson for the ACC Championship and a CFP spot
I know it’s only one game and Florida State is adjusting to life after Jimbo Fischer under new coach Willie Taggert, but the Hokies were dominant in a 24-3 road win over the Seminoles. I fully expect Clemson to make it through their schedule without many scratches. On the flip side the Hokies don’t have many challenging opponents on the schedule, with a home game against Miami in November posing perhaps the biggest test outside of a certain team from South Bend visiting them in early October. It’ll be Tigers vs. Hokies, mark it down.