Welcome back college football! After the Week 0 teaser, Week 1 provided us with everything we wanted as fans: upsets, thrilling finishes and immediate debates. Here are the 10 biggest takeaways from Labor Day weekend when it comes to America’s greatest sport.
College football is cheating the fans
There was only one top 25 game. That’s bad enough when the NFL is giving you this weekend to steal the headlines and generate more interest. However, the new rules make it worse. With the clock stopping only on a first down in the final two minutes, there are 14 fewer plays being run per game. The length hasn’t changed, though. What does that mean? More ad time. Yay!!!
Deion Sanders steals the show
How about those Colorado Buffaloes! Look, this isn’t the same TCU Horned Frogs team that played for the national title last year, and that team itself was the luckiest team in the history of college football. However, Colorado was 1-11 last year, so you’ve got to give Prime some credit. Are they a contender? Maybe in the Pac-12. Speaking of…
Pac-12 is 13-0, 2-0 vs. Power Five
Not bad for a conference that will only have two members next year. Colorado beating the national champion runner-up was impressive enough, but the Utah Utes opened last Thursday night humiliating the Florida Gators. Everybody in the Pac-12 is still undefeated, including the USC Trojans at 2-0.
Travis Hunter has to lead Heisman race
Shedeur Sanders, Jordan Travis, Caleb Williams and Michael Penix Jr. round out my top five after Week 1. However, Travis Hunter was the star for Colorado. A two-way player who had 11 catches for 119 yards and broke up a pass in a huge win over a Power Five school stands out over everybody else easily.
Clemson era is over
They lost 31-14 to the Tennessee Vols last year. Then the Clemson Tigers fell 28-7 to the Duke Blue Devils. Now, Duke has a great coach in Mike Elko who went 9-4 last year, but this is clearly the end of a program that had unsustainable success under Dabo Swinney in the 2010s. With their first non-top 10 recruiting class in six years last year and a 2024 class that’s No. 15, they’re in trouble.
FSU makes statement win…but don’t overreact
Those overreacting from last weekend will say that the ACC belongs back to the Florida State Seminoles after their 45-24 win over the LSU Tigers. However, LSU led 17-14 at halftime. They have issues in the secondary, and without Maason Smith, the game was meant to get out of hand. Add in all the miscues, and that’s what happened. This is the best win of the Mike Norvell era, though.
SEC embarrasses itself
Brian Kelly and LSU looked awful. We mentioned Billy Napier and Florida. Then there is the North Carolina Tar Heels win over the South Carolina Gamecocks. The only SEC win vs. a Power Five team this past weekend: Tennessee beating the Virginia Cavaliers. They were 0-3 against ranked foes. That’s a bad start for the nation’s premiere league.
Alabama find its QB…maybe?
You don’t want to react to MTSU, but perhaps Jalen Milroe is the guy after all for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He had five total touchdowns en route to a dominating victory. However, Alabama’s defense gave him plenty of short fields, as he only had 194 yards passing, so he still has to show a lot more.
Ohio State, Georgia have QB issues
Without C.J. Stroud and Stetson Bennett, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Georgia Bulldogs are in trouble. UGA has an issue with Carson Beck and a horrible offensive coordinator in Mike Bobo, as they only led the UT Martin Skyhawks 17-0 at halftime en route to a 48-7 win. OSU, meanwhile, looked like a team from the Jim Tressel era, beating the Indiana Hoosiers 23-3 behind Kyle McCord.
Tulane remains the best Group of Five team
We thought the UTSA Roadrunners could be the college football Group of Five team that reaches a New Years Six bowl this year, but they lost 17-14 to the Houston Cougars to open the season. The Tulane Green Wave, meanwhile, look like they could return after a 37-17 win over the South Alabama Jaguars. Tulane now faces an Ole Miss Rebels team that is impossible to judge at this point.