Winners and Losers: Week 1 College Football

Jake Myers

What a Saturday for College Football. Stadiums are packed again, bringing the energy that sets College Football apart from other sports. Like every week in College Football we have Winners and Losers.

 

Winners

Georgia- Last night the Bulldogs sacked DJ Uiagalelei 7 times against a great Clemson offense solidifying themselves as the best pass rush in the country. The only touchdown in the game came from a pick-six from Christopher Smith in the second quarter. The offense has some things to work out after going toe to toe with the Clemson defense but the table is set for the Georgia Bulldogs to run the table and be undefeated going into the SEC Championship. 

UCLA- The Bruins may be for real. Chip Kelly’s offense controlled the trenches. The offensive line was incredible giving running lines for Zach Charbonnet and protection for Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Even though LSU is still rebuilding they are a formidable opponent, and UCLA has proved that they are a team to be reckoned with. 

Texas- Everyone loves to gang up on the Longhorns, but they deserve a ton of credit. Yes, they beat a “group of 5” program, but the Ragin Cajuns were ranked 21st in the country, with their offense projected to be the best in the Sun Belt Conference. Texas started slow but put away Louisana Lafayette when they had the chance. The Steve Sarkisian era has started on the right foot. 

The Big Ten East- Despite Indiana getting blown out by Iowa in Kinnick, the Big Ten East had a hell of a weekend. First, Ohio State goes into Minnesota and wins by two touchdowns in a hostile environment. Then, Michigan State dominates Northwestern with transfer RB Kenneth Walker III putting on a terrific performance. On Saturday Michigan handles Western Michigan handily. Rutgers obliterates Temple. Penn State wins a huge game against #12 Wisconsin in Camp Randall. A win that Penn State needed to prove to the country and themselves that they can compete for a Big Ten Championship again. Finally, Maryland beats a good West Virginia team, and looks like they could finally turn a corner. Maryland has always been a tricky team. When they are good they can be an 8 win football team (yes I am serious), but when it rains it pours. It’s always been a tale of two Terrapin teams. Is this the year we see more of the one we saw on Saturday?

Losers

Clemson- Let me be clear, Clemson is still an elite football team. They will most likely run through the entire ACC. The problem for the Tigers is that if Georgia goes undefeated (they will be favored in every game of the regular season), then Clemson may be the odd team out for the College Football Playoff.

Georgia Tech- 2021 did not start well fof Geoff Collins and the Yellow Jackets. They lost to the Northern Illinois Huskies who went 0-6 last year. This is Geoff Collins third year after the departure of Paul Johnson. He has failed to win more than 3 games in a season and is making Georgia Tech fans begging for the Flexbone triple option back. 

Indiana-  Honestly, I did not expect Indiana to beat Iowa in Iowa City, but I didn’t expect this poor of a performance. Penix Jr. does not look comfortable as he comes off an ACL injury. He will need to be productive to lead this offense, becuase without him the Hoosiers look one dimentional. If Indiana cant figure it out on offense that will only put more pressure on the defense, and that is how games are lost. 

The Pac 12- Outside of a stellar showing by UCLA and USC taking care of business against a scrappy San Jose State team, the Pac-12 did not have a good start to the year. First, Oregon struggled with Fresno State, but Fresno State is a solid team so it’s not that bad. Plus, Oregon lost the Pac-12 defensive player of the year in Kayvon Thibodeaux. However the rest of the conference doesnt get a pass. Washington (who is supposed to be a dark horse to win the conference) lost to Montana. Stanford loses convincingly to Kansas State. Oregon State loses to Purdue. Nevada beats Cal. Utah State beats Washington State, and Arizona loses to BYU (should be noted that the Wildcats did have a strong showing). It’s only week 1 but the teams outside of LA need to pick it up if they want to be respected by the rest of the Power 5 conferences. 

 

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