College football week 1 is officially in the books!
Cheers to “the little guy”
The separation between college football’s “power 5” conference and “group of five” conferences is often annoying, when you consider that the best of the bottom five conferences can no doubt beat the worst of the power 5 and even hang with the middle and upper tier teams.
These teams had some great success in week 1
- Georgia State (vs Tennessee)
- Memphis (vs Ole Miss)
- Cincinnati (vs UCLA)
- Boise State (vs Florida State)
- Wyoming (vs Missouri)
- Nevada (vs Purdue)
- Hawaii (vs Arizona in week 0)
Some of these games, like Cincinnati and Memphis don’t come as a huge shock, especially since those teams were favored to win.
Respect RBs for Heisman
Since 2000 only three running backs have won the Heisman Trophy (yes, I am including Reggie Bush in that group, with Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram). The award has essentially become a QB MVP award.
That’s especially true entering 2019. Looking at the odds for 2019 Heisman Trophy winner in the pre-season, 9 of the top 10 players are QBs.
But how about we respect the RBs and give them a little more love, especially these two who have dominated in the past and will no doubt be part of very good teams, which is a qualification for this award.
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – In the Badgers 49-0 road win at USF, Taylor combined for 4 TDs (2 rush, 2 catch), plus 135 yards on 16 carries and 48 yards receiving on 2 catches. It’s not like Taylor just burst onto the scene. The guy with the 8th best Heisman odds won the Doak Walker Award in 2018 and is the only back to run over 2k yards. 20 years ago, Wisconsin RB Ron Dayne won the Heisman. It would be poetic if another Badgers back did it 20 years later.
Travis Etienne, Clemson – Etienne is the reason, to me, why I don’t think Trevor Lawrence will win the Heisman or finish in the top 3-4 vote getters. Etienne ran for 3 TDs on Thursday and 205 yards and just 12 carries.
PAC-12 Eliminated from Playoffs?
That’s a pretty bold statement to make after one weekend of football, but the truth is the best chance the PAC-12 had at making a run to the Playoffs, was Oregon beating Auburn. It likely would have afforded the Ducks the ability to lose 1 regular season game and still stay in contention. Now, with Washington and Utah lacking strong OOC schedules (no P5 opponents), one of them will need to run the table in order for the PAC-12 to be in the conversation. A 12-1 champion, likely gets left out in favor of SEC, Big 12, or Big Ten.
5 Best Debuts
Bo Nix, Auburn QB – Nix had an overall up and down day, completing just 13 of 31 passes and throwing 2 INTs to go with his 2 TDs, but his last touchdown was the only thing that mattered on Saturday night. Nix led an epic touchdown drive in the final minutes to overcome what was once a 21-6 deficit, and knock off 11th ranked Oregon 27-21.
Hank Bachmeier, Boise State QB – 18 year old true freshman made his first collegiate start in Tallahasee and with Boise State down 18 in the second half, helped lead the Broncos to a historic comeback, throwing 51 passes in his debut and throwing for 407 yards.
Mack Brown, UNC Head Coach – Coaching his first game since 2013 with Texas, Brown returned to the sidelines and took over Tar Heels team that has gone 5-18 the last two seasons. In his debut, Carolina upset South Carolina. Mack Brown made two huge decisions that paid big dividends – he started true freshman Sam Howell at QB and he threw 2 TDs and 0 INTs and moved former starting QB Chazz Surratt to linebacker, where he led the team with 12 tackles.
Justin Fields, Ohio State QB and Ryan Day, Head Coach – I am lumping these two together since Day is solely responsible for bringing Fields on board and both men made their Buckeyes debuts together in a 45-21 win over FAU. Ohio State scored 4 touchdowns in the first quarter. Fields finished with 4 TDs passing, 1 rushing TD and 234 yards passing and another 61 yards running. Despite seemingly falling asleep at the wheel for part of this game, Buckeyes came out strong and impressive.
Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma QB – Hurts went 26-2 as a starting QB at Alabama from 2016-2017 and was beat out for the starting job by Tua Tagovailoa. In week 1 with Oklahoma, he picked up right where he left off.