College Football Today – Takeaways and Insights from Week 1


Week 1 offers some truly awesome football at times, an epic battle of two teams destined for a playoff run.

It also delivers awful football, as two teams still shaking off the rust from a long offseason engage in a battle of attrition.

But the Saturday noon slate gave us something completely different. He was Schrödinger’s cat from college football – both awesome and awful, beautiful and horrifying, alive and dead, all rolled into one.

On the vast open plains of Iowa, the Hawkeyes pulled off such a gloriously ugly victory, the only real gripe is that the final score of 7-3 was marred by a late safety that left even Iowa fans , now sure of victory, discouraged. It was a game that deserved a 5-3 final. To have anything else would be like Charles Dickens writing “A Tale of Two Cities” and then naming it “A Book About France.”

On the hills of western North Carolina, the Tar Heels and Appalachian State wrapped Iowa’s nearly nine full games in the fourth quarter alone. App State took a 21-7 lead; UNC roared and led 41-21 early in the fourth quarter, and then things got fun.

The Mountaineers have scored in back-to-back practices. UNC responded. Two more App State touchdowns followed before the Tar Heels scored on a 42-yard pass from Drake Maye to take a 56-49 lead with just 2:50 remaining.

Then four more touchdowns occurred. Seriously – four more TDs than the entire Iowa-South Dakota State game happened in less than 3 minutes of action at App State. It is possible that spacetime ceased to exist for some time.

The Tar Heels seemed to have escaped when Chase Brice knocked down his receiver on a 2-point try with 31 seconds left, but North Carolina went and did the dumbest thing they could do next. . He scored again. Putting the UNC defense on the field was like setting off fireworks in your closet. And sure enough, Brice hit Kaedin Robinson for a 26-yard TD pass with 9 seconds left to give App State a final 2-point try to tie.

The ending was disappointing. Brice was tackled at 1 in a scramble – or maybe he just collapsed from exhaustion.

In all, Brice and Maye threw for 10 combined touchdowns, each passing 350 yards through the air. Or, as they say in Iowa, a full season of Big Ten play.

Iowa and South Dakota State combined for 16 first downs and 21 completions. Or, as they say in North Carolina, the stuff you missed while waiting in line for a beer.

It was wonderful. It was scary. It was dizzying, terrible and electric. It defied explanation at every turn.

It was exactly the way to kick off Week 1 of the college football season.

Maybe just pay the extra next time

This season, the ACC will play 10 road games against non-Power 5 teams. No other Power 5 league plays more than three. And yet, this is nothing new. By the end of the year, the ACC will have played almost as many such games (64) in the playoff era as the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC have combined (78).

The first three of those road trips came on Friday, when Virginia Tech first got stuck in an elevator and then shot itself in the foot, losing to Old Dominion 20-17 in the debut. from head coach Brent Pry.

On Saturday, North Carolina and NC State both nearly suffered the same fate on the road against foes the American Athletic Conference.

UNC needed about 36 narrow escapes in the final moments against App State to avoid embarrassment.

NC State looked even worse. The Wolfpack blew consecutive drives in which they had the ball at the 1 yard line with a chance to go up 14, then watched the ECU score late, miss a PAT, stop, drive into goal range on the ground, then miss another kick. NC State hung on for the 21-20 win which, while a standings win, surely deflated much of the preseason hype the team had been getting as a possible horse playoff contender. black.

In all, the ACC has lost 20 road games outside of the Power 5 in the playoff era — three more than the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 combined — and that’s certainly not much. something to help the reputation of a league that desperately needs it. some good vibes.

So why does the league keep doing it?

The first answer is money. Promising a home game for Group Five opponents saves ACC teams the cost of a one-time visit to their stadium, although there is a good argument to be made that the cost of taking an L in one of those matches is even higher. ACC basically decided to sit on a plane with a suitcase on their lap rather than pay to check a bag.

The second answer is politics, and while the state legislature hasn’t directly forced North Carolina or the state of North Carolina to visit their small-school neighbors, essential state funding does often part of decision making. Not all state legislatures rewrite laws at the behest of a coach (hi, Georgia!).

Still, politics and money matter to everyone, but the ACC is unique in its approach, and so the biggest answer might just be philosophy. The league’s top football brands — Clemson and Florida State — have only played one road game outside of the Power 5 in the playoff era. Look at the SEC, where Vanderbilt is responsible for most of his road trips outside of the Power 5, and Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Bulldogs and LSU have only played two of those games. combined.

As one ACC administrator put it, “it’s risky” to play these games for legitimate football brands, and there’s very little reward even if everything goes well.

Hey, these guys aren’t that bad

In the Pac-12, it was USC’s dive into the transfer portal that got the most attention, but there’s an argument to be made, Arizona may have benefited even more. .

The Wildcats have been a national punchline for most of the past three seasons, finishing 2021 with a 1-11 record. But this offseason, Arizona plunged into the depths of the transfer portal and added a few key players, including Laura’s QB Jayden and wide receiver Jacob Cowing.

The results were felt immediately with an impressive 38-20 win over San Diego State in Saturday’s opener. The passing game dominated, with Laura throwing four touchdowns, while Cowing had three, on a 152-yard day.

Arizona’s 38 points were the most points scored by the team since November 2019, while San Diego State has now allowed more than 38 points in two of its last three games after 46 consecutive opponents below this total.

The most college football thing of the week

Greg Schiano made it an impossible pick in Week 1.

For one, Schiano hit the galaxy’s elite level of brain training in Rutgers’ first set of games on Saturday against Boston College, which the Scarlett Knights played without starting QB Noah Vedral.

Schiano’s QB on first down: Johnny Logan, who is technically listed as a tight end. (He ran for 4 meters.)

His second down QB: Gavin Wimsatt. (He gave in. Gain of 3.)

His QB on third down: Evan Simon. (He cast incomplete.)

Add in a game delay, and Rutgers could officially claim that his first practice included more QBs than yards gained.

But that wasn’t the end of the ridiculous (or sublime, depending on your perspective) game.

Midway through the first quarter, Wimsatt converted a third-and-five with a completion at the BC 10-yard line, setting up a first-and-a-goal. Three plays later, Rutgers kicked.

Yes, you read that right.

A 2-yard run was followed by an offensive pass interference flag, hold call, false start, and sack. On fourth down, Rutgers set up on the BC 43-yard line and called the punter.

The craziest part? Everything worked. BC threw a pick on the next drive, and Rutgers turned the interception into 6 points – on the long way.

And lest anyone assume it wasn’t all perfectly scripted, the Scarlet Knights cruised to a 22-21 win from behind after a 12-play, 96-yard touchdown with 2:43 left. Just like Schiano drew it.

Big bets and bad beats

The total for Iowa-South Dakota State closed at 42, the lowest total in any Saturday game at kickoff. And maybe if they had played 43 overtime, they might have taken a point from that number. Instead, the final score – 7-3 without a touchdown – was shy of 32 points.

On the other hand, the total for North Carolina at Appalachian State was just 56, a number both teams covered on their own. In fact, they actually combined for 62 points in the fourth quarter alone — a tally that ESPN Stats & Information research found was just one point off the FBS record for a fourth quarter, set by the Navy. and North Texas in 2007. .

Georgia is good. This is not news. But Georgia is especially good — for bettors, in particular — when playing a non-conference game against a Power 5 foe. With Saturday’s dominating 49-3 win over No. 11 Oregon, the Bulldogs covered six straight games against non-SEC Power 5 teams, averaging 37 points. The Georgia defense has allowed just one touchdown — against Michigan with 4:25 left in a game already in progress — in its last four games.


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