Last year feels like a strange dream with many stadiums that have a low capacity around college football due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, most of the games were played and we made it to a National Championship. This year has already begun much differently. While the specter of the pandemics still looms large, we have full stadiums, mascots, marching bands, cheerleaders, and some great football games happening each week.
Week One was Excellent
There is a week called “week zero” in college football where a few teams play, but everyone plays during week one. This past weekend did not disappoint us with the lineup of games offered. It all started on Thursday with sixteen teams in action, continued on Friday with a top ten team playing a conference opponent, moved to a big day on Saturday, and offered us a pair of stand-alone games on Sunday and Monday nights. College Football is Back, Baby!
Reviewing the Top Ten
To make this a weekly series through the season, we will cover at least the top ten teams in the AP poll, until the official CFP rankings come out. Normally, putting stock into the preseason polls is foolish, but it does give us a place to begin and a way to offer information regarding teams we expect to challenge for the playoffs at the end of the year.
Number 10 Falls to an Unranked Team
The Friday night game featured No. 10 North Carolina versus Virginia Tech. This game was close and the final score was only different by a touchdown in which Virginia Tech took the win. Expect UNC to fall down the ranks of college football teams going into week two.
Number 9 Barely Survives
The stand-alone game on Sunday night could have been a complete disaster for No. 9 Notre Dame as they took on Florida State in Tallahassee. Florida State fought the entire way and gave ND fits throughout the game. In the end, the Irish found a way to win with an overtime FG and a score of 41-38.
Number 8 Dominated as Expected
Cincinnati is the No. 8 team in the preseason polls and Miami (Ohio) was their week 1 opponent. This game went as expected with the Bearcats coming away with a 49-14 victory over their in-state opponent. This seemed like a warmup game for Cincinnati.
Number 7 Survives a Scare
The UNI team didn’t care that Iowa State was the No. 7 team in the nation. They came charging in with a strong defense and nearly enough points to win the game. Iowa State survived the day and came away with a 16-10 victory but the Cyclones have a lot of work to do if they want to have a great college football season.
Number 6 Had No Worries
The No. 6 team in the nation is Texas A&M and the Aggies took on Kent State for week one. This game certainly seems like another warmup game before getting into a tough SEC schedule as the Aggies came away with the victory. The score was 41-10, which allowed Texas A&M to rest a lot of players in the second half.
The Big Matchup was Number 5 vs. Number 3
The NFL stadium in Charlotte, NC was the site of the biggest game of week one. This game featured the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs versus the No. 3 Clemson Tigers. Both teams are perennial powerhouses and are looking to be part of the playoff picture later in the year. Georgia gave Clemson an upset with a defensive game that came away with a score of 10-3. There’s no doubt this upset will shake a few things up in the college football world.
Number 4 Found a Big Challenge
The biggest game of the Thursday lineup was No. 4 Ohio State against Minnesota. At halftime, Minnesota had the lead, but Ohio State came roaring back in the second half and found its way to a 45-31 victory in the end.
Number 2 Survives a Potential Upset
Displaced Tulane was the opponent for No. 2 Oklahoma which showed some true class by painting the Tulane mascot on their field. Tulane gave the Sooners everything they could take and even came close to a win but Oklahoma survived the scare with a 40-35 victory.
Number 1 Left No Doubt
If there was any doubt as to which team was the best in college football, Alabama put those doubts to rest early. The Crimson Tide took on Miami and completely dominated the game with a 44-13 final score that showed that Alabama continues to reload and roll on.