Very few things live up to the hype the way week 1 of the 2016 college football season did. Underdogs pulled off monster upsets, the number one team in the country looked dominate, and there was even an historic comeback featuring two ranked teams. What more could you ask for? Many fans are a bit cautious about this week in college football, using cliche’s like, “week 1 doesn’t matter” . Correction, the first game doesn’t carry the same weight for every team. To some teams, week 1 was extremely important.
For the University of Houston a week 1 victory against Oklahoma was huge. A team like Clemson or Alabama however, a week 1 victory against Auburn and USC meant little. Regardless the most important result from week 1 is, did your team win?
Some fans and critics of University of Tennessee, are panicking because of the overtime victory against Appalachian State. The reason is, a lot of fans believe that Tennessee has an opportunity to win the SEC east this year, but an overtime victory against an FCS school doesn’t make that prediction sound plausible. Vols fans should stop panicking though, the team won and that’s what matters most. Mississippi State lost to South Alabama on a last second field goal miss. Fans in Knoxville should be much happier than the fans in Starksville. They probably are.
The point is, stop panicking if your team lost, but if your team did win; rejoice! With that being said, these are the biggest winners and losers from week 1 in college football.
University of Houston- I will not be humble about this, I believed Houston had a real shot a being a Cinderella, and they came through. Not just beating Oklahoma, but doing it in a dominant fashion. Going into the game I thought the game would be close, I believed the Cougars defense would have trouble containing the Sooners running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine. Perine got hurt early, and Mixon made some explosive plays, but the Cougars defense adjusted and shut that offense down. Houston really gave itself a shot to get into the College Football Playoff, but that is still a long way from happening. Houston needs the Oklahoma to win in this binary scenario, win the Big 12 and defeat Ohio State on Sept. 17th. Without both of these, Houston won’t get in. The Playoff Committee was designed to make sure the NCAA makes the most amount of money it can, and the size of Houston’s fan base doesn’t help that cause. Not to mention, Houston is essentially playing a two game schedule. Oklahoma and Louisville are the only tough teams on their schedule. So they need those teams to win as many games as possible, to help Houston’s resume. Obviously Houston must go undefeated as well to make the Playoff.
Texas- Big win for Charlie Strong and the Longhorns. Texas not only saw a return to national prominence, but also home field advantage. It’s been a long time since DKR stadium sounded the way it did Sunday night. Texas used to be a place opponents feared to come to because of the noise, and just maybe that weapon is back for good. Beating Notre Dame was important, and it has put the rest of the Big 12 on notice.
Toledo- Yes Toledo! Toledo destroyed Arkansas State 31-10. Now neither of these are going to be in the national conversation for the playoffs, and neither team will have the opportunity to upset a potential playoff team. With that being said, what a win for Toledo. Arkansas State is a good program, and will likely repeat as Sun Belt conference champions at the of the season, and Rockets just beat them down in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
LSU- Les Miles should have lost his job last season. Not because he can’t coach, but because of his loyalty to Cam Cameron. Cameron is the offensive coordinator of the Tigers and has been a disaster since he stepped on campus. If I’m the Athletic Director at LSU, I am getting rid of Cameron. He can’t continue to call plays for a team this talented. It is not all Quarterback Brandon Harris fault the offense is not putting up the points a team with this many weapons should. Cameron’s play-calling has been predictable, boring, and unimaginative. He has got to go! This is the same man who was the Head Coach of the 2007 Miami Dolphins that started 0-13. His claim to fame is being the offensive coordinator of the San Diego Charges who had Ladainian Tomlinson. In 2006, Tomlinson rushed for an NFL record 28 touchdowns. After that Cameron ruined the Dolphins. Then got the coordinator job with the Baltimore Ravens in 2008, where he was often criticized for his play-calling before he was fired. The Ravens went on to win the Superbowl the year after they dumped Cameron. Since he has been the coordinator at LSU, where they have had talented players on offense that include; Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry, La’el Collins, Jeremy Hill. These are not just college stars, they are NFL starters. Cameron had these players at his disposal and has been about as creative as a grey jacket. Cameron continues to be a complete disaster for a coach who one-time coached the number one scoring offense in the NFL. Since he has been at LSU the offense has ranked (23rd, 5th and 57th) an average of 28th in the country. To be fair, the three years prior LSU was (46th, 17th, 59th) ranked an average of 40th in the country. So he has improved the offense, but not up to the expectations a reasonable observer would expect. Maybe it’s time for both to go.
Ole Miss- The Rebels came apart like the pants on cheap suit Monday night. After taking a 28 to 3 lead, Florida State scored 33 unanswered points. Hugh Freese and Chad Kelly are going to be thinking about that one for a while. With a lead, Kelly committed four turnovers, the only four of the game. Meanwhile the Rebel defense must have thought FSU would quit, because there was a clear lack of effort after gaining the big lead. Freese deserve a lot of blame for this loss, and its because they didn’t adjust to playing with the advantage on the scoreboard. The final time of possession for Ole Miss was 17 minutes and 21 seconds, compared to Florida States 42 minutes and 39 seconds. Ole Miss outscored the Seminoles for the first 26 minutes of the game. In 6 minutes and 11 seconds later, FSU was leading 29-28. Unbelievable.
UCLA- It’s not the end of the world for the Bruins, but that loss was bad. The PAC 12 is up for grabs this year and losing to Texas A&M doesn’t change that. However, to only score 24 points on a defense that has been as bad as A&M in recent history, has to be a red flag. Not only did they fail to put up points, but the Aggie’s looked like superior athletes at times. That was not a good look for UCLA.