After a long summer, college football is finally back. And boy did she make her presence known.
For most FBS teams in a BCS Conference, Week 1 is nothing more than a glorified preseason game. You pay an FCS or a non-AQ team between $250,000 and $400,000 to come play at your stadium in front of a raucous home crowd eager to see their football team play. It’s an easy win, and the fans go home happy.
This year though, the FCS decided not to cooperate.
This week, six schools from the Football Championship Subdivision defeated schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Six!
- Towson upset Connecticut, 33-18.
- North Dakota State upset Kansas State 24-21.
- Eastern Illinois upset San Diego State, 40-19.
- Northern Iowa upset Iowa State, 28-20.
- McNeese State destroyed South Florida, 53-21.
- Eastern Washington upset #25 Oregon State, 49-46.
In defeating Oregon State, Eastern Washington became only the third FCS team to defeat a ranked FBS teams (James Madison upset Virginia Tech in 2010 and Appalachian State upset Michigan in 2007).
The other big winner this weekend was Clemson. Ranked #8 in the country, they defeated a Georgia Bulldogs team ranked #5 with national title aspirations, 38-35. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was 18/30 for 270 yards and 3 touchdowns, and WR Sammy Watkins had 6 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. A special teams mishap by Georgia was the difference in this game, as a bad snap resulted in no points instead of the three they would have gotten with a field goal. Clemson has defeated two ranked SEC opponents in their last two games, and head coach Dabo Swinney has that program going in the right direction.
The big losers this week (excluding the six FBS programs upset by FCS teams) were Kentucky, Boise State, and Louisville. The Kentucky Wildcats once again lost to Western Kentucky, 35-26. Although the game was “competitive” for the entire sixty minutes, Kentucky looked confused and disjointed throughout. After playing Miami (Ohio) next week, Kentucky’s next four games are against Louisville, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama. There’s a good chance Kentucky could start the season 1-5. Boise State, ranked #19 in the AP Poll, was crushed at Washington, 38-6. With the loss ends any chance of Boise State busting the BCS, as the rest of their schedule is incredibly uninspiring. And finally, although Louisville (as of the time of this writing) has yet to play their game against Ohio yet, their national title hopes took a big hit:
After Kentucky, USF, and UConn losing, Louisville’s schedule closely resembles that of the jr high down the road with the no-cut policy
— BOURBON HOG JOWL (@BourbonBigot) September 1, 2013
Strength of schedule really hurts Louisville. With UConn and USF losing to FCS teams, and Kentucky losing to Western Kentucky, Louisville could win each of their games by 30+ points and still get shut-out of the national title game. A one-loss SEC or one-loss Big 10 Team has a much more impressive resume than Louisville.
A Look Ahead
Unlike this past week, next week won’t have has been marquee games. But those marquee games are good ones.
- #10 Florida at Miami
- #6 South Carolina at #5 Georgia
- #14 Notre Dame at #17 Michigan
College football is back folks. And it is glorious.
UPDATE: AP POLL
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