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Monday, September 2, 2013

More Observations on Week 1 of College Football

As the opening weekend of college football comes to a close tonight with Florida State vs. Pittsburgh, there might be more questions than answers. While some of the top teams took care of business as expected, other teams were upset, some by FCS (Division I-AA schools).

Looking back at the weekend's action, here are several observations:

Alabama is still the top team in the nation, at least for now. 

There is an old saying that goes 'in order to be the champ, you have to beat the champ.' Well, Alabama is the defending national champ. And, despite a less than stellar performance offensively against Virginia Tech, they still defeated the Hokies rather handily. So, until someone beats them, the Crimson Tide is the No. 1 team in the nation by default.

 It certainly looks like Christion Jones might be the heir apparent to Eddie Lacy for this squad.

The state of South Carolina might have two teams that are legitimate BCS contenders in 2013.

Everyone knew that Jadeveon Clowney and company were going to be a force to be reckoned with in Columbia.

Yet the unknown might have been how Clemson, South Carolina's other BCS squad, would perform in 2013. A 270 yard, 3 TD passing performance by quarterback Tajh Boyd certainly has people talking about the Tigers chances to run the table in the ACC.

 The biggest threat to Clemson's chances at an undefeated season might be the Gamecocks, who will face the Tigers in the season finale in Columbia.

Speaking of running the table, the Louisville Cardinals began their quest to go 12-0 with a resounding 49-7 victory yesterday over Ohio. Teddy Bridgewater, one of the favorites for the Heisman this year, made a emphatic opening statement passing for 355 yards and 5 TDs.  Everyone has been chirping about how Ohio State has an easy chance to run the table this season, but the Cardinals don't face one team ranked in the preseason AP Top 25.

On the West Coast, Oregon made it's claim to being in the top 5, but they still might not be the best team in the PAC-12. 

The Ducks' rolled against a clearly overmatched Nicholls St team, with DeAnthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota picking up where they left off last season.  Yet Stanford, the defending PAC-12 champs, didn't even play this week. This debate may not be settled until these two teams meet on November 7.

Finally, Michigan and Notre Dame, two teams that have quietly flown under the radar this preseason, made big statements of their own a week prior to their showdown in the Big House.

Both the Wolverines and Irish opened the season with new signal-callers under center. And while Michigan's 59-9 demolition was not totally unexpected, it was Notre Dame's 28-6 win that set up what should be a very intriguing matchup.

Michigan's Devin Gardner, a better pure passer than the departed Denard Robinson, might be one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the nation. It will be interesting to see how an Irish defense missing its leading tackler from last year handles him.

For the Irish offense, they will need senior Tommy Rees to play like he did on Saturday.

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