The first weekend of the 2015 College Football season won’t give us a major shakeup to the preseason rankings, as the losses by Stanford, Arizona State and Wisconsin are all by teams outside the top 14, while favorites to contend for a playoff spot like TCU, Alabama, Baylor and Michigan State didn’t run in to any problems.
Ohio State still haven’t played (have their revenge showdown in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech) which means we’re still possibly going to see a huge upset in week 1, but we’ll go out on a limb to say it’s unlikely. The Buckeyes haven’t lost enough talent to become exposed to this kind of loss, although that home loss against the Hokies did come out of nowhere. It ended up not getting in the way of an incredible finish and national championship.
Alabama did what it usually does against teams coming to play them on neutral-venues games in the South; look incredibly superior. They held Wisconsin to just 40 rushing yards, and without a ground game, the Badgers don’t really have anything to sell. From being ranked #20, we’ll probably see them crashing out of the rankings, making way for Texas A&M who stunned Arizona State with a massive fourth quarter to give the SEC more bragging rights.
Maybe we should be careful about the Aggies, who looked great in the first game last season when they destroyed South Carolina and ended up having a pretty disappointing season that including some bruising losses along the way, almost erasing all the credit Kevin Sumlin got for his Johnny Manziel years. Stanford losing to Northwestern might not be enough to put the Wildcats in the top 25 (they didn’t look that good), but it sure will drop The Cardinal from the rankings, and probably put the “overrated” label above their heads until they prove us wrong.
BYU might also find themselves in the top 25 after this weekend for their hail mary win over Nebraska. Now, beating the Cornhuskers isn’t much of a feat these days, even in Lincoln, but BYU are a team that don’t need much to generate a little bit of buzz and move into vacant spots up the rankings, especially after a high profile win. However, losing their starting quarterback once again to a season ending injury could act as a counterweight to their win in the eyes of the voters.
For teams trying to get over quarterbacks leaving them, we saw Oregon, Florida State and Baylor have no problems putting up big numbers against very weak competition. In Oregon’s case, the defense, giving up too many points against Eastern Washington, is something to worry about. For the Seminoles, their quarterback, Everett Golson, actually has quite a lot of experience, but he lost his job at Notre Dame last season.
Speaking of Notre Dame, they delivered the hurt of the weekend by crushing the sad looking Texas team 38-3 at South Bend. They held the Longhorns to less than 170 yards on offense and Malik Zaire, the guy who replaced Golson at quarterback, looked masterful. However, against the Texas pass rush, maybe even Golson, who was a turnover machine during the second half of last season, would have looked flawless in the passing game.