College football Week 1 overreactions: Colorado rises, Ohio State … – USA TODAY

Say it with me now, college football followers. IT’S … ONLY … WEEK … 1.
Yes, we know, the season isn’t all that long in the grand scheme of things, and the college game in particular lends itself to trying to extrapolate major conclusions from one small sampling of weekly competition. So it’s only natural there are a lot of overreactions out there. We’re back to help sort through them, and maybe provide just a wee bit of perspective.
Here are the top five overreactions from the first full slate of games, beginning with the result that has everybody abuzz.
The oft-repeated info nugget as Deion Sanders’ Buffs completed their electrifying victory at No. 16 TCU was that a 1-11 team from a season ago went on the road and took down the team that was last year’s national runner-up. That is accurate to a point, but a number of things must be borne in mind with respect to that narrative.
First and foremost is the obvious truth that neither team resembled the squads that took the field in 2022. That was especially true of CU, of course, as the complete off-season overhaul of the Buffs’ roster Sanders engineered has been well-documented. The Horned Frogs for their part aren’t nearly the same team, either, with numerous new starters on both sides of the ball.
It is also worth noting that TCU enjoyed a fair bit of close-game good fortune in 2022. Six of the Horned Frogs victories, including the national semifinal triumph against Michigan, were one-score contests with final margins of eight points or fewer. Furthermore, last season’s defense wasn’t the most airtight unit, allowing a shade under 250 passing yards a game. Saturday’s game might have been a case of catching up to the law of averages.
There is no disputing the considerable talent upgrade at Colorado, with Shedeur Sanders already setting passing records and Travis Hunter’s two-way performance generating early Heisman talk.
But let’s not send the stiff-arm statue or the final Pac-12 championship trophy to Boulder just yet. Defending champion Utah just demolished an SEC squad, Washington rolled easily against a Boise State team that could still have a good year, Oregon State arguably looked even better than presumed favorite Southern California, and several other conference members put up huge numbers in Week 1 as well. The Buffaloes won’t be an easy out to be sure, but whether they’ll be a factor in the title hunt remains to be seen.
Buckeyes fans never overreact to anything, right? But do their concerns with the team’s lack of offensive punch at Indiana have merit?
It should be stated up front that the Hoosiers’ defense did a good job showing different looks to rookie starting quarterback Kyle McCord, who threw for 239 and no touchdowns with one interception. There were just two touchdown drives for the Buckeyes and three field goals in a lackluster 23-3 win in a game they were favored by 30 points.
It didn’t help that McCord’s top target, Marvin Harrison Jr., was banged up for a time. But there are clearly some issues with pass protection and overall timing that must get ironed out, and the Buckeyes have just two games to do that before their trip to Notre Dame.
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TCU wasn’t the only current member of the oversized dozen to have a bad opening week. Baylor was thoroughly outplayed on its home field by Texas State, a team under new coach G.J. Kinne that had undergone a roster makeover almost as complete as Colorado’s. Texas Tech couldn’t hold a lead at Wyoming and wound up losing in overtime. West Virginia wasn’t expected to win at Penn State but was overmatched nonetheless. Even some of the winners didn’t exactly impress. Houston escaped an admittedly good Texas-San Antonio team with the help of a possibly generous spot for a game-ending first down, while BYU and Oklahoma State turned in less-than-authoritative efforts. Texas and Oklahoma handled their business, but of course those are the two programs with a foot out the door.
So yes, it wasn’t the league’s best weekend. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s only Week 1. Iowa State’s three-touchdown triumph against Northern Iowa is a bigger deal than you think, as the Panthers always gives whichever in-state foe is on its schedule its best shot, and the league’s Sunflower State representatives handled their opening assignments well.
The Bulldogs didn’t need to show much against FCS member Tennessee-Martin. This is more of a reaction to what UGa’s SEC East challengers did – or didn’t do – in Week 1. Admittedly Florida and South Carolina had much tougher assignments facing top-25 squads away from home. But neither looked like they could hang with the Bulldogs, and the Gamecocks have just two weeks to prove otherwise.
Ah, but there is a small matter of Tennessee. The Bulldogs don’t visit Knoxville until Nov. 18, and much can happen between now and then.
LSU did win the SEC West last season after dropping its opener against Florida State. But that was a wild affair determined by a blocked extra point on the game’s final play. Sunday night’s second-half collapse by the Tigers didn’t bode well for their future encounter with Alabama – or the rest of the SEC for that matter.
But again, Week 1, folks. With all due respect to Middle Tennessee, we need to see how Jalen Milroe executes against a power-conference level defense before we can say the Tide will simply roll through the division.
We’ll know a bit more about that this week.


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