By Joel Silverberg / @JoelSilverberg
It took an extra weekend, but the first week of college football is now in the books. The wait of the offseason is over and the next three months will be filled with college football every weekend.
And with that comes the return of the weekly review of the whole spectrum of what happened from the weekend of season openers.
The Good: Auburn. The Tigers have a tough schedule and Gus Malzahn seems to be on the hot seat every year. He opts to start a true freshman quarterback in Bo Nix and the Tigers pull off a big neutral site win over Pac-12 hopeful Oregon. Nix threw the game winning touchdown to Seth Williams with nine seconds remaining to erase a 15-point halftime deficit. That Texas A&M game in a few weeks could be huge.
Honorable Mention: Oklahoma. I’m not going to crown Jalen Hurts the Heisman winner after one game, but anytime a quarterback puts up over 500 yards of total offense and scores six touchdowns in prime time it’s going to be noteworthy. The Sooners will continue to be the favorites in the Big 12 and are primed for another appearance in the College Football Playoff.
The Bad: USC. The Trojans lost their starting quarterback, turned the ball over four times and nearly blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead to Fresno State at home. Five ranked opponents remain on the schedule. If the Trojans can’t get production out of true freshman Kedon Slovis, Clay Helton may be done in Los Angeles.
Honorable Mention: Missouri. Wyoming completed six passes the entire game. Six. But the Cowboys ran for nearly 300 yards and scored 27 points in the second quarter to stun the Tigers, 37-31. Missouri was considered a dark horse pick to potentially start 8-0 and challenge Georgia in the SEC East. Now the Tigers need to get its run defense in order if it hopes to get back on track.
The Ugly: Tennessee. It’s hard to avoid this one. The Vols were a 26-point favorite at home against a Sun Belt team that went 2-10 last season. Tennessee needs to beat BYU on Saturday to avoid the program’s first 0-2 start since 1988.
Honorable Mention: South Carolina. Nobody was going to fault South Carolina for struggling to six or seven wins with easily the toughest schedule in the country, but nobody’s letting the Gamecocks off the hook for letting an 11-point lead slip away to border-rival North Carolina. That was a game South Carolina needed and the Gamecocks blew it after the defense kept the Tar Heels out of the end zone through the first three quarters in Mack Brown’s return to Chapel Hill. Losing Jake Bentley for the foreseeable future doesn’t help matters in Columbia.