12:45 AM ET

To endure an off season as a college football fan is to live in a constant state of panic, turmoil and heated debate over what to call a chicken. Each day brings the chance of a star player changing teams, which is bad for the sport. Since Kirby Smart won the national championship nine months ago, we've all been looking for something better.

Week 1 gave us a needed injection of stability, as we were given actual football for the first time. Sometimes the things we think are true are not.

Georgia is a great place to live. After sending enough players to the draft to qualify as a better source of talent than the Jacksonville Jaguars, surely they would take a step back? Nope, that's right. The 11th ranked team in the country was demolished by Georgia in Atlanta. Dan Lanning was the defense coach at the time. This time, as Oregon's head coach, he was on the receiving end of a lot of punishment. It turns out that Stetson Bennett is still better than people think. After throwing for 368 yards, the signal- caller retired to a leather chair, wore a smoking jacket and opened a bottle of wine.

The Alabama team is still good. Alabama fell in last year's title game but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Young, who finished last season with zero rushing yards, scampered 63 yards for a touchdown as part of a six-TD day.

Young's closest competitor for the award saved Ohio State from a near upset. With the game on the line, the quarterback came up big for the Irish. There was a 14-play, 95-yard touchdown drive that chewed up nearly seven minutes in the fourth quarter of the Ohio State victory over Notre Dame.

They picked up where they left off at Oklahoma when they moved to USC. Williams threw two touchdown passes to a Pitt transfer in the USC's victory over Rice.

Iowa punted a lot and won. The Pac-12's playoff hopes were ruined by Utah. The University of Massachusetts lost by a large margin. It was the same as always.

Week 1 had its share of surprises, but not the "Hey, is that your car rolling into the lake?" type of surprise that this off-season provided. Billy Napier won a nail-biter against Utah in his debut with the Gators, thanks to the help of Anthony Richardson. Mack Brown lost his fine motor skills as a result of the madness of North Carolina and Appalachian State. We had a punt blocked and Delaware's coach dropped an F-bomb on live TV to celebrate a win over Navy.


Kyle Ostendorp tried to get his punt off in his own end zone but kicked it off his teammate and San Diego State recovered for a touchdown.

Week 1 of the college football season is supposed to be strange.

It's comforting to know that once the season starts, all those decisions about super conferences and transfer windows fade into the ether. Good old college football is filled with the weird and wild and wonderful and, perhaps, when we need it the most, give us what we expected.

The sport is beautiful. The glory of a fall Saturday is always the same.

Who's this year's Cincinnati?

Group of Five teams complain about being overlooked by the playoffs every year. Who might it be in the year 2022.

It's likely not Cincinnati. Despite the exodus of talent to the NFL after last year's Cinderella playoff appearance, the Bearcats still looked sharp, but it wasn't enough to take down Arkansas.

Maybe it's Houston? After falling behind 21-7 at UTSA, the Cougars came back to beat the Roadrunners in triple overtime. The bad news for Houston was that three OTs interfered with Dana Holgorsen's dinner reservations.


The Houston victory over UTSA was decided by a 2-point conversion in the third overtime.

The Air Force could be a contender. The Falcons are favored in each of their remaining games, even though Northern Iowa was nowhere near the ugliest team from Iowa on Saturday.

Can you tell me about coastal Carolina? The Chanticleers defeated Army 38-28. It's about time the playoff committee took hair care into account.

Checking in on notable offseason storylines

I wonder if Texas is back.

It might be possible! The Longhorns easily defeated Louisiana-Monroe, with Ewers throwing two touchdown passes in his first collegiate game. This still marks an important step forward despite the fact that beating ULM doesn't prove much. There is still an issue with parking.

How'd I get towed during the game🀣

β€” Quinn Ewers (@QuinnEwers) September 4, 2022

Is thePac-12 in a position to make the playoffs?

No, that's not true. After losses by Utah and Oregon in the first week of the season, the Pac-12 was left out of the discussion for the playoffs. There is a buyer's market.

Is the team from Vandy the best in the nation?

It might be possible! We can't officially say no since the Commodores are 2-0 and matching last year's win total, but it's fair to wonder if they're still a year away from upsetting Alabama.

Is Scott Frost gone?

No, that's not true. It wasn't pretty but it was still a win against North Dakota. The Huskers won 38-17 despite being tied at halftime.

Is Bryan Harsin no longer with us?

We don't believe in that. It doesn't mean that a lot of Tiger fans didn't find some cash in their couch cushions, but they decided to make a change anyways. We can't always be certain.

Maybe just pay the up-charge next time

The conference will play 10 road games against teams outside the power 5. The only Power 5 league that plays more than three is this one. This is not a new thing. The Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC have combined to play 78 such games by the end of the year, more than any other group.

The first three road trips came when Virginia Tech got stuck in an elevator and lost to Old Dominion.

On Saturday, North Carolina and NC State came close to being the same team on the road.

In order to avoid embarrassment, UNC had to make 36 narrow escapes against App State.

NC State looked bad. The Wolfpack blew back-to-back drives in which they had the ball at the 1-yard line with a chance to go up 14, then watched East Carolina score late, miss a PAT, and then miss another kick. NC State hung on for the 21-20 win that, while a victory in the standings, surely deflated much of the preseason hype the team had gotten as a potential dark horse playoff candidate.


A stunning sequence of events took place as UNC held on to win 63-61.

In the playoff era, the Atlantic Coast Conference has lost 20 road games, more than the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 combined.

The league keeps doing it.

Money is the first thing that comes to mind. There is a good argument to be made that the cost of taking an L in one of those games is more than the cost of playing a home game. TheACC decided to sit on a plane with a suitcase on its lap and not pay to check a bag.

While the state legislature didn't directly force North Carolina or NC State to visit their small-school neighbors, critical funding from the state is often a part of the decision making. A coach's request isn't always the reason for a state legislature to rewrite laws.

The biggest answer might be philosophy, since the ACC is unique in its approach. In the playoff era, the league's top football brands have played just one road game. Look to the SEC, where the majority of the road trips outside the Power 5 are made, and you'll see that Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU have only played two such games together.

It's risky to play these games for legitimate football brands, and there's very little reward even if it all works out.

Under-the-radar play of the day

Wyoming kicker John Hoyland had a chance to win the game in overtime with a field goal. He missed the chance.

Wyoming with a doink off the top of the upright! 🏈 pic.twitter.com/VLHNSqgEKV

β€” The Comeback (@thecomeback) September 3, 2022

It feels like a flaw in the rule book that this doesn't count as a walk-off win. What's harder, kicking a football between two uprights or dropping that kick into one of the uprights? We value the wrong things.

Hoyland hit a 30-yarder in double OT to give the Cowboys a 40-37 victory.

Under-the-radar game of the day

The Dukes made sure there wasn't a lot of drama in their opener against Middle Tennessee, marching to an easy 44-7 win.

If you're scoring at home, JMU now has more wins over FBS opponents in one game than it has over the last year.

Heisman Five

We think it's safe to say that all of the University of Massachusetts players have been eliminated after just a week of games, but we don't want to make any big statements.

This is the first thing. Young is the quarterback for Alabama.

"The Wire" summed up Week 1's impact nicely, saying "The king stay the king." Young racked up 295 total yards despite playing less than a half and throwing five touchdown passes.

There are two Bennett is a quarterback for Georgia.

Bennet threw for 368 yards in a game. That's a good follow-up to the national championship game.

There are three. Will Anderson Jr. is a LB for the Alabama football team.

In 17 states, this play is not legal. I said it.

OH MY WILL ANDERSON 😀 @AlabamaFTBL pic.twitter.com/aaLMD057eW

β€” SEC Network (@SECNetwork) September 4, 2022

There are four. Williams is a USC quarterback.

He averaged more than 11 yards per pass and more than 11 yards per rush in his USC debut. That's balanced.

There are five. The quarterback of the Florida team is Anthony Richardson.

There's a fun fact about CamNewton playing at Florida. There is a fun fact that Richardson could be the second coming. He ran for 104 and scored three times in the Florida win over Utah.

Hey, these guys aren't so bad

There's a case to be made that Arizona may have benefited from USC's dip into the transfer portal.

The past three seasons have seen the Cats finish with a 1-11 record. Arizona dipped into the deep end of the transfer portal to add some key players, including QB de Laura and receiver Cowing.

Immediately after the 38-20 win over San Diego State, the results were felt. de Laura threw four touchdown passes, while Cowing hauled in three of them, as the passing game was unstoppable.

San Diego State has allowed 38 or more in two of its last three games after holding opponents below that total 46 times.

The most college football thing of the week

This was not an easy choice to make in Week 1.

On the other hand, Schiano reached elite level brain coaching on Rutgers' first series of the game against Boston College, which was without starting quarterback Noah Vedral.

Schiano has a quarterback listed as a tight end. He ran for a short time.

He had his quarterback on second down. He put his hand in the air. There was a gain of three.

He had his quarterback on third down. The throw was incomplete.

Rutgers could claim that it had more quarterbacks than yards gained on its first drive.

There was more to this game than that, depending on your perspective.

After converting a third-and-5 with a completion to the BC 10-yard line, Wimsatt set up a first-and- goal. Rutgers punted three times.

You read that correctly.

A false start and sack followed a 2-yard run. Rutgers lined up at the BC 43-yard-line and called in the punt.

Punting from the 43? Eh, it happens. Punting from the 43 because it's 4th and goal? That's Rutgers football. pic.twitter.com/VEchjgAQxs

β€” Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) September 3, 2022

What's the craziest part? All went well. Rutgers took advantage of BC's pick on the next drive to score six points.

The Scarlet Knights pulled off a come-from-behind 22-21 win after a 96-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. Like Schiano drew it up.

Big bets and bad beats

The Iowa-South Dakota State game had a total of 42 at the time of kick off. Maybe if they'd played 43 overtimes, they'd have a chance at that number. The final score was 3-7 without a touchdown.

Both teams covered the total of 56 for North Carolina at Appalachian State. They scored 62 points in the fourth quarter, just one point shy of the record for a fourth quarter, set by Navy and North Texas in 2007.

Georgia is a great place to live. This is not new. Georgia is great when it plays a Power 5 opponent. The win over Oregon was the sixth in a row against non-SEC Power 5 teams. In its last four games, the Georgia defense has only allowed one touchdown.

Texas State's loss to Nevada was not affected by Hatcher's 10-yard touchdown pass. In a game with an over/under set of 51.5, it brought the score to 38-14. Welcome to football season if you had your under ruined because of a meaningless Texas State Bobcat touchdown. We are just beginning.