Week one is in the books. Here, I evaluate each conference's success against out-of-conference opponents over the opening weekend. College football is back. Enjoy!
Remember last year, when James Madison beat Virginia Tech on opening day? Well, the ACC suffered through none of that this year, but they did suffer losses to the only two legitimate teams on their schedule. Syracuse beat Wake Forest, and Northwestern defeated Boston College, not to mention Duke's embarrassing home loss to Richmond. When the ACC wasn't playing bowl-contending teams, they went 7-0 against opponents such as West Carolina, Liberty, Troy, and William & Mary.
Overall grade: B-
Big Ten (10-2)
The new-look Big Ten did exactly what everyone expected they would do. Wisconsin snowplowed some team from Vegas, the Buckeyes and Wolverines strolled to easy wins against local colleges, Purdue and Illinois found a way to beat a school that most people didn't realize had a football program, and Indiana lost to Ball State... enough said. On a side note, Northwestern upset Boston College on the road, Minnesota came up two points short of upsetting USC in Pasadena, and Nebraska defeated Chattanooga in their first game as a member of the Big Ten.
Overall grade: A
Big 12 (10-0)
Aside from Baylor's epic two-point win over TCU, the Big 12 played like a conference that 'lost the game' in this summer's conference carousel. Mizzou, ranked 21st, managed to beat Miami (OH) 17-6, and Iowa State pulled out a one-point win versus- you read correctly- Northern Iowa. Oklahoma State gave up 34 points to Louisiana Lafayette, Kansas gave up 24 to McNeese State, and Kansas State escaped Saturday with a 10-7 win against Eastern Kentucky. Aside from those mediocre results, the Texas teams and Oklahoma all had convincing wins against some more awful teams.
Overall grade: B (a win is a win, and 10-0 is 10-0, regardless)
Overall, the SEC did well in week one, especially with a rough opening weekend schedule. Mississippi State started things off with a pounding of Memphis on Thursday night, 59-14. LSU beat Oregon in a great match-up by 13, and Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt all won versus mediocre opponents. On the down side, Auburn squeaked out a four-point win over Utah State, Ole Miss fell to BYU (at home), and Georgia lost to Boise State in the Georgia Dome on Saturday night.
Overall grade: A-
Pac 12 (8-4)
After making many new additions this off-season, the Pac 12 looked worse than before. Oregon fell to another SEC team, UCLA lost to Houston, Colorado (new addition) got trampled in Hawaii, and Sacramento State (an FCS team) beat Oregon State in overtime. Aside from those losses, Utah (new addition) beat Montana State by 17, USC almost blew it against Minnesota, and Washington pulled out a home victory over Eastern Washington, 30-27. Hmmm...the reasons why they want to add Oklahoma and Texas are becoming clearer and clearer every week.
Overall grade: C- (barely)
Big East (8-0)
While the weather may have been gloomy for the Mountaineers win over Marshall on Sunday, the Big East had a great weekend. Syracuse upset Wake Forest on Thursday in overtime, and South Florida shocked Notre Dame by 3 in South Bend. Louisville, Rutgers, Connecticut, Cincinnati, and Pitt glided to easy wins over smaller schools, as the Big East went undefeated on opening weekend.
Overall grade: A+
Mountain West (4-2)
Boise State and TCU joined forces this off-season to form a mini power-conference. Only one of those teams would escape opening weekend with a win, though. TCU was stunned by Baylor on Friday night, 50-48. Meanwhile, Boise State stampeded over Georgia in the Georgia Dome on Saturday night. In other notes, Wisconsin throbbed UNLV, Weber State put 32 up on Wyoming, and San Diego State played Cal Poly. Reality has set in; this is still the Mountain West, Broncos or no Broncos.
Overall grade: B
Notre Dame fell to South Florida, enough said. While Army was walloped by Northern Illinois, Navy did beat Delaware by 23, and BYU upended Ole Miss on the road, 14-13. But seriously, which team really matters here? The not-so-fighting Irish.
Overall grade: C (Well, I guess BYU and Navy do count for something)