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Sunday Hangover: What Happened to Marquee Week 1 College Football Match Ups?

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So many cupcakes...

Georgia Southern Eagles v Georgia Bulldogs
I feel ya, UGA.
Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Do you remember the opening weekend for the 2016 season? Many media outlets labeled it the “Greatest Opening Weekend Ever”. It started out with Tennessee almost losing at home to Appalachian State in overtime (LOL) on Thursday. After that appetizer, the matchups got really good. Even the teams that weren’t ranked were intriguing. (Winners in bold)

  • No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 19 Southern Cal (JerryWorld)
  • No. 2 Clemson at Auburn
  • No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 Houston (Houston)
  • No. 5 LSU vs. Wisconsin (Lambeau Field, Green Bay)
  • No. 20 North Carolina vs. No. 22 Georgia (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)
  • No. 24 UCLA at Texas A&M
  • SUNDAY: No. 9 Notre Dame at Texas
  • MONDAY: No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 14 Ole Miss (Orlando)

It’s three years later and college football fans have to be wondering what happened to that movement. This past week saw a grand total of one game between ranked teams: No. 11 Oregon vs No. 16 Auburn (JerryWorld).

Of the other 22 ranked teams in action, 12 played non-P5 teams and four faced off against FCS teams. Of the P5 vs P5, the opponents were Duke, Georgia Tech, Vandy, Northwestern, BYU, and Louisville. Not exactly Murderers’ Row.

  • Florida A&M at No. 17 UCF FCS
  • Georgia Tech at No. 1 Clemson ACC
  • Texas State at No. 12 Texas A&M Non-P5
  • No. 14 Utah at BYU
  • Tulsa at No. 18 Michigan State Non-P5
  • No. 19 Wisconsin at South Florida Non-P5
  • FAU at No. 5 Ohio State Non-P5
  • Northern Iowa at No. 21 Iowa State FCS
  • South Alabama at No. 24 Nebraska Non-P5
  • Eastern Washington at No. 13 Washington FCS
  • Duke vs No. 2 Alabama (Atlanta)
  • Idaho at No. 15 Penn State FCS
  • Northwestern at No. 25 Stanford
  • No. 22 Syracuse at Liberty Non-P5
  • No. 3 Georgia at Vanderbilt SEC
  • Georgia Southern at No. 6 LSU Non-P5
  • Middle Tennessee at No. 7 Michigan Non-P5
  • Miami (OH) at No. 20 Iowa Non-P5
  • Louisiana Tech at No. 10 Texas Non-P5
  • New Mexico State at No. 23 Washington State Non-P5
  • SUNDAY: Houston at No. 4 Oklahoma Non-P5
  • MONDAY No. 9 Notre Dame at Louisville ACC Lite

None of the ranked teams outside of Oregon lost to their cupcake opponents but several had a good scare put into them. Those results are a bit disappointing as you want some shake-up in Week 1 to rile interest and excitement. As we saw in Oregon-Auburn, anything can happen in Week 1 when everyone is rusty. We need more games like that one.

Is this “new” Week 1 a symptom of programs not wanting to take the early high-risk, high reward gamble? Perhaps a few teams thought the could benefit from a “warm-up” game. Exhibit A and B are impending Week 2 games of #12 Texas A&M at #1 Clemson and #6 LSU at #10 Texas. After that, it’s more cupcakes and teams getting into conference play. Maybe someday, Nick Saban’s desire of all P5 vs. P5 will come to fruition.

Poll

What did you think of Week 1 CFB?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    It was awesome!
    (40 votes)
  • 47%
    Could’ve been better.
    (262 votes)
  • 45%
    Sucked... except for Bama of course.
    (253 votes)
555 votes total Vote Now