Four Downs: The First Weekend of Blessed College Freakin' Football

First Down: Big Winners

Texas, Texas A&M, and Houston all won big! Texas won a thriller over Notre Dame at home in OT, A&M beat UCLA at home again, in OT, and Houston had possibly the biggest win in their history by dismantling the third ranked Sooners at NRG.

What do these wins mean? We have no idea. A win is better than the alternative but before we crown anyone, we'll need to see how good Notre Dame, UCLA, and Oklahoma turn out to be. On paper they all look impressive, all return Heisman caliber quarterbacks and all three are expected to challenge for either playoff bid or their conference title, however, the sample size is severely limited. Oh, and we'll need to see how good A&M, Texas, and Houston are. 

Texas seemed to gain the most from their win over the 10th ranked Irish. If the Longhorns aren't back, but they are certainly headed that way. Good news for the league office, bad news for well, just about everyone else in the conference. The rest of the Big 12 must now deal with a burgeoning monster in Austin.

Texas' new offense, aka Baylor South, for all its spready goodness could be dominant because of its running game, in particular not one but two super-sized back who are also home run threats. D'Onta Foreman and Chris Warren could thrive in Texas offense because they are a one on one mismatch for almost any defender on the field.  UT's offense, is designed to spread the field and force those one on one matchups. Now, all these good vibes in Austin go out the window if anything happens to Shane Buechele. Tyrone Swoopes is great and all as a quarter-fullback but he can't really, you know, throw spirals and stuff.

Second Down: That's why we don't schedule Richmond. 

Week one is always a crap shoot, especially for teams that schedule the FCS cream puff who turns out to be a lot less puff. Richmond beat Virginia and newly minted coach Bronco Mendenhall, Eastern Washington ruined Mike Leach and Washington State's opener, and Northern Iowa beat Iowa State. Plus South Dakota State took TCU into the fourth quarter and Maine had UConn on the ropes. MAINE!

We should go back to Richmond for a second, they didn't exactly squeak by in Charlottesville, they won by 17. The Spiders outgained the Cavs 524 to 302 and held the football for almost 40 minutes. 

They play good football in the FCS, schedule teams from that division at your peril. It's easier to explain a loss to a Sun Belt squad (we're looking at you Tennessee, you lucky dogs) than it is a Colonial Athletic squad. 

If you like something completely different, Kansas snapped a fifteen game losing streak by dominating Rhode Island. The fans in Kansas felt so relieved that they stormed the field. Against Rhode Island. While that's not a clean score, we won't come down to hard on the Jayhawks, wins at Kansas, against anyone should be celebrated.

Third Down: Texas Schools Go 10-2 Out of the Chute. 

We've highlighted the big wins by Texas, A&M, and Houston, but the rest of the state did pretty well. Texas State won a huge game on the road against Ohio and quarterback Tyler Jones set a school record for total yards and tied a school record for passing yards in the win. UTSA's new coach Frank Wilson got his first win as a head coach by beating Alabama State.

TCU finally ditched South Dakota State and Kenny Trill Hill looked like a decent replacement for Trevone Boykin at quarterback. Baylor and Tech blew out Southland opponents at home and UTEP won a rivalry game over New Mexico State. The Miners welcomed back running back Aaron Jones who averaged eight yards a carry and picked up 249 rushing yards. SMU beat North Texas in Denton with the help of a huge game from Courtland Sutton. 

Only the aforementioned North Texas and Rice find themselves at 0-1 to start 2016. A pretty good opening weekend for the Lone Star State. 

Fourth Down: College Football is Good. 

Oh, it's like coming home to your own bed, it just feels right. College football is back. This five day extravaganza is almost all we can handle. Remember the warm fuzzies you had on Thursday night flipping between App. State and coach Muschamp  or on Saturday with Bama, LSU, Clemson, and everyone else on display. 

Opening weekend saw three of the top 10 come out with a loss. Ah, the preseason poll, a pointless endeavor that has somehow stood the test of time. Pollsters, try as they might, have never been able to lasso the twists and turns of an opening weekend. Thank goodness for that. That's why College Football is great and the NFL is homogenized tripe. The singular focus of this weekend was the pageantry and beauty of the college game. The way God intended it.  

The season comes and goes quicker it seems every year. Savor the flavor. December will be here sooner than you think.