Week Two of college football left us all wondering what the hell just happened, and Week One of the NFL felt a lot like a glorified preseason game. Here are our five takeaways from what we saw:
1. DON’T “F” WITH THE SUN BELT CONFERENCE.
There were three massive “upsets” in college football this weekend:
- Appalachian State beat Texas A&M 17-14 in College Station
- Marshall beat Notre Dame 26-21 in South Bend
- Georgia Southern beat Nebraska 45-42 in Lincoln
What do all of these upsets have in common? They all came at the hands of the Sun Belt Conference. What’s important to remember is that these aren’t just one-off upsets either. Hell, just last week Old Dominion (ahem, also Sun Belt) beat Virginia Tech, while two years ago Coastal Carolina (yep, Sun Belt) beat 13th ranked BYU.
These teams play a fun brand of football and can clearly go toe to toe with almost anyone in the country. The best part? They’ll take your million-dollar payouts and come beat you in your own house.
All I’m saying is that after this weekend, I’d think long and hard about scheduling a team from the Sun Belt if you’re looking for an early season “easy-wins.”
2. You Don’t Want Bama.
In what I’d consider the best game of the weekend, Texas and Alabama went toe to toe in front of 100k+ in Austin, Texas. The Longhorns looked better for most of the game but ultimately it was Bryce Young making plays, and a late field goal that sealed the win for the Crimson Tide.
The big story from this game (outside of the fact that Texas was almost “back”) was that Texas freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers was injured and knocked out of the game in the first half. As Ewers laid on the ground and the camera panned the stadium, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a familiar situation that hit close to home.
In 2017, #1 Alabama opened the season against #3 Florida State and much like the Texas game, it was a back and forth affair. That was until the play that sent Florida State’s program into a free fall.
FSU’s highly touted quarterback, Deondre Francois, took a hard (clean) hit from an Alabama defender and was knocked out of the game, and eventually the season with a knee injury…
That season and injury proved to be the beginning of the end for the Jimbo Fisher era at FSU, and eventually put the program in a hole that they just now appear to be slowly climbing out of.
Now I’m not saying that level of destruction will happen to Texas, but perhaps teams should think twice before they schedule Alabama. You never know what can happen with that Nick Saban juju…
3. Contrary to last week’s newsletter, turns out the state of Florida might not be back.
UCF lost at home to Louisville on Friday night, and the Florida Gators lost to Kentucky in The Swamp. I’ll admit, I may have jumped the gun last week claiming that the once-powerhouse state was back from the dead. Stay tuned.
4. The State of Texas could be in for a long year.
As if Saturday’s losses weren’t hard enough for the good-football-loving people of Texas (Baylor also lost to BYU), things only got worse on NFL Sunday.
To start the day, the Houston Texans blew a 17-point lead to end up playing for a tie in overtime vs the Indianapolis Colts. Meanwhile in Arlington, the beloved Dallas Cowboys lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-3.
However, the big story from Sunday was the injury to Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback, Dak Prescott. Midway through the fourth quarter, Dak pulled himself out of the game with a thumb injury to his throwing hands. After the game, Dallas’ worst fears were confirmed, and that thumb injury will require surgery, keeping the QB sidelined for at least two months.
5. NFL Week One is a Mirage
Some results from Week One will leave a lot of people scratching their heads, but I wouldn’t look too much into what happened Sunday (and Monday.)
Most, if not all, of the starters across the league hadn’t played a full game of football since last year and that “rust” won the day.
The NFL is a marathon, not a sprint – and a lot of these Week One losses were just an example of a couple vets being slow out of the gates.