This past Saturday was a day for statements. Pundits called it the greatest opening weekend in college football history. And on this stage, the Big Ten and the ACC made the biggest statements, best impressions.
You have to go all the way back to 1972 to find two top five teams losing on the opening week of college football. And with Texas’ win over Notre Dame, three of the top ten have already fallen in week #1 of this season.
Highlights from this weekend include:
- Houston’s impressive 10-point win over Oklahoma
- Wisconsin’s upset of LSU in Lambeau Field
- Alabama’s dominance of USC
- Clemson survives its trip to Auburn
- Texas’ double-overtime win over Notre Dame
- Florida State's biggest comeback in school history over Ole Miss
The Big Ten went 12-2 on the weekend vs. out of conference competition, placing it at the top of the college football pecking order. The Big Ten also tied for the best winning percentage vs. other Power 5 conference teams in week #1.
The ACC wasn’t far behind posting a 10-2 mark vs. out of conference foes, and it matched the Big Ten with its 2-1 record vs. other Power 5 conference teams. As impressive as Florida State's 22-point comeback victory over Ole Miss was, six of the ACC’s nine wins on the weekend have come over FCS competition.
In a surprise, the SEC was the worst Power 5 conference, going 6-6 vs. out-of-conference competition and posting a losing 3-4 mark vs. other Power 5 teams. The SEC also suffered embarrassing losses to South Alabama by Mississippi State and Kentucky blew a 25-point lead to Southern Mississippi.
Unranked Wisconsin’s 16-14 win in a dominant performance over No. 5 LSU in historic Lambeau Field was the Big Ten’s signature win. The Badgers controlled the game from the opening kickoff save five minutes late in the third quarter when LSU scored two quick touchdowns off Wisconsin turnovers. Otherwise, Paul Chryst’s Wisconsin team was impressive in its ability to shut down preseason Heisman contender Leonard Fournette and the LSU offense.
Not to be outdone, No. 15 Houston’s 33-23 win over No. 3 Oklahoma was an impressive showing for a non-Power 5 conference team. Mid way through the 3rd quarter, Oklahoma lined up for a go-ahead field goal, but on the miss, Houston’s Brandon Wilson returned the kick 100+ yards for a touchdown and the Cougars cruised to victory.
While the SEC overall was unimpressive in week 1, No. 1 Alabama proved why they entered this season in the top spot, as they dismantled No. 20 USC 52-6, handing the Trojans one of the worst defeats in school history. And No. 18 Georgia, behind 222-yard performance by Nick Chubb, earned a solid 33-24 victory over No. 22 North Carolina.
The ACC's marquee wins on the weekend were No. 2 Clemson's 19-13 win over unranked Auburn, and No. 4 Florida State's 45-34 comeback victory over No. 11 Ole Miss.
It was surprising to see the SEC lose so many out-of-conference games in week one, but this season is far from over. As for now, the Big Ten and ACC have started this season with impressive showings.