We have completed a full week of college football action, and week one did not disappoint. We witnessed numerous surprises and enjoyed multiple great games throughout the entire weekend. Colorado showed that they are more than just talk, while Florida State is already making their case for the College Football Playoffs. On the other hand, Florida and Texas Tech disappointed after entering the season with high hopes. Week two promises a better slate of games, as many teams will challenge themselves after playing tune-up games in week one.
5: Nebraska vs Colorado (Noon EST, FOX) – I did not initially believe in Coach Prime. I thought Colorado was at least one year away due to concerns about the offensive and defensive lines. The defense allowed 42 points, and it may still be a work in progress, but the offense promises excitement this season. Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter are poised to be two of the best players in the Pac-12 this season. Hunter has the chance to become one of the best players in college football if he can maintain the stamina to play both sides of the ball throughout the season.
Colorado will return home for their first game under Deion Sanders to face Nebraska. The Cornhuskers may have a new coach, but they are still facing the same results, losing one-score games and blowing fourth-quarter leads. One of the main reasons this game is in the top five is because of its history and rivalry. Matt Rhule will have his players ready to compete, and Jeff Sims should have opportunities to make plays against the Colorado defense. Colorado will be favored, and for good reason, but do not underestimate this game, as it promises to be the best of the noon slate.
4: Texas A&M vs Miami FL (3:30 EST, ABC) – The Texas A&M vs. Miami matchup was highly anticipated last season but turned out to be a complete dud. Neither Texas A&M nor Miami won enough games to make an appearance in a bowl game. However, Jimbo Fisher and Mario Cristobal are back with what are believed to be revamped rosters. Texas A&M is relying on Conner Weigman at quarterback, who had a strong first week, throwing for 236 yards and five touchdowns against New Mexico. Texas A&M is looking for this kind of success after struggling against inferior opponents last season. In 2022, the Aggies only scored 31 points against Sam Houston State and 14 against Appalachian State. On the other hand, the Hurricanes were put on upset alert heading into their week one matchup against Miami (OH), but Cristobal quickly shut down any chance of an upset. The Hurricanes won 38-3, holding the Redhawks to just 215 total yards. They relied on their rushing attack, which averaged 6.9 yards per carry. Mark Fletcher and Henry Parish combined for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Texas A&M boasts one of the most talented defensive lines in the country, led by Walter Nolen and company, who will have their hands full with the Miami running backs.
3: Wisconsin vs Washington State (7:30 EST, ABC) – Wisconsin and Washington State are relatively unknown teams. Wisconsin brought in Luke Fickell to take over for Paul Chryst, and Tanner Mordecai transferred in to become the starting quarterback for the Badgers. Wisconsin’s offense will still feature a strong running game, as Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi combined for 298 yards rushing in their season opener. However, Mellusi and Allen face a difficult task when they travel to Pullman this weekend. Washington State, on the other hand, allowed just 37 yards rushing against Colorado State. The Cougars convincingly defeated Colorado State 50-24, with the score not fully indicating how much Washington State dominated the game. They held a commanding 36-3 lead in the fourth quarter. Cameron Ward had a great game, completing 37 of 49 passes for 451 yards and three touchdowns. The Cougars will need to improve their rushing attack after averaging just 2.4 yards per carry in week one. While this game may not feature many star players, it is well worth watching on Saturday night.
2: Ole Miss vs Tulane (3:30 EST, ESPN) – The Green Wave proved me wrong last weekend by decisively defeating South Alabama. Michael Pratt looked excellent in the first game of the season, putting up video game numbers by completing 14 of 15 passes for an astounding 294 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for another 39 yards. However, Tulane still needs to answer the question of who will be the heir to Tyjae Spears, as Makhi Hughes and Shedro Louis combined for just 68 rushing yards on 17 attempts. Tulane’s defense will be vital against Ole Miss, especially after they were able to force five turnovers against South Alabama, putting their offense in a favorable position. On the other hand, Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss dominated Mercer with a score of 73-7. The main piece of information we learned is who the starting quarterback will be this season, with Jaxson Dart getting the nod over Oklahoma State transfer Spencer Sanders. Quinshon Judkins rushed for only 60 yards on Saturday but scored two touchdowns. This game has a real chance of becoming a shootout, as both offenses have players capable of delivering big plays. The key will be the defenses of both teams and their ability to limit explosive plays.
1: Texas vs Alabama (7:00 EST, ESPN) – This is the game everyone will be watching on Saturday night. We have a rematch of Alabama’s comeback victory from last season, but with a different cast of talent. No Bryce Young, no Will Anderson, no Bijan Robinson, but two incredibly talented teams. Quinn Ewers, who got hurt in last year’s game, will be starting for the Longhorns this weekend. Jayden Blue and Jonathon Brooks will combine to replace Robinson, with both of them rushing for over 50 yards in week one while carrying the ball at least 10 times. Ewers has three talented wide receivers at his disposal this season: Xavier Worthy, Jordan Whittingham, and Adonai Mitchell, who were the favorite targets in week one and should see more action as the season continues. Alabama had a quarterback competition to replace Bryce Young, with Jalen Milroe coming out on top. While Milroe registered five touchdowns against Middle Tennessee, the Texas defense will provide a more challenging challenge. Isaiah Bond and Jermaine Burton will need to step up and help Milroe in just his third career start. The key to this game will be Alabama’s offensive playmakers. Bond, Burton, and Jase McClellan are incredibly talented, and one of them will need to make clutch plays to extend a drive, bail out Milroe, or score a crucial touchdown.
Honorable Mention: Notre Dame vs NC State, Iowa vs Iowa State, SMU vs Oklahoma, Auburn vs Cal