The opening weekend of college football is a beautiful thing; 128 FBS teams playing their first football games in nearly nine months spanning the entire Labor Day weekend.
It’s a time for fans and experts to see just how accurate their offseason predictions were and a chance for new players to introduce themselves to the college football world.
Week one of the season is also the time for the biggest overreactions of the season to start flowing. A time when observers try to extrapolate a season’s worth of projections and opinions out of the small snapshots we saw of each team this past weekend.
Anyone who put up any worthwhile stats can be listed as a Heisman contender. South Carolina punter Sean Kelly is currently second on the team in yards per carry. What a time it is to be alive.
Even with little to truly go off following the opening weekend, here’s a list of teams and players whose stock is rising—and falling—one game into the 2015 season.
Texas A&M. It wasn’t quite like the drubbing they put on the top-10 Gamecocks in Williams-Brice a season ago, but the Aggies did look pretty dominant in their 38-17 win over No. 15 Arizona State in Houston on Saturday.
An Aggie defense that gave up an average of 450 yards a game in 2014 came together to allow less than 300 yards against a very talented and experienced Sun Devil offense. If the defense, led by first-year defensive coordinator John Chavis, can hold up for the rest of the season, the Aggies will no doubt have a say in the SEC West race this year.
The game was also Aggie true freshman receiver Christian Kirk’s introduction to the college football world, as Kirk caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown while also tacking on a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Josh Rosen. UCLA QB- Is it really a college football season if one of the Los Angeles schools' quarterbacks aren’t being hyped to unbelievable levels?
Freshman Josh Rosen did everything he could to make UCLA fans forget about Brett Hundley as he went 28 of 35 for 351 yards and three touchdowns against unranked UVA.
Alabama. Of all the top-five teams playing last weekend, Alabama had arguably the toughest challenge as they faced perennial Big 10 power Wisconsin. But as Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide teams have become accustomed to, Alabama completely overpowered the Badgers on their way to a 35-17 victory in Jerry World.
Derrick Henry continues to make an argument as the SEC’s best running back, gouging Wisconsin’s defense for 147 yards on 13 carries while notching three touchdowns.
Texas Football. Remember when Vince Young and Colt McCoy had the nation’s most powerful college football brand consistently putting up 30-plus points and in the top five of the national polls? Yeah, me either.
This once-revered college football powerhouse furthered its decent into irrelevancy Saturday night with an inexplicable 38-3 dismantling in South Bend, Indiana, against a pretty solid Notre Dame squad.
In its last three games, the Longhorns have scored just 20 points while putting up 512 yards of offense combined.
Saturday’s loss was so ugly that coach Charlie Strong wasted no time in promoting receivers coach Jay Norvell as the new offensive coordinator for the rest of the season.
Jeremy Johnson. Auburn’s next Cam Newton certainly didn’t bring the Superman highlights against unranked Louisville this weekend.
Johnson looked lost at times in Auburn’s 31-24, throwing for only 137 yards on 11-of-21 passing and three interceptions.
Although Auburn is one of the most talented teams in the country, the Tigers are going to need Johnson to step up and cut down the turnovers ASAP if they want to escape the SEC West with a playoff-worthy record this season.