Week 1 Observations
Posted By:Wes Mewbourne Tags:
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1. The PAC-10 made the biggest impact on the BCS landscape
The PAC-10 opened the 2008 season with four teams from other BCS conferences, and won three of them (USC over UVA, Cal over Mich St, and UCLA over Tenn). Aside from that, they were one of the few conferences to actually have teams play games within the conference. A statement win by Stanford over OSU goes a lot farther than, say Delaware. With the Bears and Bruins winning their games against BCS opponents, the PAC-10 is definitely in the best shape at this point in the season.
2. The ACC is down...for now.
Sure the ACC lost virtually all of its games this week, and did lose all of its important ones. But there's still time to bring legitimacy to the conference. If Va Tech or Clemson finish with one loss or Wake, FSU, or Miami run the table (not likely, I know) the ACC could still emerge as a power conference, but it would still need a strong showing in the post season. Preferably capped off by a BCS bowl win.
3. Injuries will rule the year.
USC, Georgia, Ohio State, Florida, and Missouri have all been affected by the injury bug to some degree even at this early stage in the season - all to game changing players. Of course, the depth charts will have an impact on overall performance, but there's certain players that are there consistently all season. Without those gamebreakers, key games could be lost. It will be interesting to see how these teams (and potential newbies to the national picture) cope and progress through the year.
4. Prime-Time Interconference BCS matchups will become more popular.
Everyone was glued to the tube to see the Bama/Clemson rout. Many more saw the dramatic UCLA/Tenn finish last night. These games are becoming more and more popular. Much like bowl games at the end of the year, these interconference games match teams that normally wouldn't play, and when you have a clash of, say, tradition rich programs or opposing styles facing off, it makes for great television. Not to mention the extra publicity you get from having your team on prime time for a big win. It helps your school. It boosts your conference. And it's great for fans. Expect more of these kinds of games in the coming years to kickoff the season.
5. The "Middle Class" in Division I (aka FBS) is growing...fast.
The "Haves" and the "Have-nots" will always be a staple in college football. But the "Have-A-Little-Bits" are growing more and more populated. From BCS crashers to upset specials like ECU, the middle class is expanding like never before. Ark St., ECU, and La Tech are examples from week 1. Some that played the so-called "powder puff" teams met with more of a challenge than they originally thought (see Delaware and Bowling Green). Expect more of this as the season progresses. Hope you don't have money on the games...
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