No matter which football jersey you sport, the much-anticipated kickoff weekend of National College Athletic Association (NCAA) D-I football probably had you on the edge of your seat. In the aftermath of a controversy-filled summer, analysts are speculating that some familiar teams will dominate this season after blowing their opponents out of the water this weekend, while others may fall away.
Penn State had a disappointing return to the game after last year's scandal and the death of their emblematic coach, Joe Paterno. The Lions let go of an 11-point halftime lead against the Ohio Bobcats to lose 14-24 after Ohio's late-game rush.
Alabama, ranked No. 2, beat No. 8 Michigan in their opening match by a crushing 27-point margin that no one expected, ending the fourth quarter 41-14. The University of Southern California marked its full-fledged return to D-I with an impressive victory over Hawaii. The Trojans won 49-10 after a 75-yard run for a touchdown on the opening play of the game.
Other blowout winners from the weekend included Notre Dame, LSU, Florida State, Ohio State and Georgia State.
Yet some teams with high-flying expectations struggled in Week 1. The Alabama rout of Michigan was a huge upset for fans and experts, who thought the No. 8 team should have put up more of a fight. Their ranking will certainly drop due to their flop on Saturday, and the potential for greatness for the Wolverines this season will be downgraded as well. No. 4-ranked Oklahoma University also struggled this weekend. Though they did end up winning against UTEP 24-7, it took the Sooners three quarters to get there.
It looks like there will be some rank-shuffling this week, and with the second test for the big players coming up in just days, fans across the country will have their eyes on the stats.