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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

College Football Takeaways-Week One

UA+cheerleaders+run+Arizona+flags+around+the+field+before+the+Wildcats+first+football+game+of+the+season+against+UTSA+at+Arizona+Stadium+on+Thursday%2C+Sept.+3.
Sydney Richardson / The Daily Wi

UA cheerleaders run Arizona flags around the field before the Wildcats’ first football game of the season against UTSA at Arizona Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 3.

The 2015-2016 college football season is expected to be one of the most enertaining to date. After week one, that belief hasn’t faded. Instead, it’s given us a clear look at what to expect this year. Be it struggling powerhouses, overrated teams or an underwhelming start from the Pac-12 Conference, here are some top takeaways from week one in college football.

3. The Big Ten blunder

It seemed last year the Big Ten Conference was up for the weakest conference of the year award, as team after team came up short in games that mattered the most and even in games they should’ve won. In only the first week of the college season, the Big Ten took a step backward compared to the other Power Five conferences.

Some of the conference’s powerhouses, such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan, lost, while Penn State, Purdue and nearly Indiana fell victim to lesser opponents.

Clearly, the Big Ten hasn’t changed since last year. Ohio State and Michigan State are still the cream of the crop, and Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska and even Wisconsin still have too many unanswered questions heading into the bulk of the season.

We know the Buckeyes and Spartans will compete for a national title, but what will the rest of the conference be competing for come mid-season?

2. Wins come on the field, not in the rankings

When the Big 12 Conference’s top teams took the field last weekend, we expected to see two potential playoff contenders light up the scoreboards and ultimately bring us closer to the Nov. 27 matchup between the two.

Instead, we saw TCU play a weak Minnesota team to the wire, and Baylor struggle against SMU for most of the game.

Granted, Baylor scored 56 points and the offense looked impressive, but its defense was a mess and allowed SMU to have nearly 400 total yards of offensive. That’s against SMU. How would the Bears’ defense fair against teams like Oklahoma, TCU and West Virginia?

On the other hand, TCU, a team that most believe will compete for the title, had no look of a national contender as potential Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin struggled throughout the game.

Both teams’ coaches need to get their players’ focus off the poll rankings and on to playing the games.

1. West Coast headaches

The talk of the West Coast this offseason was the depth of talented teams in the Pac-12. But after a tough opening week, it looks like the Pac-12 might not be as deep as originally thought.

Top teams like UCLA, USC and Oregon won convincingly as other conference members suffered huge loses.

Washington struggled for most of its game against Boise State, only to work its way back before losing on a missed field goal.

Rival Washington State put on the worst conference performance and lost to Portland State, while Colorado fell to Hawaii in a game where it trailed right from the opening kickoff.

Let’s not forget Stanford and ASU, who both lost games against unranked opponents.

Stanford scored just six points against Northwestern, which had no businesses being in the fourth quarter, let alone the game.

As for the Sun Devils, they played Texas A&M at a neutral site that was basically a home atmosphere for the Aggies. Texas A&M’s defense halted ASU in its tracks, taking the momentum for nearly the entire game.

Similar to the Big Ten, the Pac-12 has talented teams at the top, but plenty of leaks near the bottom.

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