College Football Week 1: Winners and Losers

So...that was fun, wasn’t it?

What a way to kick off the college football season in the state of Texas. The top two stories of the weekend are right here in the Lone Star State with Houston knocking of Oklahoma and UT handing the Irish a nice dose of revenge for last year’s mauling.

I laughed at this.

You know, I actually should have gone to Las Vegas. My Week 1 picks? Well, sometimes you get lucky. I mean, If lucky means you’re perfect.

Lots of great stuff from the weekend, but there was also a dose of bad. Each week, I’ll break down the winners and losers. Don’t hesitate to let me know how I’m wrong.

WINNERS

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

So I could list every single Houston Cougar on here, but that would take forever. Instead, I’ll focus on a guy who sums up the success we’re seeing with the program and that’s freshman DT Ed Oliver.

Oliver was a beast against the Sooners, racking up 7 tackles and 2 sacks in his first college game. The 5-star prospect out of Westfield High School was already under the microscope being the first recruit of his caliber to commit to a Non-Power 5 school -- and he backed up the hype with a dominant effort.

Coach Tom Herman preaches hard work and accountability in his program. Oliver’s effort Saturday is a result of the first…and the second? Freshman don’t do interviews at UH until they play. Well Oliver turned down an interview request with the Houston Chronicle because he said “he hasn’t earned” that attention. That is special stuff.

Charlie Strong, head coach, Texas

When you’re the head coach at Texas, you have to realize you are MORE than a coach. Recently, an FCS coach told me it’s hard for people to understand the pressure a position like that brings.

Charlie Strong isn’t Mack Brown. Brown was a great coach AND politician. Strong loves football, and he knows football. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been, but folks, when he got to Texas? The cupboard was bare. Two subpar years and embarrassing losses don’t sit well on the 40 acres, but Saturday night, we saw what he’s been trying to build towards. Hard-hitting but flashy football team like what we saw at Louisville.

It’s only one game, but I’m sure that feeling afterwards was worth all the drama that comes with being head coach at Texas.

Prairie View A&M Panthers

When you open up a $60 million stadium against your biggest rivals, have to fight off multiple lightning delays and still pick up a big win? That’s clutch.

It wasn’t easy. The Tigers and new coach Mike Haywood put up a fight. The Panthers and their fans have been waiting years for a moment like Sunday’s Labor Day Classic. Last year, they were one of the most explosive teams in the FCS and now they have the facilities to back up that up. Edward L. Blackshear Field is gorgeous, and it would have been terrible to lose that first one to TSU. Head coach Willie Simmons told me he thinks his program can be one of the best in the country. Sunday was a good start.

Honorable Mentions: Trevor Knight, QB, Texas A&M; Sam Houston State offense (668 total yards), Duke Catalon, RB, Houston (117 total yards, TD in debut), Kenny Hill, QB, TCU (5 total TDs), Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech (540 total yards, 6 TDs)

LOSERS

TCU defense

One of my co-workers here at KHOU played defense at TCU, and when I saw him on Saturday night and told him the score, he was stunned. So was I.

South Dakota State is good, but 41 points and 461 yards on the road in Fort Worth good?!?! No. Gary Patterson’s crew was gashed for multiple big scores on Saturday night in a game which they should have won going away.

But this is how the Frogs play. Last year they were giving up just under 400 yards per game, over 5 yards per play. Those numbers were worse than 2014. Let’s hope the slide doesn’t continue this year.

Josh Boutte, OL, LSU

This is an easy one. You got your butt whipped by a Big Ten team, and so what do you do? Clothesline a guy after a play is over because it would feel good. No. In fact, it made everyone look bad. A dirty play and one the definitely deserves a suspension which he got on Monday.

"Josh made a mistake," LSU head coach Les Miles said in a statement. "Even though this was done by mistake, a play like this does not belong in the game of football and therefore action must be taken.” Miles went on to say it doesn’t define him as a person, which is true; he got carried away. Still…that video? I hate seeing that.

That’s it for this week. Check back next Monday for another list.

(© 2016 KHOU)


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