Call it an abbreviated, nation-wide version of over reaction Monday (or, for college football fans, Sunday). Week 1 is (almost) in the books and, wow...we had some questions answered, but a whole lot more raised: mainly, what in the world happened to the Pac-12 North?
But first, we'll broaden our scope a bit.
There were a few upsets Saturday (hello, Portland State!), but the biggest revelation came from the fact that programs who were supposed to be capable of playoff-crashing (see: ASU & Stanford) looked shockingly inept, and other top contenders' weaknesses were exposed like a flesh wound (hello, Oregon's secondary!).
Oh, and the Texas Longhorns are an absolute dumpster fire.
'Bama and Notre Dame look like they may be even better than initially thought, especially the Irish. You can add Texas A&M to the mix of teams we're going to hear about (for about 3-4 weeks, at least, until they assuredly crash down to earth). And the battle of Big 12 heavyweights just added another member (welcome back, Sooners!).
Some major storylines developed, while others were solidified:
Newly-hired defensive coordinators stole the show, as the SEC West's two most high-profile off-season transactions made their mark; Charlie Strong is swimming upstream in a violent storm after his teams embarrassing loss at Notre Dame; and UCLA found their QB in Josh Rosen, solidifying them as true contenders.
The weekend was lacking high-profile showdowns, with only one game pitting ranked teams, but some interesting results added intrigue, as the season gets cranked up a notch heading into Week 2.
There's so many things to digest from a crazier-than-expected opening weekend, and we haven't even seen the best game yet (Ohio State at a very raucous Virginia Tech). Here's a look at some of the marquee match-ups from Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and what to away from them.
(overreact in 3,2,1...)
Alabama 35 Wisconsin 17
Of all the occurrences that took place Saturday, one ho-hum continuation reared its ugly head: Alabama isn't going anywhere, despite everyone's best efforts to make it seem so.
All of the talk of Nick Saban's reign potentially being over were slammed to the turf at Jerry's World, as the Tide -- using their tried-and-true formula of running the ball and playing dominating defense -- wore down a Badgers team that, by the end, looked wilted and desperate for the game to end.
Wisconsin will win nine games and get blown out by tOSU in the BIg-10 title game, just like the script says -- but 'Bama used this platform to deliver a message: they're here to win it all.
Texas A&M 38 - (15)Arizona State 17
If the Stanford loss sent a ripple through the Pac-12, this was a slow, debilitating defeat that has all the makings of a typical ASU season: high expectations begetting true realities. Some pundits have A&M finishing 7th in the SEC West, and ASU finishing 1st in the PAC-12 South -- and if that's the case, Saturday night was an eye-opening revelation to the difference, depth-wise, of the two conferences.
A&M suffocated the Sun Devils offense, holding QB Mike Bercovici to 199 yards passing and one touchdown. Their hi-octane offense was out-shined by A&M's shiny new toy, defensive coordinator John Chavis, and the Aggies defense, which yielded just 10 second half points.
(23)Boise State - 16 Washington 13
This one won't register on the national radar, per se, but Boise State may have delivered the biggest internal message of the weekend, when they knocked off Washington, and their former coach, Chris Peterson.
The Broncos are on many peoples short list of potential playoff-crashers, and while Friday night didn't do much to enhance those thoughts -- the offense was sluggish, and special teams looked shaky -- this was a game about channeling emotions and sending a message. They handled both well, and now, presumably, will roll through the Mountain West.
(6)Auburn 31 - Louisville 24
One of the more intriguing match-ups took place at the Georgia Dome, where Bobby Petrino led his Cardinals against the newly formed Gus-Champ monster at Auburn and, well, it appears the Tigers actually have a defense now.
Newly-hired defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, he of the latest Florida Gators disaster, returned to his comfort zone and, for one game at least, turned around one of the worst defensive groups in the country. The Tigers held an explosive Louisville attack to just 405 yards of offense. A late rally made the score closer than reality, but one thing was made abundantly clear: with Muschamp on-board, and their typical explosive offense, Auburn looks like a complete team.
Other Scores of Note
(2)TCU 23 - Minnesota 17
(5)Michigan State 37 - Western Michigan 24
(11) Notre Dame 38 - Texas 3
(13) UCLA 34 - Virginia 16
Northwestern 16 - (21) Stanford 6
More answers will come to light next week, when one top-10 team -- Oregon or Michigan State -- will fall from the ranks of the unbeaten, as the teams pick up from last year's initial slugfest.