As football returns, some of the most die-hard fans in the world are ready to represent their school as the new season gets underway. While other sports have a preseason, where they can work out any kinks that they may have, in college football, their first live-action is when the whistle blows for the first time. While week one is where many teams try to work on mental errors that they may have from not playing for eight months, you can still gauge how a team and/or player are going to look as the season progresses.
1. This may be the deepest Heisman race in recent memory
After lighting the world on fire his freshmen year, most sports analyst gave the Heisman Trophy to Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence. While, yes, he is the greatest college prospect since Andrew Luck, Lawrence can't get the award yet. Even his own teammate, Travis Etienne, was putting up Heisman numbers in his first game against Georgia Tech, along with other superstar running back Jonathan Taylor. Out of the University of Wisconsin, he made his Heisman case early.
Many college football fans know that the trophy is generally awarded to quarterbacks, as they are the most influential player in the field. This year, there are many candidates that can win the award from this position. The four that are clear favorites are Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts, Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm, Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and the aforementioned Trevor Lawrence. Other players who could win the award with great seasons are Sam Elihinger, Ian Book, Justin Herbert, Justin Fields, and Jacob Eason.
As the season moves along, it's going to be great to get to watch the Heisman race play out.
2. Notre Dame may be in big big trouble
Being an Independent team, meaning they don't align with a specific conference for football, the University of Notre Dame has the luxury of scheduling against any team they want. Unfortunately, in 2019, the Fighting Irish are going to have themselves a schedule that, on paper, looks to be absolutely terrible. With trips to Athens, Ann Arbor, and Palo Alto looming, the Irish, who finished with a 12-1 record in 2018, could barley be fighting for nine wins, not to mention match-ups with Virginia and arch-rival USC, who can always present a challenge.
Again, while week one isn't going to determine how well a team will play throughout the entire season, if Notre Dame is having as much trouble stopping the run as they did against Louisville, then Georgia running back DeAndre Swift is going to have a field day when the Irish come to town on September 21st, 8:00 PM, on CBS.
Notre Dame, which over the past few seasons has proven that they can play with the big dogs and constantly compete for a spot in the playoffs each year, is going to have to prove it this year, with a grueling schedule and some work on their defense.
3. Everyone is playing for 4th place
After one week of college football, it is clear to see that everyone is going to be playing for 4th place in 2019. While some teams want to compete for a national championship, so far it is Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and everyone else. Yes, there are four teams that make the College Football Playoff. If the other teams don't step their game up throughout the season, then the odds of Clemson versus Alabama part five are much more likely this year.
It seems that Georgia has closed the gap to Alabama after losing to the Crimson Tide back to back seasons. If the Bulldogs can go 12-0, they will get the chance to compete against the Tide again and possibly get to rewrite the script from past few seasons.
After the first week, if there is any team that can play with these top three, it is the Oklahoma Sooners, with former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts, at the helm. A much-improved defense, the Sooners look to be that team that can take the next step and challenges one of the giants of college football for a national championship.