Among the winners and losers in first week college football are Buckeyes and Vols


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The first Thursday of the 2021 college football season featured a batch of games featuring teams from four of the five major conferences along with one of the best five-game group games of the year. In the sort of showdown that could run into December and affect how the College Football selection committee fills six bowls for the new year. Thursday night also saw the debut of Tennessee coach Josh Hubble, our first look at Ohio State favorites Big Ten – it wasn’t always easy for the Buckeyes – and a glimpse of Utah, the dark horse of the Pac-12. Here are the winners and losers as week one kicks off: WINNERSOhio State Ohio State lesson can be shared with Alabama and Clemson. It’s not easy to roll out of bed with a first-year quarterback and face a good opponent without hiccups along the way. For the Buckeyes, CJ Stroud’s debut was an early struggle: OSU beat Minnesota 45-31 but trailed twice, including a 21-17 deficit over the middle of the third quarter. Stroud, substitute for Justin Fields, rebounded from the slow start for 294 yards and fours, though his receivers did most of the heavy lifting. Meanwhile, Crimson Tide and new quarterback Bryce Young are preparing for their first week match with Miami, while Clemson and DJ Uiagallei are doing the same with Georgia. North Carolina Is North Carolina a legitimate threat to Clemson in the Atlantic subdivision of the ACC? How about a real contender to win nine games or more during the regular season and find a permanent home in the TODAY Sports AFCA USA Coaches Poll? Thursday’s 45-0 slaughter of sad South Florida doesn’t affect the narrative around the Wolfpack, who are clearly talented enough to go places but will need consistency from quarterback Devin Leary to take the next step. Leary finished with 232 yards and two paces with an interception. But that doesn’t matter: UT under Heupel 1-0. After three solid seasons in Central Florida, Heupel was expected to put a jolt into the Volunteers’ attack while he slept – and that group looked good at times, although it wasn’t effective enough in the air behind new quarterback Joe Melton to resemble the kind of balanced attack. Which may cause some trouble for a handful of Securities and Exchange Commission teams. UT has gone 326 yards off the ground, the most in the game since September 15, 2018. Coastal CarolinaNo. 24 Coastal Carolina opened with an easy 52-14 victory over The Citadel, a lopsided and predictable result that kicked off the Chanticleers’ quest to iterate over the Sun Belt and factor in the women’s six race for the new year. It’s also a modification for next week’s home game against Kansas, if you think the Jayhawks are better than The Citadel. (They are, but not so much.) Opinion: A dark cloud hangs over the future of college football as the season opens Predictions: Our experts pick Heisman winner, national champion, Keeping Up: Eight story lines to watch at 2021 SeasonLOSERS Minnesota closing, but not quite. By the pure definition of the word, Minnesota landed in the losers column Thursday night. But when is a loss not a great loss? When you give OSU a handful and stay within walking distance for more than 60 minutes, that’s the time. What’s clear is Minnesota’s place in the Big Ten selection standings: Iowa and Wisconsin may be the pre-season favorites in the Western Division, but Golden Gophers should be taken seriously as a factor. Formerly a National Division FC winner for James Madison, ECU hopes to play a role other than “season-ending wing” in a busy and talented American character. There’s also the idea that Houston has had enough time to turn things around — even if the pandemic year probably didn’t help — in a program with a somewhat proud history of success. Sadly, the 33-19 loss to the Appalachian State is a reminder that the Buccaneers are no longer even a factor in the race for the best FBS team located in North Carolina, and last year’s success story in America, Tulsa, opened with a 19-17 loss to UC-Davis, The program’s first loss to an FCS opponent in 35 years. South Florida was flooded by the state of North Carolina. There’s no arguing against Cincinnati, the conference’s top nominee, as the pre-season leader of the Group of Five. But what does Thursday tell us about the American? Follow college reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg


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