Handing Out Superlatives From College Football’s Fantastic Opening Weekend

Associate Editor
09.05.17

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College football’s offseason is over and the first full weekend of games reminded us that no sport can match the fun and wackiness that this one provides. The extended weekend, with games starting on Thursday and culminating in a double overtime thriller between Tennessee and Georgia Tech on Monday, gave us the opportunity to spread our college football consumption over five days. It was great.

To celebrate, we decided to look back on the weekend that was and highlight some of the moments that stood out. What was the game we’re going to continue talking about for the rest of the year? What was the moment that we’re not going to forget? What team put on the best performance, pleasantly surprised us the most, and was the biggest disappointment? Let’s dive right in with the game of the weekend.

Best Game: UCLA 45, Texas A&M 44

Sometime late in the third quarter, it was obvious that one of two things was going to happen by the time the clock on this game hit 0:00. Either:

  1. Jim Mora Jr. was going to be in a whole load of trouble for letting Texas A&M come into the Rose Bowl and boat race UCLA, OR
  2. Kevin Sumlin was going to be in a whole load of trouble for letting UCLA storm back from a 34-point deficit and win.

There was, approximately, a 98 percent chance that first thing happened. Instead, that second thing happened, and instead of Mora being on one of the 2-3 hottest seats in the nation, Sumlin now has that honor. (Well, he had that honor regardless, but it got magnified because of this game.)

This was a game that most people turned off because it was such a convincing blowout (and because Virginia Tech-West Virginia was on at the same time and was hot fire). But eventually, Josh Rosen thought it would be fun to chuck the football all over the place, and there was nothing the Aggies could do about it.

Rosen is one of those players whose college career has been weird as hell. He was anointed a future No. 1 overall draft pick after a very solid freshman year. His sophomore year, dude got lit up behind a bad offensive line, missed the second half of the year with a shoulder injury, and the Bruins struggled. Basically, he came into 2017 needing a big year to remind everyone why he was such an eye-popping prospect, and for 2.5 quarters on Sunday, that didn’t happen.

Then, he stopped playing around, threw for four touchdowns and nearly 500 yards, and did this, causing Gus Johnson’s head to come extremely close to exploding:

Josh Rosen rules. Hey, on that note…

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