South Carolina State Bulldogs (1-0)
Won 63-0 over... hold on. Just a second. Who did they play - Benedict College? Yeah, Benedict. It's like they're the Clemson to Benedict, but then Clemson is going to be the SC State to SC State. That totally makes sense. Did you know SC State is in the MEAC? I didn't. Now everyone knows! SC State seems to be really good at running (381 total yards) but not so great at passing (160 yards, no touchdowns). Benedict was not good at anything. At all.
(1) Florida State Seminoles (1-0)
Maybe it's just the fact that it's week one, but not even FSU looked unstoppable in their 37-31 win over Oklahoma State, who shot themselves in the foot a lot with bad punts and still managed to come almost all the way back. I note here that FSU seems to lack a traditional running game at this point, and the offensive line had some issues with Emmanuel Ogbah. However, it is week one, and nobody looks good in week one (except Pitt). FSU still won, and I fully expect they will keep winning until inexplicably losing to Wake Forest.
(21) North Carolina Tar Heels (1-0)
It took UNC until six minutes in the third to realize they were playing Liberty. Four touchdowns in four minutes later, they put the game away and eventually won 56-29. The North Carolina defense took some time to show up, but once they did they took the ball away thrice. Marquise Williams got the most snaps at QB, going 19-29 for 169 yards, two scores, and two interceptions. At this point the Coastal appears to be VT, Duke, UNC, and Pitt (Pitt!) with a guest appearance by Georgia Tech.
N.C. State Wolfpack (1-0)
Won 24-23 against Georgia Southern after Jacoby Brissett threw a 35 yard score with 97 seconds left. He went 28-40 for 291, three scores and a pick. While they also did okay in rushing, Georgia Southern blew through their defense on the ground, racking up 247 yards. A team that can kind of run, but can't stop the run? That's a recipe for "at least we're not Wake Forest." Most of the division is not terribly inspiring this year, let's admit, but NC State is better than worst. Maybe even better than Syracuse!
(25) Louisville Cardinals (1-0)
Won 31-13 over Miami (FL) in Bobby Petrino's second Cardinals debut. This one was fairly even until a Dominique Brown touchdown run with about four minutes left in the third. Both teams had turnover issues, and while Teddy Bridgewater's replacement, Will Gardner, was efficient if not brilliant, he also got sacked four times. The Hurricanes aren't the class of the Coastal, so Louisville's offensive line needs some work before it faces teams like Florida State. That running game should help ease the pressure; Brown ran 33 times for 143 yards, making for 4.3 yards a carry.
Boston College Eagles (1-0)
Won 30-7 at UMass, mostly thanks to Tyler Murphy's acceptable passing performance, good rushing performance, and oh by the way UMass is not very good. BC should have won and did - and their victory wasn't even cringeworthy, which is a feat in the Atlantic Division apparently. Fun fact: this game was called the Battle For the Bay State by... at least one person. Someone made up a graphic and everything.
Syracuse Orange (1-0)
Defeated Villanova - yeah, that Villanova - 27-26 in 2OT. The starting quarterback was ejected for punching a guy, and that was just about all the punch (aha!) that the Orange offense could muster for most of this, uh, "contest". When I asked Syracuse fans about how their team looked, I received answers varying from "your face" to threats of death via a shopping cart. How nice. More or less this team is off-color Wake Forest, but somewhat better. A little. You know, like stepping on a nail is better than being run over by a bulldozer that's on fire.
Lost 17-10 to Louisiana-Monroe with 94 yards of total offense. Look, Wake is bad. ULM isn't a bad team, so you might think some optimism can be derived from the fact that they played a not-bad team pretty close. No. Stop lying to yourself and seek help. Wake Forest is the absolute worst in the ACC, and it may not be close. ULM ran out the clock on Wake's 13-yard line to avoid running up the score. No, I'm not kidding.
Defeated Wofford 38-19, although at first experienced some trouble offensively. You know, against the vaunted Terrier defense. After that, however, they broke the game open with - wait, passing? Georgia Tech has someone that can throw? Apparently so; Justin Thomas went 11-15 for 282 yards and two touchdowns, then ran for 71 more yards. We all know the stellar nature of the Clemson secondary, so this future game is worrying me more than ever. I should keep in mind that this was against Wofford. (Never trust Georgia Tech, however. They are weird bee people with strange offenses.)
Georgia State Panthers (1-0)
Before this 38-37 win, GSU had lost 16 consecutive games as an FBS team. For a while, they were getting boat-raced by something called Abilene Christian University, a school in its second FCS season after coming up from Division II. What did I learn from watching the Panthers? They have a tremendously awful secondary, a decently mobile quarterback, and no chance of winning again except when they play Texas State. Being in the FBS is hard, you guys. Granted, neither of these teams displayed sterling football competency - then again, aren't those games the most fun?
(21) South Carolina Gamecocks (0-1)
Got whomped 52-28, as Texas A&M apparently came to Columbia carrying a bucket full of murder. Either that or our good friends have literally no secondary. South Carolina's biggest offensive plays included many, many pass interference calls. Although they eventually matched the Sumlin death machine score-for-score, by that point they'd already given up too many points to catch them. Offensively they seemed fine, although against a defense of similar ghostliness as their own. Don't be surprised if they still beat Georgia, though. Such is the SEC East.