Part of the fun in college football is the talking. Talking about who is better than who, what program has it together, what coach is on the hot seat and whether or not your favorite team is going to finish over or under the preseason win total set by the oddsmakers.
Preseason is all speculation so when Week 1 finally arrives, fans overextend themselves to soak up every bit of actual college football and use this limited data set to make declarative statements that either reinforce or rewrite the existing narratives. Rarely in this big dumb sport we love are fans and experts more wrong than when we overreact to the first week of the season. This week, Barton Simmons and I tried to get ahead of the game by predicting the overreactions to Week 1 action.
Check out some of our overreaction predictions below along with the full episode from Monday, which also features the updated Total Team Talent Composite rankings from 247Sports and the latest on quarterback battles from across the country. Don't forget to Subscribe to the Cover 3 Podcast so you can get Locks, Live Saturday Night reaction shows and more delivered right to your favorite podcast device.
Predicting the overreactions, Week 1
Oklahoma took a step back on offense: I'm on record picking Jalen Hurts to win the Heisman Trophy, Lincoln Riley to win Coach of the Year and Oklahoma to win the national championship. I'm clearly high on the Sooners, but I'm also prepared for a clunky start to the season. Kyler Murray and last year's offense was historically dominant, so I'm imagining there might be just a little bit of drop-off out the gate with four new starters on the offensive line and a new starting quarterback. I don't expect anything that could jeopardize Oklahoma's chance to win, but a few too many false starts, some timing issues with the receivers and other execution issues could lead to wild overreactions regarding Hurts and the 2019 Sooners' offense. -- Chip
Justin Fields is a bust: Throughout his entire high school and college career, Fields has just 17 career starts. As a QB1, he's going to be far from perfect, but he's QB1 at Ohio State and is going to be held to near-perfect expectations. So if Fields shows any flaws against FAU, get ready for the overreactions regarding the fruitfulness of his entire college career. -- Barton
Justin Fields is a Heisman Trophy frontrunner: It was great to hop on the other side of Barton for this one. I see the FAU game as a stellar opportunity for Fields to light up the scoreboard with four or five total touchdowns and the kind rout that will see his individual outlook change drastically. -- Chip
Utah is not a Pac-12 title contender: Barton's got this prediction tagged to what should be an absolutely brutal rivalry game against BYU. If that game is even close, and especially if BYU wins, there will be some overreaction in regards to the Utes' status as Pac-12 South favorite. -- Barton
Stanford has lost its edge: This overreaction prediction is based on a personal projection that Northwestern will go to Stanford and win. The Cardinal have been in flux in relation to offensive identity over the last couple of years, and while 2019 should be a return to double-digit wins, it will be hard to imagine that scenario if the season starts with a loss to the Wildcats. -- Chip
Pac-12 is already out of the playoffs: If Oregon does lose to Auburn and some of the aforementioned Pac-12 contenders take some lumps in Week 1, the unfair overreaction will be that the Pac-12 is out of the playoffs. In the game of musical chairs that is the four-team playoff, everyone rushes to bounce an entire league, and the Pac-12 is going to start the year already on the chopping block. -- Barton
Auburn is going to win 10 games: Basically tripling down on my outlandish preseason prediction with the idea that the Tigers will look dominant against Oregon. -- Chip
Kendal Briles is either the smartest man in college football or a total fraud: It doesn't seem like there will be much middle ground for the instant reactions to Florida State's new offensive coordinator. Boise State is a quality opponent that will put the Seminoles' new scheme to the test and even if the performance is satisfactory, you can bet the reactions will be strong and definitive. -- Barton
Walt Bell is the man to lead the Minutemen to new heights: A long way of saying I think UMass can make its season opener against Rutgers way more competitive than any Rutgers fan wants. Bell is a first-year head coach with a young staff looking to shake things up at a tough place to win, so let's see if he can make the Scarlet Knights sweat a little bit in Piscataway. -- Chip
Brandon Peters is going to get Lovie Smith to a bowl game: Barton has always been a card-carrying member of the Brandon Peters fan club, and with Akron on the schedule I agree that Illinois' new starting quarterback will have a shot to generate some buzz and maybe even follow through on this overreaction. -- Barton
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