5th Season in College Football Playoff Era Begins

Ryan Silver, Layout Assistant

The college football season has started, and ESPN’s College GameDay crew set up in South Bend, Indiana, for the Notre Dame versus Michigan football game. Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and David Pollack all gathered to discuss the opening of the first games of the season.

Tens of thousands of people tuned in and more were at the event with posters behind the GameDay crew, waiting for the first games to start. Athens Drive football coach, Jeremy Fullbright, is especially excited for two specific games in 2018.

“North Carolina State University vs West Virginia University and Alabama vs Auburn every year,” said Fullbright.

According to ESPN’s preseason top rankings, 20 out of 25 teams won their first game of the new season. However, four of those five losses came to other top 25 teams. University of Texas, ranked 23rd, was the lone team to lose to an unranked team, University of Maryland. Some Athens Drive students went out to support their favorite teams for their opening game.

“I went to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech game, where they killed Alcorn State 41-0. The stadium was filled with fans, probably 90 percent full. Whenever we would score a touchdown it got really loud,” said Sam Bost, sophomore.

Notable performances by individual players include Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray’s 300 yards passing and five total touchdowns against UCLA in a 49-21 victory. Another notable performance was Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, completing 13 out of 19 passes for 228 yards and four passing touchdowns in a 57-7 win against Arkansas State University.

Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban has a quarterback controversy between Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts. Tagovailoa has started Alabama’s first two games with Hurts getting limited playing time. Last year, Hurts started for Alabama’s 2017 season until being benched after completing three out of eight throws for 21 yards the first half in the College Football Playoff championship game. When Hurts went out, Tagovailoa went in, completing 14 out of 24 passes for 166 yards and three passing touchdowns, leading Alabama to a come from behind win against Georgia.

“I think that Tua Tagovailoa is going to start this season. After that championship game, it looks like Jalen Hurts’ Alabama career is over.” said Bost.

This season will be the fifth season in the College Football Playoff (CFP) era, in which the top four teams in the country are ranked into a bracket and play single elimination for the national championship. The first preliminary CFP rankings will come out on October 30.