How might the CFP committee view Week 1?

Watching Week 1 unfold is like looking into a kaleidoscope. You think you're seeing one image, but as the season turns, so does the picture. With so many rookies, suspensions and good ol' fashioned rust, teams are a shell of what they'll look like in November (or at least they hope).

Jumping to conclusions is part of the game (See: Texas A&M vs. South Carolina in 2014).

The College Football Playoff selection committee, though, has the luxury of waiting until Nov. 3 to make its first judgment. Will Stanford's loss to Northwestern look as bad then as it does now? Possibly. But if Ohio State taught us anything last year, it's to have a little patience.

Here's a look at the top overreactions for each Power 5 conference from Week 1, along with a different view the committee might have down the road:


Overreaction: The SEC is king again! All of that talk about the SEC losing a step? Pssh. Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M each had statement wins over Power 5 opponents, including two ranked teams. Florida had offense again. On a day in which other conferences suffered upsets and letdowns, the SEC cruised.

Appropriate reaction: The real tests haven't even begun. The SEC followed the script Saturday, and Jake Coker and Derrick Henry looked good, but who's to say the SEC champ won't have two losses? Wait till they start playing each other instead of Tennessee-Martin.

Up next: LSU at Mississippi State. This Saturday. Now we're talkin'. You don't have to wait long for the separation in the SEC West to begin. The Tigers had no chance to work out kinks because their opener against McNeese State was canceled due to bad weather. Ready or not, this is a game they'll be judged by.

BIG 12

Overreaction: Not even the best teams looked great, and Texas was awful. Trevone Boykin was off-target and threw a pick, the usually high-flying offense sputtered, and Baylor was in an unexpected first-half fight against ... SMU? C'mon. Kansas only added to the jokes with its loss to South Dakota State.

Appropriate reaction: TCU and Baylor won like they were supposed to, and Texas was awful. Look, TCU went on the road in its opener and beat a respectable Power 5 opponent. Minnesota isn't getting enough credit for being a well-coached, stingy defensive team that can win the West if it keeps it up. That win will only help TCU in the eyes of the committee, as long as the Gophers contend for their division. Elsewhere in the state, SMU coach Chad Morris deserves credit for changing the culture there rapidly and putting his stamp on that offense in a matter of months.

Up next: Oklahoma at Tennessee. The Big 12 doesn't need a title game right now; it needs OU and Texas to be good again. Clearly Texas isn't up the challenge yet, but the Sooners can give the league a boost with a comeback, starting with a win in Knoxville.


Overreaction: Stanford is out of the playoff. The Cardinal, a 10-point favorite, looked dreadful in their loss to Northwestern, and absolutely inept on offense. It was the fewest points for the program since 2007.

Appropriate reaction: There are no elimination games in Week 1. Any team that has a chance to win its league has a chance at a top-4 finish. If Stanford continues to play the way it did Saturday, there's no way it will win the Pac-12. The staff needs to reevaluate its conservative play-calling and figure out how to get more out of that veteran offense. There's no sugarcoating Stanford's performance, but don't forget that Ohio State lost at home last year to Virginia Tech and won it all.

Up next: Fans should wait until Sept. 19 at USC before really crushing Stanford's playoff hopes. If the Cardinal enters October with two losses then feel free to write them off.


Overreaction: Buckeyes or bust. There's no denying it was a bad week for the Big Ten, which lost every game that mattered and one that didn't (Temple). Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Penn State all lost. Indiana only beat Southern Illinois by a point. Wisconsin had 40 rushing yards against Alabama. It's up to the defending national champs to pull out a win in Blacksburg to save the day.

Appropriate reaction: It looks just like last season. Wisconsin just lost to what could be a top-4 team, and should be 4-1 heading to Lincoln on Oct. 10. Minnesota lost to the No. 2 team. Nebraska lost on a Hail Mary. Penn State? It's got problems. Michigan State doesn't get enough credit, and it's hardly as if the league was deep last year. If Minnesota, Northwestern or Wisconsin can put together a winning season and give the East winner a ranked opponent in the title game, the league will be right in the mix.

Up next: Ohio State at Virginia Tech and Oregon at Michigan State will let us know how seriously to take the Big Ten in this year's playoff race.


Overreaction: Everett Golson can get the Noles back to the playoff.

Appropriate reaction: It was Texas State. Yes, Golson was terrific. Couldn't ask for anything more in his debut. He executed the offense, had the arm strength, timing, and made great decisions. But Golson didn't throw any picks last year against Rice, Michigan or Purdue, either. At Arizona State? He had four. Against the ACC? Six. There were plenty of reasons for optimism on Saturday, but let's wait for some consistency against Power 5 competition before anointing him cured of turnover woes.

Up next: Oct. 17 vs. Louisville. The Noles should be undefeated heading into that game, but Louisville put up a strong effort against Auburn. Jeremy Johnson threw three picks. Can the Cardinals' defense fluster Golson, too?


Overreaction: There's no way a team from the Group of 5 will ever be in the playoff.

Appropriate reaction: Boise State has a chance to be in the conversation. After BYU's Hail Mary win over Nebraska, Boise State's road trip to BYU next week is even more meaningful. If the Broncos can start out 2-0 against two decent teams, they're likely to be favored in every remaining game. If Boise State can finish the season undefeated, you'd better believe the selection committee will be giving it serious consideration for a top-4 spot. Believe it. The reality of the situation is that the Broncos' strength of schedule would likely leave them out, but what if they're up against two-loss conference champs? It's a debate the committee couldn't -- and wouldn't -- ignore.

Up next: BYU. If Boise gets past this one, it's time to at least consider the playoff possibility.

Overreaction: Notre Dame is playoff-ready. QB Malik Zaire delivered a near-flawless performance, with only three incompletions and no turnovers, and the defense was stingy in the smackdown of Texas. It was the kind of complete performance the selection committee looks for.

Appropriate reaction: The Irish are off to a good start but have lots to prove. Texas has to improve if that win is going to amount to anything, and Notre Dame still has to play almost half the ACC, USC, and ends the season with a road trip to Stanford. Don't think that last one matters? Please, don't overreact. It's Week 1.