CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It is early in the season - very early. However, here are things that we think we know about this college football season as we leave summer and move into autumn.
1. This is not going to be a banner season for the Big Ten. There may not be a truly great team in the league. Urban Meyer has Buckeyes fans believing, but Ohio State is incredibly dependent on quarterback Braxton Miller. Two traditional Big Ten "big boys" Ohio State and Penn State cannot go to bowl games. Wisconsin quarterback Danny O'Brien, a Maryland transfer, has shown he is not as good as previous ACC transfer Russell Wilson, who came from North Carolina State. Michigan State's inability to throw the ball was exposed last week in a loss to Notre Dame. It may be up to Nebraska to carry the Big Ten banner this fall.
2. Why are so many of the national analysts in love with Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas? I get it. He is tall. He is big. He looks good. But, is he that good? Thomas and USC's Matt Barkley seem to be the two quarterbacks on the top of the NFL quarterback draft board. I like many other quarterbacks better.
3. West Virginia has never had a Heisman Trophy winner. That could change this year. Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith is the Heisman leader through the first three weeks of the season. If he stays healthy, he should put up eye-popping numbers in the Dana Holgorsen offense. If the Mountaineers perform as expected in the Big 12, Smith could be taking home the big trophy in December.
4. Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron may be the most overlooked quarterback in the country. The Crimson Tide defense gets so many headlines, but if the Crimson Tide keeps winning, it will mean that McCarron is having a good season. He could also sneak into the Heisman conversation. Many pro scouts feel he is getting better and better each week. He also has the benefit of practicing every day against some of the best defensive players in the country.
5. Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly is starting to work his magic again. He has a history of having success in the third year of the programs he is coaching. He has had great success in Division II at Grand Valley State in Michigan, at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and now Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish may not be all the way back, but they do look more fundamentally sound and physical.
6. The Georgia Bulldogs are trying to re-claim supremacy in the SEC East. If they do, quarterback Aaron Murray could get himself into Heisman contention. Last week he had a career best 342 yards in a Bulldogs rout of FAU. Also, in the SEC East, South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore could be more nationally known if he stays healthy.
7. What has happened to the football program at Syracuse? Coach Doug Marrone could be fighting for his job if the Orange struggle in Big East play. Syracuse fans seem to have grown very apathetic towards their school's football program. It is also sad to see Colorado struggling. The Buffaloes have not been the same since Gary Barnett took them to a BCS bowl 11 years ago. They are one of the worst programs in the BCS right now.
8. Louisville is good, very good, under Coach Charlie Strong. Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater gets better with every game. The Cardinals have become much more than a basketball school under Athletic Director Tom Jurich.