What we learned from college football, Week One...
• Alabama is still Alabama. Vanderbilt is still Vanderbilt.
• The upper decks at The Rock in Hattiesburg are still functional. They haven't been needed much in recent seasons. They still work. Bill McGillis, the USM A.D., would love to see those upper decks tested again and again.
• Mississippi State has more and stronger athletes than USM, but Todd Monken and his staff closed the gap over 365 days. One season after a 49-0 whitewashing at Starkville, the black and gold at least showed they belonged on the same field.
• That said, you had the idea Dak Prescott, had Dan Mullen green-lighted him, could have taken off just about any time he pleased. Seemed as if the Bulldogs used Prescott's legs only when it seemed entirely necessary. And his legs are what make him one of the most dynamic players on college football.
• That said, again, if Prescott is to become a successful professional quarterback, his accuracy must improve. He missed open receivers, usually with high throws. There's no question about his arm strength. The knock on Prescott is accuracy. That will continue to be the case until it improves.
• USM's Nick Mullens has no such accuracy problems. The kid is a gamer. If he was a threat as a runner, it would open up many more opportunities for the Eagles' running game. But Mullens is a tough nut and stood in against strong pressure from the Bulldogs defensive front, especially A.J. Jefferson.
• Speaking of Jefferson, formerly a tall, lanky defensive end at North Pike: He's the kind of player USM used to make a living on in the Jeff Bower years. Mullen doesn't miss guys like Jefferson, projecting what he will look like three years and 50 solid pounds down the road. USM could not block him.
• At Oxford, we learned that Chad Kelly's arm strength is as advertised and that Tennessee-Martin will not petition for Southeastern Conference membership any time soon. We learned that Robert Nkemdiche could easily play tight end or fullback at 300 pounds and that Laquon Treadwell has sufficiently recovered from the horrifying injury that ended his 2014 season and Ole Miss's 2014 championship hopes. Not sure what else we learned at Oxford other than that in the year 2015 A.D., at least 60,000 still would show up at the Colosseum to watch lions eat people.
• Never say never. Seventy-three years and 322 days had passed since the Temple Owls had beaten Penn State in football. It's not like they hadn't played one another often. They had played 39 times and Penn State had outscored Temple by 870 points in those 39 games. Saturday, Temple beat Penn State 27-10, which, come to think about it, is kind of like back at the Colosseum if the Christians turned the tables on the highly favored lions. Never. Say. Never.
• Week One traditionally gives us so many “sacrifice” games when many have-not smaller schools and football programs sacrifice their pride and a few bodies to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from the power conference schools (haves). Saturday, we learned once again that it does not always happen, witness the South Dakota State Jackrabbits' 41-38 victory over Big 12 Conference Kansas. Doesn't happen often, but the Jackrabbits got a big pay day and a victory as well.
• Most meaningful game of Week One? Take your pick: No. 3 Bama's demolishing of No. 21 Wisconsin or unranked Texas A&M's trouncing of No. 15 Arizona State. Both bode well for the Southeastern Conference, particularly the Western Division, when BCS rankings come out later in the season. We know the SEC West teams are going to beat up on one another, so out-of-conference victories over quality opposition become all the more important. Bama and A&M both clocked nationally ranked teams by 18 and 21 points respectively. That's a fantastic start for the SEC West.
Rick Cleveland (firstname.lastname@example.org) is executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.