1. What team best met your overall expectations of them in their opener? In other words, which team that you expected to be either really good or really bad (or somewhere in between) came the closest to making you look good?
Notre Dame. I still haven't bought into the hype. There is no doubt that Coach Weis has the talent to make this team perform better than it did last year. The Defense looks much improved so he gets points for that. But this offensive guru who coached Tom Brady to a few Super Bowls might have thought about the defense a bit too much. I'm sure he will turn it around but the success of the offense was supposed to be a foregone conclusion.
Yes, they beat a good Ga. Tech. team that has a history of playing tough against ranked opponents but this Notre Dame and all we've heard I how they are winning it all this year. They are getting the same treatment that USC got last year so lets see how they handle the attention. The only thing missing are daily reports from Shelley Smith.
2. What team jumped off the map and surprised you the most? (Bonus points to anyone who can make an argument for someone besides Tennessee.)
UCLA. I was quite surprised that Ben Olsen played as well as he did. Being out of football doing missionary work for 2 years you would think that would make one rusty. Not Olsen. He stood tall and performed. The UCLA defense played well also. Their new DC seems to have made some improvements but the running game needs work.
Utah is a good team but UCLA seemed to dispatch them with ease. Seeing that they are my chief rivals I probably watch them a little more carefully than other teams. They still have some work to do in order meet their goal. The homer in me would pick USC but there is plenty of time for that.
3. What team best moved themselves into a position to surprisingly contend for a national title?
I'm not convinced that anyone has really made a move out side of the top 6 or 7 in the polls. I still think it's early for any team to separate themselves from the pack. The next 2 weeks will start to shape the bigger picture.