While the college football regular season is only 8.3 percent complete for most schools, far more important judgments than the following have been made with less evidence.
My five conclusions from the five-day opening weekend:
• Utah is No. 3 in the Pac-12.
The follow-up to that statement is there's a big dropoff from the top two. USC's Matt Barkley passed for 220 yards in the first quarter against Hawaii and Oregon scored 50 points in the first 23 minutes against Arkansas State, both Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
As for the Utes, there's some question whether a school-record 21-play touchdown drive against Northern Colorado should be considered an achievement or a sign that too much work was required.
The Pac-12 did not suffer any losses as embarrassing as Oregon State's falling to Sacramento State in a 2011 opener, but there were some troubling results. California lost to Nevada, Washington State looked horrible against BYU, Colorado lost to Colorado State, Stanford barely beat San Jose State and Arizona needed overtime to top Toledo.
The summary is that Utah should be glad to miss Oregon again in the scheduling rotation, but skipping Stanford is of no great benefit. And any reasonable chances of the Utes' upsetting USC in October were reduced when Barkley returned for his senior season and running back Silas Redd transferred from Penn State.
• The WAC is still kicking.
In the likely final season of Western Athletic Conference football, the league appears highly competitive.
The biggest news was newcomer Texas State's 30-13 shocking of Houston, resulting in Monday's resignation of the Cougars' offensive coordinator. San Jose State "definitely felt like we should have won" against Stanford, coach Mike MacIntyre said, and Utah State and New Mexico State blasted FCS opponents.
USU coach Gary Andersen's biggest breakthroughs are taking the Aggies to a bowl game last season and being only seven-point underdogs this week against Utah, not necessarily in that order. Consider that Utah has won the past 10 meetings by an average of 27.5 points, and by 35.8 points in this century's five games in Logan. We'll find out Friday if the two-year break in the series genuinely has allowed USU to close the gap.
• Alabama is overwhelming.
Remind me, is Michigan the "B" or "C" team in Utah's tiered scheduling approach in 2014 and '15? The Wolverines hardly resembled an "A" opponent in a 41-14 loss to Alabama, but that might be wholly attributable to the Crimson Tide's power.
And 'Bama continues to make Utah look good. Since losing to the Utes in the Sugar Bowl, Alabama is 37-4 with two national championships and neutral-site wins over Virginia Tech and Michigan.
• BYU's top four opponents are as advertised.
BYU was impressive offensively and defensively against Washington State, but I still say the Cougars will have to overachieve to beat Utah, Boise State, Notre Dame or Georgia Tech on the road.
Georgia Tech should have produced the weekend's only upset of a Top 25 team, but lost 20-17 to Virginia Tech in overtime. Boise State is not the same without quarterback Kellen Moore, yet the Broncos stayed with Michigan State until the end of a 17-13 defeat. Notre Dame hammered Navy 50-10.
• BYU's rushing defense will be No. 1.
After holding Washington State to minus-5 yards, BYU stands No. 2 in the country in rushing defense. The Cougars should take over the top spot after Saturday, when they host Weber State and top-ranked Illinois (minus-6 yards) visits Arizona State. Whether the Cougars can hold up the following week against Utah's John White is a whole other issue.