Kirk Herbstreit ranks CFB’s top performing teams of opening week

ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit recently ranked his top-eight performing teams from Week 1.

This is not meant to be viewed as a power ranking, but simply which team performed the best given their circumstances.

This includes unranked teams beating ranked opponents (Virginia Tech beating UNC, UCLA beating and LSU), impressive victories (Georgia and Penn State), and some Group of Five schools (Charlotte and Northern Illinois) taking down big programs.

Here are Herbstreit’s top-eight performances from Week 1.

8. UTSA ROADRUNNERS

UTSA's Zakhari Franklin (4) catches a pass from quarterback Frank Harris as Illinois defensive back Devon Witherspoon (31) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

UTSA pulled off an impressive 37-30 upset win over Illinois.

7. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS

Penn State wide receiver KeAndre Lambert-Smith (13) hauls in a 53-yard pass while being covered by Wisconsin safety Scott Nelson (9) during the third quarter of their game Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Penn State beat Wisconsin 16-10. Syndication: Journal Sentinel

Penn State upset Wisconsin on the road, winning 16-10.

6. CHARLOTTE 49ERS

Sep 3, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte 49ers quarterback Chris Reynolds (3) runs the ball against Duke Blue Devils defensive tackle DeWayne Carter (90) during the second half at Jerry Richardson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte 49ers pulled off their biggest win in program history, upsetting the Duke Blue Devils.

5. NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUSKIES

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Northern Illinois Huskies players celebrate after a touchdown against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jenn Finch-USA TODAY Sports

After going winless in 2020, NIU knocked off George Tech in Atlanta.

4. IOWA HAWKEYES

Caleb Shudak converted his first two career field goals in Saturday's 34-6 win against Indiana.
Syndication: HawkCentral

Iowa is now in the top-10 after blowing out #17 Indiana.

3. GEORGIA BULLDOGS

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 04: Travon Walker #44 of the Georgia Bulldogs sacks D.J. Uiagalelei #5 of the Clemson Tigers during the second half of the Duke's Mayo Classic at Bank of America Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Georgia's defense held Clemson to 180 yards, 3 points and only two yards rushing while recording 7 sacks on the night in a 10-3 win.

2. VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES

Virginia Tech's Tayvion Robinson catches a pass but was ruled out of bounds in the second half against North Carolina during an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Blacksburg, Va. (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

The Hokies upset #10 ranked North Carolina 17-10 and picked off QB Sam Howell three times.

1. UCLA BRUINS

Sep 4, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Zach Charbonnet (24) runs the ball against Louisiana State Tigers linebacker Micah Baskerville (23) during the second half the at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins took down LSU 38-27 and moved to 2-0 on the season.

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