By Ron Johnson
All the craziness of Week Zero has the college football world wondering what’s next. This is indeed with good reason. After seeing several moments of TOTAL NONSTOP DELETION (Thanks Matt Hardy) and moments that remind us why we enjoy watching these games so much, it is clear that Week One of the CFB could outshine Week One of the NFL.
But let us take a step back and see not who won the week (cause that may take a little while) but who indeed lost opening weekend of college football.
Once touted as an SEC powerhouse, the Florida Gators have now become the quintessential punching bag for teams to get their ruthless aggression out. In Week Zero, the Gators could not hold their own against a program that was in the process of moving to another conference prior to the start of the season. After losing 24-11 to the Utah Utes, there are many in the SEC circle that are wondering if the Gators are becoming the new Vanderbilt Commodores.
The Gators used to play almost every season in the SEC Championship Game and run the SEC East Division for years. Lately, however, they have been relegated to hosting sad meet and greet events for other programs across the country. They hadn’t won a bowl game since 2019, has had their clocks cleaned by respectfully low-rung teams like UCF and Oregon State in said bowl games and even got outmatched in a showdown with Oklahoma (A NC Rematch from 2009). If there was ever time to feel great to be a Florida Gator, this is NOT one of those times as since it has been a rather insane revolving door of coaches since Urban Meyer’s departure in 2010 (Muschamp, McElwain, Mullen, Knox and now Napier).
Did anyone besides me think they were watching the final scene of Necessary Roughness (shout out to Scott Bakula, Rob Schneider and Sinbad)? Now while that 1991 film featured the Texas State Armadillos, the real Texas State Bobcats got a little flashback fever this past weekend as they shocked, stunned and rocked the CFB World with a 42-31 win over the Baylor Bears…of the Big XII…who were 27.5-point favorites entering this game.
While I may be making light of this situation, it is indeed a situation for Baylor. We are talking about a team that was a headache for the likes of Oklahoma and Texas in the Big XII but for some bizarre reason could not hold their own against a team many did not even know had a football team. But while Baylor wants some time to lick their wounds, they will not have time to do that as they will have to collide this weekend with a team that made Florida look very human in the Utah Utes. It does appear that Baylor could be on the decline as their wins in the last few years have been looking smaller with every passing season.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Raiders most famous athlete right now was rather quiet following the outcome of their game against Wyoming. Keep in mind that Wyoming is in the same category as those Gators or even those Bobcats. But the craziest thing of all is that Patrick Mahomes was not quiet because the Red Raiders won…he was quiet because on cool, windy day in Laramie, Wyoming, the Cowboys beat the Raiders in double-overtime.
Keep your cool folks. We are not talking about the NFL version of Raiders and Cowboys (although ties need to be eliminated from the NFL altogether). Wyoming has played spoiler before, but I cannot remember the last time they played spoiler this early in the season. To make matters even worse for Texas Tech, they are on a collision course with the Oregon Ducks who went prison riot nuts on Portland State University with a 81-7 win on opening weekend.
You do not have to go too far back to remember when Clemson was the standard of excellence in the ACC. In fact, you do not have to go too far back to the last time the Tigers won a national championship either. But to put this as nicely as possible: The Tigers are like the Gators right now when it comes to the Fall from Grace Category.
In one of the biggest shockers of the weekend, Dabo Sweeney’s team looked like a dumpster-fire laced with kerosene as for only the second time in nearly four decades, Sweeney’s top-10 Tigers lost to a familiar foe. Now we are not talking about the likes of Florida State or Alabama that handed the Tigers a trip on the ‘L’ Train. In fact, this loss came from a team that is known more for its basketball dominance than its football program altogether.
While the Duke Blue Devils have been making some whispers in the college football ranks along with Tobacco Road rival North Carolina, this night in Durham will leave in impressive infamy. Not since September 30, 1989 had Duke Football made such an impact. But it was not what they did in 1989 that makes this so monumental but who they did it to. It was Clemson.
There will be those who will try to underscore this win for Duke, but on a weekend when we saw the likes of Oklahoma and Oregon running clinics on lower-tier programs, for Duke, the FOOTBALL team, to shock the Clemson Tigers in Durham cannot be one to get swept under the rug. So we will say this as loud as possible: THE PREVIOUSLY UNRANKED DUKE BLUE DEVILS DEFEATED NO. 9 CLEMSON 28-7 ON LABOR DAY EVENING! Clemson is now ranked 25th in the country, while Duke is 21st.
But those are just my thoughts on just a few of the ones who should be hanging their heads in shame after Week Zero. Who else do you think belongs on this list???