By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com’s College Football Editor
The heck with the winners; it’s the losers that are much more fun to rip in a post-week column. And there were some doozies in Week 1 of the College Football season.
1.) Utah, Oregon And The Pac-12 Conference
It’s bad enough to be in a limbo contest for survival as a league and even worse when your two marquee teams both lose in the first week.
Utah, the new pride of the conference, lost to a first-year coach who took over a team that finished 6-7 last year. (The Utes were way over-ranked entering the season to begin with; those misfiring prognosticators apparently ignored the fact Utah was only 8-4 last year and has now lost four consecutive non-conference games).
Oregon was as uncompetitive against Georgia as Utah State was against Alabama. These programs are literally in different leagues of competition. If the Ducks run through their conference schedule that will make the Pac-12 look even worse than it does now.
2.) LSU And Florida State
LSU lost the minute it hired Chip Kelly. At Notre Dame, he was the perfect coach for Domer haters because he won just enough to make fans think the Irish were on the verge of waking the echos while never really seriously contending to win a championship. All the while he earned a reputation as caring a lot more about himself than his players. True to form, after his first game at LSU he threw his punt returner under the bus with his comments to the media. The Bayou fans on Twitter have already roasted him but the Cajuns have to get used to it because with that ridiculous contract Kelly isn’t going anywhere for quite a while.
As for the Spears, yes, they won the game tho they tried mightily to lose it. Let’s start with Head Coach Mike Norvell’s decision to throw the ball on third down with a 24-17 lead the final few minutes of the game. It was incomplete, the clock stopped and – surprise! – LSU scored with one second to play. Had he run the ball 30 seconds would have run off the clock and there would have been no need for a blocked extra point to bail out the coach. Then there was the bone-headed call to toss the ball to the running back on the goal line. Which he fumbled. Then there was the loose pass defense which allowed the Bayou Boys to score two fourth-quarter touchdowns, including going 98 yards in two minutes at the end that had to leave fans having horror flashbacks to last year’s Jacksonville State game. A long-standing FSU tradition also continued with a field goal attempt that was Wide Right.
3.) College Football Fans With Too-Long Replay Reviews
Here we go again – way-too-long replay reviews. For one thing, college football is a lot about momentum. Getting a big turnover fires up a team and fans, yet that is watered down with the dreaded words “the last play is under review.” Too many last way too long and we got a reminder of that at the end of the LSU-Florida State game. The is-his-knee-down-or-is-it-not review lasted five minutes. And they still got it wrong. One minute tops should be the rule. College football fans don’t like long reviews; I know, I talk with a lot of them.
4.) North Carolina’s Pass Defense
The most exciting team in college football is North Carolina. Specifically, its fourth-quarter pass “defense.” Last year it gave up two touchdowns in 26 seconds in a er-what-just-happened loss to N.C. State. A Saturday, against Appalachian State it topped even that meltdown miracle by allowing 40 points and six touchdowns in the fourth quarter! App State had two two-point conversions in the final 31 seconds. Both failed – barely – and the Heels escaped but not without a lot of tar on their heels.
5.) Virginia Tech
The Hokies should quit going to Old Dominion. They now have lost twice there in four years. How they did it this time was Beamer Ball in reverse. A snap on a chip shot field goal went over the head of the holder to midfield which the Butterflies (you see, their nickname is the Monarchs) took in for a touchdown, the Lunch Pails had 15 penalties, five turnovers, the assistant coaches got stuck in the elevator at halftime and after the game the players realized they had their belongings stolen from the locker room. That’s some start for new head coach Brent Pry, who is going to have to get out some heavy-duty pliers to pry open any wins this year.