“Mate, this bird wouldn’t voom if you put four million volts through it.”
Here’s the drill. Out of all the teams that had disastrous Week Ones – or is it Weeks One, like Attorneys General? – who had a false start, and who’s already dead?
False Start: Florida State – Again, if you need to, go back and watch that first half. The Noles got sleepy after that, but they unleashed the fury early on. They’ll at least go bowling, and they’re going to screw up someone’s season along the way.
Dead: UCLA – There’s ugly, there’s not tuned-up, and there’s whatever that was in the loss to Cincinnati. The Bearcats are good, but they’re not Clemson – the Bruins couldn’t do anything right against a Group of Five program. Outside of Oregon State, there’s a solid chance that everyone left on the schedule will end up going bowling.
False Start: Tennessee – Whatever … it was embarrassing, but this was about as Week One a loss as it gets. The lines were lousy and there wasn’t a running game, but QB Jarrett Guarantano had enough good moments to be hopeful. Lose to BYU, though, and throw the Vols into the Dead pile.
Dead: South Carolina – Alabama, at Missouri, Kentucky, at Georgia, Florida, at Tennessee, at Texas A&M, Clemson. Good luck. Beating North Carolina was an absolute must to get to six wins, and now the season has the potential to spiral into the abyss. QB Jake Bentley is hurt, Will Muschamp has an $18 million buyout, and … ugh.
False Start: USF – It’s attitude time for the Bulls. They got stomped on and shut out by Wisconsin, but there’s a chance the Big Ten bully found its 2017 mojo and is just that good. USF could absolutely beat Georgia Tech next, and even if it doesn’t, it’s still going to be a factor in the American Athletic race as long as it doesn’t get down.
Dead: Purdue – Jeff Brohm suffered some disastrous losses in his first few years and still got to a bowl game each time, but this season looks different. The Boilermakers can’t lose more than five games the rest of the way, and they get Vanderbilt, TCU, Minnesota, at Penn State, Maryland and at Iowa up next – that’s tougher than it looks. They have to go to Northwestern and Wisconsin, too, to go along with a date with Nebraska.
False Start: Oregon – The CFP can still happen, but there can’t be any brain-cramps like there were last year. The Ducks still have to go to Stanford and Washington, but everything else on the slate – there’s no Utah to deal with – is more than winnable, and that includes going to USC. Running the table isn’t out of the question.
Dead: Northwestern – Okay, fine, this is silly considering the team lost to Akron last year and ended up playing in the Big Ten championship, but it got beaten up by Stanford in the 17-7 loss. The defense was terrific, but the run of Michigan State, at Wisconsin, at Nebraska, Ohio State and Iowa to start the Big Ten season looks even more brutal now.
False Start: Missouri – Go ahead and switch around Mizzou and Northwestern if you want, considering the Tigers are already bowl-dead thanks to their NCAA sanctions. The Wyoming loss was just … strange. There were too many Week 1 mistakes, but the schedule is still light enough to go on a massive run before going to Georgia.
Dead: Ole Miss – YEEEEEEESH. The offense did absolutely nothing in the 15-10 loss to Memphis. There are enough winnable games to get to six and bowl eligibility, but forget it if the attack can’t do anything right. Figure at Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn and LSU are all losses unless something crazy happens – there can’t be any other misfires.
False Start: Virginia Tech – It was a mistake-filled road loss to a good Boston College team. Welcome to the ACC season of depth and parity. The Hokies are still going to win at least seven games. But on the other side …
Dead: Pitt – The defending Coastal champs got thumped at home by Virginia. The ACC schedule isn’t totally miserable – there’s no Clemson or Florida State – but Ohio is no picnic this week, and at Penn State and UCF could make this a rough September. The Panthers then have to dive back into conference play with five road games to play.
False Start: Georgia Tech – Oooooh, the Yellow Jackets got blown out by Clemson. Oooooh. No shame there – watch out for a bit of a run before a rough mid-season patch of road games.
Dead: USC – The Trojans beat Fresno State, but it was a fight, they lost QB JT Daniels, and now they have to face Stanford, at BYU, Utah, at Washington and at Notre Dame before the midseason. Meanwhile, USC fans appear to be waiting in joyful hope before Saint Urban arrives.
False Start: Miami – Going back to Week 0, Miami made a whole slew of mistakes, but it had its chance late against Florida. Now Jarren Williams has a little game experience, the team got a chance to rest up, and if it beats North Carolina, it joins Virginia and Syracuse in the Second Best ACC Team discussion.
Dead: BYU – What’s the point? There’s no conference title game to shoot for, the College Football Playoff is out, and the team is locked into the Hawaii Bowl. The home game against Utah is what mattered, and it was yet another loss.