With the first week of football comes the newest version of the list your school should avoid.
Here are this week’s "winners."
Dumpster Fires of the Week: Week 1
The first half of SMU’s game versus Baylor might be the worst offensive performance I’ve seen in a very long time. Baylor was sky high for the opener in the Bears' new stadium, but SMU was completely inept. The Mustangs' offensive line seemed confused in general with the concept of blocking, and the quarterbacks were panicked from the start.
SMU could be in for a long season.
Defense in the state of South Carolina
Whether it was Clemson giving up nearly 300 yards rushing to Georgia with a new QB and new wide receivers or South Carolina giving up 500 yards passing to Johnny Football’s successor, the flagship programs of the Palmetto State got hammered.
I'm very surprised Brent Venables didn’t have a run blitz scheme for an UGA team with a relatively new (and unheralded) QB and arguably the best running back in the country. You make Hutson Mason beat you; you don’t let Todd Gurley rumble for two bills.
The Gamecocks defense looked like they had never seen a no-huddle spread attack before. The Gamecocks were gassed by the speed, and their secondary and linebackers appeared stunned by the routes and quick passes Texas A&M used. Let’s be clear: A&M was pretty much using Spread 101 stuff. It wasn’t like Kevin Sumlin unveiled some never-before-seen variation that the Gamecocks could not have prepared for. Shockingly, there were no real adjustments at halftime, either.
Vanderbilt's new uniforms (and football)
It’s a bad omen when the officials start calling penalties on your uniforms before the game has even started. Apparently, Vandy had some writing on its uniforms that was not approved, and the officiating crew planned to start docking Vandy a timeout for every play if the Commodores continued wearing said uniforms. Some Vandy assistant district attorney had to go running back to his office to print up an email “approving” the uniforms.
If that fiasco wasn’t bad enough, Vandy got blown out 37-7 at home by Temple, which went 2-10 a year ago. Maybe James Franklin knew it was time to get out of Nashville.
Just an embarrassing loss for a Vandy program believed to have finally broken through last year.
Wake Forest doesn't have a tradition-rich football program, but I can remember a time when the Demon Deacons were at least competitive. Jim Caldwell and Jim Grobe had respectable football squads. So, why is Wake opening the season at Louisiana-Monroe? And, even worse, losing to ULM in a horrible pillow fight of a game where Wake managed 97 yards of total offense due to -3 yards rushing.
The ACC did not get off to a great start in general. In the new playoff environment, Florida State better hope Oklahoma State and Notre Dame have decent seasons because a conference championship might mean little to the playoff committee.
Iowa State’s defense
Note to Big 12 athletics directors: DO NOT schedule North Dakota State. There’s no upside to scheduling this lower division powerhouse. Beat the Bisons, and you receive no credit. Struggle – or, even worse, lose – and your season could be lost.
Paying no attention to Kansas State’s debacle last year, ISU paid NDSU to come to Ames to drop 34 points and 300 yards rushing (and 500 yards of total offense) on the Cyclones. Adding to the carnage, ISU lost its best WR for the season, and the Cyclones' best OL came out with an injury as well.
Paul Rhoads has had some success at ISU, but will he be able to survive a 2-10 type of campaign with multiple beatdowns?