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Georgia Football

College Football is Back, but While the SEC Waits the Big 12 Implodes

September 13, 2020

ATHENS - As the first real night of college football expired two teams - Clemson and Oklahoma - gave notice that they are here and not goofing around. 

That can’t be said for a slew of other programs - including a third of the Big 12. The Tigers were systematic in their flushing of overmatched Wake Forest Saturday night. The Deacs were never really in the contest. Jamie “We hardly knew ye” Newman would have really helped Wake out. 

The best thing that happened for Wake was getting a three and out to start the game. Clemson never looked back - scoring on their next three drives to make it 17-0 on the way to the lopsided 37-13 win. Clemson allowed 37 yards on 34 carries… hello. 

A time zone away, Oklahoma started its fourth starting QB in four years. That didn’t matter as the Sooners thrashed Missouri State 48-0. Oklahoma got off to a 31-0 start in the first quarter. The Sooners were about scoring the ball and performing. 

Texas acted like it wants to be back. But is Texas back? TEXAS IS BACK. Wake me up when the Horns do something when it matters. Tonight the Horns proved they could score - taking out UTEP 59-3. Texas and OU looked like actual football programs ready to play. 

The same could not be said for the Big 12 as a whole. Four teams: No 23 Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Kansas looked horrible. The Cyclones got a wake up call in the form of a 17-point loss…




to Louisiana. This was a program that seemed to have momentum of late. After all, in the past two years, Iowa State has racked up wins over No. 25 Oklahoma State, No. 6 West Virginia and No. 19 Texas. No one will take Iowa State seriously anytime soon. 

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Texas Tech won, but only after stopping Houston Baptist from tying the game late in the fourth on a two-point conversion. 

it is hard to take anyone in the Big 12 seriously after the effort over the weekend unless their colors are burnt orange or crimson and cream. Who is going to compete with Oklahoma? 

The Big 12 is worse than the ACC until proven otherwise. The ACC may “only” have Clemson, Notre Dame and UNC, but at least they don’t have collective losses to afterthoughts in the college football world. Clemson mixes in bizarre performances, but at least they are during league play. 

That’s not to say that Carolina was impressive… they were not. The No. 18 Tar Heels looked lethargic for three quarters against Syracuse. Notre Dame goofed around with Duke for a while, but that game wasn’t as sloppy as so many of the other games today. 

It was a day that was full of really, really poorly played football. Clemson seems head and shoulders above the rest of the ACC. We will see if Notre Dame can develop into a decent squad by November. Clemson isn’t used to playing games that matter very often - and nearly never in the cold that will be November in northern Indiana. 

Neither team seems like they have much in the way of challenges between now and that game. 

But it was DJ Jazzy Geoff and the Jackets who stepped up to the plate and earned a little respect today. In a game that was one of the worst played of the day - Tech outlasted FSU to give Collins what folks will call a signature win.

Florida State managed to block three kicks, a school record, and grabbed two interceptions and still lost. That seems hard to accomplish. 

The game was delayed by weather more than once. The quarterback play on both sides was about as bad as there was today. It is hard to believe the starting QBs playing for those two teams are literally in the same league as Trevor Lawerence. Because they are not in Lawrence’s universe. 

Still, Tech showed toughness in sticking around with the Noles. Florida State has no one else to blame but themselves for the loss. You can’t lose that game. You had all of the momentum. You were a double-digit favorite. It was a heck of a win for Tech - the Jackets deserve all due credit. 

But Florida State is lost - very lost. This is what happens when you don’t know what you are doing at an institutional level. This isn’t about one football game. FSU is 10-15 in league play since 2017. That’s coming during a time that the ACC is as bad as it has ever been.

Florida State should never - repeat never - be this bad for this long. This isn’t about one coach being the problem. Mike Norvell is the program’s third coach in four years. There is a systemic problem at FSU.  

This is going to take the Noles years to get out from underneath. Eight days ago Tech was picked to finish dead last in the ACC for 2020. I’m not ready to punt on Norvell after one game, but his handling of 2020 has been a disaster. FSU needs stability. It has had anything but over the last five years.

And nothing happens in sports by accident. Florida State is broke. They couldn’t make a hire that was a splash. Coaches know FSU isn’t what it once was, and they might be catching on to the fact that it looks just like what it is: a mess. They have become South Carolina with a history of national titles. 

This once-proud program hasn’t competed at the conference level in years, and it just cut its budget by 20% and laid off 25 employees. Norvell was forced to take a 25% pay cut. Basketball coach Leonard Hamilton, that school’s biggest winner of late, took a 15% cut. None of that is funny, or a good sign. 

FSU should not be in this position, but they are. And that speaks to how negligent the powers that be in Tallahassee have been. And how fouled up they ended the last part of this past decade. It all adds up. And it a year where so much is being taken away, FSU athletics just ate a loss to a program that is going through a multi-year transition. 

Then again, Florida State is also going through a multi-year transition. It was just hard to realize that until you see a result like the one that happened today.

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