For the first time since Sept. 11, 1976, Texas, USC, Florida and Notre Dame all lost on the same day.
Let that sink in for a minute.
College football regularly goes through its ebb and flows, but for all four of these storied programs to be down at the same time is remarkable – and a little bit sad.
Texas, Florida and Notre Dame came into the day ranked and only Notre Dame lost to a ranked team (Michigan). Texas was trounced by BYU and Florida gave away its game against Miami.
However, USC is another animal altogether. The Trojans have been on a downward spiral since last season and its 10-7 loss to Washington State – the first lost to the Cougars since 2002 and the Trojans fewest points scored since 2001 – could be the breaking point.
Notre Dame and Florida are different stories. The Irish lost to a good Michigan team on the road, though bad Tommy Rees made an appearance and that’s not encouraging. Florida shot itself in the foot multiple times against the Hurricanes, but that can be corrected.
But of the four, only two of these fanbases need to be concerned – USC and Texas. The Trojans have no offense, no drive, no umph. Texas was supposed to be a team in the hunt for a national title, but allowing 550 rushing yards to BYU doesn’t scream title contender.
Still, it’s not time hide the sharp objects and stay away from high places just yet. It’s only Week 2 and there are a lot of other teams that have it worse.
Here’s a look at the rest of this week’s winners and losers:
Kenny Guiton, QB, Ohio State: Senior Kenny Guiton stepped in for an injured Braxton Miller and kept the Buckeyes winning streak alive. Guiton, who hasn’t gotten much playing time, didn’t miss a beat when he was called to action, completing 19-of-28 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Buckeyes’ rushing game with 83 yards and a score in the 42-7 win over San Diego State.
Taysom Hill, BYU, QB: After a miserable offensive performance against Virginia last week, Hill took charge of the BYU offense and had a spectacular game racking up 259 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a 40-21 win over No. 15 Texas. It was the second-most rushing yards in school history and made up for a poor throwing night. Hill had nearly twice as many rushing yards as the entire Texas offense.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Texas Tech: Baker Mayfield, the freshman walk-on quarterback, is becoming the darling of Lubbock, Texas after two strong performances in his first two collegiate games. Mayfield played one half against Stephen F. Austin on Saturday and completed 19-of-28 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns. In two games, Mayfield has completed 71.7 percent of his passes for 780 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. And remember, he only started the season because Michael Brewer, Tech’s first choice, was recovering from injury. Going to be difficult to sit Mayfield now.
Miami: Miami’s 21-16 win over No. 12 Florida was yet another feather in the ACC’s cap as the conference notched its second win against a ranked SEC foe. Miami forced four Florida red zone turnovers to seal the win and give coach Al Golden his biggest win as the Hurricanes coach. We’re not going to anoint the ACC the new power in college football, but its upper echelon is definitely asserting itself this season. Even Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is championing his conference:
Dabo: "How about that ACC? Spunky little old league?" Then he makes "The U" sign as he walks out.
— Greg Wallace (@gc_wallace) September 7, 2013
Kansas’ receiving corps: When quarterback Jake Heaps found receiver Justin McKay for a 5-yard touchdown pass in a 31-14 win against South Dakota on Saturday, it marked the first scoring catch by a Kansas receiver since Oct. 22, 2011. Yeah, two years! It was the only touchdown pass Heaps, the former BYU quarterback, threw in the game. The win matched Kansas’ win total from last season.
Everyone who watched the Eminem interview: If you tuned into the beginning of the second half of the Michigan-Notre Dame game, you were treated to one of the most entertaining interviews in college football in a long time. Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit interviewed rapper Eminem, who looked totally dazed at the prospect of being on live television. And then Eminem asked Musburger if he would call the Lions in the Super Bowl with Al Michaels. It was brilliant.
Mack Brown and Lane Kiffin: It’s only the second week of the season and two coaches are already on the chopping block. Texas’ Mack Brown watched his Longhorns suffer one of the worst defeats in school history as they allowed a school record 550 rushing yards to BYU. USC’s Lane Kiffin has been on the hot seat since last year’s dismal season and the school’s first loss to Washington State since 2002 isn’t going to make him very popular in LA. In fact, the crowd started chanting “Fire Kiffin” as the final seconds ticked down on the 10-7 upset. It’s a safe bet neither of these guys are answering their phone tomorrow.
Western Michigan: The P.J. Fleck Era at Western Michigan started with some hope after a close loss to Michigan State last week, but got progressively worse Saturday when the Broncos lost to FCS foe Nicholls State. Yes, the same Nicholls State that was run over by Oregon 66-3 last weekend. Now, this is only Fleck’s second game and getting Western Michigan on the winning track was always going to be a project, but no one expected the Broncos to lose to an FCS squad. Luckily for him, the Mid-American Conference isn’t exactly deep this year.
Cal’s defense: Cal might have defeated Portland State 37-30, but it wasn’t pretty. The Bears allowed 549 yards of total offense, including 241 yards on the ground - to an FCS team; a bad FCS team. The Bears allowed 508 yards to Northwestern last season, which is a little more understandable since the Wildcats were a bowl team a year ago. Portland State was 3-8 last season.
Western Kentucky: The country had all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings about the Hilltoppers after their win against Kentucky last week, but that, apparently, was a big fat anomaly. WKU had a total meltdown against Tennessee, committing seven turnovers, including five on six possessions in the first half. WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty had five interceptions, including two pick-6s and two picks in the end zone. So much for a renegade Sun Belt team taking down the SEC this year.
West Virginia’s offense: Remember the days when West Virginia’s offense was one of the best in the country? Yeah, those days are long gone. The Mountaineers managed a paltry seven points in a 16-7 loss to Oklahoma. The last time they scored just seven points was during a 23-7 loss to North Carolina State in the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl. It was an odd result considering the last time Oklahoma and West Virginia met they combined for 1,440 yards of total offense in a 50-49 Oklahoma win.
Four major injuries: Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller suffered a sprained knee, TCU quarterback Casey Pachall suffered a broken arm, Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux suffered an undisclosed leg injury and Tulsa star receiver Keyarris Garrett suffered a compound leg fracture.
All are stars on their teams and of those four, only Miller is expected back in the near future. Pachall had surgery after he was taken off the field and Legaux and Garrett were both in the hospital. These are tough injuries to bear, especially this early and could jeopardize the rest of the season.