Welcome to Year Two of the Report Card, a weekly series at USA TODAY Sports, where yours truly comments and takes a light-hearted look at the wonderful plays, the boneheaded decisions, the crazy fans and the absolute absurdity that comes along with every college football Saturday.
The same thing goes as far as grading from last season: High marks will be only for the spectacular, and failing grades have no chance of being reversed. Also, mean tweeters will be blocked and emails to the inbox to complain will directly enter the trash folder.
With that being said, here is the Week 0 analysis of how fans, teams, players and coaches fared:
Whoever came up with the title “Week 0” to signify the start of the college football season needs their head examined. In this case, it certainly applied to the slate of games fans had to choose from. Zero top 25 teams played. Lots of zeroes at the end of paychecks for guaranteed money games. Zero shame. Maximum excitement!
After going eight months without football anything would be considered entertainment at this point. Networks certainly don’t care about the lackluster slate as they need to fill their airtime with something – hence we get Northwestern and Nebraska across the pond in Ireland just because, and we got to watch the Huskers melt down again.
The artist formerly known as Week 1: D-
Before we get to the action that happened on Saturday….
Perhaps the craziest “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” story of the summer comes from Jacksonville State (Alabama, not Florida) and head coach Rich Rodriguez (so, that’s where he ended up?!?) claiming their Week 1 opponent, Stephen F. Austin, sent a spy to get intel on their plays.
Supposedly, SFA assistants were lurking in the shadows during Jacksonville’s Spring Game to get the lowdown on RichRod’s offensive schemes. Fast forward a couple of months, after the Gamecocks changed the names of their plays and signals – Rodriguez’s eagle-eyed daughter allegedly spotted a cameraman during a recent practice.
EAST TEXAS ESPIONAGE ???
Ahead of their Week Zero showdown with Stephen F. Austin this upcoming Saturday, Jacksonville State Head Coach Rich Rodriguez claims SFA allegedly sent a spy with a camera to watch them practice.
“That’s really not supposed to happen” -R.R.@abc3340 pic.twitter.com/BEUF9dH3f6
Rodriguez then promptly sent his assistant strength coach, a man he says is about 6-foot-7 and 350 pounds, to search the bleachers for the culprit. Cue the Benny Hill music. Oh, by the way, Jacksonville State didn’t have anything to worry about: it beat its allegedly spying opponent 42-17.
On to Davidson: Incomplete
This one will be short and sweet. Feast your eyes on Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, attempting what looks like the Griddy (a questionable dance in its own right) earlier this summer. It’s not his fault, someone probably convinced him to do it. Also, the wardrobe choice he chose to leave the house in does him no favors.
Dabo off-beat: F
When fans go to football games, having access to internet is almost as required as spending $10 bucks for a beer. During the first half of the Northwestern-Nebraska game at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the concession vendors ran into an internet problem, which put the credit card machines used to take payments out of commission.
Instead of doing nothing and leaving all that food and drink to go to waste because they didn’t take cash, stadium officials went ahead and gave everything away for free, probably afraid of fans wrecking the joint if they didn’t. Hot dogs, nachos, beer and anything else you can think of were gobbled up by fans. Luckily, neither of these fan bases are known for their drinking prowess, but then again, the concessions ended up running out of beer anyway.
The queue for alcohol at Aviva Stadium right now because everything is free due to the internet being down. pic.twitter.com/JWS4IxyfxR
Now, just imagine what would happen if the machines went down at an American stadium and fans were left wondering where they were going to get their next sip of brew?
Wallets not allowed: A+
There’s a BEER SNAKE at the Nebraska-Northwestern game in Ireland 🍺🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/5V7tnhVLC7
(My name is Scooby, just go along with it.)
The Dog of the Week, a new segment here in the Report Card, will go to the game on the schedule where you question why it’s being played, why it’s on television, why the two teams involved are so dreadful and inept. Simply, the game that deserves maximum clowning. If readers want to send pics of their own pups, go right ahead.
Meet mine, named Sutton.
Seriously y’all. 🥺🐶 pic.twitter.com/UqWEYCnUuu
This week’s Dog: Idaho State at UNLV
The only reason this game was played is the almighty dollar. Idaho State went 1-10 last season and UNLV, armed with the benefit of playing in Las Vegas and in an NFL stadium, only did the Bengals one better in the win column in 2021. Idaho State received $350,000 for its eight-hour trip of misery and 52-21 beatdown, which is more than enough reason to have the dawg pound close their eyes in terms of watchability.
VIDEO – Linebacker Austin Ajiake with a pick and 46-yard return.