BOULDER, CO – Coach from Colorado Carl Dorrell formulate it only as obvious: his team should play better.
For now, that’s really all he had to offer other than share the disappointment of Buffalo, who started 0-3 for the first time since 2012.
With a 128-30 lead, the program fell to the point where the director of athletics Rick George found it necessary to admit in a statement that the Baivols had become disillusioned with watching this fall. That, indeed, “you all deserve better results,” he said.
The heat has steadily intensified for Dorrell, who is in his third season since taking over when Mel Tucker ran for Michigan in early 2020. But Dorrell kept emphasizing the same mantra on Monday – you need to start better (for two straight weeks the offense has failed to start the game). Need to figure it out better. You need to learn how to win.
“We have to play better football,” Dorrell said as Buffalo prepare to host UCLA 3-0 this weekend at Folsom Field. “We are able to play the best football. We can be the team we all imagine ourselves to be. But we need to solve some problems and fix them.”
Since last season, Dorrell has seen about two dozen players leave through the transfer portal. including the receiver Brenden Rice is the son of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who moved to Southern California.
After an exodus that included several starters, the Buffalo faced a difficult no-conference schedule. They lost at home to TCU 38-13 in the first game, followed by road losses to Air Force (41-10) and Minnesota (49-7). For the first time in program history, Buffalo started the season with three consecutive losses of 25 points or more, according to Pac-12 research.
Ahead of the Pac-12 schedule, in which Colorado will not be the favorite in any game.
The numbers show why: they currently rank 127th in the nation in defensive scoring (42.7 points per game) and tied for 129th in offensive scoring (10). They are almost at the very bottom in both attack and defense.
“We’re not where we want to be and that’s obvious, but I’ll say we feel like a brotherhood no matter what happens.” – Sr. Security Isaiah Lewis said. “We’re not going to stop.”
On Sunday evening, George released a status statement on the program, which has achieved more than five wins just once (10 in 2016) since joining Pac-12 in 2011.
“I recognize and understand your frustration, annoyance and perhaps even anger,” said George. “We are no closer to meeting our expectations this season and we admit it. I know that Coach Dorrell, our coaching and support staff, and our student athletes are working hard to get us on the right track, and with the conference game starting this Saturday, we hope we can all enjoy a home win over University of California at Los Angeles.”
Disappointment can be heard through the cheers on Saturday if Buffalo starts slow against a 21-point Bruins team. Maybe even through absenteeism.
“We are all we have,” Lewis said. “We need support and we appreciate it, but if you don’t have it, it’s okay. We will rely on ourselves and rely on our brothers.”
Dorrell attempted to revamp the offense after a 4–8 season by adding several new coaches, including offensive coordinator Mike Sanford. But this did not help bring the team out of the offensive rut.
To come in Owen McKeown, son of longtime NFL quarterback Josh McCown. The freshman was posted late in Minnesota and went 4 of 7 for 52 yards. His short audition could turn into a big role.
“We’re at the point of attack where we’re trying to find that spark,” Dorrell said. “All of them are able to provide this for us, but have not yet done so. So that’s what we’re looking for.”
Dorrell understands the frustration. He is upset too.
“We’re not trying to do these things,” said Dorrell, who has two years left on his contract. “I know we can get better. I know we will be better.”
With Oregon being choked out by leading Georgia and Utah losing to Florida, it looked like the Pac-12 was headed for another college football playoff miss.
The week before the start of the season, the top two teams in the conference had already failed big early tests.
Fast forward three weeks and it looks like Pac-12 might be in good shape after all.
The Ducks and the Utes took the win with big wins, and the conference leader looks strong with four teams in the top 15 for the first time since 2016.
It’s still early, but Pac-12 is positioning itself to take the team to CFP for the first time since Washington in 2016-17.
Watch how the Pac-12 peak stacks up on the first weekend in October:
The No. 6 Trojans (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) seem to have quickly returned to glory in their first season under Lincoln Riley. Former Oklahoma Coach Brought Quarterback Caleb Williams with him to Southern California and they did well in the first four games.
Williams threw for 1,054 yards and threw for nine touchdowns, adding 100 yards and two more scoring shots. USC’s defense was opportunistic, leading the nation with 11 interceptions and tied for the lead with 14 clearances.
The Trojans survived a panic against the bully Oregon State over the weekend and started 4-0 for the first time since 2012. USC is scheduled to play in Utah on October 15 but has avoided Washington and Oregon this season.
12th-place Utes opened the season with a heavy road loss at The Swamp in Florida, but won three lopsided games in a row.
Short of a costly interception against the Gators, the quarterback cam growth was sharp, throwing for 954 yards and 10 TDs. Utah (3-1, 1-0) has physical defense and is third in FBS with 132.8 yards per game.
The Cliff also has a veteran team that won the Pac-12 championship last season. Bad news: hard ending Brant Kuittheir lead wide receiver, out for the season with a knee injury.
Utah will play Oregon State this weekend and have tough games against USC and Oregon still on the schedule.
The Ducks’ playoff chances plummeted after a 49-3 loss to defending national champion Georgia in the first game.
No. 13 Oregon (3-1, 1-0) bounced back with a decisive victory over a good BYU team and outlasted previously undefeated Washington State 44-41 last week.
The Ducks couldn’t match the Bulldogs in any way – there aren’t many of them – but they’ve averaged 51.6 points in their last three games. Oregon’s biggest weakness is his pass defense. The Ducks allow 72.5% of passes to be completed, the third worst in the country.
Oregon’s biggest test left this season will come in back-to-back games against Washington and Utah.
The Huskies quickly changed in their first season under a coach. Kalen DeBoer.
defender Michael Penix Jr. now that he’s healthy, he had an FBS-best tally for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns in a single interception. No. 15 Washington (4-0, 1-0) has a solid home win over Michigan State and has 15 sacks this season, including eight against Stanford last week.
On Saturday, the Huskies will play their first road game at undefeated UCLA before facing Oregon on November 12.
University of California at Los Angeles
After winning in Colorado for the first time since 2014 last Saturday, the Bruins (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) have the longest winning streak since winning their first eight games in 2005.
UCLA had a hard time getting past South Alabama and opened its Pac-12 schedule with a victory over the struggling Buffaloes.
The Bruins will find out how good they are over the next three weeks, a brutal stretch that includes home games against Washington and Utah before heading to Eugene to play the Ducks on October 22.
ROSEMONT, Illinois. On Tuesday, the conference commissioners, who run the college football playoffs, spent nearly seven hours working on expanding the postseason system from four to 12 teams by the 2024 season.
There is still a lot of work to be done.
“We won’t be summarizing this week,” the CFP chief executive said. Bill Hancock said.
The CFP Steering Committee, consisting of 10 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame Athletic Director, is scheduled to meet again at the Big Ten offices for a few hours Wednesday morning. They are going to meet again in person in Dallas on October 20th.
“It will be important,” Hancock said.
Expansion talks have been reopened by university presidents and presidents who oversee the College Football playoffs last month.
By adopting a 12-team plan that has been on the table since the spring of 2021, the presidents pushed panel members to try to implement the new format before the current CFP contract with ESPN expires. This deal ends after the 2025 season.
The expansion from four to 12 in 2024 and 2025 will require rescheduling the semi-finals and championship games, for which dates and locations have already been set, as well as adding four new first round games in mid-December to be played on campus.
Squeezing it all in about a month and working with the NFL for TV is going to be tough.
Hancock said the idea of moving the start of the college football season to a week before Labor Day was discussed to create more room at the end for the playoffs, but was discussed more after the 2025 season.
“I think most people see it as a subject for the future. As a long-term issue, not an urgent one,” Hancock said. “Remember, there are so many details here.”
Hancock said CFP officials have spoken to bowl partners and host cities due to host semi-finals and championship games after the 2024 and 25 seasons, but have not been given exact new dates.