College footballs Week 1 losers know challenge of

  • What is the cost of losing in Week 1?They’re still taking inventory in places like Michigan and Texas, ranked teams that lost on the road on Saturday. Washington and Miami fell in neutral-site games on opening weekend, and Florida State capped Week 1 with a home lo s to Virginia Tech.Now, those five schools face almost impo sibleodds in getting back to the College Football Playoff after just one week. Was it worth stepping out? Miami coach MarkRichttried to put the right spin on it after theHurricanes’to LSU on Sunday, a game that led to a 14-spot jump up for the Tigers and the same drop down for the Hurricanes in the AP Poll.MORE: “Wedidn’t win obviously, but there have been championships won by teams that have lost the first game,”. "If you’re going to lose a game, it might as well be the first one. People tend to forget about it."It’s all too easy to remember, however, that no teamhas made the College Football Playoff after a Week 1 lo s. Ohio State is the only team to make the College Football Playoff with a nonconference lo s. Those five ranked teamsmustwin out now, given that no team has made the Playoff with two lo ses.You can still win a conference championship after losing in the opening week like Stanford (2015) and Oklahoma (2016) thoughthey were left out of the Playoff because they had two lo ses. The Cardinal lost their opener as part of a home-and-home with Northwestern. The Sooners lost a neutral-site game against Houston.Those are the two most common Week 1 traps that are difficult to dig out of. A total of 20 ranked teams have lost in Week 1 since the College Football Playoff era began in 2014, including 12 in neutral-site openers. Washington and Miami joined that list of neutral-site lo ses, though the Huskies maintained their spot in the AP’s top 10 after a to Auburn.Huskies coach Chris Petersen was asked afterward what that game meant for the perception for the Pac-12 Conference.“I don’t reallyknowand I really don’t care,” . "I really don’t. I don’t know how else to say it. It’s Game 1 against a good opponent. Come acro s the country, hostile environment and the kids battled hard. We’lljust see where it goes from here. It’s a long season. Had we won I would feelexactly the same."MORE: Six of those ranked teams lost in home-and-home series on the road. Texas and Michigan were the latest to join that list. The Longhorns at Maryland, and the Wolverines at Notre Dame. That puts the Longhorns and Wolverines in a tough spot in their conference given their rabid fan bases.“I felt like as a team we understand what we need to do back on the practice field yesterday and we’llbe back on it today,” Harbaugh said on the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday. "It hurts to lose, but the overall state of the team as the way I saw it is we’re all being accountable to what we did or what wedidn’t do during the game. There’s a strong desire to learn from it. I sense that from the entire team."Florida State became the second ranked team to lose a conference opener at home in the to Virginia Tech, a disastrous opener to Willie Taggart’s career. That wouldputthe Seminoles in the biggest hole among the ranked teams that lost, given it came at home.“We have a 24-hour rule,” Taggart said in a . "We have to put this behind us and get back to work. I will say the things we me sed up on are correctable."Getting back to the College Football Playoff and conference championship pictureisn’t the biggest challenge; it’s safeguarding against a season-long meltdown. There are a few flagrant examples from the last two seasons.LSU lost to Wisconsin at Lambeau Field in the season opener in 2016. Les Miles was fired after the fourth game that season. Florida lost the season opener to Michigan last season, and Jim McElwain was fired after seven games. Florida State opened last year against Alabama in a top-five showdown, finished 7-6 and watchedJimboFisher depart for Texas A&M.The 10 ranked teams that lost their season opener in 2016-17 the last two seasons combined for a 71-54 record, which averages out to a 7-6 season. That’s something to monitor for the five teams that lost."Losing stinks and it’s supposed to stink,"Texascoach Tom Herman said on the Big 12 teleconference on Monday. "it’s supposed to hurt. If itdoesn’t hurt, then itdoesn’t matter to you.“We want to it to hurt, we want it to sting, we want to feel bad,” he said. "You have to teach these young men to learn from these mistakes. Then youhave tomove on. I think this team is equipped to do that."WEEK 2 PICKS: | That’s the cost of losing as a ranked team in Week 1. Lose again, and youlikely won’tmake the Playoff. Lose after that, and the season could go haywire. Itdoesn’t matter if it’s a neutral site, home-and-home or early-season conference game.Those who lose in Week 1 face the stiffest of challenges moving forward.Richt’salma mater is the last team to lose in Week 1 and win the national championship. They did that in 1983, one year afterRichtgraduated.That’ s the impo sible scenario for these teams,one heightened by the Playoff era."I think a lot of people would try to bury us at some point, but the reality there are a lot of games to be played and just about everybody has won a championship with one lo s somewhere along the way,"Richtsaid. “Sometimes it feels like the end of the world, but it’s really not.”

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