College football is fully underway in 2023, and it’s time to buy or sell after a busy September Saturday highlighted the opening of a new season. Many teams delivered, a few faltered, and the dying Pac-12 managed to survive with every school still undefeated. With all due respect to Texas State’s historic upset win over Baylor, these three teams are getting the most buzz after Week 1. Is it real or an adrenaline-fueled mirage? Let’s find out below.
Buy or Sell: Colorado Buffaloes | Buy
Let’s make this clear right now: The 2023 TCU Horned Frogs are far from the 2022 squad. Regardless, a Colorado Buffaloes program that finished 1-11 last year, has a brand new coaching staff, and a completely flipped roster should be celebrated for taking down a ranked opponent on the road. It’s a massive step toward legitimacy when many predicted another low finish in the Pac-12 standings.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) September 2, 2023
Saturday’s statement win makes a path toward a bowl game much clearer. There are five more winnable games on the schedule, at least on paper, and late-night Pac-12 upsets are a college football staple. The defense could use some work, but the Buffaloes have a roster full of elite athletes. Don’t be surprised to find Coach Prime’s new squad bowling this year, a remarkable turnaround from 12 months ago.
Buy or Sell: Oklahoma Sooners | Buy
Also, a noon kickoff on Saturday, the Sooners steamrolled Arkansas State 73-0 while most people were watching Colorado. Now, Oklahoma welcoming them to Norman wasn’t supposed to end in any way but a blowout. Still, even if 73 points won’t move the needle on most Oklahoma Sooners teams, a shutout should.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 2, 2023
Defensive performance has notoriously been the bane of this program for years. Head coach Brent Venables’ background as a defensive coordinator didn’t pay dividends last season, as the team coughed up 29.6 points per game. However, reconstructing the defense this spring resulted in the school’s fourth shutout win since 2015 immediately.
Dominance, depth, and defense were all on display Saturday. The latter two listed are the keys toward the Sooners winning the Big 12 one last time before bolting to the SEC. That’ll be step one toward a College Football Playoff return too. Eventually, they’ll allow points, but keeping one team off the scoreboard is already a sign of massive improvement.
Buy or Sell: Oregon Ducks | Sell
Although the Oregon Ducks somehow won by even more than Oklahoma, their 81-7 win against the Portland State Vikings isn’t a sign of future excellence. Rather, it’s just another example of Oregon using a Big Sky school as an early-season punching bag. Don’t expect the Ducks to be better than any of the three Pac-12 schools ranked ahead of them based on this win.
This college football season will still present plenty of tests for the Ducks, who haven’t had much success in the big games lately. For that program, a conference championship is always the goal. They entered behind a few schools, who all had strong showings against much tougher schools. The blowout is eye candy and nothing more.