Three undefeated teams fell this weekend, but none of them were ranked in the top ten of the AP Poll. Two others were involved in close games late, and only one was ranked in the top ten. Meanwhile, the way the top teams in the country have been playing it’s looking more and more like we could have several undefeated teams at the end of the year, a la 2009. Of course, it’s guaranteed that two currently undefeated teams will lose before the year is over.
Recapping the week in 500 words or less, this is what we learned about the season:
- Got an email from a Cal fan in the offseason upset with my preseason prediction of a last place finish in the Pac-12 North. Not saying I’m right, but five turnovers in a big conference game aren’t going to help prove me wrong.
- Miami struck first, second and third against UNC. When they’re not forced to play catch-up they can win those close games.
- Penn State…is there a more frustrating team? The defense has played well, but the offense kept things interesting against Temple, Indiana, Iowa and Purdue. They’ve lost only once to the second-ranked in the country. If not for that offense they’d be a highly-ranked team themselves.
- Michigan State is the only Big Ten Legends team without a conference loss. The next two weeks could change that.
- Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse than the first half of the Wolverines-Spartans game, I flipped over to South Carolina-Mississippi State. Despite holding the tiebreaker against the Bulldogs, South Carolina is no longer the favorite in the SEC East. Georgia is; and they barely beat Vandy. Problems at quarterback and losing your all-star caliber running back doesn’t help.
- When you’re down ten in field goal range on fourth down with under a minute to go, you kick the field goal, right? I’ll never understand why Illinois chose to go for it. Not that I expected the Illini to get the onside kick and then the touchdown, but why not give yourself the chance to do it?
- Can anybody else feel another ACC title game appearance for the Hokies? We forgot about them last year after early losses, and we seem to be doing the same this year.
- As seriously as we should take V-Tech, we should take the team that beat them even more seriously. Clemson looked as much like a top ten team in making up the big deficit against Maryland as they have all season.
- Did I hear some premature cannons after Texas was stopped short of the goal line early in the final quarter against Oklahoma State? The Longhorns are a good team; they’re just far from where they were a few years ago, or where Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are now.
- Kansas struck around for a while and forced four Oklahoma field goals; give them a small victory in the loss.
- Florida has lost three in a row after winning its first four for the second year.
- November 5 cannot get here soon enough. LSU and Alabama are playing like the best teams in the country. The coaches are averse to dropping the Sooners after ranking them #1 in the preseason, but the SEC West rivals deserve the two top spots. And I’m not sure who should be first.
- Don’t expect any updates to status of Darron Thomas or LaMichael James for the Colorado game; I doubt the Ducks will have much of a problem either way, though.
Trent Richardson Proved He’s Worth the Hype this week. He carried 17 times for 183 yards and found the end zone four times. And there was this. He’s now scored 15 rushing touchdowns on the year and has rushed for 912 yards with a 6.9-yard average. He’s by no means a one-man show, either. Just as he provided unbelievable depth behind Mark Ingram, there’s incredible talent behind Richardson.
Most college fans knew his name before Saturday night, but if you didn’t you should now. Oregon running back Kenjon Barner became a New Household Name in the win over the Sun Devils, rushing for 171 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries as he filled in for the injured James. Barner and DeAnthony Thomas have been integral parts of the offense all season, and with James hurt they stepped up to keep the Ducks offense on track.
The weekday games might now seem too appealing, but a few of the country’s top players will be on display when wide receiver/return specialist T.Y. Hilton takes the field for FIU on Tuesday, quarterback Nick Foles leads Arizona on Thursday night in the Wildcats’ first game without former head coach Mike Stoops, and Geno Smith leads West Virginia Friday night.
Tuesday, October 18
- FIU @ Arkansas State, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN2
Thursday, October 20
- UCLA @ Arizona, 9:00 PM ET, ESPN
Friday, October 21
- West Virginia @ Syracuse, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN
Saturday, October 22
- Georgia Tech @ Miami, TBA, TBA
- North Carolina @ Clemson, TBA, TBA
- Maryland @ Florida State, TBA, TBA
- Oklahoma State @ Missouri, 12:00 PM ET
- Cincinnati @ South Florida, 12:00 PM ET
- Auburn @ LSU, 3:30 PM ET, CBS
- Air Force @ Boise State, 3:30 PM ET, Versus
- Texas A&M @ Iowa State, 3:30 PM ET, ABC
- Fresno State @ Nevada, 4:05 PM ET
- Penn State @ Northwestern, 7:00 PM ET, Big Ten Network
- Tennessee @ Alabama, 7:15 PM ET
- USC @ Notre Dame, 7:30 PM ET, NBC
- Texas Tech @ Oklahoma, 8:00 PM ET, ABC
- Wisconsin @ Michigan State, 8:00 PM ET
- Washington @ Stanford, 8:00 PM ET
- SMU @ Southern Miss, 8:00 PM ET
Danny Hobrock is our College Football Editor. Danny's writing on College Pigskin has garnered national attention and has been critically acclaimed. You may email Danny directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @DannyHobrock