Footballifact: SEC Defense, the Pac-12 North, and How Formerly Futile Teams Are Doing

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Our weekly examination of the conventional wisdom in college football takes a look at whether the SEC is becoming an offensive league, which new team is having a better season and who is really the worst team in the B1G.

Sifting out what the conventional wisdom looks like after the weekend in football. Inspiration, obviously, is right here. (As with all conclusions based on a week of data, grain of salt.)

The SEC will be decided by defense: Half True
Saturday might be the high-water mark for SEC scoring since the beginning of the BCS streak at least. In all but one game, at least one team scored 30 points. In all, six of the 10 teams had 33 or more points when time ran out on regulation. It wasn't just 51-44 game between Georgia and Tennessee, the seventh highest-scoring SEC game in the history of the conference, but the 58 points scored by Texas A&M in its bludgeoning of Arkansas, that signaled early on that this was going to be a different kind of day for the conference. But defense is still likely to determine who wins -- there aren't going to be too many more days like Saturday. At least, we think.

Texas A&M is going to have a more difficult inaugural year in the SEC than Missouri: Mostly False
The Aggies are 3-1 and getting some poll consideration after blowing out every opponent they've faced except Florida, which won in College Station by three points. The Tigers are very few of those things. Granted, Missouri faced a more difficult schedule by far than Texas A&M. But the Tigers got their doors blown off in both SEC games, and just survived a trip to Central Florida with a hard-fought, five-point win. They do get Vanderbilt and Kentucky in their next four games -- but they also get Alabama and Florida. It could be a difficult year in the other Columbia.

The Pac-12 North will come down to Oregon and Stanford: Mostly False
One month in, and the better division of perhaps the second-best conference in the country is looking tougher than ever. Oregon State head coach Mike Riley is having one of his better "up" seasons so far, guiding the Beavers to a 3-0 record that features two conference wins and a defeat of Wisconsin. Oregon State could be 6-0 going into its matchup with Washington -- the team that beat Stanford on Thursday to announce that it also plans to be a factor in the division. You have to still believe that Oregon is going to win the North in the end, but the Ducks will have to worry about more than the Cardinal.

Duke is still Duke: Half True
The Blue Devils are not going to win the ACC this season, but a bowl is looking more and more like a possibility. Aside from the Stanford carpet-bombing of Durham, Duke has won all four of its games this year, including its inaugural ACC outing this past weekend against Wake Forest. Virginia and Georgia Tech remain on the schedule, and if something goes south against one of them, there are possible wins against Miami (FL), a dreadful Virginia Tech and possibly even arch-rival UNC.

Iowa is the worst team in the B1G: Pants on Fire
Everyone was ready to bury the Hawkeyes -- until they ran into the immovable object of Midwestern futility, name of Minnesota. The Golden Gophers allowed 21 second-quarter points in a 31-13 rout by Iowa that set a new standard for awfulness in what has been a truly disastrous year for the Up North Conference. The 4-0 start really did say more about Minnesota's strength of schedule than about how far the Gophers had come.

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