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Checking in on how the rest of the country fared this weekend.
It was a big weekend in the SEC. LSU and Arkansas are bouncing back. Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi State kept their undefeated seasons intact with varying degrees of comfort. Ole Miss got off the SEC schneid, and Texas A&M won a wild shootout.
But enough about us. What about everyone else?
The ACC can't get out of its own way.
FSU was another bounce back team, as it whipped hapless Boston College at home. They play their big rivalry game against Miami next week, and it could've been a huge story. Could have been, you ask? Miami took its first conference loss to postseason ineligible UNC 18-14 in front of literally dozens of onlookers (fans?) at home. So much for that showcase game for the league. Maryland did stay undefeated in the league, though, and VT avoided disaster against Duke by winning 41-20 after falling behind 20-0 in the first quarter. Yep, that's the ACC.
The Big 12 had a mixed day.
Preseason favorite Oklahoma actually looked like the favorite by completely demolished Texas in the Red River Shootout. So while that's good for OU, it makes the post-Colt McCoy era at Texas continue to look like a disaster (by their own standards, of course). Kansas State had to escape from Iowa State, like many Big 12 contenders seem to have to do these days, but they did pull it off. West Virginia completely face planted against Texas Tech, which looks like it sports the best defense in the league. Among the also-rans, Oklahoma State barely made it by Kansas and TCU hammered Baylor.
The Big Ten is still a mess, but there are signs of hope.
So you know how a pizza delivery guy made fun of Luke Fickell's defense at his house this week? Well, he was absolutely right. The Buckeyes needed all 52 of their points because Indiana (Indiana!) scored 49 on them, including 22 in the fourth quarter. Iowa, who lost to Central Michigan, knocked off Michigan State in overtime, and Illinois is perhaps even worse than we thought. Michigan seems to have rebounded from its early losses, though, and Wisconsin isn't in too bad of shape. The Badgers lost to Oregon State, which is now a top ten team, and barely fell to Nebraska. They took out Purdue to go to 2-1 in the league. Those teams are going to have to lead the charge back to respectability with OSU postseason ineligible.
The Pac-12 was one call away from a great weekend.
Oregon State solidified itself in the top ten, as mentioned above, by dropping the hammer on BYU on the road with their backup quarterback. USC held serve by beating Washington in the same stadium where the Huskies knocked off Stanford earlier this year. Speaking of, the Cardinal fell to Notre Dame in overtime on a controversial play. Stepfan Taylor was ruled short of the end zone on fourth down, but replays showed that he might have gotten in on an extra effort. Upstart Arizona State moved to 3-0 in the league by bombing Colorado, UCLA held on against Utah, and Cal beat Washington State.
Another BCS buster bites the dust.
Texas A&M effectively ended Louisiana Tech's chances of playing in a big money bowl, so it's not basically a two horse race. Boise State is the highest ranked non-BCS team largely due to reputation rather than performance, and undefeated Ohio has finally broken into the AP top 25 at least. The Bobcats' win over Penn State is probably the best that either will have had by the end, so they should probably pass up the Broncos at some point. I say "should", but I'm not ready to say "will" on that. The thing to watch is where the Big Ten champ ends up ranked. If either is ranked ahead of it, then it gets an automatic BCS bid. If both are above the Big Ten champ, then the higher ranked of the two gets an automatic ticket.