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Week 8 Story Lines From Around the Country

Let's look and sometimes laugh at what other conferences were up to.


With LSU, Florida, and Alabama holding serve in this conference, the SEC chips largely fell the way they were supposed to. Even Vandy won as a favorite over Auburn, even if it didn't cover the spread. Only Georgia's narrow win over Kentucky sticks out, but that was a classic look-ahead game with the Cocktail Party coming next on the slate.

But enough about us. What did everyone else do?

Special shout out to David Cutcliffe in the ACC.

Former Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe has done the nearly impossible, winning six games at Duke to become bowl eligible. He did it in a wild 33-30 win over rival UNC to boot. It's been a rough road for him there, but this is a big breakthrough for him and his program. Congrats, Coach Cut.

In other action, NC State finally ended the insanity of Maryland being undefeated in conference with a 20-18 win. FSU overcame early struggles but was unable to run up the score on Miami like Kansas State and Notre Dame did. Clemson whacked Virginia Tech, and Virginia's miserable season continued with a loss to Wake Forest. BC, doing its best Auburn impression, fell to 1-6 after losing badly to Georgia Tech.

The Big 12 staged half a hundred night.

Kansas State is making a case for being more than just your typical scrappy Bill Snyder team with each passing week. Collin Klein and the Wildcats destroyed West Virginia 55-14, although WVU still hasn't played defense yet this season. Texas Tech barely kept its good season alive with a 56-53 win in triple overtime over TCU. Texas outlasted Baylor 56-50, and Oklahoma blasted a really bad Kansas team 52-7. If you're counting along at home, that's six Big 12 teams (out of ten total) that passed the 50 point mark on the evening. The only game without a team going for that much was Oklahoma State's 31-10 win over Iowa State.

The Big Ten's theme was averting further disaster.

The lone unbeaten team in the conference, Ohio State, made a dramatic come-from-behind escape 29-22 over Purdue in overtime. That's not all; doctors found Braxton Miller to be just fine after an ambulance took him to the hospital for precautionary reasons after he left this game early. Michigan, the Legends division favorite at this point, squeaked by Michigan State 12-10 on the strength of four field goals to preserve its status there. Nebraska, which is Michigan's top competition, beat Northwestern by a point. Wisconsin, the Leaders division favorite since the postseason bans on OSU and PSU were handed out, increased its commanding lead by beating up on Minnesota. A lot of things went right for the league, for once. The only downers were postseason ineligible Penn State hammering Iowa and Navy edging Indiana.

The Pac-12 is trying to do Oregon some favors.

The Ducks were the surprise No. 3 team in the BCS rankings last week thanks to poor computer ranks. Well, they rolled over Arizona State on Friday and watched the ranked teams in the league all keep winning. USC set a bunch of records of some sort in its 50-6 shellacking of Colorado. Stanford had little trouble with Cal. Oregon State stayed unbeaten with its home win over Utah. Oregon hasn't played any of these teams yet, so it won't reap any rewards just yet, but it helps set it up for a remarkable November run if it can pull it off.

It's still Boise State and Ohio for the BCS Buster demographic.

The Broncos had no trouble with hapless UNLV, so they will keep their spot in the polls. Ohio should keep its spot there too, having taken the week off. Ohio got some help from its MAC compatriots, though, despite not playing. Toledo gave Cincinnati its first loss of the season, Kent State got to be bowl eligible with a win over WMU, and NIU beat Akron as it should. Those teams are a combined 20-3. The Bobcats close with Kent State, and if they stay unbeaten and make the MAC Championship Game, they'll get either Toledo or NIU. Ohio's win over Penn State looks better by the week while Boise State's loss to Michigan State looks worse by the week, so it's possible that the Bobcats could pass up the Broncos at some point to be first in line for the BCS buster's spot.