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Week 9 Story Lines From Around the Country

Taking some time on a Monday to survey the national scene.


In the SEC Georgia took control of the East, Missouri put Kentucky in the cellar, South Carolina lost a great player but won the game, Texas A&M flexed its muscles, and Alabama did what Alabama does. But what about everywhere else?

The ACC continued to stratify.

FSU took on the leader in the, hold on a sec... Coastal division and won 48-7. Impressive, right? Nope, because the Coastal leader was Duke. That tells you what you need to know about the league this year. There are only two good teams in it, and the other is Clemson (who throttled Wake on Thursday). Unfortunately for the league, they're both in the same division. Oh well. In other action, BC pulled Maryland down a bit towards its bottom tier, BYU hammered a declining Georgia Tech, and UNC beat NC State.

The Big Ten can't get out of its own way.

It looked last week like the conference was getting its act together. Michigan and Wisconsin had made it into the polls, and they looked like they could climb for a while until facing each other in the league title game. So much for that. Nebraska beat the Wolverines 23-9 in a game where Denard Robinson got hurt, and Michigan State's reanimated corpse took down the Badgers 16-13 in overtime. Ohio State won the Ineligibowl over Penn State 35-23, staying undefeated and again showing the poor decision making skills of the administrators there. In the week's two Big Ten pillow fights, Minnesota got its first league win over 0-4 Purdue and Indiana got its first league win over 0-4 Illinois.

The Big 12 played with fire.

Kansas State kept rolling by taking out Texas Tech 55-24. K-State's positioning in the BCS rankings depend entirely on strength in the computer polls, which depends on the Big 12 looking good. Well, Oklahoma missed an opportunity to help out by falling to Notre Dame 30-13. Texas also almost had a disaster in needing a last-minute score to beat hapless Kansas 21-17. Oklahoma State did beat TCU to move into the bottom of the polls, but that won't last for long. Iowa State also took out Baylor in a game of also-rans.

The Pac-12 had a really bad weekend.

Oregon is the standard bearer out west, and it rolled over Colorado 70-14 as expected. However, the teams that are supposed to be helping the Ducks out didn't hold up their ends of the bargain. Oregon State fell 20-17 to Washington to take its first loss of the year, and USC took its second upset loss in falling 39-36 to Arizona. Only Stanford didn't drop a game it shouldn't among Oregon's backup singers. Elsewhere, Utah beat Cal and UCLA beat Arizona State. Whoopie.

Everything's coming up Boise.

With Ohio taking a loss to Miami University this weekend, Boise State seems to be locked in as the BCS Buster du jour this season. Louisiana Tech did break into the rankings this week, but it won't pass up the Broncos unless they lose. We can argue all day if that's justified, as LTU's two-point loss to Texas A&M looks far better than BSU's four-point loss to Michigan State. Neither will have a win worth much, so its even more debatable whether they belong in the polls at all. As long as one finishes ahead of the Big Ten champ though, it'll get into the big money games. As neither has a losable game left, that means BSU will be in line if the turmoil up north continues. That tells you how far Boise State has come: it may get an unwarranted BCS bid based on reputation alone.