Another week and another wildly entertaining Saturday in college football. The cream is beginning to rise to the top but several questions remain unanswered as most teams enter the heart of conference play.
Ole Miss. There would be no blown three touchdown lead on Saturday as the Rebels thoroughly dismantled previously unbeaten Georgia 45-14. This game was a snapshot of how much better the SEC West is than the East and raises questions about how good Ole Miss can be from here on out.
The Auburn/LSU officials got it right. Huge props to the officials in that game for making the proper correction even though LSU was in the midst of celebrating what they thought was a last second win over Auburn. LSU quarterback Danny Etling clearly did not get the snap off before the clock hit 0:00 and Auburn was properly awarded the victory.
Missouri. The Tigers make this list only because they won by the largest margin of the weekend (by far) and tallied the most points scored in a game in program history in a 79-0 throttling of Deleware State. You can’t take much out of glorified scrimmages but there are a lot of video gamers that would have reveled in a victory this large playing NCAA Football 2005 on easy mode.
Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen. Sure the Razorbacks were handed a 45-24 loss by the 10th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies but huge props to Allen for continuously taking an unbelievable amount of punishment and coming back for more. It reminds you of the scene in Rocky II where Apollo Creed’s trainer tells him “You beat that man like I’ve never seen a man beaten before…and that man kept coming after you.”
Tennessee. The Vols rallied from a 21-3 halftime deficit to knock off the Florida Gators in impressive fashion securing the program’s first win over Florida since 2004. Yes, the last time Tennessee had beaten Florida Facebook was in its infancy and Paris Hilton was still kind of a celebrity.
Notre Dame. The Irish lost at home to the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday and fell to 1-3 on the season. Notre Dame has experienced many ups and downs in the last twenty years but how patient will fans be with Brian Kelly while losing at home to basketball schools?
Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers lead Vanderbilt for most of the game before giving up a late touchdown which sent the game to overtime. Then, a failed two-point conversion gave the Commodores all they needed to secure an improbable victory by scoring a TD and easily kicking an extra point.
USC. Head coach Clay Helton’s first year as head coach of the Trojans is not going well as the once-proud USC program slipped to 1-3 after losing in the final seconds to Utah. The PAC 12 is there for the taking with teams like Oregon and UCLA under performing but it’s clear that USC is a long way from regaining its swagger.
Oregon. The Ducks slide back to mediocrity has been a slow and painful process for fans in Eugene. Oregon lost at home to Colorado (a team that hasn’t made a bowl game since 2005) 41-38 Saturday and it’s clear that head coach Mark Helfrich is struggling to keep the program’s head above water as all momentum from the Chip Kelly era appears to be lost.
Michigan State. Many believed that the Spartans could contend with Michigan and Ohio State in the Big 10 East but they were clearly not ready to play Saturday as they were beaten soundly at home by Wisconsin. It looks like a two team race now in the east division while the winner of Nebraska/Wisconsin will likely decide the west.