Through the first three weeks of the 2010 season there have been loads of great games and upsets. What happened in week three and how are all of the conferences and top teams shaping up thus far?
Big XII: What to make of the endangered Big XII? Texas/Texas Tech was sloppy. Oklahoma barely squeeked by Air Force. Missouri needed a 68 yard TD pass in the last minute of regulation to get by San Diego State... at home!Texas A&M rallied for 21 fourth quarter points to avoid the upset against Florida International... at home! Baylor got absolutely DESTROYED by TCU. Kansas dropped another one at Southern Miss, making them 1-2 to start the season with losses to an FCS team and a C-USA team while beating defending ACC champ and top 25 regular Georgia Tech. Meanwhile, Daniel Thomas racked up 181 yards and 2 TDs in KSU's win over Iowa State in Kansas City. Nebraska rolled against Washington and effectively ended Jake Locker's Heisman campaign. Josh Weeden threw six TDs in Oklahoma State's win over Tulsa and Colorado smoked Hawaii. Overall the conference is 29-7 with two losses coming in conference play. Seven teams are unbeaten, while only ISU and KU have losing records. The North is 13-5 with Nebraska playing the favorite. The South is 16-2 and the race is wide open. Most likely the OU/Texas winner goes on to win the division, but TTU, Texas, OU, and OSU all look competitive.
SEC: The most dominant conference in the BCS era remains strong. The overall record is 26-10 with seven of those losses coming in SEC play. Georgia got stung by the Arkansas attack with Ryan Mallet throwing for 380 yards and 3 TDs including the go-ahead 40 yard score with 15 seconds left to play. UGA opens SEC play up with back-to-back losses. Ole Miss continues to look like a non-factor with a two TD loss to Vanderbilt.Tennessee continues to play with heart, keeping the rivalry with Florida close until a fake punt shifted the big mo to the Gators who won 31-17. Kicker Josh Jasper accounted for 15 of LSU's 29 points in the win over Mississippi State. Alabama had no sympathy for the Blue Devils as they destroyed Duke 62-13. Auburn squeeked by Clemson 27-24 in OT while Kentucky blew out Akron and South Carolina handled Furman. Alabama looks to have the West in its pocket while Florida and South Carolina are the early front-runners in the East.
Big Televen: The Arizona schools almost pulled off upsets against two top 15 Big Ten schools Saturday. Iowa nearly pulled off the second half comeback against Zona, but the Wildcats lone second half TD ended the Hawkeye rally. Wisconsin blocked a fourth quarter PAT to hold off OT against Arizona State. Coupled with Minnesota's loss to USC, Iowa's loss represents the only shortcoming of the week. Michigan State beat Notre Dame on a fake field goal for a TD pass in OT while in state rival Michigan required a 345 yard three TD day from QB Denard Robinson to get by FCS UMASS. It was business as usual for Ohio State as they trounced Ohio. Penn State rebounded from last week's loss to number 1 Alabama by laying a goose egg on Kent State. Western Kentucky's FBS woes continued as they lost by three scores to Indiana. Rice never kept it competitive against Northwestern and Perdue held off Ball State at home. Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure rattled off 180 yards and 2 TDs to lift the Fighting Illini past Northern Illinois. The Big Ten is 26-6 before conference play with Minnesota the lone team with a losing record. Six teams are unbeaten with Ohio State looking like the early favorite to win the league.
PAC-10: It was mostly a good week for the PAC-10 as the only losers were Cal at Nevada, Washington to Nebraska in Seattle,Washington State to SMU, and Arizona State at Wisconsin by one point. That point was a blocked PAT in the fourth quarter. Wazzou kept it close against SMU for three and half quarters. Nevada rolled over Cal and Nebraska laughed at predictions that Washington QB Jake Locker would keep it close. Minnesota led USC with 5:45 left in the third quarter before giving up a kickoff return for a TD, the Trojans never looked back. Oregon State needed late game heroics to keep Louisville from sending the Beavers home opener to OT. LaMichael James ran for 227 yards and a pair of TDs in Oregon's scrimmage against Portland State. Case Keenum went down late in the second quarter against UCLA when he attempted to make a tackle on an interception return, resulting in a blowout win over Houston for the Bruins. Stanford QB Andrew Luck threw four TD passes in their win over Wake Forest and fourth quarter heroics lifted Arizona over ninth ranked Iowa. The PAC-10 is 20-9 with one loss coming in conference play. Four teams remain unbeaten while three have losing records. Oregon looks like the early favorite to fill USC's vacated spot as annual champion and may have the most explosive offense in the nation.
ACC: The conference did little to rectify its image this weekend with wins coming mostly over unimpressive opponents. NC State looked good in thursdays win over Cincinnati. Two fourth quarter feild goals lifted Georgia Tech past UNC. UNC remains competitive depsite Tarheelgate keeping the majority of its starting defense sidelined. Maryland was never in their game against West Virginia while Florida State rebounded from last weeks loss to embarrass BYU. Virginia Tech trailed East Carolina at halftime, but outscored the Pirates 28-3 in the second half to pick up their first win. Duke and Wake Forest got blown out by Alabama and Stanford while Aurburn escaped a home loss to Clemson in OT. The ACC is 19-13 with only two losses coming in conference play. Seventeenth ranked Miami remains the lone ranked team and the field seems wide open for the Atlantic and Coastal division.
Big East: The Big East is 12-9 through the first three weeks with conference play yet to start. West Virginia remains unbeaten with a convincing win over Maryland. The only other unbeaten, Rutgers, was idle this week. Syracuse became the third team in the league with a winning record after beating Maine on Saturday. UCONN dropped one on the road to Temple by two TDs. A late game INT by Oregon State kept Louisville from taking the Beavers to OT while Cincinnati looked absolutely miserable in Thursday's loss to NC State. On paper Pittsburgh and West Virginia are the teams to beat. Will the 2010 Big East champion be the first automatic qualifying team to lose thier BCS bid?
Mountain West: Utah and BYU may be headed out in 2011, but with TCU, Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State, and AIR FREAKIN' FORCE all in the Mountain West next season the conference easily looks equal to the Big East. BYU thought about showing up in their blow-out loss to Florida State. Utah hammered New Mexico, who ranks 120th in scoring defense. The WAC's Idaho faction flexed its muscles as Boise State strolled to victory over Wyoming and Idaho throttled UNLV. Colorado State never kept it close after the first quarter against Miami of Ohio while San Diego State and Air Force kept it too close for comfort against Missouri and Oklahoma. TCU shrugged off old SWC foe Baylor by 25 points to make the Mountain West look very competitive against the Big XII. TCU and Utah look like the clear front-runners in the big little brother conference, but watch out for Air Force's triple option. The conference has a losing record at 12-15 with only three losses coming in conference play. However the class of the conference has looked strong against the big boys while the bottom tier teams play cannon fodder for many mid-high level BCS teams.
WAC: I'm trying to keep my conference round-up to the BCS conferences and those that are relevant in the national picture. It's hard to keep the WAC out of the conversation as long as Boise State remains a national power. The conference is 13-11 with only one loss in WAC play. That loss was Utah State to Fresno State. The Aggies kept it close for three quarters, but the Bulldogs scored 17 fourth quarter points to give the impression of a blowout. Speaking of blowouts, Nevada handled Cal 52-31 in Friday's match-up. Idaho and Boise State rolled to wins against UNLV and Wyoming. New Mexico State and Hawaii were beaten up by UTEP and CU. Louisiana Tech won the first half against Navy only to lay a goose egg in the second half of their 37-23 loss. San Deigo State squeeked by FCS Southern Utah at home 16-11. As always Boise State is the team to beat, but watch out for Nevada and Fresno State. Boise State goes for their 17th win in a row against Oregon State Saturday.