Week Four College Football Roundup

Headlining what was not a terribly good day for the headliners in the Big 12 Conference, the Texas Longhorns continued their embarrassing play against the UCLA Bruins by losing in Austin 34-12.  

"It was a rear-end kicking," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "This one's embarrassing for me. As a head coach, I'm responsible for everybody in this program, from the trainers to the managers to the walk-ons, to the kids to the coaches -- everybody."

This of course sets up a matchup between a very disappointed Longhorn team, and a slightly less disappointed Sooner team who narrowly beat Cincinnati 31-29, and constantly let the Bearcats back into the game. The third disappointing game was Nebraska, who only managed to sneak by FCS South Dakota State 17-3 at home in Lincoln. This game will probably get very little attention, but Bo Pelini was not happy either.

On the flip side of the coin, ranked Big 10 teams cruised by an average of 42.7 points, and that's including Penn State's 9-point home victory against the Temple Owls. Is the Big 10 the new Big 12 this year (aka the trendy "other conference" that gets paired as "elite" with the SEC)?

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Total number of undefeated teams is 25 (20.8% of FBS).

By Conference

ACC: NC State (4-0)
Big 12: Oklahoma (4-0), Kansas State (4-0), Missouri (4-0), Nebraska (4-0), Oklahoma State (3-0), Texas A&M (3-0)
Big 10
: Ohio State (4-0), Wisconsin (4-0), Michigan (4-0), Michigan State (4-0), Northwestern (4-0), Indiana (3-0)
Mountain West: Utah (4-0), TCU (4-0)
Pac-10: Stanford (4-0), USC (4-0), Arizona (4-0), Oregon (4-0)
SEC: Florida (4-0), Alabama (4-0), Auburn (4-0), LSU (4-0)
WAC: Nevada (4-0), Boise State (3-0)

No undefeated teams remaining in the Big East, Conference USA, the Independents, the MAC, or the Sun Belt.

 

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BUY

Got to buy the Broncos. I don't see any place in their schedule where they'll trip up. They look like an undefeated team, and managed a solid victory over a scrappy Oregon State team. Will they make it to the National Title game? I think a lot will depend on how Virginia Tech and Oregon State do in the future, and a lot will depend on how many undefeated teams in automatic-qualifying conferences will fall.
Auburn was hosting a really tough South Carolina team this Saturday, and they came out with the win. The Tigers came up with some big plays and managed to grind out an 8 point victory. They put up 337 yards rushing, which is ridiculous. If they have that kind of ground game consistently, they'll be hard to stop. Cameron Newton is looking like a stud. He went 16-21 for 159 yards and 2 TD, and rushed 25 times for 172 yards and 3 TDs.
In what has been a horrible start for the ACC, the NC State Wolfpack has been an unexpected bright spot. They nearly doubled up Georgia Tech in first downs, and outgained them 527-363. This comes from a team that was picked to place 4th in their DIVISION in the preseason ACC Media Poll. QB Russell Wilson is 85-142 for 1112 yards, 11 TD, and 1 INT this year. Pretty awesome.
Consider me fully on board the Stanford bandwagon. This team is clicking on all cylinders and they blew out a decent Notre Dame team (yes people, they're not terrible, but they're certainly not good at this point either). They have averaged a 34.3 point victory margin so far this year. They have a big test at Eugene, Oregon next week to play the Ducks. If they pass that, it's going to make them the favorite in the Pac 10.


SELL

Wow, Tennessee needed overtime to put away UAB at home and move to 2-2. Sorry, but I would expect better from an SEC squad. So, to recap, the Volunteers have obliterated Tennessee-Martin, barely beat UAB, and lost handily to both Florida and Oregon. Sorry guys, I think you've got a way to go to get back to the top of the SEC.
More orange in the sell category, as the Longhorns had their worst home loss under Mack Brown to a UCLA team that had lost 35-0 at home to Stanford, and 31-22 to Kansas State on the road to start off the season. I actually believed the Longhorns were a solid team, and the best in the Big 12, but I guess I have a big plate of crow to eat now. The only thing that concerns me is that they got their pants pulled down on national TV the week before they play OU.
Purdue lost at home to Toledo, and it became apparent to everyone that the post-Joe Tiller era is going to have a rocky beginning. They've only managed semi-narrow victories against Western Illinois and Ball State. Purdue will battle hard with Minnesota to see who can get to the basement of the Big Ten this season. (By the way, I know Minnesota lost to Northern Illinois, but at this point nobody would OWN that stock, so they don't belong on this list).
The Huskers are still undefeated, but it took a 17-3 victory over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits to achieve that. Nebraska looked beatable (like OU, surprise, surprise), and Taylor Martinez probably had his worst game. He was 6-14 for 140 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT. The Nebraska defense rose to the occasion, only allowing 3 points, but still yielded 236 yards to an FCS team. One has to think the Jackrabbits provided Big 12 teams with lots of good film.


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  • Utah State has not been making OU look any better since leaving Norman. They beat Idaho State in a "who cares" game, but then got destroyed by Fresno State and San Diego State.
  • Minnesota is now 1-3 with losses to USC (not so bad), South Dakota (horrible), and Northern Illinois (pretty bad). Does Tim Brewster get fired this week, or later this season? Mark Mangino was brought in last week as an "advisor". I think that he was brought in to get to know the program so he can take over in a couple of weeks.
  • Miami looked solid on Thursday Night, and Pittsburgh looked really overrated. Bad year for the Big East. When was their last "good year", Cincinnati running the table notwithstanding?
  • Speaking of firings, how long does Mark Richt make it at Georgia? The Bulldogs just lost to the other Bulldogs as Mississippi State beat them 24-12.
  • Start taking Nevada seriously. They turned the ball over twice against BYU and still beat them by two touchdowns, won the time of possession battle by a little over 12 minutes, and racked up 435 yards of offense. And the game was AT BYU!
  • One of the images of the week.
  • This week in "why it benefits to dig a little deeper": Me: "What!? Syracuse is 3-1??". (clicks on Syracuse's team page) Me: "Oh, their 3 wins included two against FCS Maine and FCS Colgate, and one against Akron. Never mind."
  • Kansas State may win ugly, but they win. They overcame a 7-3 deficit to Central Florida entering the 4th quarter to pull out a 17-13 win, and go to 4-0.
  • Brent Musberger really likes Kellen Moore. He calls him "Kellen" when he announces the Boise State games. (Deep Pass). Musberger: "KELLEN!!!" What announcer calls a player by their first name during a playcall, and not during the analysis. It's like Madden and Favre all over again.

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There will be 5 matchups between undefeated teams next week, several more pivotal games between ranked opponents, and even a few games that provide early jostling for position in conference battles. Listing all of those below would be extremely time consuming, so here are the prime cuts:

Thursday at 6:30 PM CDT
Texas A&M at Oklahoma State
This matches up two of the six undefeated teams in the Big 12 Conference for a showdown on national television. The winner will probably become somewhat relevant in the Big 12 South race, and the hunt for a better Big 12 bowl like the Cotton or Holiday. The stakes are pretty high. Neither team can afford an error this season.
Saturday at 2:30 PM CDT
Oklahoma vs. Texas
The Red River Rivalry takes center stage, although the national prestige of this game will take a hit somewhat from the loss by Texas to UCLA. However, this still sets up the winner with the inside edge on the Big 12 South, a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game, and a spot in a BCS Bowl Game.
Saturday at 2:30 PM CDT
Wisconsin at Michigan State
This will be a battle of undefeated teams in the Big 10. I would have not liked Michigan State's chances very much if they had to go into Madison to win, but the Spartans are playing well and they're a pretty dangerous team. Wisconsin is one of those teams that always seems to lose a game they shouldn't and that's what ultimately puts them somewhere like the Outback Bowl as opposed to the Rose Bowl. Very important game. This one will probably be slotted over to ESPN2 in Oklahoma.
Saturday at 7:00 PM CDT
Florida at Alabama
Well, this will turn out to be a huge game anyways. Alabama avoided the upset bid by Arkansas, and now we will see a matchup of last year's SEC Championship Game. Both teams are undefeated and are looking like two of the favorites in the SEC so far. Prime time. Should be a big draw.
Saturday at 7:05 PM CDT
Penn State at Iowa
This will be a gritty battle to see which team can stay afloat in the Big 10 hunt. Whoever loses will go down to 2 losses, with 1 conference loss. That would be a tough hole to dig out of for a BCS bowl game, and for the Big 10 conference title.
Saturday at 10:15 PM CDT
Stanford at Oregon
I cannot believe this game won't start until 10:15. That's 8:15 Pacific time (still pretty late out there to start a game)! However, this one should be well worth waiting up for. Tons of athletes on both rosters. Explosive offenses. I expect a bit of a shootout to close out the big college football Saturday.
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