How does Les Miles always get into crazy games? We ponder that and more in the Week Five Roundup.
We are looking back on another wild week of college football here, a week where a full 28% of the undefeated teams going into the week lost (7). Some were expected, such as Florida falling at Alabama. Others were completely unexpected, such as USC losing at home to Washington.
There was also the finish to the Tennessee - LSU game, which was pretty ridiculous. Les Miles has to be the luckiest man alive, and Tennessee has to be kicking themselves a million times over after getting penalized for too many men on the field. This deserves its own Youtube video embedding, so here you go, with the rest of the stuff after the jump:
Total number of undefeated teams is 18 (15.0% of FBS). 7 teams were eliminated from the ranks of the unbeaten this week.
Big 12: Oklahoma (5-0), Kansas State (4-0), Missouri (4-0), Nebraska (4-0), Oklahoma State (4-0)
Big 10: Ohio State (5-0), Michigan (5-0), Michigan State (5-0), Northwestern (5-0)
Mountain West: Utah (4-0), TCU (5-0)
Pac-10: Arizona (4-0), Oregon (5-0)
SEC: Alabama (5-0), Auburn (5-0), LSU (5-0)
WAC: Nevada (5-0), Boise State (4-0)
No undefeated teams remaining in the ACC, Big East, Conference USA, the Independents, the MAC, or the Sun Belt.
|For while in their matchup with Stanford, I thought the Ducks were going to get rolled over. However, to their credit, they came back with a vengeance, and outscored Stanford 49-10 after the first quarter. If you eliminate that first quarter, Oregon completely dominated the #9 team in the country. You can no longer say the Ducks haven't played anyone, and it looks like they will be a contender to make the title game the rest of the way.|
|I honestly believe that Alabama has a better, more dominant team this year than last year, and that is something that should scare the rest of college football. Their defense, which was supposed to be worse because of a lot of players moving on, is 1st nationally in scoring defense, and has only allowed 3 TD in 5 games. They pretty much just embarrassed a fairly good Florida Gators team, and have also won on the road against a good Arkansas team, and dominated Penn State.|
|I'm going to go ahead and buy "Les Miles' late-game magic". I have no clue how Les Miles always gets his teams into completely absurd late game situations, but he certainly seems to win a lot of them, whether it be from sheer luck, strategy, or stones. It still baffles me how exactly LSU manages to win so many close games late, but that's the way it is, I suppose.|
|Michigan State won this week with their coach in the hospital, and they managed to beat a top-10 team in Wisconsin. I think they benefited from playing this game at home, but you have to tip your cap to the Spartans for winning a couple close games against Notre Dame and Wisconsin, and improving to 5-0. The Spartans are 5-0 for the first time since starting 6-0 in 1999 under Nick Saban. This sets up a HUGE game next week for the Paul Bunyan Trophy at the Big House against undefeated Michigan.|
|The Gophers were in position to win a game (something they've only done once this season), but they wound up choking down the stretch and losing to Northwestern. What has Tim Brewster done at Minnesota to merit him maintaining his position? His team is 1-4 this year, he has a 15-28 career record as a head coach at Minnesota, and he has lost both bowl games he's been in. And somehow he's kept his job since 2007!|
|Welcome to my bad list again Kansas! The Jayhawks got destroyed by Baylor. Yes, by Baylor. Yes, THAT Baylor. Not only did Baylor win, but they recorded their most lopsided conference win ever (55-7). Their previous largest conference win was 28 points. Add this embarrassing loss to their losses to North Dakota State and Southern Mississippi, and the Turner Gill era has been a flop.|
|Georgia lost to an "average-at-best" Colorado team and fell to 1-4 on the season. They've lost four consecutive games after opening up the season with a 55-7 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. As I indicated with Tim Brewster, you have to figure that Mark Richt's days are similarly numbered in Georgia. I can't figure out why Georgia has been so terrible; they have some talent. Their next three games are against Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky, so they may be able to get some momentum and get back to 4-4.|
|I don't think Bronco Mendenhall's job is in any danger, but BYU is clearly not the team they were while Max Hall was at quarterback for them. BYU lost to Utah State after having beaten them for the past decade. BYU did fire their defensive coordinator, after losing four consecutive games and having given up an average of 31.8 ppg. They are off to their worst start in just about 40 years.|
- OU's former opponents had a great week. Utah State upended BYU 31-16 to improve to 2-3. Florida State looked impressive against Virginia, winning 34-14 and improving to 4-1. They are now ranked again. Air Force beat Navy 14-6 and improved to 4-1 as well.
- It looks like I cursed a couple of teams that I put on my "buy" list last week. I said of Stanford: "Consider me fully on board the Stanford bandwagon. This team is clicking on all cylinders..." Whoops. I also singled out NC State as a bright spot in the ACC, and they promptly lost to Virginia Tech. So look out next week Oregon, Alabama, Les Miles, and Michigan State!
- Iowa is a very good football team. Very good. I think they'll stir up trouble in the Big Ten. They play Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State at home, where they can wreak some havoc, and they have a bye week next week before they play at Michigan. The Hawkeyes have one of the nation's very best defenses.
- Kudos to Iowa State who put up 52 in a win against Texas Tech. When was the last time they put up this many points? Good question. I can only find scores back through 2003 and they don't have anything higher than 48 in any of those games. It was their highest point total in a Big 12 game.
- My two Heisman favorites at the moment have to be Denard Robinson of Michigan, and LaMichael James of Oregon. Robinson has 1913 yards passing and rushing combined, and 15 total TDs. He only has 1 interception and is completing 69.8% of his passes. James has highlight reel plays, 712 yards rushing with 8 yards per carry, and 7 TDs.
- USC loses to Washington at home, which is funny. But, nobody really cares because USC is irrelevant this year because of NCAA sanctions.
- As I hinted above with Iowa, I think the Big 10 is wide open. Wisconsin always loses one game their favored in per year, but they tend to rebound. Ohio State looked beatable against Illinois. Michigan and Michigan State are still undefeated and have put up some big offensive numbers. Iowa has a top-5 defense nationally. And, Northwestern is still undefeated. No, I'm not kidding.
- Related to that, how is Ohio State still getting votes for #1 position? Do the voters even watch the games?
- Texas' streak of 162 weeks in the polls comes to a glorious end.
- Nevada keeps climbing the polls. So, my question right now is, which WAC team will get to storm the field for a win over Nevada?
Oh no! There's no OU game next week! Well, if you're like me and you love college football anyways, here are quite a few games to whet your appetite. There are no blockbuster games like we had this week, but there's quite a few games that could fly under the radar and be quite entertaining to watch:
|Thursday at 6:30 PM CDT
Nebraska at Kansas State
For the second consecutive week, the Thursday Night game on ESPN will feature two undefeated Big 12 teams facing off. Kansas State has been a surprise this season, winning games ugly, but winning nonetheless. Nebraska has been pretty much dominant this year, except for a hiccup last week against South Dakota State. If this game wasn't in Manhattan, I wouldn't think Kansas State stood a chance, but now I'm intrigued.
|Saturday at 11:00 AM CDT
Baylor vs. Texas Tech (Dallas)
This is really the only early game that will (a) be worth watching and (b) have national TV coverage. Illinois will play Penn State, and Indiana will play Ohio State, but those will probably be snoozers that you'll only tune into if it gets interesting in the 2nd half. I'll be interested to see if Baylor manages to keep things going against Texas Tech after a decisive win against Kansas.
|Saturday at 2:30 PM CDT
Michigan State at Michigan
Whoever wins this game will be 6-0 in the Big 10, and set up for a nice run to compete for a spot in a BCS bowl game. This is typically a big rivalry, but it will be accentuated even more than usual given the fact that both teams will be coming into the game undefeated. Most Oklahomans will probably get the Texas A&M and Arkansas game at Cowboys Stadium on ABC, but the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy should be shown on ESPN.
|Saturday at 2:30 PM CDT
Alabama at South Carolina
Alabama will face another road test against a ranked opponent for the second time in 3 weeks. Alabama will be a targeted team the rest of the way, and teams often have letdowns after big wins, but I'm not sure that Alabama is like "most teams". This is a pretty critical game for South Carolina if they want to prove they belong in the SEC hunt.
|Saturday at 6:00 PM CDT
Oregon State at Arizona
A game that will probably fly under the radar. Oregon State is still a pretty decent team, and Mike Stoops' team will be looking to stay undefeated. If you want to root for a Stoops next weekend, this is the game to watch!
|Saturday at 6:30 PM CDT
LSU at Florida
Actually, contrary to what was billed as a great game this week (Alabama-Florida), I have a feeling this game will be much better. Both teams have offenses that struggle, but defenses that are generally very good. Add in a dose of Les Miles, and I think we're looking at a wild game in the Swamp.
|Saturday at 7:00 PM CDT
Florida State at Miami
I think this game will be interesting to watch just because both of these teams are looking for a statement game to propel them towards a better bowl game and the national conversation, and this is a traditional rivalry. I look for a good, hard-fought game.