There were no major upsets this week, but there were certainly some surprises in final scores. Penn State looks every bit a contender for the playoff after dismantling an overmatched Michigan team. This was a revenge game for Penn State after last year's defeat in Ann Arbor. The game of the week (that should have been) between Notre Dame and USC turned into a route by Notre Dame. Notre Dame has one loss this season, to undefeated Georgia by one point.
There were four losses in the Top 20 this week dropping all four teams to two losses on the season (USC, Michigan, San Diego State, and Virginia) and out of the Top 20.
For the first time since Week 5 no playoff teams have fallen out of contention.
There was a lot of hype going into this week's match-up with Tennessee. This was the 100th meeting between the two teams, but that is where the hype ended. The game was over early and Alabama rolled to 45-7 win. Butch Jones (Tennessee head coach) more than likely will not be the head coach after season's end, if he makes it that far.
Up next: Alabama has the week off; at home against LSU (11/4)
Penn State (7-0)
Michigan played Penn State close for about three quarters and then Penn State put on the afterburners and easily dispatched the Wolverines 42-13. For the moment they are the class of the Big Ten. That will be tested this week with a match up with Ohio State at the Horseshoe. The Michigan game was the start of Penn State's murder's row as they face ranked teams three weeks in a row. After the Ohio State game they travel to Michigan State. If they survive these three weeks unbeaten they should face no more threats until the Big Ten Championship game.
Up next: at #7 Ohio State
Kansas is the worst team in the nation right now. They, somehow, have actually won a game but they are just awful. TCU easily dispatched Kansas 43-0, but the bigger story is just how anemic the Kansas offense was in this game. They had a total of 21 offensive yards, what is even more amazing is that they rushed for negative 25 yards.
Up next: at #20 Iowa State
Miami does not win pretty but they win, and there is talk that they may be the team of destiny this year. I am not sure I buy into that, but as long as they keep winning they stay in the playoff picture. This week they hosted upset minded Syracuse. Fresh off their defeat of Clemson the week before, Syracuse pushed Miami to the brink trailing 20-19 late in the 4th quarter. Miami was able to get an insurance touchdown and won 27-19.
Up next: at North Carolina
Four teams fell out of the Top 20 this week as Michigan, USC, San Diego State, and Virginia all picked up their second loss of the season. We have finally reached that point of the season where there simply are not enough undefeated or one loss teams to fill the Top 20. Therefore Army, Stanford, and Iowa State all enter the Top 25 with two losses. Notre Dame jumps up to number 2 after their victory over USC.
1. Georgia (7-0)(no movement): off; up next: at home against Florida
2. Notre Dame (6-1)(up 2): beat USC 49-14; up next: at home against #12 NC State
3. Wisconsin (7-0)(down 1): beat Maryland 38-13; up next: at Illinois
4. Michigan State (6-1)(down 1): beat Indiana 17-9; up next: at Northwestern
5. Oklahoma (6-1)(up 1): beat Kansas State 42-35; up next: at home against Texas Tech
6. Oklahoma State (6-1)(up 2): beat Texas 13-10 (OT); up next: at West Virginia
7. Ohio State (6-1)(no movement): off; up next: at home against Playoff Team Penn State
8. Clemson (6-1)(up 1): off; up next: at home against Georgia Tech
9. South Florida (7-0)(up 1): beat Tulane 34-28; up next: at home against Houston
10. Central Florida (6-0)(up 4): beat Navy 31-21; up next: at home against FCS Austin Peay
11. Virginia Tech (6-1)(up 1): beat North Carolina 59-7; up next: at home against Duke
12. NC State (6-1)(up 1): off; up next: at #2 Notre Dame
13. Washington (6-1)(up 2): off; at home against UCLA
14. Washington State (7-1)(up 3): beat Colorado 28-0; up next: at Arizona
15. Memphis (6-1)(up 3): beat Houston 42-38; up next: at home against Tulane (Friday 10/27)
16. Toledo (6-1)(up 4): beat Akron 48-21; up next at Ball State (Thursday 10/26)
17. Marshall (6-1)(unranked): beat Middle Tennessee State 38-10; up next: at home against Florida International
18. Army (6-2)(unranked): beat Temple 31-28; up next: off
19. Stanford (5-2)(unranked): off; up next: at Oregon State (Thursday 10/26)
20. Iowa State (5-2)(unranked): beat Texas Tech 31-13; up next: at home against Playoff Team TCU
As strange as it may sound there is already a team that has accepted a bowl bid
Army vs ??? in the Armed Forces Bowl
Best of the Week
Penn State and Notre Dame
Both teams were expected to be challenged this week. They had other designs and both thoroughly defeated their opponents Michigan and USC. Both losing teams are all but out of the playoffs at this point. They would need to finish the season undefeated, teams above them in their divisions would have to lose allowing both teams to get into their conference championships, and then they would need to win. Other teams outside their conference would also need to lose. Difficult but not impossible.
Penn State and Notre Dame both solidified themselves in the playoff picture. If Notre Dame wins out they will more than likely find themselves in the playoff, because they are an Independent.
Worst of the Week
As I already discussed earlier Kansas managed only 25 yards of offense against TCU. This football team really does not belong in the Bowl division and probably should be downgraded to the Championship division. The basketball team is the only reason the Jayhawks stay at the top division level. It would not be unheard of to send the football team down to FCS while keeping the basketball team in the top level. There are a large amount of basketball schools that are Division 1 while their football teams are in the FCS. Something needs to be done because the football team is not competitive at the FBS level and they really never have been.
Arkansas and Tennessee
I do not expect either coach of the two schools to survive the season. Neither team should be as bad as they are. Both are winless in the SEC and it is hard to pinpoint a win in conference. Arkansas is worse off as their only two wins this season came against an FCS team and lowly rated FBS team. One thing is for certain at Arkansas, bringing Big Ten style offense to the SEC does not work. Brett Bielema has had five years with his experiment and it is an abject failure.
Butch Jones was heralded as the coach to turn around Tennessee when he was hired and it just flat out has not worked out.
Intriguing AD hire
This week Nebraska was off but the school did make headlines when they hired a new Athletic Director. They hired Bill Moos away from Washington State. This made waves because Moos' last hire at Washington State was none other than Mike Leach. Moos gave Leach carte blanch to mold the football team in his image and Washington State has enjoyed multiple winning seasons under Leach. This, of course, has led to speculation that Moos will fire current Husker coach Mike Riley and bring Leach to the Huskers and an entirely different offense than Husker fans are used to. Leach says he is not going anywhere, but the off-season for Husker fans should be interesting.
Game of the Week
#12 NC State at #2 Notre Dame
Playoff Team TCU at #20 Iowa State
Playoff Team Penn State at #7 Ohio State