A Look Around The Country

Another opportunity for the Big Ten to prove that they are a conference to be respected. Another opportunity gone completely down the tubes. Yes, it was another infamous weekend in Big Ten country as all of its top teams failed to win in marquee matchups. Penn State, Nebraska, and Iowa who are supposed to be solid teams struggled against inferior opponents. The conference’s premier teams, the Buckeyes, Spartans, and Wolverines, all lost in primetime matchups when the conference needed them most. I don’t know when things will turn around for the Big Ten but I sure do hope it happens soon.

Notable Games Last Week

USC 13 Stanford 10

Could Steve Sarkisian be the guy that brings the Trojans back to national prominence? So far the answer is yes. USC marched into Stanford Stadium on Saturday and defeated the defending Pac 12 champion Cardinal 13-10. USC may not have a great offense but after watching them I can say they have a tremendous defense. After looking at their schedule, the Trojans have a great shot at going undefeated. Oregon State, UCLA, and Notre Dame are the only threats I see on their. Keep a close eye on them the rest of the season.

Oregon 46 Michigan State 27

Michigan State looked the most competent after leading Oregon 24-18 at halftime but then the wheels fell off. The Ducks outscored Sparty 28-3 in the second half which is unheard of from a Dantonio coached defense. Connor Cook had a solid day throwing for 343 yards and 2 touchdowns but it just wasn’t enough. But after watching this game, Oregon is the best team in the country in my opinion. And the Spartans were beating them at halftime. Right now Michigan State is the clear favorite in the Big Ten.

Notre Dame 31 Michigan 0

Next up to save the conference was Michigan as they took on Notre Dame one last time in the foreseeable future. The Wolverines must not have gotten the memo that the game was on Saturday. The Irish completely dominated every facet of the game as they went on to win 31-0 putting Brady Hoke on a very hot seat. Unless he can pull out 9 or 10 straight wins to end the season, there will be a new man (Jim Harbaugh?) roaming the sidelines in Ann Arbor next season. Notre Dame notched a big win and is slowly but surely inching closer into the Playoff discussion. Don’t count them out.

Virginia Tech 35 Ohio State 21

Finally on Saturday, the Buckeyes were hosting the Hokies in the newly expanded Ohio Stadium with LeBron on the sidelines. This is usually where Ohio State saves the day and keeps the Big Ten from looking like a glorified MAC. But not this time. The Buckeye defense failed to stop Virginia Tech on third downs throughout the game and J.T. Barrett spent most of the second half on his back. Losing Braxton Miller, 4 offensive linemen, Carlos Hyde, and Philly Brown has proven to be too much for Urban’s offense to overcome thus far in 2014. They lack an identity on offense and if they don’t find one soon they could be in for a long season. I may be debated with on this point but the ACC is even worse than the Big Ten. Look for Virginia Tech to compete with Florida State for that crown. (Bold Prediction: I sniff an upset in ACC title game)

Big Games this Week

Georgia at South Carolina

The Bulldogs roll into Columbia with a huge amount of confidence after a great week one win over Clemson. The Gamecocks come into this game with the exact opposite feeling after being demolished by Texas A&M at home. Todd Gurley is having a Heisman worthy season so far and I expect that to continue this week. Hard to believe that Spurrier’s squad could be 1-2 (and they only beat ECU by 10 last week) after 3 weeks but I would be shocked if that doesn’t happen now. UGA should roll.

Saturday, September 13 at 3:30pm on CBS

Tennessee at Oklahoma

Butch Jones’ Volunteer team, which is full of youth on both sides of the ball, will head to Norman to face a very talented group of Sooners. Bob Stoops has built another great team and is surprisingly running under the radar despite being ranked in the top 5. Maybe in a couple years this would be a battle but OU is a hungry football team right now and I fully expect them to be in the Playoff. Could be a long year for those in Rocky Top.
Saturday, September 13 at 8pm on ABC

UCLA vs Texas

The honeymoon is over in Austin after the Longhorns were embarrassed 41-7 last week by BYU. Charlie Strong has had a shaky start and it isn’t getting easier as they take on the Bruins this week at Jerry’s World (maybe Jones is holding auditions for QB). Brett Hundley and UCLA have not been one bit impressive so far this season with 8 and 7 point wins over Virginia and Memphis, respectively. Texas is without David Ash indefinitely so Sophomore Tyrone Swoopes will be starting. Texas hired Strong for a reason, and he’ll prove that on Saturday night. Longhorns win in the final minute.

Saturday, September 13 at 8pm on FOX

Kent State at Ohio State (I’ll always preview the upcoming Buckeye game)

After a rough loss last Saturday night in The Shoe, the Buckeyes will try and get back on track against in-state foe Kent State this week. Expectations were obviously too high for Ohio State this year and it has showed thus far. We’ll find out how good our coaches with the challenge ahead of them. The offensive line has to find their form or Barrett will never be able to develop the way we want him to. Hopefully adjustments have been made to the pass defense or even the Golden Flashes could put some points on the board. Buckeyes should win big though.

Saturday, September 13 at 12pm on ABC or ESPN2

Michigan Update

Did you watch the game on Saturday? My lord they are not good. Like I said above, Hoke will need a miracle to be coaching next year. They take on Miami of Ohio this week so that is an easy win for them could be another disaster waiting to happen. Remember, they almost lost to Akron last year. Akron! Tune in for at least the fourth quarter to watch them struggle and make you happy.

Heisman Watch

Marcus Mariota, Oregon

17/28, 318 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.

Jameis Winston, Florida State

22/27, 256 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Todd Gurley, Georgia

Off last week, plays South Carolina Saturday

Rising Star

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

17 carries, 54 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 receptions, 96 yards, 1 touchdown

Dropping Fast

Bryce Petty, Baylor

Did not play last week, is expected to play this week. But the lingering effects of the injury could impact his play.

My Playoff if the Season ended Today

1. Oregon (46-27 win over Michigan State, plays Wyoming Saturday) The Ducks are playing great football right now, I’m not even sure the Seminoles could beat them.

2. Florida State (37-12 win over Citadel, plays Clemson next week) The defending champs haven’t been very impressive so far. But they still enough talent to run the table.

3. Auburn (59-13 win over San Jose State, plays Kansas State next Thursday) Nobody is talking about the Tigers, but they should be. They’re the best team in the SEC.

4. Oklahoma (52-7 win over Tulsa, plays Tennessee Saturday) This is another team nobody talks about. Not sure why, they’re a shoe in for the playoff right now.

Just Missed the Cut

5. Georgia

6. Alabama

7. USC

8. Baylor

9. Notre Dame

10. Texas A&M

19. Ohio State

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