College Football Wrap-Up – Week 5
Let’s make it official. Jim Mora and his UCLA Bruins have arrived big time in the Pac-12. All the #11 Bruins did this week was travel to #15 Arizona State and trash the Sun Devils, 62-27. Mora’s gang raddled off 8 touchdowns in the last three quarters. UCLA remains unbeaten at 4-0 and Arizona State is now 3-1, and will not soon forget UCLA’s arrival.
So how do we know UCLA is going to be reckoned with? Well, the Bruins were favored by 3 over Arizona State and won by 35 points. That is called making a statement when two Top 15 teams clash and the visitor comes out on top.
#13 South Carolina and Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks have gone officially bipolar this week. The Gamecocks were upset in their home opener, losing to Texas A&M 52-28, then rebounded to beat East Carolina, upset Georgia, beat Vanderbilt and now have lost 21-20 to unranked Missouri. For Carolina, it’s been three steps forward and two steps back. There will be some goal resetting in Gamecock country this week.
This week there were 9 ranked teams that beat unranked opponents by at least 3 touchdowns:
#5 Auburn at home beat unranked Louisiana Tech by 28, 45-17, to remain unbeaten at 4-0.
#7 Baylor on-the-road beat unranked Iowa State by 21, 49-28.
#9 Michigan State at home beat unranked Wyoming by 42 points, 56-14 – After an early season loss on-the-road to #4 Oregon, 46-27, the Spartans continue to pile up the points and impress.
#10 Ole Miss at home beat unranked Memphis by 21, 24-3.
#17 LSU at home beat unranked New Mexico State by 56, 63-7.
#18 Southern Cal at home beat unranked Oregon State by 25, 35-10
#21 Nebraska at home beat unranked Illinois by 31, 45-14.
#22 Ohio State at home beat unranked, in-state rival Cincinnati by 22, 50-28.
#25 Kansas State at home beat unranked Texas-El Paso (UTEP) by 30, 58-28.
Despite winning by at least 21 points, there is no way that Baylor, Ohio State and Kansas State should be giving up 28 points to their opponents. Simply put, their defense is not that good.
There were 7 other ranked teams that weren’t so impressive in winning against unranked opponents:
#1 Florida State on-the-road beat unranked North Carolina State by 15, 56-41 – Florida State was favored by 18.5 points, and is not going to be ranked #1 very much longer. North Carolina State came into the game at 4-0 and put up 41 points on the Seminoles. What is Florida State going to do when the Seminoles actually play a really good team? Florida State’s #1 rank is about to go south. Here’s why: Among 60 votes in the AP Top 25 Poll the first week, Florida State got 46 votes. Then it was 37, then 34 and now 27. The Oregon Ducks and Alabama Crimson Tide are on the rise, each with 13 first place votes. Even the Oklahoma Sooners now have 7 votes.
#6 Texas A&M at home needed overtime to upend unranked Arkansas by 7, 36-28.
#8 Notre Dame on-the-road beat unranked Syracuse by 16, 31-15. It might not be wise to get too fired up about the Irish just yet. They were favored by 9.5 over Syracuse, which has very little going for it.
#12 Georgia at home won by a field goal over unranked Tennessee, 35-32 – Talk about unimpressive wins; the Bulldogs are not going anywhere very fast this year.
#16 Stanford on-the-road finally beat unranked Washington by 7, 20-13. The Cardinal is supposed to be the best defensive team in the nation right now, and the Washington Huskies were beyond awful on offense and still scored 13 points all but running backwards. What could that possibly mean? Washington’s defense kept them in the game.
#19 Wisconsin at home beat unranked South Florida by 17, 27-10.
#24 Oklahoma State at home could only beat unranked Texas Tech by 10, 45-35 – Giving up the equivalent of 5 touchdowns is not impressive.
Two other games stuck out like a sore thumb:
In this week’s “Defense? Are You Kidding Me?” contest, the California Golden Bears outlasted the Colorado Buffaloes, 59-56, in the 3rd overtime. While scoring a combined 115 points gave fans a real reason to drink, eat, jump up and down and be entertained to the hilt on the edge of their seat, the most salient question of this contest was: Who knew Colorado has actually discovered an offense?
Mike Leach and his Washington State Cougars took top upset honors this week. Washington State traveled to Salt Lake City to take on the unbeaten Utah Utes. The 3-0 Utes came out like rabid dogs, sprinting to a 21-0 1st quarter lead, and a 24-7 halftime lead. Unfortunately for Utah, Washington State won the 2nd half, 21-3, and the upset victory, 28-27.
Leach’s air attack included senior quarterback Connor Halliday, who threw for 417 yards and 4 touchdowns. Vince Mayle, who sped untouched for 81 yards on the go-ahead touchdown with 4:58 remaining, had 8 receptions for 120 yards. The big news was the Cougar defense, who made enough key stops to preserve the upset victory. So how big was the upset win on-the-road for Washington State? Well, let’s just say it’s a damn good thing that something good is happening, because the Cougars came into this game at 1-3.
Last week there were 7 unranked teams that were 4-0. Four of the seven lost this week. Northwestern beat up Penn State, North Carolina State lost to #1 Florida State, Washington lost to #16 Stanford, and Miami-Florida took Duke to school. Arizona, Georgia Tech and Marshall were all idle this week and still 4-0 on the year.
#2 Alabama, #3 Oklahoma, #4 Oregon, #16 Mississippi State, #21 Brigham Young and #24 East Carolina were also all idle this week.