With the SEC taking a league-wide week off, there was no lack of drama for other teams across the country.
The Bananas take down Sparty. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Oregon 46 Michigan State 27
Maybe the Spartans were thrown off course by having to play a bunch of guys dressed like bananas. Maybe it was the long flight to the left coast. Or maybe it was Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota who finished with 318 yards passing and three touchdowns. He also tallied 40 yards on the ground.
After Oregon ran out to an 18-7 second quarter lead, Michigan State stormed back to score 20 unanswered points. Down 27-18 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter, Mariota converted a crucial third and 11 by avoiding the grasp of three different MSU defenders in the pocket, flipping the ball forward to running back Royce Freeman for the first down. The Ducks went on to reel off four straight touchdowns and run Sparty out of town.
Too loyal? (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Southern Cal 13 Stanford 10
The weirdest wackiest game of the week had to be this match-up of Pac-12 teams. It was a sloppy, ugly game rife with penalties and mistakes including two lost fumbles and two missed two field goals by Stanford, a targeting penalty on a SoCal player, and a sideline interference/unsportsmanlike double penalty on Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian.
The oddest moment had to be when Southern Cal Athletics Director Pat Haden came down from the press box onto the field to argue with officials over the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. His actions raised some eyebrows across the nation. It wasn't so much because he argued so passionately for his team. It was because he argued so passionately for his team and he sits on the 13-member selection committee that decides the four-team playoff. Granted that the committee has a recusal policy when the group is talking about a team affiliated with a certain member but questions of conflict of interest remain. Should active ADs be on this committee?
Haden and Sarkisian were reprimanded and Haden was fined $25,000 by the Pac-12 Conference. As for the game, a 53-yard field goal with 2:30 remaining decided it.
"Do you mind if I give you my resume, Mr. Kelly? (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Notre Dame 31 Michigan 0
Oddly enough, Michigan outgained Notre Dame by 9 yards and had only two less first downs. The stat that killed the Wolverines was turnovers. UM quarterback Devin Gardner threw three interceptions and had a fumble. Just like Denard Robinson before him, Gardner seems to be getting worse every year. Saturday was the first time Michigan had been shut out since 1984. I can't imagine a scenario where Michigan coach Brady Hoke survives this season.
Undoubtedly, the Irish are a better team with Everett Golson (23/34, 226, 3 TD, 0 INT) at quarterback. Time will tell if they can survive the schedule.
"Mmm, I could sure go for some stadium pizza while sitting on a golf cart. (Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports)
Virginia Tech 35 Ohio State 21
It appears all the karma that Urban "Oh-I-Am-Sick-Gotta-Retire-Spend-Time-With-The-Fam" Meyer and Ohio State had backed up finally broke through the front gates. For the last several seasons, the Buckeyes have been beating their chest over all their cupcake wins. Finally, they meet a half-decent team in rebuilding mode and look what happens.
It was a winnable 21-21 game in the fourth quarter when the visiting unranked Hokies marched down the field to take the lead for good. OSU fans will blame the loss of Braxton Miller and rightfully so as his replacement J.T. Barrett was dreadful throwing 9 for 29 and 219 yards with three interceptions including a pick six to wrap the scoring for VaTech.
The 'Eyes dropped from number 8 to number 22 in the AP poll.
Deja vu all over again. (Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports)
BYU 41 Texas 7
For the second consecutive season, the Cougars rout the Longhorns. This time it's in front of 90,000+ disgruntled Texas fans. Texas was outgained 429 to 258 and turned the ball over four times.
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
Just like Week 1, many of the Power 5 teams struggled against lesser opponents. The Pac-12 grabbed some headlines but much of the rest of their conference had big troubles with FCS teams and perennial FBS doormats:
UCLA 42, Memphis 35 - Top 10 teams do not need to score with 2:52 left to beat a team like Memphis at home.
Arizona 26, Texas-San Antonio 23 - UTSA had some chances to score the upset but a fourth quarter missed 25-yard field goal and a late interception did them in.
Washington 17, Eastern Washington 16 - The Huskies return to this list. After eking out a one-point win against Hawaii last week, UW barely outlasted the FCS Eagles.
Nevada 24, Washington State 13 - Colin Kaepernick > Ryan Leaf
Colorado 41, UMass 38 - I hope that Denver TV Market is worth it for the Pac-12.
Oregon State 38 Hawaii 30 - The Rainbow Warriors score 23 unanswered in the 4th.
Can you guess who leads the Big 10 East? I'll give you a second to think about it... It's Rutgers for Pete's sake! To go along with the high-profile losses by Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, were some narrow escapes and drab performances.
Iowa 17, Ball State 13 - The Hawkeyes needed a touchdown with a minute to go to avoid the Cardinals upset bid.
Rutgers 38 Howard 25 - terrible
Central Michigan 38, Purdue 17 - awful
Penn State 21, Akron 3 - zzzz
Illinois 42, WKU 34 - BRING BACK RON ZOOK!
Nebraska 31 McNeese State 24 - only a miraculous score with 20 seconds left saved Bo Pelini's hide.
Northern Illinois 23, Northwestern 15 - Maybe the 0-2 Wildcats should go on strike.
Michigan - I am sorry. There is NO way a team overcomes a loss like that.
Texas - Blown out at home by BYU? Yeah, your eliminated.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota got most of the headlines this weekend but keep your eyes on a certain junior wide receiver who leads the nation in receiving yards with 319.
- The SEC changed the policy regarding lightning in the Spring of 2014. The new rule suspends play at 8 miles instead of 6 miles. The existing 30 minute delay minimum continues to be the standard. That 30 minute clock restarts anytime a lightning strike occurs within that distance.
- I meant to mention last week that it appears that the referees are going to be extremely lenient on celebration penalties. Many players have been flashing strange little hand signals and UGA RB Todd Gurley did a little dance in week 1 against Clemson that surprisingly was not flagged. My suspicions were confirmed this week after seeing true freshman LSU RB Leonard Fournette strike a presumptuous and awkward-looking Heisman pose after scoring a forgettable 4-yard TD against big bad Sam Houston State.
- Further proof that the Power 5 Conference Commissioners have more power than the NCAA, head jellyfish Mark Emmert wilts to Big-10 Commish Jim Delany's will by dropping Penn State's postseason ban for this season. It seems suspicious timing after Big Tenmageddon this past weekend. In yet another inappropriate response from PSU fans, thousands of students stormed the campus in celebration. There were many chants of "Joe Paterno" and "Where's the statue?"
- It took 8 quarters but Vanderbilt finally scored their first offensive points on the season with a 26 yard field goal. They have been outscored 78-10 on the young season. I've said it before and I'll likely say it again: Derek Mason was a bad hire.
- Excluding Ole Miss' 41-3 romp over Vandy, the SEC outscored their opponents 550-126.
- Former Atlanta Falcons and Hawaii coach June Jones steps down as football coach at SMU after a 0-2 start in his seventh season with the Mustangs. Defensive coordinator Tom Mason will serve as interim head coach.
- Strength of Schedule Report: West Virginia annihilates FCS Towson 54-0.
Krazy Kristi's "SHUT UP!" of the Week goes to the Big 10. It's all over but the shouting.
- Bama WR Christion Jones suffered a minor ankle injury against FAU on Saturday. As a precaution he likely will not play against Southern Mississippi this weekend.
- Alabama wide receiver DeAndrew White returned to the practice field Monday with a brace on his right shoulder which he separated in the West Virginia game. He is doubtful for the USM game.
- Safety Jarrick Williams (foot) was not at practice and is not expected to play either.
- Toledo had high hopes for the season behind Alabama transfer quarterback Phillip Ely. On a non-contact play against Mizzou, Ely dropped back to pass when his knee buckled dropping him in a heap on the field. He left the game on a cart. The diagnosis was a torn ACL, out for the season. BTW, his stats were not so great: 17 of 34, 204 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT.
Thank goodness that week is over. Now back to a few better games. Below are the highlights:
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13:
UCF at Missouri 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET SEC Network
UMass at Vanderbilt 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET ESPN3
Georgia at South Carolina 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET CBS - GAME OF THE WEEK
Arkansas at Texas Tech 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET ABC- A big game for Arky.
Mississippi State at South Alabama 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET ESPNews - a historic game for USA.
La-Laf at Ole Miss 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET SEC Network
LA-Monroe at LSU 6:00 PM CT / 7:00 PM ET ESPNU
Kentucky at Florida 6:30 PM CT / 7:30 PM ET SEC Network - Scout the Gators.
Tennessee at Oklahoma 7:00 PM CT / 8:00 PM ET ABC- Is there any way they can both lose?
Rice-A-Roni at Texas A&M 8:00 PM CT / 9:00 PM ET ESPN2
Outside the above SEC games, there are not a lot of interesting games this weekend.
West Virginia at Maryland 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET Big Ten Network - A Mountaineers win is good for the Bama resume.
Georgia Southern at Georgia Tech 11:00 AM CT / 12:00 PM ET ESPN3- Love the Triple Option? Then this game is for you.
Kansas at Duke 2:30 PM CT / 3:30 PM ET ESPN3- No, it's not basketball. Sorry.
UCLA at Texas 7:00 PM CT / 8:00 PM ET FOX - Two underperformed teams will help fill the meltdown column.
Nothing else really worth mentioning, except...
Alabama vs. Southern Miss 5:00pm CT / 6:00pm ET ESPN2- Try your best to stay into the 4th quarter.