For the second straight week, the top team in the land was upset by a conference opponent, shaking up the college football landscape.
This week’s victim was Ohio State, which was dominated in the first half before mounting a valiant comeback against Wisconsin, only to lose 31-17. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was average, at best, and he didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates.
Wisconsin’s mammoth offensive line was able to dominate the Ohio State defensive front, allowing the Badgers to run the ball 43 times for 184 yards, controlling the clock in the process.
Ohio State’s dream of an unbeaten season is done, and their hopes of making it to the BCS Championship Game took a major hit in this loss. However, if teams ranked above them continue to lose (three top ten teams lost on Saturday), perhaps the Buckeyes can climb back into the national championship hunt.
Auburn – The Tigers got a big win on Saturday, beating Arkansas 65-43 on the Plains. Cam Newton was amazing again for Auburn, now 7-0 on the season. The Tigers are looking to return to the glory days of Bo Jackson and Pat Dye, and Gene Chizik has done a great job of restoring the prominence of the program. If Auburn can beat LSU this weekend, national championship and Heisman Trophy talk will get very serious.
Boise State – Sure, Boise State crushed San Jose State 48-0 on Saturday night. That’s not news. What IS news is that Boise State keeps winning, while many teams around them in the polls continue to lose. This can only help Boise State’s position as the Broncos hope to make the BCS Championship Game. The BCS standings show Boise State ranked third, but any slip-up by Oklahoma or Oregon, and they could be right there.
Kentucky – The Wildcats ended a couple of streaks in Saturday’s 31-28 upset of South Carolina. Kentucky broke a ten-game losing streak to South Carolina, and also beat Steve Spurrier for the first time in 18 tries. Quarterback Mike Hartline was huge for the Wildcats, as was receiver Chris Matthews, but in the end, it was Randall Cobb making the big plays for a huge Kentucky victory. If the ‘Cats can beat Charleston Southern and Vanderbilt, they’ll be bowling again.
Virginia Tech – Remember the team that barely lost to Boise State in the season opener, then lost to James Madison the following week? That team has since run off five straight wins, and is rallying in time to become the team to beat in the ACC. The Hokies put up 52 points in Saturday’s spanking of Wake Forest. The schedule does get tougher, as Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Miami remain.
Eastern Michigan – Congratulations to coach Ron English and the Eagles, who snapped an 18-game losing streak on Saturday by beating Ball State 41-38. The Eagles fell behind 28-7, but ran off 28 unanswered points before eventually winning the game in overtime.
Nebraska – What in the world happened to them on Saturday? This team had been outstanding all year, was facing an opponent that was reeling, and had home field advantage. All of those factors should equal a win, but they didn’t, as Texas beat Nebraska 20-13 in Lincoln. Freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez was largely ineffective, and the Nebraska offense never mustered much against the Longhorn defense. And now, the Cornhuskers visit No. 17 Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Florida – A three-game losing streak? Losing to Mississippi State at home? Scoring seven (SEVEN!) points in a game? What in the world is going on in Gainesville? Maybe Urban Meyer should return to being fired up on the sidelines (take care of yourself Urban, no matter what). This Florida team is experiencing serious troubles. The good news is, they get this weekend off before facing arch rival Georgia on Oct. 30.
Nevada – Everything appeared to be set for a Nov. 26 showdown between unbeaten Boise State and unbeaten Nevada. Then, Hawaii entered the fray. The Wolf Pack made the long journey to paradise on Saturday night, and returned only with a 27-21 loss. Nevada has now fallen out of the polls, and most people will give them little chance of winning in Boise late in the season.
Air Force – The Falcons had emerged as a contender in the Mountain West, but Saturday’s 27-25 loss at San Diego State derailed that train. And things don’t get easier, as Air Force visits TCU this weekend before hosting Utah on Oct. 30. Air Force should be bowl eligible, but this loss certainly hurt their national standing.
Oregon State – Can someone explain this team to me? Please? Just when I think I have the Beavers figured out, they do something that I can’t explain. On Saturday night, they visited Washington, in a game they should have won, and they couldn’t get the job done. Granted, they were without James Rodgers, but beating this Washington team is something Oregon State should have accomplished. And, they still must face USC, Stanford and Oregon later in the season.
Statistical Studs – Week 7
Cam Newton, Auburn – The Auburn quarterback has turned himself into a Heisman Trophy contender. In the huge SEC West win over Arkansas, Newton rushed 25 times for 188 yards and three touchdowns, while hitting on 10-of-14 passes for 140 yards and another score.
Ross Jenkins, Louisiana Tech – Jenkins hit on 31-of-44 passes for 422 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-35 win over Idaho. Jenkins also rushed eight times for 34 yards and a touchdown in the game.
Josh Harris, Wake Forest – In a loss to Virginia Tech, Harris had a huge game. He carried 20 times for 241 yards, including an 87-yard scamper. Harris scored two touchdowns for the Demon Deacons in the game.
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State – If you haven’t heard of this player, you need to pay attention. On Saturday, he caught 10 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown, as the Cowboys beat Texas Tech 34-17. Blackmon leads the nation with 955 receiving yards.
Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State – Hillman rushed 24 times for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Aztecs upset Air Force, 27-25.
Games I’ll Be Watching in Week 8
No. 6 LSU at No. 5 Auburn
No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 18 Missouri
No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 13 Iowa
No. 14 Nebraska at No. 17 Oklahoma State
Air Force at No. 4 TCU