The Pride and The Shame: Week 2


The Pride.  Michigan State is now the holder of the undisputed best quality win in the country.  The Spartans held on at home to beat the Oregon Ducks 31-28.  Heinemann hopeful Connor Cook threw for 192 yards with a touchdown and an interception.  The Ducks had chances late but couldn’t convert.  The Spartans now look like a worthy rival to defending national champion Ohio State.

The Shame. The bottom of every conference is filled with teams that are simply not good.  The Big Ten had two teams lay embarrassing eggs.  Fresh off a loss to Portland State, Washington State traveled cross country to beat Rutgers at home.  Meanwhile down the road in Maryland the Terrapins were whipped by Bowling Green in a 48-21 home loss.


The Pride.  After an opening weekend in which the conference posted a 12-1 record including a 4-0 mark against Power Five conference opponents, there is little to crow about in week 2.  Ole Miss, Alabama and Texas A&M dominated outmatched and outclassed opponents, but when paycheck games are the height of your weekly accomplishments you know you’ve had a bad week.

The Shame.  Where to start?  Auburn slipped by Jacksonville State in overtime to avoid the biggest upsets since Stanford-Southern Cal.  Arkansas State played a close game with Missouri and East Carolina kept the score close with Florida.  As bad as those games were, the real shame goes to Arkansas who allowed Toledo to come to Little Rock and leave with a win.


The Pride.  There were few big name games on the slate for the ACC in week two, but nearly everyone who was bringing weak opponents to town trounced them.  In the only marquee game of the week Virginia nearly pulled an upset on Notre Dame.  A near loss isn’t the kind of thing to puff your chest out in pride with, but an improving Virginia team would help the cellar of the conference.

The Shame.  Louisville looked like a conference contender and an invaluable addition in football.  You can go ahead and forget about that this year.  The Cougars of Houston showed the Cardinals aren’t the same team they were last year.  There’s now one less legitimate contender in a conference desperately seeking depth at the tooth.


The Pride.  It’s not often that the shame of a conference one week is the pride the next, but that may be the case with Washington State.  The Cougars will clearly be one of the bottom teams in the conference this year, but they notched a nice out of conference win at Rutgers.  Oregon lost the only high profile game of the weekend, and everyone else pretty much took care of business out of conference.

The Shame.  There were no bad losses.  Oregon State could have been more competitive with Michigan in a 35-7 loss, but that isn’t a shameful defeat.  Oregon had chances to knock off Michigan State, but didn’t.  Nothing shameful there or on the West Coast.


The Pride.  Oklahoma was out of the game on Rocky Top, and then stormed back to force overtime and win.  The Sooners 31-24 road victory against Tennessee will age well as the season goes along and should give people reason to believe they will challenge TCU and Baylor for the conference title.

The Shame.  Kansas, what are you doing?  Fresh off of losing to a FCS team in week one, the Jayhawks were blown out by Memphis 55-23 at home.  The Tigers put up 651 yards of total offense.  These types of games shouldn’t happen to Power Five conference teams.


About Billy Koehler

Billy Koehler is the founder of and a contributing writer at He has been covering college football since 2006. You can follow him on twitter @billykoehler.
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