The Pride. Michigan. The hype surrounding the return of Jim Harbaugh to Michigan is beginning to come to fruition. The Maize and Blue annihilated a BYU team that isn’t bad at all. The Wolverines led 31-0 at the half and cruised from there. A resurgent Michigan program is very important of the conference.
The Shame. Purdue. The Boilermakers lost at home to Bowling Green. To Purdue’s credit they didn’t give up the go-ahead touchdown until 9 seconds left in the game. So, that’s something to build on, I guess.
The Pride. The Florida Gators. It feels like old times. The Gators found a way to beat the Vols and now sit atop the East Standings tied with Georgia at 2-0 in conference. Could McElwain be the coach of the year in the conference? Maybe. The Gators are almost certainly going to a bowl game this year, which not many people though was possible earlier.
The Shame. Auburn. In the offseason it looked like the Tigers were primed for long term success. However, now it looks like they are finishing the third year of a three year cycle. Here’s how the cycle goes: year one, play for national title; year two 8-5 middling bowl; year three losing season. Put your money on Auburn next year.
- 2010: National Championship Game, won
- 2011: 8-5, Chick Fil-A Bowl
- 2012: 3-9
- 2013: 12-2, National Championship Game, lost
- 2014: 8-5, Outback Bowl
- 2015: losing season?
- 2016: National Championship game
The Pride. Duke. A week after losing to Top 25 Northwestern at home the Blue Devils bounced back to defeat Georgia Tech 19-10 at home. Head coach David Cutcliffe is an offensive guy, but the Duke defense is doing surprisingly well this season. Georgia Tech scored only two touchdowns, and the Blue Devils are giving up 11.5 points per game. There’s a good chance this is a 6-1 team hosting Miami on Halloween
The Shame. The Commonwealth of Virginia. Facing a near must-win on Friday night, Virginia started off poorly and regressed. Even though this Boise team isn’t as good as some of Chris Peterson’s teams, losing to them isn’t shameful. Being blowout by them at home is embarrassing.
Not to be outdone Virginia Tech traveled to Greenville North Carolina to lose to East Carolina. This is the same ECU team that was blown out by Navy last weekend. It’s going to be time for change in Charlottesville soon. How many of these seasons will it take for there to be change in Blacksburg too?
The Pride. Utah. You could have predicted a 62-20 score in the Oregon-Utah game and most everyone would have assumed the Ducks would be on top. The Utes turned the tables on Oregon in Eugene and destroyed one of the premier programs in the country. The Michigan win is aging well for Utah, and it might be time to add them to the list of dark horse candidates for the playoff.
The Shame. Oregon. Blowouts are common in Autzen stadium. Overmatched teams get run out of the building all the time, but it is rare that the beat down is put on the Ducks. At the end of September Oregon sits at .500 with nothing on their resume. Luckily for the Ducks the October schedule is not too taxing before a veritable gauntlet in November.
The Pride. TCU. Picking up where they left off last year TCU is rightfully in the playoff discussion. The Horned Frogs won a shoot out against Texas Tech in Lubbock. Their go-ahead touchdown was a little bit lucky, but sometimes you need a little bit of luck to make it to the playoff. Up next, the Horned Frogs will dismantle the Longhorns.
The Shame. Kansas. It seems like picking on an asthmatic toddler to continue to choose the Jayhawks as the shame of the conference, but Kansas is having trouble putting a Power Five level team on the field. The latest embarrassment was losing by two touchdowns to Rutgers over the weekend. It’s trite to say, but it’s almost basketball season Jayhawks.
Great write-up. Enjoy the insight to teams around the country. Well done, Sir!