What We Learned: Week 10

Louisiana_State_University_(block_logo).svgLSU is not elite.  Two weeks ago the Tigers looked like one of the elite teams.  They had arguable the best resume in the nation with wins at Mississippi State and home against Florida.  Now, they’ve faced double digit losses to Alabama and at home to Arkansas.  The Tigers last two games are toss ups.  They could win both, lose both or split.  They won’t be going to the playoff, but no one will be thrilled to see them in their bowl game.

Southern Cal is … good?  Does anyone have a good feel for the Trojans now?  After a close loss to Stanford and a blowout of Arizona State it seemed like USC was a pretty strong team who could compete in the Pac-12.  An unexpected loss to Washington and a loss to Notre Dame made them look quite pedestrian.

Then they beat undefeated Utah and California.  OK, so they’re good gain, right?  Close wins against Arizona and Colorado muddied the water again.  So they’re pretty good, but not great, is that right?  Is that saying anything at all?  This weekend they play equally unpredictable Oregon.  A blowout either way wouldn’t be a surprise, but who knows?

Poor Duke.  Duke started their season off hot and was tied for the Coastal lead (mostlyDuke_text_logo.svg because of a weak schedule).  Then there was the travesty of the Miami game.  It seems the Blue Devils haven’t been able to recover from that.  Last week they were absolutely destroyed by North Carolina.

This week they lost by 18 at home to Pitt.  The Panthers may be the better team, but they aren’t that much better.  It’s starting to look like the end of the Miami game is ruining Duke’s season.  They seem to be hungover.  Sometimes circumstances affect a team in more ways than just the score.  Poor Duke.

Navy has a Defense.  Very, very quietly Navy has been putting together a wonderful season.  While everyone talked about Memphis, Houston and Temple in the American Athletic, Navy was quietly winning games.  A loss at Notre Dame is the only game they haven’t won, and the only game their defense hasn’t put up great numbers.

The Midshipmen’s option offense is famously difficult to defend, but this season Navy’s defense is good.  Last week they held SMU to 14 points and haven’t given up more than 21 in any game this year, except Notre Dame.  In two weeks they travel to Houston for a Friday night game we should all be watching.

hFAmbhIh_400x400The Pac-12 is out of the Playoff.  The Stanford – Oregon game has to be a favorite for gamblers.  It seems the underdog is always ruining the other’s season.  That was no different this weekend.  Oregon gave Stanford their second loss, and knocked them out of the playoff.

Utah, an early season surprise has slid back to the field.  This weekend’s loss at Arizona ends their playoff hopes.  That’s too bad for the conference since there seems to be a bevy of good teams on the West Coast, but there aren’t any great ones.

Oklahoma is very much alive.  The Sooners are this year’s Ohio State.  They lost a game early to a vastly inferior team.  At the time everyone thought they were finished.  Now the Sooners are resurgent.  If they continue to win, it will be very difficult to keep them out of the playoff.  Bedlam could be a playoff game this year.

About Billy Koehler

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