What's really interesting about this Saturday, at least in the FBS top 25, is that nothing really counted as a surprise. We all suspected South Carolina might have trouble with LSU; we all figured Stanford would give Notre Dame a tough game; we even thought that Texas Tech was going to give West Virginia fits. What is probably most surprising about the weekend is that only one top 25 team lost to an unranked opponent, and you can bet that particular opponent's going to be ranked in just a few minutes.
Indeed, although one can never downgrade the value of winning a football game in Ames, K-State hurt itself this weekend and really needs a big showing next Saturday in Morgantown. But that's next week. For now... quick takes.
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide: Absolutely rolled over Missouri in Columbia, as expected. Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon combined for 321 rushing yards, which was 318 more than Missouri had. No, that was not a typo. Important Thing, Though: A.J. McCarron hurt his knee, and at this moment is questionable for next week's tilt with Tennessee. Given Bama's defense and running game, it may not matter much; the Tide just need a quarterback who can avoid mistakes.
Alabama 42, Missouri 10
#2 Oregon Ducks: Scored threeve touchdowns in the opening quarter against defenseless bye.
#3 South Carolina Gamecocks: Never led by more than four points, and finally swamped in the fourth quarter when LSU scored 13 points, taking a nine-point lead with five minutes to go. Connor Shaw only completed half his passes, and threw two interceptions; Marcus Lattimore was held to 35 yards rushing. QED.
Louisiana State 23, South Carolina 21
#4 Florida Gators: Defense came up big in the second half, crushing multiple legitimate threats by the Vanderbilt offense. (Vanderbilt helped a little themselves, getting a 57-yard go-ahead TD run on a direct snap to Zac Stacy called back when QB Jordan Matthews got called for holding. Derp. Jeff Driskell ran for 177 yards for the Gators, which is more yards than any Florida QB has ever gained in a single game. Yes, I said any Florida QB, even that other guy.
Florida 31, Vanderbilt 17
#5 West Virginia Mountaineers: On the one hand, TROLOLOLOL. On the other, not only are we deprived of a top-six matchup next week, but they're going to be really pissed off. Do not buy the hype that this was an "off day" for the Mountaineer offense; Geno Smith threw for nearly 300 yards. The difference was that Texas Tech's defense actually forced him into bad decisions and prevented ridiculousness. Also of note: Smith's demeanor in the post-game press conference is not going to help his Heisman chances. At all. Smith berated a reporter and (inadvertently and indirectly) said his coach knows nothing about football.
Texas Tech 49, West Virginia 14
#6 Kansas State Wildcats: JIGJIGJIGJIGJIGJIG
#7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Received a gift overtime win to which they were not entitled, and which nobody is going to hold against them when voting because it's against the narrative. Stanford scored TWICE on the final series, and got zero points for the effort.
Notre Dame 20, Stanford 13 (OT)
#8 Ohio State Buckeyes: A three-point win over Indiana is nothing to write home about. Braxton Miller passed for 211 and two scores and ran for 149 and a touchdown, while Carlos Hyde had 156 and a score. It was the final two minutes that stick out, though. The Buckeyes led 52-34 before giving up two touchdowns to backup QB Nate Sudfeld, and Indiana almost recovered a second onside kick with a minute remaining. Yikes.
Ohio State 52, Indiana 49
#9 Louisiana State Tigers: Freshman Jeremy Hill had 124 yards rushing, and LSU was able to move the ball and score despite another spotty performance from Zach Mettenberger. It was the offensive line that really saved the day, however, limiting the scary Gamecock defense to a single sack and keeping Jadeveon Clowney in check.
#10 Oregon State Beavers: A 21-21 game was broken open by the Beavers in the fourth quarter, as they doubled their total over the space of 9:50 to salt away the win. Cody Vaz threw for three touchdowns, the last on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Oregon State a lead they'd not relinquish. After going up 11 with 5:30 to go, Jordan Poyer ended BYU's dreams with a 49-yard pick six to ice the game. As for BYU, their audacious schedule now becomes much easier, but it's far too late to do them any good.
Oregon State 42, Brigham Young 24
#11 Southern California Trojans: Silas Redd helped the Trojans jump out to a 24-7 lead in the first half; USC's defense made it hold up in the second.
Southern California 24, Washington 14
#12 Florida State Seminoles: I guess they were mad. Or maybe they were just playing Boston CoLOLege. In any event, E.J. Manuel threw for 439 yards and four scores, and even his two interceptions didn't particularly matter. But the real tone was probably set on the opening drive, when the Eagles drove to within the FSU one-yard line... and then couldn't get in.
Florida State 51, Boston College 7
#13 Oklahoma Sooners: Oh my. Landry Jones threw for 321 and two scores, Damien Williams ran for 167 and a score (including a 95-yard romp), Blake Bell ran for three scores, and Texas can't tackle anyone. However, mass-media blabbermouths, Oklahoma is not the favorite for the Big 12 title because hello, they're a game behind the first-place team, to whom they have already lost, remember?
Oklahoma 63, Texas 21
#14 Georgia Bulldogs: Pretty sure South Carolina is still scoring on Georgia, which might explain their own loss last night. What I do know is that Georgia wasn't scoring on anyone yesterday.
#15 Texas Longhorns: They were supposed to have one of the best defenses in the country. In point of fact, it is now officially one of the worst... and is, thus far, the worst in Longhorn history.
#16 Clemson Tigers: On the bright side, you can't give up a ton of points sitting at home watching other people play.
#17 Stanford Cardinal: Unfairly deprived, crossing the plane twice on the final possession in overtime. Any Notre Dame fan who argues otherwise is crystal clear evidence as to why Notre Dame is horrible, and I'm sort of hoping for a Fiesta Bowl date with the Irish now.
#18 Louisville Cardinals: It wasn't pretty, but the Cardinals managed to escape Pittsburgh undefeated thanks to four touchdowns from Sinorese Perry, who had 101 yards on the day. Teddy Bridgewater had 304 yards passing, albeit somewhat empty yards except for a blistering third quarter in which Louisville took control of the contest.
Louisville 45, Pittsburgh 35
#19 Mississippi State Bulldogs: Except for a few minutes in the first quarter, the Bulldogs never trailed, but they were also never able to really pull away from the Vols. A 9-yard TD pass from Tyler Russell to Malcolm Johnson with nine seconds left to play salted the game away finally.
Mississippi State 41, Tennessee 31
#20 Rutgers Scarlet Knights: Rutgers didn't win pretty, but win they did, remaining unbeaten on the year under first-year coach Kyle Flood. The key was a 75-yard Duron Harmon return of a blocked field goal early in the third quarter, after which Rutgers eventually opened up a 23-7 lead, and the Scarlet Knight defense hung on.
Rutgers 25, Syracuse 15
#21 Cincinnati Bearcats: Nothing much to take away from this one, as the Bearcats routed an improved but still mediocre FCS team in Fordham. Cincinnati stays unbeaten, and the Big East is the last conference that can claim three unbeaten squads. It could stay that way for another week, too.
Cincinnati 49, Fordham 17
#22 Texas A&M Aggies; #23 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs: Oh, man. I think we know what game I'm going to talk about tomorrow, so we'll just leave it at that. HAM, bacon, pork loins, the whole damned pig.
Texas A&M 59, Louisiana Tech 57
#24 Boise State Broncos: Joe Southwick is no Kellen Moore, but that's okay because D.J. Harper had 122 yards and Boise jumped out to a 17-0 lead then held off Fresno State to improve to 5-1. It's hard to believe, given how ugly their season has been, but the Broncos are still just one score away from being unbeaten. Chris Petersen is a genius.
Boise State 20, Fresno State 10
#25 Michigan Wolverines: Illinois is bad, and Denard Robinson is now. Shoelace had 128 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, and 159 in the air with two more. Nathan Scheelhaase was injured early on, and the way this year is going for the Illini he might feel as though he'd be better off done for the year.
Michigan 45, Illinois 0
We can't let Sunday pass without touching on big stories in the 63-scholarship zone. The carnage was stark: #1 North Dakota State? Lost 17-14 to 5-2 Indiana State. #2 Montana State? Dropped by #6 Eastern Washington 27-24. #3 Old Dominion? Routed 38-14 by Villanova. #5 Wofford? Downed 17-9 by #7 Georgia Southern. #4 James Madison managed to win... after going to double overtime against 2-5 William & Mary 27-26, who came up short when they opted to go for two at the end of the second overtime and missed. Who's going to be the new number one? God only knows, and it's entirely possible the votes will be scattered across three different teams. #8 Youngstown State also lost, so the highest-ranking FCS team which beat a team they were supposed to beat was ninth-ranked Sam Houston State, who routed Nicholls State.
Meanwhile, Zach Zenner was held to his lowest rushing total of the season by Western Illinois. All Zenner was able to muster in South Dakota State's 31-10 win: 171 yards and two touchdowns, of 46 and 60 yards. Zenner's now got 1248 yards in six games, and 5-1 SDSU is almost a lock for a playoff berth. Watch out.