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What happened Saturday, Sept. 27, in college football: Final scores and 3 big things

The Michigan disaster expands to a whole new level, almost all of the SEC's good teams are in one division, and the target on Florida State's back grows bigger. Full FBS final scores below.

Update: Another big thing happened! Kansas fired Charlie Weis.

1. Michigan is in a freefall.

by Adam Jacobi

Things are bad in Ann Arbor. Bad, bad, bad, bad. Michigan just got throttled on its home field, 30-14, by Minnesota. It wasn't even that close. And that's the least of head coach Brady Hoke's problems.

Quarterback Shane Morris had a rough day in his first start of 2014. He competed seven of 19 for 49 yards, and he threw a pick-six. By the fourth quarter, he was limping badly, and he was almost certainly concussed on a vicious (and perhaps suspension-worthy) hit to the head.

That's tackle Ben Braden holding Morris up after the hit, after which Morris was left in the game for another snap. Then he was reinserted into the game after Devin Gardner's helmet came off at the end of a play and third-stringer Russell Bellomy couldn't find his own helmet.

Hoke let Morris go back into the game despite the sophomore barely being able to walk straight, much less throw. It was only for a play — a handoff, as it turns out — but Hoke could have used a timeout to get Gardner back in. He didn't, even after a referee appeared to ask the Michigan coaches if they want to use one. Hoke also didn't use that timeout later. Perhaps he wanted to donate it to charity. Perhaps he planned to trade it for two tickets.

The broadcast of the whole situation is damning and unambiguous. ABC's Ed Cunningham is relatively apoplectic as it unfolds. It'll probably make you uncomfortable. Good. It should.

Hoke famously doesn't discuss injuries, for reasons ungrounded in any real logic. So perhaps it was just strategic obtuseness that led to this quote, via Nick Baumgardner of

"I don't know if he had a concussion or not, I don't know that," Hoke said. "Shane's a pretty competitive, tough kid. And Shane wanted to be the quarterback, and so, believe me, if he didn't want to be he would've come to the sideline or stayed down."

But if Hoke is to be taken at his word, which is the entire point of letting him speak out loud, that is stunning, sensational incompetence. If he is unabashedly ignorant of his starting quarterback's health status, one wonders how Michigan or any other football program that takes athlete safety seriously can continue to employ him.

Whether a player "wants to" come back into a game with a concussion is meaningless. Any sane person knows that. Thinking otherwise is the stuff of caveman football that should have died out in the 1960s. And to let all this happen for no discernible reason, as it was in the fourth quarter of a blowout, is inexcusable on any level.

The stuff of caveman football that should have died out in the 1960s.

Hoke had to know Morris couldn't play anymore and didn't belong in the game. Everyone in the stadium knew it. Fans rained boos down when Morris was kept in the game and cheered when he was let onto the sidelines (and not entirely because they were thrilled to see Gardner), then reacted with visceral outrage when Morris was allowed back in. It's shocking to hear.

And just to reiterate, this all happened while Michigan — the Michigan — was getting dump-trucked on its home field by Minnesota to fall to 2-3 on the season. It's the first time Michigan has ever lost three games in September. Michigan's been playing football since 1879.

The wheels are off. The car's in the ditch, upside down and leaking gas everywhere. And Hoke sits in the driver's seat, adjusting the rearview mirror and trying to light a cigarette.

2. No, seriously, the SEC is really, really unbalanced.

by Peter Berkes

Tom Pennington, Getty

The SEC is often discussed as if it's a monolith, as if all 14 of its members form one creature, hellbent on college football domination.

This is simplistic nonsense. The SEC West has already been the stronger of the two divisions for half a decade, but the difference between the West and the SEC East could not possibly be more stark.

Every team in the SEC West is good. The division is a collective 25-0 against non-SEC West teams. Alabama and Auburn both look like national title contenders. Texas A&M hasn’t missed a beat without Johnny Manziel. LSU looks like it's taken a step back, but is still capable of anything. Arkansas has taken a huge leap forward in year two of the Bret Bielema regime. Mississippi State and Ole Miss look lively. No team looks totally dominant, but every team is good.

Arkansas is the real wildcard in all of this. The Hogs were absolute dreck in 2013, but have stepped back into the light. They took Texas A&M to overtime on Saturday, which is the same team that handed a 52-28 beatdown to South Carolina, the presumptive SEC East favorites, back in Week 1. With the Hogs looking like a real team again, there are no pushovers in the division. That is crazy.

The SEC East, meanwhile, is an unmitigated disaster. It’s not even October, and every team in the division sports at least one conference loss, except for Missouri, which somehow lost to Indiana. South Carolina, the team many fancied as a Playoff contender, has already lost two division games. It holds the tiebreaker over Georgia, the one that most closely resembles a competent football team.

To top it all off, Florida is still a thing that exists, and if you're its owner, please come take it home. It's leaving a dreadful mess all over the new carpet.

At the end of the year, the SEC East winner will have the privilege of getting keelhauled by the SEC West winner in the Georgia Dome. That's been the case for most of the past five years, but it’s never felt like more of a foregone conclusion than right now.

3. Florida State is beatable. Now who can do it?

by Pete Volk

Grant Halverson, Getty

Three games against FBS opponents, three close calls for the defending national champs. No. 1 Florida State's first two tight victories came against legitimate conference contenders -- Oklahoma State and Clemson -- and unless NC State is massively improved from 2013, that doesn't apply here.

A 15-point win might not sound like a near-loss, but FSU trailed by 17 points at one point and by 10 points in the second half, with a fired-up Raleigh crowd backing the potential upset.

NC State exploited one particular weakness. Without defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample (out for the year with a torn pectoral) and defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. (concussion), Florida State struggled on the line, particularly when defending runs up the middle. Shadrach Thornton ran for 85 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns, and Florida transfer quarterback Jacoby Brissett (397 total yards) was able to escape from the pocket on numerous occasions and make plays ...

... plays like this, which we probably can't blame entirely on the defensive line:



There was still a lot to like from the Seminoles' performance. That's because they're still a very good football team. Jameis Winston had a fine game (even with two interceptions), and the Karlos Williams/Dalvin Cook tandem averaged 6.3 yards per carry.

But this isn't the first time we've seen a concerning game from these defending national champions, and with a few tougher opponents ahead, it might not be the last. If the Seminoles are going to survive their three-game slate against Notre Dame, Louisville, and Virginia (yes, Virginia), they'll have to step their game up.

Final scores

No. 1 Florida State 56, NC State 41 (recap)

No. 5 Auburn 45, Louisiana Tech 17 (recap)

No. 6 Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 28 (OT) (recap)

No. 7 Baylor 49, Iowa State 28 (recap)

No. 8 Notre Dame 31, Syracuse 15 (recap)

No. 9 Michigan State 56, Wyoming 14 (recap)

No. 10 Ole Miss 24, Memphis 3 (recap)

No. 12 Georgia 35, Tennessee 32 (recap)

Missouri 21, No. 13 South Carolina 20 (recap)

No. 16 Stanford 20, Washington 13 (recap)

No. 17 LSU 63, New Mexico State 7

No. 18 USC 35, Oregon State 10 (recap)

No. 19 Wisconsin 27, South Florida 10 (recap)

No. 21 Nebraska 45, Illinois 14 (reaction)

No. 22 Ohio State 50, Cincinnati 28 (recap)

No. 25 Kansas State 58, UTEP 28 (recap)

Air Force 28, Boise State 14 (recap)

Akron 21, Pittsburgh 10 (recap)

Bowling Green 47, UMass 42 (recap)

Buffalo 35, Miami (Ohio) 27 (recap)

California 59, Colorado 56 (2OT) (WOW)

Clemson 50, North Carolina 35 (quick thoughts)

Colorado State 24, Boston College 21 (recap)

Florida Atlantic 41, UTSA 37 (recap)

Florida International 34, UAB 20 (recap)

Iowa 24, Purdue 10 (recap)

Kentucky 17, Vanderbilt 7 (recap)

Louisiana-Monroe 22, Troy 20

Louisville 20, Wake Forest 10 (tweetcap)

Maryland 37, Indiana 15 (reaction)

Miami  22, Duke 10 (recap)

Minnesota 30, Michigan 14 (recap)

Nevada 21, San Jose State 10

Northwestern 29, Penn State 6 (recap)

Ohio 34, Eastern Illinois 19 (recap)

Rice 41, Southern Miss 23

Rutgers 31, Tulane 6 (recap)

San Diego State 34, UNLV 17 (recap)

South Alabama 34, Idaho 10

TCU 56, SMU 0 (recap)

Temple 36, Connecticut 10 (recap)

Texas 23, Kansas 0 (recap)

Texas State 37, Tulsa 34 (3OT) (recap)

Toledo 42, Central Michigan 28 (recap)

Virginia 45, Kent State 13 (recap)

Virginia Tech 35, Western Michigan 17 (recap)

Washington State 28, Utah 27 (recap)

Western Kentucky 36, Navy 27 (recap)

Yale 49, Army 43 (OT) (recap)