I went to an SEC school, and we in the South have this habit of chanting the conference’s name in an attempt to boast about how good it is. When you win the natty, it’s one thing (and still kinda dumb), but I’ve chanted “SEC!” after a Florida Outback Bowl victory over Penn State. What I’m saying is, I like to think I’m some kind of expert on conference pride simply by region of birth. So now that we’re halfway through most conference races, it’s time to assess where each league stands in the pecking order from week to week.
No. 1: ACC
One third of the league had the week off, and that’s probably a good thing, because Florida State couldn’t make you look bad. Essentially, you’re ranked this high this week because of addition without subtraction.
Miami has begun its yearly post-Florida State swandive, losing its third straight game, this time to Virginia Tech, 37-16. The Canes made my girl #SouthBeachSansa sad again. You weren’t supposed to do that. She even asked you nicely not to.
Lamar Jackson did not make anyone outside of North Carolina sad yesterday. He was magnificent, throwing for over 300 yards in the first half, and accounting for four touchdowns in the opening stanza alone.
Ignore the second half where Louisville kinda put things on cruise control in a 54-13 rout of NC State. Definitely pay attention to the fact that the Cardinals broke the Wolfpack’s special teams.
Other scores this week: North Carolina beat Virginia, 35-14 (the Hoos are bad). Syracuse beat Boston College, 28-20 (Orange QB Eric Dungey also started a little shoving match. Bully for you, young man).
No. 2: Pac-12
Running back Joe Williams rushed for 332 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-45 Utah win over UCLA. Williams was literally retired a month ago. Congrats Bruins; you got trounced by a retiree.
On Friday night, I looked at my phone and saw Oregon was down, 21-0. I chuckled to myself and put it in my pocket and did not think about this game one more time until I woke up the next morning and saw what that game became. Yes, the Ducks lost to Cal, 52-49, but I really want to give Mark Helfrich & Co. credit for unleashing freshman QB Justin Herbert on the world. There will be growing pains for a signal-caller who wasn’t even on campus until this summer, but he looked good, and I don’t care that Cal’s defense is bad, so take that shade elsewhere.
I’m not going to talk about Stanford’s 10-5 loss to Colorado, so don’t ask.
Other scores this week: Washington beat Oregon State, 41-17 (putting it down on a lesser opponent in a potential lookahead spot). Washington State beat Arizona State, 37-32 (it was a “chicken shit” win).
No. 3: Big Ten
I was honestly surprised special teams failed an Urban Meyer squad; it’s a particular point of emphasis for him. I do know that the real winners from last night’s game are the Spanish language broadcasters who called the block.
Ohio State blew a double-digit fourth quarter lead, losing 24-21 to Penn State. The offensive line looked shaky against Wisconsin and things got worse against the Nittany Lions. They also got cooked by Saquon Barkley, who may have only rushed 12 times, but looked like an absolute beast with 8.3 yards-per-carry.
In other news, Michigan savaged Illinois, 41-8. Jim Harbaugh still has no chill, faking a punt while up 34 points and challenging the spot of a ball during a rout. That was funny and petty; Harbaugh saying his glasses are a nod to Malcolm X was not.
Other scores this week: Maryland beat Michigan State, 28-17 (the hell?). Minnesota beat Rutgers, 34-32 (aww, Rutgers). Wisconsin beat Iowa, 17-9 (math is hard). Nebraska beat Purdue, 27-14 (proving you’re still Purdue, no matter the coach). Northwestern beat Indiana, 24-14 (look at this friggen interception).
No. 4: SEC
Mizzou lost to Middle Tennessee, 51-45. Your J-school is wildly overrated; the one I graduated from is better.
Other scores this week: Alabama beat Texas A&M, 33-14 (it wasn’t close). Auburn beat Arkansas, 56-3 (damn).
Leonard Fournette LSU beat Ole Miss, 38-21 (just look at this truck stick move). South Carolina beat UMass, 34-28 (the student section had much better things to do). Kentucky beat Mississippi State, 40-38 (meaning Mark Stoops still has a job). Vanderbilt beat Tennessee State, 35-17 (ok).
No. 5: Big 12
The only reason why Mizzou’s loss didn’t sink the SEC to this bottom spot is because at least the Tigers didn’t jerk us all around for like three years and then decide not to do anything. Thanks for nothing, Big 12, you wasted my time, and I’m not happy about it.
The last conference realignment is paying dividends though, because West Virginia is actually good. The Mountaineers put it on TCU, 34-10, and look like they’ve got some defense to match that high-flying offense.
Speaking of offense, sweet Lord, what did you people do to this sport last night?
Patrick Mahomes was responsible for 100 total plays on his own.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) October 23, 2016
He had 88 passes and 12 runs.
They got the first down, by the way.
Other scores this week: Oklahoma State beat Kansas, 44-20 (Mike Gundy mullet alert).
Best of the rest: American
SMU beat Houston, 38-16, and the Ponies looked good doing it. Mostly I wanted to highlight this league for being pretty fun. USF looked like a rising star, but Temple put a dent in that after beating the Bulls, 46-30. Navy is also cooking with gas this week at 5-1 after beating Memphis, 42-28.
Other scores this week: UCF beat UConn, 24-16 (but left without the rivalry trophy nobody cares about). Tulsa beat Tulane, 50-27 (fun helmets though, Green Wave). Cincinnati beat ECU, 31-19 (Gunner Kiel is back baby!).
Not gonna lie to you guys, this is simply my way of shoehorning in here the fact that ...***NOTRE DAME IS 2-5***
PSA: Don’t @ me, but feel free to yell at me/each other in the comments.