We awake to a week when a team that played in the College Football Playoff National Championship nine months ago is ranked 112th nationally in total defense. That's second-worst in the Big Ten and second-last among FBS programs in the football-mad state of Ohio.
Welcome, Ohio State Buckeyes, to hell week. (Or if things don't improve, hell season.)
Ohio State dropped from No. 3 to No. 10 in this week's Power Rankings after Saturday's home loss to Oregon. That issue is among the least of the the Buckeyes' worries. In the last three games, they have given up 1,534 total yards. That's more than J.K. Dobbins rushed for in the entire 2017 season (1,403).
The Ducks sliced and diced their way to 269 yards rushing as they planted a Pac-12 flag on the 50-yard line of The Shoe. OK, not really. That was for Jacksonville State to do in Doak Campbell Stadium. But someone did sneak out there in the Horseshoe and place a rubber duck on the 50 in the aftermath of Oregon's 35-28 win.
Things could be worse. You could be Florida State, which to that Jacksonville State team on the final play of the game. The 59-yard pass was the longest-game winning touchdown at the gun since 2017. The 'Noles are 0-2 for the third time in five years, 1-5 in their last six games under Mike Norvell and 21-28 in their last 49 games. That's the worst 49-game stretch since 1972-76.
At least they're playing good football elsewhere …
|The Crimson Tide's annual September scrimmage -- this one against Mercer -- ended with the team giving touches to three QBs, six rushers and eight receivers as 22 players made tackles. It gets a lot tougher this week going to Florida where Bama hasn't visited in 10 years. That's just not right.||--||5-1|
|The legend of Stetson Bennett IV continues. Subbing for the injured JT Daniels, The Rush Chairman (inside frat joke) threw 12 total passes against UAB, five for TDs. The senior is Georgia's best life preserver. Remember him having to play in 2020 because of Daniels' injury? In 13 career games, he's thrown 13 touchdowns. Not bad for a back, back, backup.||--||6-0|
|For the second straight week, TAMU played a nonconference snoozer. The Aggies had to score a touchdown late for the $9 million coach (Jimbo Fisher) to sneak past Colorado. Either CU is better than we thought or the Aggies have issues. Maybe a little of both.||1||4-2|
|Bye before Fresno State. The perception of the Pac-12 has changed quickly with Oregon's win at Ohio State. Both the Bruins and Ducks are big and physical. Looking forward to the Oct. 23 clash at the Rose Bowl. I'll say it: Chip Kelly and the Bruins are back.||1||4-2|
|The Pac-12 now boast two playoff contenders. Both are physical. Only one just pulled off the league's biggest win in seven years. TE Matavao Moliki scored the game-winner with 10 minutes left. Moliki wears No. 8, same as former Heisman winner Marcus Mariota, who pulled off the Ducks previous biggest win in 2014 over Florida State in the playoff.||4||5-1|
|How bad was the Sooners' 76-0 blasting of Western Carolina? The fourth quarter was shortened to 12 minutes, supposedly to preserve human life. So OU was sleepy against Tulane. It was on point against the Catamounts. Actually on several points considering the victory margin was the largest since 2003. Spencer Rattler got "well" throwing for five touchdown passes.||--||6-0|
|Nothing says college football like a full Beaver Stadium. 106,000 souls watched the Nittany Lions bomb Ball State after that nail-biter at Wisconsin. The Cardinals were willing participants, giving up 493 yards. Now for a main event as Auburn comes to State College.||1||5-1|
|Six in a row over Iowa State and 13 of the last 18. Typical Hawkeyes. You can't really get your mind around them, but they're damn good, especially on defense. They embarrassed the Cyclones scoring 20 points off four turnovers. Things got so bad Matt Campbell pulled QB Brock Purdy.||12||6-0|
|Let's get past a get-well win over South Carolina State. Dabo Swinney is fed up with Lynn-J Dixon. First, the RB was held out of the first half vs. Georgia for a violation of team rules. Then Dabo called Dixon out Saturday: "He just needs to grow up. It's that simple."||1||4-2|
|As bad as the Buckeyes played defensively (allowing 6.19 yards per snap), they have this memory to fall back on: In 2014, Ohio State also lost the second game of the season at home; it won the rest and claimed the first CFP title. This seems different. Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud is being relied upon to win games. Is it his time yet?||7||5-1|
|OK, I'll say it: The Irish almost got Peacock'd. The viewing controversy led us to almost forget there was another team on the field. The Fighting Irish needed a late touchdown to beat Toledo. They return to a conventional viewing platform this week against Purdue.||--||5-1|
|The Bearcats welcomed themselves to the Big 12 with a team flag featuring the league logo. Then they laid a big whuppin' on Murray State. Half of Cincinnati's 21 points came in a 13-minute span in the fourth. Getting used to Big 12 culture?||--||5-0|
|Biggest sidebar of Alabama week: Who will start at quarterback? Who will end at quarterback? Who will play well? Dan Mullen has himself a QB controversy that isn't controversial. Anthony Richardson has outplayed Emory Jones at every opportunity. Richardson is the first Gators quarterback to run and throw for 100+ yards each in a game since Tim Tebow in 2009. Your call, Dan.||--||4-2|
|Well, that was ugly. In perhaps the worst result of the Campbell era -- at least since the Cyclones became "good" -- Iowa slapped around Iowa State for another Cy-Hawk Trophy. Now comes the why, how and future of Purdy being benched. Did the result open the door to Oklahoma's seventh straight Big 12 title? UNLV next.||7||3-2|
|The Badgers needed a walkover win. Graham Mertz needed a walkover win. Those students who expend so much energy jumping needed a walkover win. Wisconsin got back to its running roots with 352 rushing yards. That's more like it.||--||2-3|
|Another nonconference snoozer. There seemed to be a lot of them this week, this one against Bethune-Cookman. Nine different Knights combined to rush for six touchdowns. Things get a lot more interesting with a Friday test at Louisville.||--||3-2|
|The Holy War staged another classic. The Cougars ended Utah's nine-game winning streak in the rivalry with a convincing win. BYU held the ball for 35 minutes and ran for 231 yards. It's hard to believe - or it's at least underreported - that the Cougars have won 13 of their last 14. That hasn't happened since 1996.||NR||5-1|
|Defensive coordinator Barry Odom is making a living off Steve Sarkisian. In his last two meetings with Sark, Odom held Mac Jones to a season-low in passing, Devonta Jones to a season-low in receiving and shut out the Longhorns in the first half of a 40-21 win. The 40 points are the most the Hogs have scored against the 'Horns in 40 years.||NR||4-2|
|Good gosh, Washington is terrible. At least the Wolverines didn't get sucked into the Huskies offensive-less vortex. "We're going to remain humble because we really haven't done anything yet," RB Blake Corum said following a three-touchdown win. Yeah, but it beats being boring and bad. The Huskies have scored 17 points in eight quarters.||2||6-0|
|It's going to be an interesting battle for the next-best team title in the ACC. The Hokies have the upper hand having beaten North Carolina in the opener. Middle Tennessee hung around until the second half before Tech scored on its first three possessions of the second half.||NR||3-2|
|It's becoming obvious Sam Howell is the Tar Heels' best runner and passer. North Carolina's QB accounted for 456 total yards and five TDs in a rout of Georgia State. Maybe that Heisman Trophy candidacy back on track.||3||3-3|
|Ed Orgeron is so proud of his son, Cody, McNeese State's quarterback. But he had no problem separating family from job security in coaching the Tigers to an easy win over the Cowboys. Now comes a key stretch for Orgeron and the Tigers: Central Michigan this week followed by Mississippi State and Auburn.||1||3-3|
|Following losses by Utah and USC, do the Sun Devils become the clear favorites in the Pac-12 South? Jayden Daniels was effective on a steamy Tempe night passing for 175 yards and rushing for 125. Arizona State joins UCLA and Oregon as the Pac-12's only 2-0 teams.||NR||5-1|
|Lane Kiffin's season debut (because of COVID-19) wasn't much different than his team's season debut. Austin Peay fell the same way as Louisville, getting blitzed by Jeff Lebby's offense. Until further notice, that unit is the most entertaining in America. Of course, the same could be said last year of Ole Miss' offense. Until, the Rebels play some effective defense in the SEC, we will withhold final judgement.||--||4-1|
|A bit closer than the Chanticleers would have liked but a win is a win -- even over a 27-pointer over Kansas. Grayson McCall has seven incompletions this season and three TD passes. Reese White had his first career 100-yard rushing game and added three rushing TDs. White's five TDs on the ground are tied for second nationally.||--||6-0|
Out: Texas, USC, Kansas State, Utah