1. UCF. 37-10 over ECU. Champs stay champs until further notice.
2. Purdue. 49-20 over Ohio State. The Purdue Boilermakers lost to Eastern Michigan earlier this year. And Missouri. And Northwestern. The Purdue Boilermakers have lost to some very bad teams, is the point, and have three losses on the season and generally should not beat Ohio State in a football game.
So last night? Last night Purdue ran Ohio State, the No. 2 team in the country, into a brick wall with the accelerator flat to the floor. This was a complete domination. Purdue passed when they wanted to, ran for three TDs, and generally confused the Ohio State defense to the point of comedy.
For instance, Ohio State’s defense has evidently never defended a simple trap run play, which Purdue ran a couple of times late in the game for the big runs that turned this from “shocking upset” to “appalling blowout.” Greg Schiano makes $1.5 million a year. The market is perfect and never makes mistakes.
This generally happens over the course of a season. Teams can start off looking awful, then tweak a few things and suddenly look way, way better. Purdue, for instance, settled on a starter at QB and started scoring 40 points a game. David Blough threw for 378 yards and three TDs last night against the Buckeyes.
He also earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for running out onto the field after the Boilermaker defense finished the game with a pick six off Dwayne Haskins. An incredible teammate is always there to help you talk shit, and Blough is obviously an incredible teammate.
Ohio State is unraveling, saddled with a defense unable to defend even mediocre offenses and an offense losing the ability to run the ball at all. It’s kind of hard to talk about how any of this without mentioning that, or how Ohio State in 2018 is slowly turning into Missouri With Five-Star Talent.
There is one difference between Missouri and Ohio State, though. Missouri actually managed to beat Purdue in 2018.
3. Wazzu. 34-20 over Oregon. Wazzu, not Washington State. Washington State is a fine state university in Eastern Washington. Wazzu is the football team, the erratic, sometimes disastrous, and occasionally brilliant squad that will do all of the following in its best of games:
- Race out to a 27-0 lead, making Oregon look hopeless and hapless
- Roll out for the second half flat as old roadkill
- Immediately let Oregon back into the game, 27-20
- Convince everyone watching they will collapse
- Somehow turn around and score a game-clincher on an angelic TD by Gardner Minshew to Dezmon Patmon
- More improbably: hold defensively and finish out the win over the Ducks
The usual runaway mine cart hell-ride for the Cougars fan, in other words. This is why they drink and why they’re better at drinking than you. This team is going places — terrifying, possibly haunting, possibly thrilling places. Possibly places where they rocket off a cliffside highway without hitting the brakes, for instance.
The really funny part: they are, right now, the Pac-12’s last shot at a Playoff slot. This is hell, Pac-12 people, and Mike Leach is sunning himself in a lawn chair, asking why everyone’s complaining about the heat.
P.S. Serious Uncle Rico vibes from QB Gardner Minshew here. He’s got a headband AND armbands, and thus may not ever lose a game again.
4. Michigan. 21-7 over Michigan State in a bitter, ugly rivalry game with ugly, bitter football to match. One quibble: the postgame accusation that Mark Dantonio enjoyed the pregame theatrics between the two teams, though.
This accusation is clearly untrue. It suggests that Mark Dantonio has ever smiled during Michigan-Michigan State week.
5. That Brief Moment When Rutgers Was Winning a Conference Game
6. Clemson, 41-7 over NC State, with 308 yards passing for QB Trevor Lawrence proving Clemson really is using the entire schedule as practices with different focuses. One week they decide to see how well they run. The next is a passing drill, where they try out a bunch of new stuff with Lawrence.
They’ll probably spend the second half against Florida State working on long field goals and punting. Clemson will already have a 24-point lead.
That they can casually do this against NC State — a good football team — is slightly terrifying, but Clemson can beat other teams so badly we have to remind everyone that their hopeless opponents are, in every other world, good teams with good players.
For example, Ryan Finley is the best quarterback NC State has had since Russell Wilson, and on Saturday he looked exactly like Russell Wilson … the one that threw five interceptions against Green Bay in 2016. If you’re an NC State fan, try not to remember why Wilson left for Wisconsin in the first place. It will make you mad, and you have enough things to be mad about right now.
7. Nebraska. 53-28 over Minnesota. The Huskers got their first win of the Scott Frost era, and on Scott Frost Day, no less! We’ve just made every day Nebraska plays a Scott Frost Day in hope that eventually Scott Frost Day and a Huskers win would meet on the calendar. Lo: This week is that week, and Happy Scott Frost Day to you all.
P.S. If we told you it would take five years to turn Minnesota into a decent program, you would believe us, wouldn’t you?
8. Alabama. 58-21 over Tennessee in a game that produced one of the most mindbending moments in recent college football history.
That’s the coach who helped put the Tennessee program into foreclosure, Butch Jones, getting a Gatorade bath on the Alabama sidelines. Jones received $200,000 this month from the University of Tennessee, effectively paying him to coach against the Vols because Alabama isn’t paying him much to be one of the 5,680 analysts who hang around the offices in Tuscaloosa. This is insane and also perfectly normal in 2018’s college football ecosystem.
P.S. Alabama is still crazily good and will win the playoff easily. Everyone else has to scratch some meaning and fun out of the season without paying too much attention to them. This has been true for years now. The sooner you learn it, the happier you will be.
9. LSU. Only mentioning an unwatchable, 19-3 victory over Mississippi State for two reasons.
- Good lord, Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald is passing the ball right now like he has a foot for a hand.
- LSU had 239 yards of total offense and still managed to win 19-3. GARBAGE GAME KINGS, STAND UP.