No. 1 FSU struggled to win, one college coach lost his job and running backs are bumping quarterbacks out of the national spotlight.
They headline the list of top 10 things we learned during another action packed college football weekend.
1. This isn’t the Florida State of last season. The Seminoles may be undefeated, but they sure don’t look unbeatable. The defense is giving up twice as many points and total yards, while turnovers have put FSU on the wrong end of the scoreboard early in games. And yet the ‘Noles continue to find ways to survive.
2. The SEC West is about to get real. We’re about to find out who the best teams are in the toughest division in college football. Six ranked teams are set to face off against each other next week, including Texas A&M at Mississippi State, Alabama at Ole Miss and LSU at Auburn.
3. Texas A&M is much more than just offense. The knock on Kevin Sumlin’s program has been it’s all offensive flash and no defensive substance. That’s changed this season, with the Aggies stopping teams late, allowing just 27 second-half points in five games.
4. The SEC East is still a mess. The SEC East continues to be anyone’s guess right now. Missouri’s loss to Indiana last week had everyone writing off the Tigers, but a come-from-behind win over South Carolina on the road makes Mizzou the favorite heading into next week’s battle with Georgia.
5. Is this the year of the running back? Quarterbacks have hogged the national spotlight, but that’s about to change thanks to Georgia’s Todd Gurley, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah. The trio rushed for a combined 597 yards and seven touchdowns in big wins during the weekend.
6. The Charlie Weis Era ends with a thud in Kansas. Weis was supposed to be the big name hire who was going to put the Jayhawks back on the map, but instead the program got lost along the way to the tune of a 6-22 overall record. Kansas fired Weis Sunday, with school officials citing “lack of on-field development.”
7. Brady Hoke may not be far behind. Michigan’s loss to Minnesota may not have sealed his fate, but his decision to allow quarterback Shane Morris to return to the game after being carted off the field with a possible concussion didn’t help his cause. The move was immediately questioned by critics and Hoke had no good answers.
8. Michigan State and Ohio State continue to make their case. Week 2 losses by these two powers had many knocking the Big Ten out of the four-team College Football Playoff race. The schools will need to build on big offensive showings they delivered during the weekend to impress playoff selection committee members.
9. Is Notre Dame a playoff contender? The Fighting Irish may be 4-0, but their body of work isn’t the most impressive — especially as Michigan continues its downward spiral. Some pundits see this team a legitimate contender, but we’ll see if that’s the case after showdowns with Stanford and FSU.
10. UCLA is scary when the Bruins are running on all cylinders. For weeks now, we’ve wondered what is up with UCLA after single-digit wins over Virginia, Memphis and Texas. But Thursday’s night’s 62-27 rout over Arizona State was a masterpiece for Jim Mora and company. The Bruins went on an impressive 52-10 run that put the game out of reach for the Sun Devils.