10 takeaways from a college football Saturday that went terribly wrong for the Big Ten

10 takeaways from a college football Saturday that went terribly wrong for the Big Ten

Over a period of eleven years between the national championships in 2002 and 2014, many of the Big Ten's marquee programs wandered through various passages. Michigan could not find the right coach after Lloyd Carr retired, the Penn State program dealt with the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and Ohio State navigated the ugly end of the Jim Tressel era.

Everything changed for the national perception of the Big Ten in 2014. Ohio State stunned Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in the semifinals in the College Football playoff's first season. Urban Meyer led the Buckeyes to this first CFP title and Ohio State set the bar back for the Big Ten.

That coincided with James Franklin's first year at Penn State, Jim Harbaugh's arrival in Michigan, and one of the best runs in Michigan State history. As the Big Ten East developed into a power, Wisconsin continued a run that mingled intermittently with the elite in college football.

Well, the national perception of the Big Ten seems to be in the exhaust of the SEC on a flight route. And outside of Ohio State and Penn State, the league's only real title contenders to play in Happy Valley in two weeks, Jim Delany's crew should be preparing to be the butt of some jokes. They have lost credibility with, well, SEC-like speed.

The most critical loss of the week came from No. 6 Wisconsin fell on BYU, 24-21, at home in Madison. The Badgers were a popular choice to win the Big Ten. BYU entered the game improved from a 4-9 season in 2017, but fresh from a loss for Cal. But the Cougars have essentially knocked out the Big Ten's second best college football playoff contender. He provided an exclamation mark on a day when the Big Ten scoreboard was filled with scarlet numbers: Akron 39, Northwestern 34; Troy 24, Nebraska 19; Kansas 55, Rutgers 14; Temple 35, Maryland 14. To a lesser extent, USF 25, Illinois 19, and Purdue lost at home to a SEC team (Missouri) was better off losing at home to a MAC team (Eastern Michigan).

If Ohio State did not come back to beat TCU in a game in which the 40-28 score did not indicate the troubled tenor, the Big Ten logo would have been on so many dumpsterfire GIFs that they'd broken Twitter.

It's hard to pinpoint a thread that traverses all losses. Clayton Thorson imploded (two pick-sixes and one fumble), Nebraska started a real freshman walk-on, Rutgers had a five-alarm meltdown and Maryland could not score an offensive touchdown. (Illinois gave 18 fourth quarter points.)

What does all this mean? Well, in the big picture of championship hunts, the embarrassing losses are just embarrassing. Michigan's loss to Notre Dame, who has since been a pedestrian, and the loss of Michigan State in the state of Arizona over the past few weeks, mean more on the whole.

Perhaps the biggest snack is that the Big Ten title game is devalued as a win. Last year, Ohio State outlasted a good Wisconsin team and that was not enough to surpass Alabama for their last playoff spot as Big Ten champions. (Ohio State had losses to Oklahoma and Iowa.)

Whoever comes from the East, the perception of their Big Ten title opponent will probably walk. (Iowa (3-0) and Minnesota (3-0) are both undefeated, and Iowa have a show game against Wisconsin on Saturday to see where it stands).

For the time being it is fair to say that the Big Ten are in vogue. With the SEC roaring, Clemson sees the ACC one step ahead and Oklahoma seems to have mimicked the last season, the post-season Big Ten hopefuls may have already been reduced to either Ohio State or Penn State. And in two weeks, that number could end up being reduced to one.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "2) Three games in his tenure as an appetizer, praise the acknowledgments for Tua Tagovailoa. Alabama won a 62-7 win over Ole Miss at Oxford, which felt like it could have been three-digit if Nick Saban did not take his foot off the accelerator. Tagovailoa completed 11 of 15 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns and drew an interesting bit of praise from Rich Bartel, a prominent private quarterback guru who was an NFL journeyman quarterback. On Twitter, Bartel said, "Tua is the best QB in the NCAA, playing the quarterback position competently, holistically, intuitively better than anyone else." (He ranks Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State second.) "Data-reactid = "42">2) Three games in his tenure as an appetizer, praise the acknowledgments for Tua Tagovailoa. Alabama won a 62-7 win over Ole Miss at Oxford, which felt like it could have been three-digit if Nick Saban did not take his foot off the accelerator. Tagovailoa completed 11 of 15 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns and drew an interesting bit of praise from Rich Bartel, a prominent private quarterback guru who was an NFL journeyman quarterback. On Twitter, Bartel said, "Tua is the best QB in the NCAA, playing the quarterback position competently, holistically, and intuitively better than anyone else." (He ranked Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State second.)

Bartel later explained in a text message why he appreciates Tagovailoa so much: "He is the best, based on what I know to be the eternal truths of the position, I objectively evaluate him against other impressive contemporaries." He mentions Missouri's Drew Lock, Haskins, Auburn's Jarrett Stidham, and Will Grier of West Virginia.

Why Tua?

"His toolbox is deep and wide and there's nothing he can not do – no game he can not create – he's traditional, uncharacteristic and a unicorn in one."

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "3) As we compare quarterbacks, it's worth taking a moment to think about the fierce start of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. In Oklahoma's 37-27 win over Iowa State on Saturday, Murray was 21 out of 29 for 348 yards and three touchdowns. His total mileage of 1,032 in three games this season, as mentioned the day before, is one meter behind Baker Mayfield, who was at this time last season. "Data-reactid =" 46 ">3) As we compare quarterbacks, it's worth taking a moment to think about the fierce start of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. In Oklahoma's 37-27 win over Iowa State on Saturday, Murray was 21 out of 29 for 348 yards and three touchdowns. His total of 1,032 through three games this season, as mentioned earlier in the day, is a yard behind Baker Mayfield this season last season.

With Oklahoma seeming to overthrow another playoff bid, Murray is leaning toward the barren territory where Mayfield led Oklahoma last year – Nation Title Contest, Heisman and Big 12 Supremacy. Murray is unlike Mayfield as he is more of a threat with his legs than he crashed 77 yards against Iowa State. Murray was Oklahoma's leading rusher, something we could see more this season, with Rodney Anderson, the star-sooner, out for the season.

And here's a reminder to enjoy Murray's dynamic as long as we can. His commitment with the Oakland A & # 39; s has led him to a full-time baseball career after this season. He was tipped to second place this year because he had his last chance at football. But his performance and talent have so far confirmed this unconventional decision.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "4) Texas' 37-14 blowout victory probably says more about USC in the macro than about Texas. Certainly this is a hallmark for Herman in his sophomore year in Texas. Corner Kris Boyd has resumed the old debate by telling the Associated Press, "I feel we somehow proved we were back." The type of victory was perhaps more impressive than hitting USC. Texas has turned off the USC in the last three quarters and scored 34 unanswered points to drive out the Trojans. "Data-reactid =" 49 ">4) Texas' 37-14 blowout victory probably says more about USC in the macro than about Texas. Certainly this is a hallmark for Herman in his sophomore year in Texas. Corner Kris Boyd has resumed the old debate by telling the Associated Press, "I feel we somehow proved we were back." The type of victory was perhaps more impressive than hitting USC. Texas closed USC for the last three quarters and scored 34 unanswered points to pull the Trojans away and blow them out.

These two statistics will raise many questions at the USC, where coach Clay Helton has been successful with most conventional metrics but has not yet been fully accepted by the Trojan believers. This includes sports director Lynn Swann, who has not hired Helton. Swann extended Helton in 2023 in February after leading USC to his first Pac-12 title since 2008. But it has long been perceived that the extension was signed through clenched teeth. Helton has done a wonderful job restoring the stability and credibility of the USC, and the school is recruiting at a miserable pace.

Which is likely to happen if the USC slump continues in the Pac-12 game – a big one in Down Pac-12 – is that Helton may be forced to change personnel. Offensive coordinator Tee Martin will be in the crosshairs in the near future. USC ended the Texas game with nine scoreless drives, and that comes one week after a touchdown on 12 drives against Stanford. (Both Maryland and Tulsa moved the ball better against Texas.)

Helton firing this season seems drastic. He has won the Rose Bowl and a Pac-12 title in successive seasons and was everything the school wanted him to be. True freshman quarterback JT Daniels oozes with promise for the future. It would also be prohibitively expensive, having signed by 2023 and a conservative estimate of the buy-out – USC is a private school – would be well over $ 10 million.

But USC is a fun place that presents itself as a program that should be in consistent mastery. These back-to-back losses, along with the outlier losses to Notre Dame (49-14) and Ohio State (24-7), indicate that the Trojans are below their affiliation.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "5) Florida State has started the season 0-2 in the ACC, and it's hard to quantify how hopeless things feel in three games in the Willie Taggart era. On a day when Florida State was blasted 30-7 in the Carrier Dome, there were more defeats than a Garth Brooks karaoke night. Florida State committed 11 penalties for 90 yards, turned only 1-of-14 third-round opportunities and it took the Seminoles 114 minutes to score a touchdown in an ACC game. The slip-up to Syracuse – and it could have been a lot worse, without Syracuse's early goal line problems – snapped a 10-game winning streak that FSU had over Syracuse. (It went back to 1966.) "Data-reactid =" 58 ">5) Florida State has started the season 0-2 in the ACC, and it's hard to quantify how hopeless things feel in three games in the Willie Taggart era. On a day when Florida State was blasted 30-7 in the Carrier Dome, there were more defeats than a Garth Brooks karaoke night. Florida State committed 11 penalties for 90 yards, turned only 1-of-14 third-round opportunities and it took the Seminoles 114 minutes to score a touchdown in an ACC game. The slip-up to Syracuse – and it could have been a lot worse, without Syracuse's early goal line problems – snapped a 10-game winning streak that FSU had over Syracuse. (It extended to 1966.)

An assistant coach who has been studying the FSU this season, Yahoo Sports said on Saturday that the lack of effort stood out most on the film.

"Either there is no precise plan on either side of the ball or their children have not shopped," he said. "I would not be surprised if they fixed it, their abilities players [on offense] and talent for defense is really good. But for some reason, they do not look like they're playing hard. "

Taggart's lowest moment on Saturday came at the end of the first half.

With 11 seconds in the first half, FSU drew 6-0 and had a third and -10 from the Syracuse 21-yard line. The FSU had no time off – another charge against Taggart's Game Management – and opted for a shot into the end zone. Quarterback Deondre Francois completed a pass to receive Keith Gavin in front of the first down marker. He was attacked in Bounds, which turned off the time and Francois presented as completely unprepared to manage the game. He had to throw the ball into the end zone, but at least safely behind the first-down marker, in this situation. Taggart watched helplessly from the sidelines as FSU seemed unprepared for the most basic situation football.

What is the reality? There are only three games in it, so Taggart needs some time. (The FSU's only win was a 36-26 second forward Sambord whose tenor made all Seminole fans nervous.) The FSU would have to pay about $ 21.2 million to shoot at Taggart, a dizzying amount. To be fair, a squadron is not a fair sample size, especially because it inherits a pro-style program and tries to install the exact offensive system. For example, the offensive line, which is disgusting, can not be completely committed to Taggart. But Francois could argue publicly with the line during the match.

"There is an expectation here, a standard here," Taggart said after the game. I will tell you, do not give up this football team, please do not give up the football team. "

Taggart has proven to be a solid coach at earlier stations in Western Kentucky, USF and Oregon, with a 48-52 career record. He has also proven that he needs time as these programs went during his first season 11-25. (He started with 2-10 at Western Kentucky and USF, a realistic projection that looks at the rest of this FSU plan, unless things change drastically.)

But what Taggart sees at this point is a certain adaptability, a confirmation of how uninspiring things are and a plan to change them. This could include Taggart giving up playing. It could involve a system change, something Taggart has achieved at USF. But what's unacceptable is more the same thing, because the sour look, as FSU botched the watch management at the end of the first half, has doubled to portrait this FSU season. Something has to change, and it has to change quickly.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "6) Things are not Florida state-level hopeless in Nebraska. But they are bad. The Scott Frost era started with 0-2 after losing to Troy, 24-19. This is the first 0-2 in Nebraska since 1957. This is also the year in which Nebraska lost six games in a row. The current series goes back to last season when they suffered four consecutive defeats. "Data-reactid =" 69 ">6) Things are not Florida state-level hopeless in Nebraska. But they are bad. The Scott Frost era started with 0-2 after losing to Troy, 24-19. This is Nebraska's first 0-2 inaugural since 1957. Nebraska lost six games in a row that same year, with the current series dating back to last season, when they suffered four consecutive defeats.

The lack of panic in Lincoln is linked to Nebraska's dangerous quarterback situation. Starter Adrian Martinez suffered a knee injury at the opening game against Colorado and the Lincoln Journal Star reported that he was OK when warming up in full pads. "If he hobbled at all, that was hard to see." Backup Tristan Gebbia was transferred to the Oregon State towards the end of the camp after finding out he would not start, which deprived Frost of his options.

Nebraska started with the freshman freshman Andrew Bunch, and it went as you would expect for a newbie freshman. He went 19-for-27 with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Perhaps most importantly, he ran only five yards, robbing a key element of Frost's offense.

With the Big Ten West a smoldering mess, Nebraska can still show a decent demonstration in the conference game. The Cornhuskers will play in Michigan next week and Martinez Health will be a major story in this game.

Troy went up 2-1 after being blown out of home by Boise State to open the season. The Trojans are a sunburn favorite and not your usual preseason appetizer. (Ask LSU fans how the Trojans in Baton Rouge won last season.) Frost took over a depleted list recruited for a pro-style system. It will take time. It is important to him that the results in the field are not so bad as to undermine his work on the recruitment path.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "7) Fill up your bottles. Cover your tailgates with Red Bull and Slim Jim. The road to the college football playoff will be this autumn through Baton Rouge. LSU hosts Georgia (October 13), Mississippi State (October 20) and Alabama (November 3) in three consecutive home games that could all impact College Football playoffs. "Data-reactid =" 74 ">7) Fill up your bottles. Cover your tailgates with Red Bull and Slim Jim. The road to the college football playoff will be this autumn through Baton Rouge. LSU hosts Georgia (October 13), Mississippi State (October 20) and Alabama (November 3) in three consecutive home games that could all impact College Football playoffs.

Few people thought that LSU could start 3-0, not neutral games against Miami to open the season, and a SEC start in Auburn. But just as the LSU's 20-point comeback against Auburn stabilized its program last season, another comeback is changing its paradigm. LSU defeated Auburn's lead of 11 points in the third trimester, meaning Ed Orgeron came back against Gus Malzahn in two consecutive seasons in two consecutive seasons in the second half.

LSU transfer quarterback Joe Burrow has just done enough on the winning Final Drive. Supported by two defensive-pass interference calls and two cash-first burrow first-down conversions, LSU scored 52 yards in 14 games and Cole Tracy kicked a 42-yard field goal on time.

At the beginning of the season many LSU saw 1-2 from the beginning. But this 3-0 start makes it a factor in the SEC West and shows signs of what it can be like under Orgeron.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "8th) The Boise bus, which was piloted by my colleague Pat Forde for almost a decade, crashed heavily on Saturday afternoon in Stillwater. Boise State was a favorite in the Oklahoma State game, with the line rising more than five points this week on consumer confidence in the Broncos.
But Oklahoma State ran Boise out of Boone Pickens Stadium, 44-21. "Data-reactid =" 78 ">8th) The Boise bus, which was piloted by my colleague Pat Forde for almost a decade, crashed heavily on Saturday afternoon in Stillwater. Boise State was a favorite in the Oklahoma State game, with the line rising more than five points this week on consumer confidence in the Broncos.
But Oklahoma State ran Boise out of Boone Pickens Stadium, 44-21.

Oklahoma State Justice Hill, one of the country's most dynamic traffic jams, ran for 123 yards and a touchdown to 15 carries.

Taylor Cornelius, in his first season as a full-time starter, ran for two touchdowns and threw for another. He finished 15 of 26 for 243 yards. Perhaps more impressive was the defense of Oklahoma State, which is not traditionally the hallmark of the program.

One week after Boise won 818 yards in Hanging 62 against UConn, "Oklahoma State" kept it at 414 yards, forced a turnover and closed it in the fourth quarter. This loss represents a chance for UCF and the American Athletic Conference. UCF's game in North Carolina was canceled because of Hurricane Florence. With a winning series of 15 games, UCF is the favorite for the group of five. But giving North Texas the Conference USA credit, she blew Arkansas, 44-17, in one of the most impressive victories of the day.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "9) Clemson has won three ACC titles and remains the leader of the league. That will not change until someone challenges the tigers. But the balance of power behind the tigers in the ACC Atlantic Division seems to be shifting. Boston College delivered a significant 41-34 Wake Forest win on Thursday afternoon to sign up as a factor in the Atlantic Division this season. "Data-reactid =" 82 ">9) Clemson has won three ACC titles and remains the leader of the league. That will not change until someone challenges the tigers. But the balance of power behind the tigers in the ACC Atlantic Division seems to be shifting. Boston College delivered a significant 41-34 Wake Forest win on Thursday afternoon to sign up as a factor in the Atlantic Division this season.

Boston College has averaged 39.4 points per game since the inauguration of AJ Dillon last October, going 8-2. Both defeats came without quarterback Anthony Brown, who suffered a knee injury against NC State on 11 November. Brown's five touchdown passes on Thursday, supplemented by Dillon's 185 yards, show what the Eagles can do wrong this season.

"That's what we did," coach Steve Addazio told Yahoo Sports on Friday. "A dominant running game and a great throwing game, you'll have to pick your poison, sell for AJ and you're open to strikes."

BC set up 524 yards in Wake Forest, and this offense epitomizes where the program is under Addazio in its sixth season. BC will never win the star game on the day of signing, but they've devised a roster in which the backwater is a Heisman contestant, a promising young quarterback, and a line that re-establishes the Tom-O & Brien era revived when BC routinely spawned NFL Lineman. Tight End Tommy Sweeney is also an NFL prospect. In the defense, both objectives are designed by BC – Zach Allen (four rapid waves against Wake) and Wyatt Ray (four sacks against Wake).

"I think we are in the zone where we have to bear fruit and benefit," said Addazio. "I think we have that ability, and we have to do it."

Tuck This Nugget Away: Clemson's toughest remaining game could be at Boston College on November 10th.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "10) The Pac-12 After Dark is a fun marketing promo for the league's late-night football gadgetry. But on Saturday, the League's performance, especially in the South, had probably wished Commission Larry Scott that nobody was watching. The wildest result came at San Diego State, where the number 23 Arizona State was lost after a bizarre and unfair targeted call had taken the chance of scoring the first goal six seconds before the end of the 2-yard line. "Data Reactid =" 88 ">10) The Pac-12 After Dark is a fun marketing promo for the league's late-night football gadgetry. But on Saturday, the League's performance, especially in the South, had probably wished Commission Larry Scott that nobody was watching. The wildest result came at San Diego State, where the number 23 Arizona State was lost after a bizarre and unfair targeted call had taken the chance of scoring the first goal six seconds before the end of the 2-yard line.

San Diego State Trenton Thompson was thrown out of the game for a targeting hit on Arizona State Frank Darby, but Thompson should be named MVP of the game. Thompson was thrown, but his hit shook Darby so much that he lost the ball after the officials had thought it a catch. Officers scanned the piece, discarding Thompson and then defeating Arizona State's comeback offer by outdoing Darby's catches. (ASU's last throw into the end zone has been fended off). San Diego held up for the 28-21, which ended at 2:30 am Eastern time.

This is an exclamation point on a dark night for the Pac-12 South, which already looks hopelessly out of the playoff race. UCLA is building up boldly as it lost at home to Fresno 38-14. (Imagine how empty the Rose Bowl will be the rest of the year in fair weather LA?). Arizona (1-2) is not far behind in hopelessness. The Wildcats were wiped out by Houston last week and fought Southern Utah early before retreating to 62:31.

Utah is always a quiet candidate to win the South, but the Utes looked incapacitated in a 21-7 home loss to Washington. We dealt with the USC issues earlier, though they may still be talented enough to win the South.

Is Colorado Colorado the darling of the South? The Buffaloes have a strong victory over Nebraska (with Adrian Martinez mostly healthy), but their candidacy to win the division says more about the South than about Colorado. No one in the department was, well, lights off.

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