Under The Radar: A "BIG" Conference's Great Day, "Basketball Schools" Are 3-
1. These “Basketball Schools” Are a Surprising 3-0: Three teams that we normally associate with great college basketball teams are off to 3-0 starts. Cincinnati opened on the road with a win at UCLA to start 3-0. With Ohio U, UConn and Tulane ahead the Bearcats could be looking at 6-0. Kentucky broke the Florida curse, but with Top-15 Mississippi State this week we’ll know how real they are. Duke has won road games at Northwestern and Baylor to get to 3-0 and should be 4-0 before Virginia Tech comes to Durham in 2 weeks. These schools need not wait for basketball season to see some exciting competition on campus.
2. A Bad Day for One Big and a Good Day for Another: The Big Ten had a day to forget and in all that commentary what was lost was a good day for the Big 12. The conference went 5-2 in non-conference games with a 2-1 against ranked teams with #24 Oklahoma State’s win over #17 Boise State, Texas’ win over #22 USC and #15 TCU’s tight loss to #4 Ohio State. Had OSU lost to TCU it would have been an epic day for the Big 12 and a near-total catastrophe for the Big 10. With Kansas beating Rutgers 55-14 and Texas Tech beating Houston 63-49, the Big 12 is showcasing some new-found depth as well.
3. Oklahoma QB Play: Oklahoma continues to get great play from the quarterback position. In a tough 37-27 win against conference foe Iowa State, Kyler Murray hit 21 of 29 passes for 348 yards and 3 TDs. But wait there’s more: he also ran 15 times for 77 yards. All told he racked up 425 yards of total offense. For the season Murray has 863 yards passing and 8 TDs with only 1 INT and is OU’s leading rusher with 169 yards 2 TDs and averaging 5.8 yards per carry. With Army and Baylor coming up Murray should be rolling at 5-0 before the Red River Rivalry game against resurgent Texas in Dallas on October 6th.
4. How Good Is Michigan? Who knows? As Notre Dame struggled to beat Ball State and Vanderbilt that lone Wolverine loss doesn’t look like such a “good loss”. But Michigan has taken care of business against Western Michigan and SMU. With games against Nebraska, Northwestern and Maryland they should and need to be 5-1 before consecutive games against Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State. It is reminiscent of the 2008 Penn State October run at Wisconsin, at home against Michigan and at Ohio State. Three wins there propelled the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten Title.
5. Around the World and Back: The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are also truly college football’s road warriors. This past Saturday they fell to 3-1 on the season in a hard-fought 28-21 loss at Army West Point that involved flying 4,940 miles to get to the game. This year alone the team will travel 37,660 miles for 6 road games—the equivalent of over 1 ½ times around the earth. When the regular season concludes Hawaii’s senior class will have flown roughly 162,980 miles to play 25 road games. That averages to 6,519 miles per trip and equals 6.8 times around the planet.
Screen Shot of The Week: LSU's kicker Cole Tracy was stone cold on the road when he drilled the game-winner as time expired to boost #12 LSU past #7 Auburn. It marks the 2nd Top-10 win for LSU this year. Notice kids that his head is down as he follows through on the biggest kick of his career---so far.