4 Down Territory: Best Conferences, Divisions, Games & Amazing 19th-Century Football History
With a relatively down week of match-ups we've got the big games, a look at the conference's strengths through 9 weeks and a gallery of amazing pictures. Nine of the Top 25 teams are off this week including #1 LSU, #2 Alabama, #3 Ohio State, #5 Penn State, #10 Oklahoma and #13 Minnesota.
1st Down:The Cocktail Party: #8 Georgia vs #6 Florida: These teams meet again in Jacksonville in a game between two strong defensive teams that should decide the SEC East. In defensive showdowns the games are often lost by mistakes. Georgia will need to have a good day from Quarterback Jake Fromm and that could be the difference. He has shown the ability to have big days in big games. But in their only loss of the season he turned the ball over. If that happens Saturday the Gators should win.
2nd Down: Around the Horn: #15 SMU at #24 Memphis: Before the season no one saw this one coming. Given the points allowed by each team, the winner may need to break 42 points to bring home the win.....#9 Utah at Washington: This is the first of two big North/South Pac 12 match-ups. The best outcome for the PAC 12's Playoff hopes would be for Utah and Oregon to both win. For Utah to stay relevant they'll need to stop Washington QB Jacob Eason.....#7 Oregon at USC: The Trojans have played a murderer's row of a schedule with this being their 5th game against a ranked team. Despite injury problems at quarterback they've shown the ability to throw the football very well. If they can throw it as effectively as Washington State did in a near upset of the Ducks, the Trojans could derail Oregon's playoff hopes.
3rd Down: Conference Strength: With Michigan's blowout win over Notre Dame the Big 10 improved to 33-8 (80.5%) in non-conference games, the best record among all Power-5 Conferences. They are followed by the Big 12 (24-6/ 80%), The SEC (31-11/ 73.8%), The ACC (31-13/ 70.5%) and The Pac 12 (24-11/ 68.6%)..... Who's Got The Best Division? In the Big Ten the East has a 3-game advantage in games against the West, The SEC West is +2 vs the East, The ACC Atlantic is +2 vs the Coastal and the Pac 12 South is +2 vs the North. But which Division has been the best? The Big 10 East racked up an 18-3 record in non-conference games and the SEC West has a 17-4 non-conference record. But take the standings for a hypothetical Big Ten East/ SEC West Challenge and the SEC looks like a clear favorite in at least 4 of the 7 match-ups with the other three being toss-ups.
4th Down: Cornering the Market: Watching college football it seems as though the level of play at the cornerback position is stronger than it has been in years past. "Appears" is the operative wor