Highlights From Each Conference in Week Seven

cj verdell td vs washington
Photo Courtesy: Thomas Boyd/AP

ACC

Pittsburgh isn’t having the greatest season, but they almost had what would’ve been the highlight of their year by upsetting Notre Dame in South Bend. This would’ve also been pretty much a kill shot to the playoff chances of the Irish. But the upset didn’t end up happening and Notre Dame trudges on.

Not much at all was expected from Virginia before the season started, but here they stand at 4-2 and not only are they 4-2, but they just beat the previously 16th ranked Miami Hurricanes. The Cavaliers won this game on the backs of their defense and who knows how this season finishes for them, but this has been a very good first half of the season for a team that not much was expected.

American

Tulsa has not had a good season and USF is one of the better teams in the American, but last Friday we almost had a major upset within the conference as USF barely pulled one out to beat Tulsa. They needed a field goal with two seconds left and a 15-0 fourth quarter to win.

UCF is trying to go undefeated for the second straight season and Memphis is one of the teams that people thought could be a roadblock for them coming into the season and that was almost the case. The Knights ended up pulling out a 31-30 win, but we almost had a pretty big upset within the American in this one.

Big-12

I called for this one and it ended up happening, and that was Iowa State beating West Virginia in Ames. The Cyclones ended up winning 30-14 and they did this behind a really balanced offensive attack from quarterback Brock Purdy and running back David Montgomery. This balance also lead to them being able to keep the Mountaineers off of the field and contain Will Grier. It was a pretty dominant performance from Iowa State and the Cyclones seem to be picking up a lot of momentum after a rough start to the season.

Big Ten

Iowa took care of Indiana , which isn’t big news, but Nathan Stanley deserves a shoutout for his performance as he threw for six touchdowns.

Nebraska nearly pulled out their first win of the season on the road at Northwestern, but they ended up losing 34-31 and a big reason for that was Wildcats receiver Flynn Nagel. Nagel went for 12 catches, 220 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Michigan State has looked pretty average this season, but this week they pulled off a huge win that could springboard their season. They went into Happy Valley and beat Penn State 21-17, taking the lead on a Felton Davis touchdown with 19 seconds left.

Michigan is starting to look like a playoff contender with them only having one loss and with that loss looking better and better every week, which was an opening week loss to Notre Dame on the road. This week the Wolverines were thoroughly dominant at home against Wisconsin, winning 38-13. This Wolverines defense is dominant and they are starting to look like a team that could be a playoff contender, but they’ll of course have to find a way to beat Michigan State and Ohio State, which they have been unable to do in recent memory.

Conference USA

North Texas is one of the better group of five teams in college football that nobody talks about and now they became bowl-eligible with a 30-7 win over Southern Miss.

Middle Tennessee had looked really good to start conference play and then they were facing another good test with FIU, who had also looked pretty good. Now the Panthers pulled out the win and it helped that Brent Stockstill got hurt, but ultimately this was a big conference win for the Panthers.

Independents

BYU had not been looking good and this week looked to be a tough game as Hawai’i was coming in with an offense that had been putting up big numbers so far this season. The Cougars inserted Zach Wilson into the starting lineup at quarterback and Wilson seemed to jump start their offense and they looked really good, beating Hawai’i 49-23.

Troy is one of the better teams in the Sun Belt, but Liberty had something for them this week, beating them 22-16. Stephen Calvert looked pretty good in the game, but the Liberty defense was the main reason they won this game.

MAC

Buffalo has one of the top group of five quarterbacks in Tyree Jackson, and following a 24-6 win over Akron, the Bulls are bowl-eligible so we’ll get to see Tyree Jackson play in the postseason.

Bowling Green has had a tough season so far, and that didn’t get any easier in the win column after their most recent loss to Western Michigan. But one bright spot to that loss was the performance of receiver Scott Miller. Miller had 8 catches, two of them for scores, and he went for 206 yards.

Mountain West

Utah State has emerged as one of the real contenders in the Mountain West and a big reason for that has been the play of quarterback Jordan Love. On Saturday against UNLV, Love threw for 322 yards and 5 touchdowns and to add to that he also pitched in 39 yards on the ground. Love has thrown for 14 touchdowns on the season and he’s become one of the better offensive players in the conference.

Pac-12

Utah has always been the team in the conference that can’t put together an offense no matter what they do and for the early part of the season, it looked no different. However, the past two games, the Utes have put up 40 points on Stanford and 42 points on Arizona. If the Utes are going to play like this on offense they have a real good chance of winning the South with how good their defense is.

Oregon had a big chance to show that they’re a more physical team and that they can beat top competition on Saturday when they played Washington and they were able to pull out a win. They did need a missed field goal as time expired for the game to go into overtime, where they eventually won on a C.J. Verdell touchdown run. What was impressive about this win is they ran the ball really well on Washington and didn’t win this game on the right shoulder of Justin Herbert, which most would’ve expected if you would’ve said that Oregon won.

People were starting to think that UCLA could have an 0-12 season, but that’s not the case as they went into Berkeley and completely beat up on Cal, winning 37-7 and Joshua Kelly for UCLA has emerged as a real top back for the Bruins.

Colorado had the chance to take a firm hold on the Pac-12 South, but they didn’t perform very well on the road at USC. The Trojans won 31-20, but that was made to look closer with a late touchdown by the Buffaloes. USC looked like a team ready to make a run at the division, but we will have to see how they perform offensively going forward because I don’t trust that offense and now they’ll have to deal with the season-ending injury to star linebacker Porter Gustin.

SEC

Gus Malzahn might be feeling his seat warming up as the Auburn Tigers have really struggled this season on offense and this week the Tigers season really took a downturn as they lost at home to re-building Tennessee. Things are on the verge of getting ugly at Auburn after this loss and we’ll have to see how Malzahn is able to rally his team and finish off this season.

I thought Georgia would go into Baton Rouge and flex their muscle, but that was exactly the opposite of what happened. LSU was absolutely dominant, suffocating the Georgia offense and being able to ground and pound the Bulldogs to death and get a no-turnover performance from Joe Burrow. This was as impressive a win as anyone has had this season in my opinion.

Sun Belt

This game happened over a week ago as it was a Tuesday game, but it was a big game in the Sun Belt race as Appalachian State traveled to play at Arkansas State, and the Mountaineers were dominant, winning 35-9 and forcing 3 turnovers from the usual pretty efficient Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen.

My Top-25

  1. Alabama
  2. Ohio State
  3. Notre Dame
  4. LSU
  5. Clemson
  6. Michigan
  7. Georgia
  8. Texas
  9. UCF
  10. Florida
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Oregon
  13. Washington
  14. Kentucky
  15. West Virginia
  16. Penn State
  17. Texas A&M
  18. NC State
  19. Iowa
  20. USF
  21. Washington State
  22. Cincinnati
  23. Mississippi State
  24. Michigan State
  25. San Diego State
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