A little mid-afternoon run through what’s already completed…
* As hyped as this week’s Oklahoma-Texas game was, next week’s Texas-Missouri showdown in Austin has a chance to generate even more attention. The possibility of two unbeatens carrying the top Heisman candidates (Texas’ Colt McCoy and Missouri’s Chase Daniel) makes this an irresistable prime-time option. Well, I’m assuming it will be in prime time.
* Virginia is back in business at 3-3 and gets North Carolina at home next week. What’s the difference here? The answer is multi-faceted. Man of the cloth Cedric Peerman’s return helps, but the Cavaliers’ offensive line is playing better, too. Then there’s a defense that was never as bad as it looked against Southern Cal and Connecticut – and wasn’t responsible for the lopsided margin at Duke.
* How about Tim Brewster as a national coach of the year candidate? Yes, Minnesota is a fairly soft 6-1, even after winning at Illinois today. But after last year’s miserable 1-11, bowl eligibility with five games to play is a welcome thing no matter how the Golden Gophers achieved it.
The Wolverines have lost at home to Appalachian State, Oregon, Utah and Toledo in the last 14 months. Just for fun, here’s a list of Michigan’s other nonconference home losses since 1990:
2005: L, 17-10 vs. Notre Dame
1998: L, 38-28 vs. Syracuse
1994: L, 27-26 vs. Colorado
1993: L, 27-23 vs. Notre Dame
1991: L, 51-31 vs. Florida State
Before 2007, the last time Michigan had dropped two home nonconference games appears from a quick glance through the record book to be 1951.
* Order has been restored to the universe. Rutgers is 1-5, has trips to a pair of ranked teams (Pittsburgh and South Florida) remaining and looks likely to spend the holidays at home after losing at Cincinnati.