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.
* Um, Michigan, is that you? Losing 13-10 at home to a Toledo team that entered at 1-4?
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.
—- Patrick Stevens