By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer
Finally! A weekend in college football that held up to the hype. Michigan stays good, Texas teams stay bad and Los Angeles decides to be a football town again. So, let’s talk about it.
LA Came to Play
This weekend two of the more surprising results came from the downtrodden Los Angeles squads. The Trojans and Bruins each faced worrisome seasons as UCLA started 0-3, while USC lost its starting quarterback.
That didn’t stop either team from pulling out wins this weekend. On Friday night, No. 10 Utah went into the Coliseum, and unexpectedly left as the losers, falling to unranked USC 30-23, while UCLA came back from a huge deficit against No. 19 Washington State.
Last week I wrote about the “death” of UCLA head coach Chip Kelly, and boy was I wrong. His ability to go into Pullman and pull his team out of a 32-point hole was incredibly impressive. Meanwhile, the Trojans were massively overmatched on the offensive and defensive lines, but their speed made up for it, somehow setting up a big matchup with No. 17 Washington.
Texas Teams Get Tested
It was a big weekend for Texas teams, as No. 12 Texas, No. 17 A&M and No. 25 TCU all faced big opponents. Only the Longhorns came out with a win. Texas faced a home test with a tough Oklahoma State team, with Spencer Sanders at the helm of a potent offense for the Cowboys. The Longhorns opened conference play with a one-score win (36-30) over the other orange squad in the Big 12.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger racked up 350 yards and four touchdowns in another dominant performance and Devin Duvernay had 12 receptions on 108 yards to continue his breakout season.
Texas’ counterparts from College Station did not fair as well as the Longhorns, though, as the Aggies of A&M took a hard loss 28-20 to division foe Auburn. The Tigers and quarterback Bo Nix brought the Aggies to 2-2 for the season, dropping them to No. 23. The most unfortunate thing for A&M may be their three remaining losses on the schedule.
TCU had a case of slippery fingers this weekend against the SMU Mustangs, as the Horned Frogs fell 41-38 in Fort Worth. The Frogs scored and moved more efficiently all game but they committed six fumbles to stunt their offensive flow. That’s right, six fumbles. After the loss to an unranked squad, TCU has fallen out of the rankings and further out of our hearts.
Should Wolverines Worry?
So, let’s talk about the Badger in the room. I mean the elephant. No, the Wolverines. Honestly, I’m not worried about them. Unless you’re of the school of thought that Michigan should be a national title contender every year, then you should worry.
I feel that the Maize and Blue are more like Wisconsin than they are Ohio State: a good team who can compete in the Big Ten. But outside of remote occurrences they aren’t a consistent threat and Wisconsin showed how good they can be in this game. The home dogs showed out against their rival from across the lake.
Jim Harbaugh is a really good coach. Rich Rodriguez was not. Brady Hoke wasn’t either. The Wolverines are in a much better position now than they were just five years ago, but that doesn’t mean they will be in title contention every single season.