By Joel Silverberg / @JoelSilverberg
Four down. Ten weekends to go until we’re at championship Saturday. Conference play is shaping up and some league pictures are clearer than others, but that doesn’t mean speculation is going out the window.
Here’s this week’s good, bad and ugly.
The Good: Stanford. David Shaw’s team found itself down by 17 in the third quarter on the road against a ranked opponent in Autzen Stadium. Then the Cardinal trailed by ten with less than four minutes to play before coming back to win in overtime. The schedule doesn’t get any easier with a trip to Notre Dame next.
Honorable Mention: Duke and Kentucky. Both teams are 4-0 and as ESPN’s Seth Walder points out, both teams are ranked in the same football AP poll since 1957. They’ve been ranked in the same basketball AP poll 547 times since then.
The Bad: Oklahoma State. A week after crushing a top 25 team the Cowboys got smacked around by Texas Tech in their own backyard, 41-17. Not a great start for Mike Gundy in his team’s Big 12 opener.
Honorable Mention: TCU. OK, Big12 we get it. You prefer mediocrity over parity. The Horned Frogs took a tough loss last week against Ohio State and followed that up with a conference loss to Texas to be the second ranked team in the conference to lose on Saturday.
The Ugly: Virginia Tech. The Hokies entered the game as a 28.5-point favorite, but Virginia Tech let Old Dominion hang around before giving up four fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 14-point loss to the Monarchs. Blake LaRussa threw for 495 yards for Old Dominion. It should be mentioned he’s the Monarchs’ backup quarterback.
Honorable Mention: Mississippi State. Kentucky might be a good team, but the Bulldogs struggled to get anything going offensively. The Wildcats neutralized Nick Fitzgerald and Benny Snell Jr. had a record-setting day for Kentucky. In a deep SEC West Mississippi State couldn’t afford a loss here in its attempt to keep pace with the rest of the division.