We may not see a better slate of games this season than we saw in Week 7. Two of the best rivalries in college football – Texas versus Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl and USC taking on Notre Dame – plus other intriguing conference match-ups, and the usual quota of shocking ‘never saw that coming’ games.
In case you missed the action across the weekend, read on for a look at who covered themselves in gridiron glory and who didn’t with the Week 7 edition of winners and losers.
Winner – Miami-FL
The Hurricanes came into their Friday night contest sitting 2-3 and needing a win in the worst way – and they got it, toppling No. 20 Virginia 17-9. That’s four straight home wins against the Cavaliers and goes a long way to righting the ship for Manny Diaz’s squad.
Loser – Georgia
The Bulldogs lost 20-17 in double overtime to unranked South Carolina after kicker Rodrigo Blankenship missed a field goal attempt to send the game into a third extra period. A disastrous, shocking loss for a team who were favoured by more than three touchdowns and expected to seriously figure in the national title race.
Winner – Jalen Hurts
The Oklahoma quarterback accounted for four Sooner touchdowns as they took care of Texas 34-27 in the Cotton Bowl at the Dallas State Fair. It was Oklahoma’s fourth win in the last five renewals of this classic rivalry.
Loser – Vanderbilt
I think we now know who the worst team in the Southeastern Conference is. The Commodores lost 34-10 at home to a UNLV team that has barely raised a whimper in the Mountain West this season. As ugly as it gets.
Winner – Wisconsin’s defence
The Badgers thumped Michigan State 38-0 in Madison to become the first FBS team to record four shutouts in its first six games. I’m looking forward to seeing this team against Ohio State in a couple of weeks.
Loser – Florida State
The Seminoles barely offered any resistance to Clemson, trailing 42-0 in the third before a couple of junk time scores made the final margin of 45-14 look a little more respectable. FSU managed just ten first downs, were outgained 552-253 and turned the football over four times. A disaster for Willie Taggart’s squad.
Winner – Louisiana State
A huge statement win for the Tigers against a ranked Florida team. The 42-28 win is validation for Ed Orgeron, Joe Burrow and an overhauled offensive program that has scored at least forty-two points a game. LSU are definite players in the SEC.
Loser – Southern California
The Trojans had their chances against rivals Notre Dame, but couldn’t pull out the win in South Bend. Like so many games in the Clay Helton era, they showed glimpses of talent and brilliance but too often gave up big defensive plays or failed to convert their ascendancy into points. Probably the final nail in Helton’s coffin.
Winner – Baylor
The Bears are perhaps the most unexpected undefeated team this side of Southern Methodist. They required a regulation comeback and a double overtime win against Texas Tech to keep their unblemished record alive. Matt Rhule is doing wonderful things with a program that was on its knees post-Art Briles.
Loser – Joe Moorhead
An inauspicious beginning for Moorhead in Starkville after coordinating Penn State’s offence to Big Ten glory. The Bulldogs lost to Tennessee 20-10 – a feat that really takes some accomplishing these days – by turning the football over three times and managing just 267 yards of offence. No certainty the program gets six wins and a bowl game this year.
Winner – Arizona State
Everyone looked at the Sun Devils hiring Herm Edwards away from ESPN to be their head coach as a sort of strange PR move, but it appears to be working. After a 38-34 win over Washington State, they’re 5-1 and perhaps the best team in the Pac-12 south.
Loser – Nebraska’s defence
So far this season, the Cornhuskers have played five games this season against Power 5 opponents and their defence has given up at least 34 points in four of them.
Winner – Purdue
After being annihilated last week by Penn State the Boilermakers bounced back by doing some annihilating of their own, dominating Maryland 40-14 behind backup quarterback Jack Plummer – who threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns. Important bounce-back win.
Loser – Brigham Young
The Cougars have lost three straight since beating USC back in September – falling this week to South Florida, 27-23 after leading 23-14 in the fourth.
Winner – Indiana
Behind a defence that allowed just 74 yards and sophomore receiver Whop Philyor’s ten catches for 182 yards, the Hoosiers won on homecoming for the first time since 2011.
Loser – Iowa
At home the Hawkeyes outgained Penn State 356-294 but lost 17-12, allowing the Nittany Lions to convert 10-19 third downs.
Winner – Louisville
Taking over from Bobby Petrino at the end of last season, Scott Satterfield is quickly and quietly turning the program around. They outlasted No. 19 Wake Forest 62-59 on the road and are sitting 4-2 and 2-1 in ACC conference action. Satterfield is a dark horse Coach of the Year candidate.
Loser – the Atlantic Coast Conference
Best teams in this conference? Clemson first, daylight a very distant second. Ranked squads in Virginia and Wake Forest both lost this weekend.
Winner – Oregon’s defence
Lots of talk about Justin Herbert and the Ducks offence but their defence is on fire at the moment. Four interceptions on four consecutive Colorado possessions on Friday night paved the way for a 45-3 win.
Loser – Florida’s secondary
The Gators were shredded by LSU’s Joe Burrow who threw three for 293 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 21-24 passes. One thing seems clear – they won’t be the last to be eviscerated by Burrow.
Winner – Minnesota
The Gophers are 6-0 after a dominant 34-7 win in the snow against Nebraska and should be ranked in the AP Top 25 poll. There are tougher games down the road but – considering the Gophers went 7-6 last season – their undefeated start is very much worth celebrating.