It’s not wise to make assumptions about what happens at the end of the season based on week 2 results, but it’s safe to say the Big Ten won’t be having a team in the College Football playoffs after a terrible run of results in one day, with Michigan State (losing to Oregon), Ohio State (defeated by Virginia Tech) and Michigan (crushed by Notre Dame) getting beaten quite harshly to show how far their conference seems to be right now from the rest.
Upsets? Maybe Virginia Tech beating Ohio State, the only nonranked team beating a ranked one this weekend. But considering how the Buckeyes lost their starting quarterback before the season began and not being able to fix their defensive problems, maybe it’s not that big of a surprise that the Hokies came away with a 35-21 in Columbus, which will propel them into the rankings after starting the season at 2-0.
Oregon beating Michigan State in the biggest game of the weekend (#3 vs #7) was an example of how maybe the Ducks are now past their problems against rugged, run-first kind of teams. Michigan State did have a second big quarter, but eventually lost 46-27 and found it very difficult to slow down Marcus Mariota and Royce Freeman, in the kind of win that could help Oregon propell itself into the top two, considering the teams Alabama and Florida State played.
Florida State didn’t impress against Oklahoma State in week 1, but things were a lot easier seven days later with a 37-12 win over Citadel, which doesn’t have the ability and quality to expose some of the flaws in Florida State’s offense. Alabama also had a rough time with West Virginia in the opening week, and relaxed against Florida Atlantic with a 41-7 win, giving Blake Sims the opportunity to show he can be accurate, at least against this level of opposition.
Back to the Big Ten? Michigan weren’t ranked going into their clash with Notre Dame, right now the last scheduled in this great rivalry. Brady Hoke seems to be carried by fumes of his debut season at Michigan because there hasn’t been much to be proud of ever since. Michigan were shut out for the first time in 30 years against the Irish, winning 31-0, and Everett Golson showed once again just how much he was missed last season.
While Oklahoma, Auburn, Texas A&M and Baylor rounded off the top 10 with easy wins against lowly programs, UCLA improved to 2-0 as well although it was once again less than impressive, beating Memphis at home 42-35.
USC beating Stanford was the biggest of the news on the West Coast, which might shine a light on the Cardinal heading into a down year, losing to the Trojans at home for the first time since 2006. Steve Sarkisian helped pull up Washington from incredible depths to respectability, and he is on the right path with USC, getting a fantastic defensive performance and a great running game from Javorious Allen, en route to 13-10 win and the only other team this week to beat a ranked team.