- Brad Edwards, ESPN Insider
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It was college football's version of the 50% Off Sale.
Last week began with 14 undefeated teams in Division I-A, but that number was marked down to seven by late Saturday evening. Purdue and Louisville fell from the ranks of the unbeaten in heartbreaking fashion. Others such as Virginia, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Southern Miss and Navy were discarded more like a cheap suit on the clearance rack.
We enjoyed a weekend with three matchups of undefeated teams, and two of them were classics. But we'll have to wait until 2005 -- at least until Jan. 1 -- to see another one. The seven remaining teams with perfect records are in seven different conferences, and none will meet each other in what's left of the regular-season schedule.
South vs. North
Oklahoma and Texas were not convincing winners in their Big 12 interdivision games on Saturday (against Kansas State and Missouri, respectively), but their victories added to what was already an extremely lopsided season series between the conference's North and South divisions. So far this year, teams from the South are 8-2 against the North, and the North's wins have both come against Baylor. It could get worse this coming weekend: Colorado is at Texas A&M, Kansas is at Oklahoma, Missouri plays Oklahoma State, and Iowa State, which has lost 13 straight conference games, is at Baylor. Get your tickets to the Big 12 championship game now!
In defeating Missouri, Texas extended its pattern of success following losses to Oklahoma. Under Mack Brown, the Longhorns are undefeated in their next game after playing the Sooners and are now 24-1 in the remainder of the regular season after a loss to OU. Minnesota, unfortunately, has not handled adversity in the same manner. Saturday's loss to Michigan State marked the 12th straight time that the Gophers followed up a loss to Michigan with another loss in the ensuing game.
Once Proud Champions. . .
Speaking of futility in the Big Ten, who would have thought we'd ever see the day when Ohio State and Penn State were simultaneously 0-3 in conference play? If OSU can't win when Indiana visits this week and PSU can't beat Iowa, something will have to give on Oct. 30, when the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions go head to head in Columbus.
It's been only two straight conference losses for Maryland, but for offensive mastermind Ralph Friedgen, there has probably been an entire season's worth of frustration packed into just two weeks. In back-to-back home losses to Georgia Tech and NC State, the Terps have averaged just five points and 86 total yards, while completing just 43 percent of their passes and converting a mere 12 percent of third-down opportunities. At least Florida State isn't up next. Maryland gets to work out the kinks at Clemson before facing the Seminoles on Oct. 30. Ouch!
It doesn't appear there will be a good time to face FSU throughout the rest of this season. Wyatt Sexton is now giving the 'Noles a passing attack to go along with their potent ground game and swarming defense. Al Groh knows about the latter two all too well. He has faced Florida State four times as Virginia head coach, and the Seminoles have outrushed his Cavaliers 1,088 to 111 in those four games. Saturday's loss to FSU dropped UVa to 0-23 all-time in road games against Top-10 competition.
Flip The Script
It's always nice to end on a positive note, so here are two noteworthy stories of perseverance. Army ended its 19-game losing streak a week ago, but the Black Knights were not content to just enjoy that one victory. They are now officially streaking in the other direction after going on the road to defeat South Florida 42-35 on Saturday. After a bye this week, Army has games at East Carolina (1-4), home against Air Force (3-3) and at Tulane (1-4). Dare to dream.
Remember Oregon State kicker Alexis Serna, who missed three extra points in the Beavers' season-opening overtime loss at LSU? Not only is he still on the team, but he helped OSU get a crucial win at Washington on Saturday by making five field goals (including a 55-yarder) and two extra points. Serna did not play in Oregon State's second game of the season, but he has made all six field goals and all five PAT since returning to the lineup in Game 3.
Michael Hart, Michigan: 40 carries, 234 yds, TD in win vs. Illinois.
Drew Stanton, Michigan State: school-record 410 yds total offense in win vs. Minnesota.
Dwayne Jarrett, USC: 4 catches, 121 yds, 3 TD in first half of win vs. Arizona State
Carlton Jones, Army: 225 rush yds, 5 TD in win vs. South Florida.
Mickey Andrews & FSU defense: held Virginia to 3 points and 20 rush yds.
Scott Starks, Wisconsin: 9 tackles, game-winning fumble return vs. Purdue.
Jason Campbell, Auburn: 17-of-19, 297 yds, 3 TD in win vs. Arkansas.
Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M: 386 total yds, 4 TD in win vs. Oklahoma St..
Brad Edwards is the research coordinator for College GameDay Final and is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. College GameDay Final airs during the season at Midnight ET.
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