Here's a quick look at three teams that deserve praise, three that don't and some some notes from the college football weekend.
Team of the Week
Baylor — The Bears, who became bowl-eligible by beating Kansas State two weeks ago, are now in first place in the Big 12 South after beating Texas, 30–22, in Austin for the first time since 1987. Baylor, at 4–1, is half a game up on both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The Bears play at Oklahoma State this Saturday and host Oklahoma on Nov. 20.
Florida — The Gators snapped a three-game losing streak with a 34–31 overtime win over rival Georgia in Jacksonville. It was the most complete offensive performance of the season for Florida, which topped the 200-yard passing and rushing mark in the same game for the first time. Florida employed a no-huddle, hurry-up attack and had great success with Trey Burton running out of the Wildcat formation. Assuming the Gators beat Vanderbilt this weekend, the Nov. 13 South Carolina-Florida showdown in Gainesville will determine which team represents the East in Atlanta.
Iowa — The Hawkeyes remained in the Big Ten race with a surprisingly easy 37–6 win over previously undefeated Michigan State. The Iowa defense shut down the Spartans’ rushing game (31 net yards on 20 carries) and forced MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins into throwing three picks. Iowa, one of four teams in the league with one Big Ten loss, plays three of its final four games on the road, but the one home game is huge — vs. Ohio State.
Disappointments of the Week
Clemson — The Tigers, winners of two straight, had a chance to head into the final third of their season with some momentum. Didn’t happen. Clemson dropped a 16–10 decision to a Boston College team that had lost five straight and had only one win over an FBS team (26–13 vs. Kent State). Kyle Parker’s disappointing sophomore season continued with a lackluster 176-yard, 0-TD, 2-INT effort. Parker has only thrown eight touchdowns and ranks 96th in the nation in passing efficiency.
Miami — The Hurricanes dropped two games behind Virginia Tech in the loss column in the ACC Coastal with a stunning 24–19 loss at Virginia. The Canes were down 24–0 early the fourth quarter before rallying to close the gap to five with 4:50 remaining. Virginia, however, picked up three key first downs to run out the clock. It was the Cavs’ first ACC win in over a calendar year.
Wake Forest — We’ll keep it in the ACC with the Demon Deacons, who have been shockingly bad in 2010 under respected head coach Jim Grobe. Wake’s latest loss was it’s most alarming — a 62–14 beatdown at Maryland. The Terps had averaged only 17.3 points in their previous four games against BCS conference opponents and entered the game ranked 104th in the nation in total offense. Wake Forest has lost four games by 30 points or more this season.
Notes from the Weekend
• Mississippi State has won four straight SEC games and has completed a total of 28 passes in those four games.
• Vanderbilt has lost three SEC games by 24 points or more this season under Robbie Caldwell. In Bobby Johnson’s final five seasons, Vanderbilt lost a total of five league games by at least 24 points.
• Tulsa became the fourth team to rush for at least 200 yards on Notre Dame this season. The Irish are 0–4 in those games.
• Duke snapped a 10-game losing streak against FBS competition by upsetting Navy, 34–31, in Annapolis, Md.
• Only three first-year coaches have a winning record in conference play: Ruffin McNeil at East Carolina (4–1), Todd Berry at Louisiana-Monroe (3–2) and Jimbo Fisher at Florida State (4–1).
• Hawaii has averaged 41.4 points en route to a 5–0 start in the WAC.
• Minnesota has recorded a total of three sacks in nine games. Florida State averages over four sacks per game.
• Every team ranked in the top 25 in the nation in total offense has a winning record.
• Denard Robinson has topped the 175-yard passing and 175-yard rushing mark in the same game four times this season.
• Ryan Tannehill responded in his first career start, throwing for 449 yards and four touchdowns in Texas A&M’s 45–27 win over Texas Tech. Tannehill saw most of his action at receiver the past two years (101 catches, 1,454 yards) but was moved back to quarterback this season.
• New Mexico ranks 118th in the nation in total offense and total defense.
• Western Michigan leads the nation in both fourth down conversions (16) and fourth down attempts (28).