When it was announced last fall that Maryland would be headed to the Big Ten…the Terps were greeted with many condolences as they’d be finding the football much tougher in the “Granddaddy of all Conferences”. Well…the ACC boasts more top ten (2-1) schools and as many top twenty teams (3-3) after three weeks. And Saturday was a bad one for the Big Ten that has 12 soon to be 14 schools in its membership. Four games against the Pac-12…with Ohio State the only Big Ten team to prevail. Nebraska got roasted in the second half by UCLA, Wisconsin’s last-minute rally came up short at Arizona State and Illinois couldn’t keep pace with Washington. Purdue lost its annual battle with Notre Dame…and Penn State came back to reality with a “so much for a 2-0 start” loss to Central Florida. I wonder if they had T-shirts printed for a win over the Golden Knights like they did for their victory over Syracuse. But the biggest disaster of the day was barely averted in Ann Arbor: Michigan had to rally in the 4th quarter to take the lead over Akron…and then hold off a last second Zips drive. Coach Randy Edsall and company may be wishing they could start playing the Big Ten this fall.

Alma Mater Update– Scott Shafer gets his first victory as Orange coach…against Wagner. Not as impressive as Doug Marrone (Northwestern),Paul Pasqualoni (Vanderbilt) or Dick MacPherson (Indiana)…and maybe not even as notable as Greg Robinson (Buffalo). What may be the big September takeaway is that Drew Allen will not be Greg Paulus 2.0…as sophomore Terrell Hunt may be Ryan Nassib 2.0. Shafer can exceed the Robinson Error’s first year win total Saturday as the Orange entertain Tulane. I’m still stinging from a 1990 Homecoming loss to the Green Wave.

Maryland moves into the region of relevance with a 32-21 win over Connecticut…and one might wonder why the 3-0 Terps aren’t even receiving votes in either major poll. Until you realize the three wins have come against teams a combined 1-7 on the season (thank you ODU for beating Howard). Terrapin Triumphs– CJ Brown beats you with his feet (122 yards rushing and a touchdown) or his arm (277 yards and a score)…Brandon Ross (95 yds rushing plus 2 catches) and Stefon Diggs (5 catches, 110 yards and a TD) provide game changing options. Defensively, LB Yannick Cudjoe-Virgil notched 3.5 sacks… Dexter McDougle ran back one of his 2 interceptions for a touchdown…and the D held the Huskies to 5-18 on third down while limiting UConn’s ground game to 76 yards on 28 non-sack runs. Terrapin Troubles– three turnovers…the inability to contain UConn WR Shakim Phillips (10-178 and a TD)…and converting just one of eight third downs after halftime won’t help when they face better competition. Next: Saturday vs West Virginia at Baltimore.

Virginia had the weekend off as Kippy and Buffy washed and put away their swimsuits and beach towels for the winter…Next: Saturday vs VMI.

Virginia Tech came close to another September stumble…before scraping out a 15-10 win over East Carolina that may have sent the college game back to the ’70’s. As in the 1870’s. Hokie Highlights– Logan Thomas threw for 258 yards and 2 touchdowns… the defense notched six sacks and three interceptions. Hokie Humblings– two missed field goals and a botched extra point give Beamer Ball! a black eye…while a third field goal attempt (No Good) was wiped out after a running into the kicker penalty. Trey Edmunds was held to 42 yards on 21 carries. Next: Saturday vs Marshall.

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