Perhaps the weekend boasting no top 20 matchups (#5 Stanford vs. #23 Arizona St. fails to qualify) made fans focus instead of the BCS or Heisman race a sport all its own- High Profile Hot Seats. In order to qualify, you have to be the coach of a traditional power (Michigan-Ohio St-Oklahoma-Nebraska-Texas-USC-Alabama-Penn St-Notre Dame are top-shelf) and recent performance of the program has to be less than ideal with a fan base still living in a glory era long passed. It’s one thing to say Dana Holgorsen’s in trouble after a 2-2 start, but does that move the needle like this fall’s Bermuda triangle? Nebraska’s Bo Pellini was in hot water after a come from ahead loss to UCLA…and then comments he made regarding front-running factions of the Cornhusker fan base didn’t make things easier. Dominating the last three quarters against an overmatched South Dakota State cooled things down a bit in Lincoln. Texas responded to consecutive blowout losses by ending a five game losing streak to Kansas State–averting the first 1-3 start since 1956 (that predates the late Darrell Royal, the coach Mack Brown is competing against to this day). And Lane Kiffin’s USC squeaks by Utah State after a less than spectacular September. Three men paid big money to continue the good old days that with each passing year get more glorious. Three fan bases accustomed to old money status that don’t take kindly to getting ragged on by the underclass. Three situations worth watching over the next three months.

Alma Mater Update– watch out, ACC! A 35 point thumping of Tulane! A quarterback we can watch grow from good to great! A coach who’s more than just a great press conference giver! Blue helmets, blue jerseys and blue pants! Buffalo Wings at Sign of the Whale! Who’s coming up after the bye week? Did you say #3 Clemson? I thought we signed up for the ACC of Boston College, Wake Forest and Duke…

Maryland wraps up non-conference play with a major statement…the 37-0 shutout of West Virginia wasn’t only their first win over the Mountaineers in seven tries and nine seasons (2004 Gator Bowl) but the team’s first shutout in five years and first 4-0 start since 2001 (the last time they won the ACC). Coach Randy Edsall’s team isn’t only two wins away from clinching bowl eligibility, they’re two wins away from equalling their total victories in his first two seasons. Terrapin Triumphs– the defense held WV to 65 first half yards while recording a pick-six and an INT inside the Mountaineer 10…CJ Brown directed the offense effectively (217 yds and a TD passing…one TD rushing)… Nathan Renfro averaged over 50 yards a punt. Terrapin Troubles– classless fans in front of the West Virginia coaching booth. As the afternoon continued the Terrapin faithful instead of celebrating the end of nearly a decade of futility in the series, turned and taunted the Mountaineer assistants. We know it’s been a long time since 4-0… handle it with some dignity, because college football karma is a beast. Next: October 5th at Florida State.

Virginia bounced back from their loss to Oregon by roasting VMI 49-0. A team still getting used to new coordinators on both sides of the football clearly needed another week to get itself in gear before ACC play begins. Cavalier Congrats– Kevin Parks rumbled for 135 yards on 17 carries… the defense controlled the Keydets all day…and Kippy and Buffy put away the tailgate before the clouds rushed into the area. Cavalier Concerns– two interceptions by David Watkins doesn’t inspire confidence… and it took a while for the Cavaliers to get on a roll against a decidedly inferior VMI team. Next : Saturday at Pitt.

Virginia Tech wrapped up non-conference play in the rain…staggering to a 29-21 triple overtime win over Marshall that appeared as though neither team deserved to win. . Hokie Highlights– a BLOCKED PUNT returned for a touchdown! Trey Edmunds bounces back with 110 yards rushing while the defense holds the Thundering Herd to under 3 yards a carry. Hokie Humblings– one long afternoon… Logan Thomas throws interceptions on consecutive drives…Ethan Keyserling misses all three field goal attempts. Next: Thursday night at Georgia Tech.