In a season where each week has basically been “Status Quo Saturdays”…it was nice to see the top 25 get shaken up a little bit. Two top ten teams and six schools in the top 20 went down on a “market correction day”. You see, with extra games against “cannon-fodder”–aka FCS/lower tier FBS teams–a team with top ten expectations isn’t often exposed in Show Me Month. Moving Month brings conference play, where you can’t hide. And there a plenty of one or two loss teams that are better than their record suggests. #5 Stanford slipping at Utah? The Utes are 10 points away from an unbeaten season. #7 Georgia falling to Missouri? the unbeaten #25 Tigers rank 8th nationally in scoring. #12 Oklahoma getting pounded in Dallas by Texas? The previously unbeaten Sooners have looked shaky (close wins over West Virginia and TCU) all season. #18 Michigan getting outscored by Penn State? The Wolverines could have lost to UConn…and should have lost to Akron. #19 Northwestern getting woodshedded by Wisconsin? Much like Heather Locklear dumping David Spade when she realized she was Heather Locklear and he was David Spade…the Badgers came within a bad call at Arizona State from entering their game with Ohio State unbeaten, and the Wildcats allowed 30 points to a 1-5 Cal team and coughed up 21 to Maine. The Big winner? An SEC that boasts a record EIGHT schools in the top 25. The Big loser? A Pac-12 that no longer has a potential battle of unbeatens between Stanford and Oregon (which means the Cardinal bump the Ducks out of the BCS and don’t advance despite a 13-1 record…setting up one last all-SEC BCS game. Damnit.).

Alma Mater Update– somehow the Orange won despite themselves in Raleigh…topping North Carolina State 24-10. While I likened last year’s team to the 1984 bunch that upset an unbeaten (Louisville in ’12, Nebraska in ’84) and appeared to turn the corner in the fourth year of a program-cleansing regime (Marone subbing in for MacPherson), this year’s edition feels like the 1989 unit that looked bad against decent competition while winning ugly against all other opposition (I remember SU getting roasted in the Dome by Penn State and Florida State while scraping to victories over East Carolina and Boston College). Bring on the ACC’s underbelly and a Georgia Tech team that’s dropped three straight. And a fun weekend in Atlanta as the College Football Corner makes its annual road trip to an Orange game. Last year we were lucky with a victory over South Florida…

Maryland holds on for dear life in a 27-26 victory over Virginia…a huge bounceback win for a team that lost by 63 the previous weekend. Last fall the Terps were 4-2 before losing multiple quarterbacks and suffering last-minute defeats that sent them on a 6-game descent…not so this year. Terrapin Triumphs– 332 yards passing and NO interceptions for fill-in Caleb Rowe at quarterback…a defense that held UVa to four field goals in the red zone…and a big-play day that saw 7 plays of 30+ yards jumpstarted by a 77-yard screen pass to Brandon Ross. Terrapin Troubles– three fumbles and six penalties kept the game closer than it should have been…and the defense made David Watford actually look competent (263 yds passing). Next up: Saturday at Wake Forest.

Virginia came oh so close to pulling off an upset; instead, it’s a three game losing streak facing Mike London’s team and the slow realization that of their two wins–one was against VMI, and the other was in the middle of a lightning-delayed game with BYU. It also means that in order to become bowl-eligble, UVa has to beat either Clemson, Miami or Virginia Tech in addition to sweeping Duke, UNC and Ga Tech (a combined 2-6 in the ACC). Cavalier Congrats– the running game gave Watford a fantastic base to work from, as Kevin Parks (112 yards) and Khalek Shepherd (81 yards on 110 carries) were able to find room…Jake McGee (8-114) was able to find spots in the secondary for key catches…and UVa didn’t turn the ball over ONCE. Cavalier Concerns– the inability to score touchdowns in the redzone provided the margin of defeat…and despite a decent day Watford still couldn’t average 10 yards per completion. Next: Saturday vs Duke.

Virgnia Tech becomes bowl eligible with a 19-9 victory over Pitt. While postseason play isn’t a new thing in and around Blacksburg, just remember that last year VT needed an overtime triumph over a 2-8 Boston College plus a three-point win over a 4-7 Virginia to reach six wins…and a Russell Athletic Bowl date with Rutgers. Hokie Highlights– EIGHT SACKS!–including three from Dadi Nicholas…239 yards passing and no interceptions from Logan Thomas…and a no-turnover day. Hokie Humblings– no running game of note: even adjusting for sacks the team gained 99 yards on 35 carries. Where have you gone, Trey Edmunds? Next: October 26th vs Duke.

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