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College football recap, week 6: Michigan State parks the bus

Indiana scripts an easy victory, a MAC game goes 7 overtimes, and could Bobby Petrino be riding his motorcycle out of Louisville?

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Michigan Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

How Indiana fared

Indiana 27, Charleston Southern 0

This game met all the qualifications for a an early-season FBS vs. FCS blowout and I even could have told you what would have happened a few days before:

  • Offense looked good without showing too much? Check.
  • Defense limited the opposing team? Check.
  • Half-empty stands at Memorial Stadium? Check.
  • Weird early October Indiana weather? Double check plus.

Regardless, this was basically a controlled scrimmage, but also a really good first opportunity for Peyton Ramsey to start. It’s Ramsey’s team now, and while he showed promise last weekend, his first real chance to make a statement will come on Saturday against Michigan.

Speaking of which...

Around the B1G

Michigan State 14, Michigan 10

Jim Harbaugh is now 1-4 against Michigan State and Ohio State. Yes, you can explain away two of those losses by a freakish punt block and a controversial spot, but for a guy who is still beloved by Michigan fans because he’s not RichRod or Brady Hoke, this isn’t a great track record. And considering Harbaugh once coached Andrew Luck and did wonders with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick on the 49ers, the lack of offense still plagues the Wolverines. Part of this may be due to Wilton Speight’s injury and John O’Korn’s lackluster performance, but in year 3, Harbaugh is still trying to get this right. Maybe start by not pulling a Brian Kelly and having your QB throw a ton of passes in a dang monsoon.

As for Michigan State, that win was football nihilism and I hated it. Low-scoring football games have potential to be exciting - see Iowa-Penn State from a few weekends ago. But in this game, Sparty got up early and sat on the lead like they were coached by Jose Mourinho. And just like a Mourinho soccer team, an entire second half of playing keepaway and parking the bus without any real threat on offense is painful to watch. But yeah, uhh, good for MSU for winning at night in the Big House, I guess.

Purdue 31, Minnesota 17

After a lightning delay, Purdue took command late, scoring a go-ahead touchdown and a pick-6 late to seal a victory against the Gophers. Fun fact: Jeff Brohm now has as many B1G home victories as Darrell Hazell did in 3+ years at Purdue.

Penn State 31, Northwestern 7

Heisman frontrunner Saquon Barkley had a pedestrian day for the Nittany Lions, but Northwestern’s offense could not get anything all day in Evanston. The duo of QB Clayton Thorsen and RB Justin Jackson have not lived up to the preseason hype for the Wildcats. Penn State gets a bye (and Barkley gets to go apple picking) before facing Ohio State and Michigan back-to-back.

Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 17

Gary Andersen parted ways with Oregon State yesterday, leaving a $13 million buyout on the table. This is relevant to this blowout, because Andersen left Wisconsin to coach at Oregon State, which had just lost Mike Riley to Nebraska. Now with Riley struggling in Lincoln, could Oregon State provide him with a soft landing spot - and his third stint in Corvallis - after this season?

Iowa 45, Illinois 16

Iowa was down in the second quarter and ended the game on a 35-3 run. After two close losses, the Hawkeyes needed this one to get back to the Ferentz Zone (the term I just made up where you win 7-8 games a year and get a lifetime contract for doing so).

Ohio State 62, Maryland 14

We get it, Kevin Wilson. Good for you.

Expect another big OSU offensive performance against Nebraska next weekend.

Elsewhere in College Football

Miami 24, Florida State 20
Georgia 45, Vanderbilt 14

Two years ago, Georgia controversially fired Mark Richt and hired alum Kirby Smart. Richt in turn went back to his alma mater, The U, to try and reignite a program that was languishing under Al Golden. Both moves seem to be paying off right now, as UGA is the class of the SEC East, while Miami finally beat FSU for the first time in 8 years.

How are FSU fans feeling about being 1-3? Well...

Virginia 28, Duke 21

As long as UVA is winning, I’ll keep posting its results here, because the IU win over the Hoos keeps looking better and better. Virginia defeated a pretty solid Duke team, improving its record to 4-1 on the year. Bronco Mendenhall now has twice as many wins as he did all last season.

Western Michigan 71, Buffalo 68 (7OT)

Yeah that’s right. SEVEN overtimes in Buffalo on Saturday. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any game crazier than this one all season.

Butch Jones Dumb Motivational Technique of the Week

From the coach who brought you Champions of Life, 5 Star Hearts, and the Sideline Trash Can we now have LEADERSHIP REPS:

I’ve never seen both a fanbase and a coach that need a clean break from each other as much as Butch Jones and Tennessee fans do.

Coach on the Hottest Seat

Bobby Petrino, Louisville

Louisville lost 39-25 on Thursday night at N.C. State, continuing a long streak of weeknight games in which the Cardinals have underperformed. Yes, Louisville has the most exciting player in college football in Lamar Jackson. But without him, this team might have trouble making a bowl game.

With FSU’s struggles, all of Louisville’s remaining games are winnable. But the N.C. State loss was a microcosm of everything wrong with the second stint of the Petrino era. I watched this team in person 2-3 times a year when I lived in Louisville, and the issues today are still the same as they were when Petrino got to town. The defense gives up too many big plays, offensive line can’t protect Jackson, the team racks up a ton of penalties, and overall everything is much too inconsistent for a program that expects to be solidly top-20 and compete for ACC titles every year.

Unless the crazier subset of Louisville fans gets their way, suspended AD Tom Jurich is likely not coming back to the program. If he doesn’t, then Petrino’s buyout will be cut in half. With so much upheaval in the Louisville athletic department, it might be time for a clean break from Petrino as well.

Playoff Rankings

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Penn State

4. Georgia

After Oklahoma blew a two-score lead at home to Iowa State on Saturday, it was time for them to go. This week, I’m going with UGA as the fourth team. In Kirby Smart’s second season, the Bulldogs aren’t just winning, they’re blowing teams out. And that road victory at Notre Dame, who is pretty good again this year, will look better and better as the season rolls on. The SEC East doesn’t look too challenging, but a road game against Auburn might be the toughest barrier for the Bulldogs going undefeated in the regular season. Oh, and they just snagged the #1 recruit in the country, so the future’s bright in Athens.

Next Week

Michigan at Indiana, Noon (ugh), ABC

The CQ staff is solidly on team #NoNoonKickoffs, so we’re glad IU was able to avoid a noon start until now. Had Michigan won last week, I actually would have been less worried about this game, and thought that this might be a prime upset spot. However, the Wolverines will be mad coming off a loss to their in-state rivals. And to add to things, Harbaugh surely isn’t happy about how IU fired his brother-in-law last year.

But if worse comes to worse, we’ll always have Harbaugh wearing this shirt: