We will, of course, go over this game in much more detail tomorrow, but here's what you need to know: the Iowa defense is very good, and the Syracuse football team is not. The Flyin' Hawaiian, TE Tony Moeaki, gained more yards in three quarters than Syracuse did all game long. It's not time to start reserving your tickets to Pasadena yet, but the plain and simple fact is that Iowa hasn't played a game like that in years.
The Illini looked sluggish to start the game, and The Juice only passed for 90 yards. More ominously, the Zooker spent the entire third quarter with a football helmet on. We're worried.
This score is somewhat deceptive; Indiana built a 27-point lead early in the 3rd quarter, and after the Broncos' two-point conversion failed with 8:48 remaining, they didn't threaten again until it was far too late. Indiana probably won't be playing on January 1 this season, but considering their schedule and how lame the lower echelon of the Big 10 looks, it's awfully hard to rule out four or five wins in the conference.
Everybody knew giving Oregon seven points was fucking ridiculous, but nobody but the most irrationally pessimistic could have predicted an ass-kicking like this. Michigan fans were booing before the first half was over, Chad Henne was injured and may not play next week, and Mike Hart is losing his mind. Then there was Lloyd's baffling postgame speech, where he said that even if he loses his job (read: is fired) he won't be kept down. Uh, okay? That wasn't really what anyone was interested in, but okay.
The Spartans won this slapfight because oh wait nobody cares.
Minnesota and Miami both fought desperately to wrest defeat from the jaws of victory, but with the advent of overtime, there can only be one loser. Both teams missed easy field goals in the second overtime before Amir Pinnix put the misery out of its, uh, misery. One bonus of the highlights is the laughably underpopulated Metrodome. Was that place even half-full?
Nevada blew a 24-10 lead, got it back late to go up 31-27, then let Northwestern drive 80 yards in about a minute, culminating in a 13-yard score with just 21 seconds to go. It was tremendously exciting football between two bad teams. No word on whether any posts were "laked."
The Buckeyes also sputtered against a non-BCS team (jeez, Big 10), but as soon as they kicked the field goal to go up 3-2, this game was over. Akron was Syracusian on offense; they punted 14 times and only managed three first downs. Ohio State's defense remains scary-good.
Joe Paterno remained terrifying, but the real story was the Notre Dame offense's continued ineptitude on offense, as the only Irish touchdown came from an interception return. This is particularly baffling, because as we all know, Chuck Weis is the greatest offensive mind in college football history. Imagine how much worse this loss would have been if Tyrone Willingham were still around! He's probably pissing everyone off in
Curtis Painter threw six TD's on 49 passes against Eastern Illinois. Was that really necessary, Tiller?
The Badgers have never really been effective against a spread offense, so this score isn't too much of a surprise. I don't think anyone in Camp Randall is contemplating pressing the panic button yet, and they should be right back on track next week against the Citadel. Then after that... Iowa.
Oh dear. Iowa State's listless performance against UNI pushed the members of Iowa's non-conference slate to 0-8, and 0-12 is easily possible after next week; only NIU has a reasonable shot at winning. The Cyclone defense forced no turnovers and only six incompletions on 29 attempts. It is reasonable to assume that Iowa State will be the worst of Iowa's four non-conference opponents. After last week, that seems stunning, but come on. They were down 24-6 until midway through the fourth quarter.
This game has absolutely nothing to do with the Big 10, but any time a member of the Hayden Fry coaching tree (Jim Leavitt) wins a game this big, it makes our black hearts and gold pants swell with pride.