Sometimes there are things that happen in a weekend that just make you stand up and take notice, and this weekend was one of those weekends. So instead of trying to cram everything into this week’s Swami the Magazine edition, we thought that the staff at Random Thoughts Illustrated should crank out a special report regarding the good, the bad, and the ugly in college football.
Conference Call: This past weekend seemed to be a referendum on conferences even more than it was on individual schools. As such, the RTI staff had an urge to issue conference grades from this past weekend:
The Atlantic Coast Conference Grade – C: The only saving grace for the ACC is that Florida State, Virginia Tech, and Clemson are all still looking strong and Virginia escaped with their win. On the downside Miami was shown to still be a LONG way away from being back and Duke showed that while Stanford, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt are figuring out how to win with rigorous academic standards, the Blue Devils still haven’t got a clue.
The Big Ten Grade – F: Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Penn State, and Purdue all lost games that they could have, and arguably should have won. Ohio State and Michigan State are the only reasons this wasn’t an F-. Considering that was a week after presumed power Michigan was slaughtered by Alabama, it definitely looks like a very down year in the B1G.
The Big XII Grade – B: This was well on its way to being a Grade A weekend for the Big Twelve-minus Two, but Kansas and Oklahoma State had to take it down a peg. The Texas schools all handled their business well, while K-State had one of the marquee wins of the weekend. Throw in Iowa State’s surprising (and ugly) win on the road in Iowa City and it was pretty special. The icing on top was that Missouri and Texas A&M both lost their first games in the SEC. If only the Jayhawks and Cowboys had come to play.
The Big (L)East Grade – D-: The Big East lost 2 matchups with the ACC, 1 with the Pac 12, and barely escaped with a victory against Nevada. Not only that, they are still the Big East. ‘nough said.
The Pac 12 Grade – A-: As I was watching the games this weekend, I really thought this was going to be an A or A+ weekend for the Pac .UCLA’s victory over Nebraska was a high quality win for a rebounding school. Oregon State’s upset of Wisconsin was nothing short of shocking. Arizona’s whipping of Oklahoma State was a statement for Rich-Rod in the desert as well. If only Washington could have come closer than 38 points down to LSU or Colorado hadn’t lost to Sacramento State (at home no less!) or Utah hadn’t fallen to in-state rival Utah State, then the conference would have gotten the superior grade. But make no mistake about it, this was a VERY good week for the conference as a whole.
The SEC Grade – C+: Now let’s be clear… the top of the SEC reinforced that they are the top of the SEC and a good part of the top of the country. The weekend turned against them when neither new addition could come through to show something to the rest of the conference, Vandy lost the battle of Journalism schools and oh, I don’t know, maybe when Arkansas LOST TO LOUISIANA-MONROE IN LITTLE ROCK!! Good gravy. That being said, it did seem pretty apparent this weekend that the SEC staked out that the West will come down to Alabama and LSU again while the East will be taken by Georgia or South Carolina (with Tennessee at least making an appearance in the conversation) and that their best school will play for a national title once again.
RTI’s Best and Worst Dressed: Now it is time for you to weigh in on some grades of your own. Below are some of the new or special helmets that some of the colleges have debuted or are debuting this year and I want to know what you the readers think. The Swami’s thoughts are next to them but we here at RTI are curious about the views of its readers. So vote on the best and worst new helmets and make your voice heard!