Thanks to a
Weak Week 4 slate that featured just one matchup pitting ranked teams, and every other ranked team that played coming away with a win, we were searching for some type of angle for this weekend’s release of the USA Today coaches’ poll.
Thanks to Alabama’s sluggish victory, we’ve found one. Barely.
As expected, the Top 10 of the coaches’ poll remained nearly the same as after Week 3, with every team with the exception Louisville and LSU remaining where they were a week ago. The Cardinals dropped from No. 6 to No. 7 despite a 72-point win, while the Tigers replaced the UofL on the strength of an impressive win over previously-unbeaten Auburn.
While Alabama remained No. 1, they did see their lead over No. 2 Oregon erode ever so slightly. The Tide received “just” 59 first-place votes, down from 61 seven days ago. The Ducks picked up those two first-place votes and now have earned the top spot according to three coaches. UA and UO are the only teams to receive first-place votes this week.
The swap of first-place votes helped the Ducks cut the Tide’s points lead from 72 to 67.
Michigan, meanwhile, continue to tumble in spite of maintaining an unblemished record. Following a narrow Week 3 escape against woeful Akron, the Wolverines dropped from No. 12 to No. 14. Following a three-point win against winless UConn last night, UM moved down three more spots to No. 17.
The only other teams to move up or down more than two spots this week were Miami (from No. 17 to No. 15) and Fresno State (No. 25 to No. 23).
Arizona State (then-No. 23) and Michigan State (No. 24) fell out of the Top 25, replaced by Wisconsin (No. 24) and Texas Tech (No. 25).
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?