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What did we learn in Week Three? We like to think that, for those who pay attention, some less-than-obvious teams and players surfaced.
1. The Pittsburgh Panthers (3-0, 1-0 ACC).
Pitt leads the ACC Coastal division with one conference win (over Boston College in Week Two) and an overall 3-0 record including a 42-25 foregone conclusion victory over Florida International on Saturday. With games ahead at home against Iowa and Virginia Tech, and on the road at North Carolina and Miami, the Panthers look like a contender to reach the conference championship game.
Elsewhere in the conference, Virginia Tech returned home after a huge upset win in Columbus last weekend over Ohio State and promptly fell flat in a 28-21 loss to East Carolina. Preseason darling Clemson (#16, now #22) sits at 1-1 and will face the wood chipper that is the Florida State Seminoles next week. In the Week Four rankings, both Va. Tech and Louisville dropped out of the Top 25 . . . but unheralded Boston College posted a huge upset win over USC on Saturday, so . . . why not Pittsburgh?
2. More (Potential) Surprise Teams.
Baylor (3-0), Penn State (3-0, 1-0 Big Ten), Nebraska (3-0), Marshall (3-0) and Northern Illinois (3-0) look like bowl teams in the early going. The latter two will face an uphill battle given the short list of bowl tie-ins for Conference USA and the MAC but could play spoiler against second-tier teams from the Power 5 in the postseason.
Then again, most of those wins came against the likes of McNeese State, Rhode Island and Presbyterian. Yes, Presbyterian College fields a football team. You can learn all about the Blue Hose at GoBlueHose.com. Yes, the Blue Hose. Why the Blue Hose? We have no idea. Tune in Friday.
3. Charlie Weis Is a Fraud.
People in Lawrence are not happy with head coach Charlie Weis after a 3-41 blowout at Duke (Duke!) on Saturday. One local reporter gave Coaching and Offense an F. But hey, Special Teams scored a B, especially Senior Trevor Pardula, "one of the best punters in the country." He certainly gets plenty of exposure.
Weis landed a five-year contract with Kansas in 2011 guaranteeing him $2.5 million annually, plus perks like two free cars, a country club membership, and 50 tickets to home football games. Now Charlie won't be able to give those tickets away. The loss takes his record to 5-21 overall and 1-17 in the Big 12.
4. Syracuse Crushed The Chips.
Can we get a mulligan? We liked Central Michigan (+9) against the 'Cuse, but the Chippewas were again without WR1 Titus Davis (injury) and RB Thomas Rawls (some vague issue, presumably a discipline problem). Rawls had topped 100 yards in each of Central Michigan's first two games. Final Score: Syracuse 40, Central Michigan 3. Oh, Chips.
5. Iowa (-10), Florida (-18), Michigan (-31) and Penn State (-3.5) Fail.
Michigan, Penn State and Florida needed the second half to put away opponents that should have been overmatched while the Hawkeyes lost on a last-second field goal to relinquish the Cy Hawk Trophy to rival Iowa State.
6. Purdue (+28), Ohio State (-32) and Boston College (+17) Deliver.
Purdue played #9 Notre Dame tough in the last meeting between the two until 2020; #23 Ohio State smoked (66-0) hapless Kent State; and BC won outright in a huge upset against the visiting USC (#17) Trojans.
7. Northwestern Neither Won Nor Lost.
8. Arkansas Ran For A Quarter Mile Against Texas Tech.
We wish the Arkansas rushing stats from the 49-28 were published in feet. The Razorbacks rushed 68 times for 1,284 feet. Arkansas' second drive in the third quarter was a 13-play march for a touchdown, all on the ground. (Well, technically every football play occurs on the ground, but you know what we mean.)
In another eye-popping rushing stat, Boston College outgained USC 452-20, averaging 8.4 per attempt compared to a 0.7 yards per each futile rush for the Trojans.
9. The Scarlet Knights Can Jump.
Look how high the Rutgers guy got on the blocked field goal. pic.twitter.com/FYYyEs59pc— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) September 14, 2014
Rutgers blocked two kicks (one punt, one field goal) bringing the team total to four for the season. The Scarlet Knights lead the FBS in blocks since 2009.
10. A Study In Contrasts.
The Big 10 is 1-10 against Power 5 conference teams on the season. The SEC boasts eight teams ranked in the Top 25 and five in the Top 10.
Mike Luce is our man on campus - every Friday and Monday. He welcomes your comments.