By Joel Silverberg / @JoelSilverberg
Alabama and Clemson were off, which allowed the national spotlight to shift elsewhere for a weekend in college football. Georgia and Ohio State both enjoyed convincing conference wins while Florida notched a big SEC win at home. The result is Georgia and Ohio State now sharing the No. 3 spot in the AP Poll and Florida jumping up three spots to No. 7.
Six ranked teams lost over the weekend with three of those coming against unranked opponents. Central Florida has lost two of three games after going undefeated in back-to-back regular seasons. Washington’s offense didn’t travel in a loss to Stanford, and Oklahoma State couldn’t stop Texas Tech in a ten-point loss.
Week 7 features four Top 25 matchups, plus several other big rivalry games that could be compelling. The Gators visit Baton Rouge, Penn State travels to Iowa for a night game, which can be dangerous, and the day starts with the Red River Rivalry in Dallas. No. 23 Memphis could be tested in Philly against Temple and No. 22 Baylor has to contend with the Red Raiders’ offense. No. 9 Notre Dame also hosts the Battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh against USC.
It should be a lot of fun. Before then, a recap of Week 6.
The Good: Florida. I tired to atone for thinking Auburn would be a disappointment this year by picking the Tigers to beat the Gators in The Swamp. It didn’t work. Florida flustered Bo Nix en route to a 24-13 win that wasn’t even that close. Joe Burrow and LSU will present a much different challenge. You can bet Ed Orgeron’s team remembers the loss it suffered in Gainesville a year ago.
Honorable Mention: SMU. Because we may not talk about the Mustangs again this year unless they run the table in the American, but it was rather impressive how they overcame a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to stun Tulsa in triple overtime. SMU has a week off to get ready for Temple, but if it can get past the Owls and ECU the following week, a Nov. 2 matchup against Memphis could be a big game for the American Conference.
The Bad: Michigan. Yes, the Wolverines bounced back from the disaster at Wisconsin to beat a ranked Iowa team and keep its division hopes alive, but Michigan still isn’t playing good football. Shea Patterson didn’t play well and the Wolverines are still having ball security issues. Two missed field goals also kept Iowa in the game and Michigan couldn’t take advantage of four Hawkeye turnovers to put the game away. The defense bailed out this team on Saturday. The Wolverines are 4-1 and are lucky they’re not 2-3.
Honorable Mention: Auburn. An undefeated Florida team in Gainesville with a true freshman quarterback was a big ask for Auburn, but the Tigers needed to show a little more life on Saturday. Instead it was a rather forgettable performance in a big time matchup. Auburn will have more opportunities this year on national stages with upcoming games against LSU, Georgia and Alabama, but more games like the one on Saturday and a 5-0 start will turn into a disappointing 8-4 finish.
The Ugly: Washington. Jacob Eason played poorly, the Huskies couldn’t run the ball and Cameron Scarlett wouldn’t be stopped for Stanford as the Cardinal dominated Washington in a 23-13 win. After two impressive wins over BYU and USC, Washington is now looking up at most of the Pac-12 North.
Honorable Mention: Michigan State. It’s not the loss to Ohio State in Columbus that hurts Sparty here, it’s the constant lack of offense and execution that will continue to doom this team for the rest of the year. Two fumbles on your first four offensive plays will do that. Michigan State has a great defense. Too bad it lives on the field. The Spartans head to Wisconsin Saturday and gets Penn State two weeks after that. Gulp.