Silverberg: The good, the bad and the ugly from week 8

Starkville, MS – September 10, 2016 – Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field: Will Muschamp of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks during a regular season game
(Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)

By Joel Silverberg / @JoelSilverberg

Tennessee shifts its attention to Auburn after the Texas A&M game was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests within the Aggies football program. More than half of the SEC was out of action this past weekend for the same reason and the Pac-12 has already lost some games to the pandemic.

Only one top-5 team played as Notre Dame held off Boston College on the road and the result was no movement within the top eight spots in the AP poll. However, Indiana moving into the top ten sets up a showdown with Ohio State to see how far the Hoosiers truly have come this year.

Here’s hoping for a better weekend with more football. Time for the good, bad and ugly.

The Good: Notre Dame. Boston College is no slouch and the Eagles have shown some fight against tough competition despite being just 5-4. Credit to the Irish for not suffering a hangover after the Clemson win. Ian Book accounted for more than 350 yards of total offense and four touchdowns en route to a 45-31 victory to help Notre Dame improve to 8-0. The Irish will have a bye week before heading to Chapel Hill, which is likely their toughest regular season game remaining.

Honorable Mention: Wisconsin. Some time off didn’t hurt the Badgers at all as Graham Mertz and Wisconsin pummeled Michigan 49-11 in Ann Arbor. Wisconsin had 341 yards on the ground while the defense forced Joe Milton into a pair of picks. This Saturday’s game against Northwestern could ultimately decide the Big Ten West.

The Bad: Minnesota. Tanner Morgan and Rashod Bateman are back. Mohamed Ibrahim is putting up big numbers. It’s not amounting to much after Friday’s 35-7 loss to Iowa dropped the Golden Gophers to a 1-3 start. P.J. Fleck’s defense is giving up 35.8 points per game and the passing game is still trying to get itself going. A team that won 11 games a year ago will be fortunate to finish 3-5.

Honorable Mention: Louisville. Scott Satterfield’s team had high expectations considering the success he had in year one and how good his offense could potentially be in 2020. Instead, a 31-17 loss to Virginia leaves the Cardinals at 2-6 with one of those wins coming against Western Kentucky. The Cardinals were missing seven players against the Cavs, including starting running back Javian Hawkins, but at times the offense has failed to produce in winnable games and Saturday was another example.

The Ugly: Michigan. Yes, the Wolverines have been here before, but for the second year in a row Michigan has gotten absolutely destroyed by Wisconsin in a nationally televised game. This time it happened at home and in primetime. The 28-0 halftime deficit was also the biggest Michigan has ever had. It didn’t get better as the Wolverines got run over and run out of its own stadium Saturday night. Jim Harbaugh’s time at his alma mater is wearing thin.

Honorable Mention: South Carolina. The Gamecocks led Ole Miss in the fourth quarter, had 548 yards of total offense, scored 42 points and still lost by 17 to the Rebels. The school gave Will Muschamp the boot after South Carolina’s defense gave up 708 yards of total offense. Matt Corral threw four touchdowns and only four incompletions, including multiple touchdown strikes to receivers who were entirely uncovered. Muschamp finishes 28-30 at South Carolina and failed to survive his fifth season.

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