Winners and Losers: Being highly ranked can be hazardous

Dr. Saturday

It was only a week ago that the SEC was boasting about its record eight teams in the AP Top 25 poll.

How quickly things change.

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This week, five of those teams – No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 11 South Carolina, No. 15 Georgia and No. 22 Florida – lost.

It was seismic shift for a conference that is widely considered the best in the country anchored by No. 1 Alabama, which has held that ranking since the final poll of last season.

While the SEC took the bulk of the punches in Week 8, five teams in the AP Top 10 – No. 3 Clemson, LSU, A&M, No. 8 Louisville and No. 9 UCLA - lost this weekend, which should make Sunday’s unveiling of the first BCS standings interesting. Overall, nine teams in the AP Top 25 went down.

Is this parity in college football?

One could argue there’s more parity in the SEC than ever before. When a team like Missouri – a team that won just two SEC games a year ago – is the class of the SEC East and Tennessee is one of the toughest places in the conference to play, there’s something amiss. Georgia has lost two straight, Florida is beaten up, LSU’s loss to Ole Miss pretty much eliminates the Tigers from SEC title game contention.

The traditional power brokers of the conference are the ones playing catchup.

If there’s a brightside to all this, it makes football in the SEC that much more interesting and it makes being in the AP Top 25 that much more perilous.

And for that week-to-week drama, we are all winners.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Winners and Losers from Week 8:


Jordan Lynch: In some high-quality #MACtion, Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch ran wild in a record-setting performance, racking up 316 rushing yards against Central Michigan, an FBS single-game record for a quarterback. Lynch surpassed the mark set by fellow Huskie Stacey Robinson, who ran for 308 yards in 1990 against Fresno State. Lynch set the record on 32 carries while scoring four combined touchdowns (three rushing, one passing) on the afternoon. The Huskies beat the Chippewas 38-17 to improve to 7-0 on the season.

Jeremy Gallon: Michigan’s Jeremy Gallon made Indiana’s secondary look like Pee Wee players in Michigan’s 63-47 win at The Big House. The senior wideout set a Big Ten record with 369 yards receiving on 14 catches for the Wolverines. Gallon had two different receptions of 70 yards and also caught touchdowns of 21 and 50 yards. The Wolverines set a school record with 751 yards of total offense.

Davis Webb: Texas Tech is 7-0 and a big part of that has been the play of Davis Webb over the last two games in place of Baker Mayfield, who left Tech's game against Kansas because of a knee injury.

Webb threw for 415 yards last week against Iowa State and topped that against West Virginia Saturday with 422 yards in Tech's 37-27 win. he's the first Tech freshman to throw for over 400 yards in his first two starts though we must admit that despite Tech's air raid it couldn't have been that common of an occurrence.

The toughest teams on Tech's schedule are still to come, and that starts next Saturday at Oklahoma. But after the way Tech and Webb looked poised on the road in a potential trap game and the Sooners' first half shakiness against Kansas, that won't be a lopsided game.

Temple: A home team hadn’t won a game at Lincoln Financial Field in 378 days. Until Saturday. Temple beat Army, 33-14 in what was also the first win for first-year head coach Matt Rhule.

Freshman quarterback P.J. Walker made his second career start and efficiently completed 10-of-16 attempts for 203 yards and two touchdowns. Army running back Terry Baggett, who had 304 yards rushing last week, had seven carries for 24 yards Saturday as Rhule got a Gatorade bath.

Taysom Hill: The BYU quarterback's statement game to date had been when he gashed Texas for 259 yards on the ground. On Saturday, he became the season's first quarterback to throw for over 400 yards and run for over 100 in BYU's 47-46 win against Houston.

Hill was 29-44 through the air for 421 yards and ran 33 times for 143 yards and tossed the game winning touchdown to Skyler Ridley with 1:25 left in the fourth quarter, his fourth TD of the game? The only blemish? Three interceptions.


After Auburn upset Texas A&M in College Station, Auburn fans took to Toomer's Corner and rolled the lines that were put up in place of the trees this season. The end result is still pretty awesome.


Iowa State: Remember that one time when Iowa State nearly upset Texas? Boy, those were the days because ever since then the Cyclones have been on a downward spiral, which hit rock bottom with a 71-7 trouncing by Baylor. Now, scoring 70-plus points on an opponent is nothing new for the bears, but to do it to a member of their conference is inexplicable. It’s the most point the Cyclones have allowed since Utah scored 68 in 2010 and the most points allowed to a conference opponent since losing 77-14 to Nebraska in November of 1997. Oddly, the only win for the 1-11 Cyclones that season was against Baylor.

Indiana's defense: Is this the worst defense in the BCS? Serious question, because Saturday's 63-47 loss to Michigan was the fourth time that Indiana has given up over 40 points this season. And we'll emphasize the point again, this was to Michigan, a team that vomited all over itself at Penn State in overtime last week and almost lost to UConn and Akron.

Since 2008, Indiana's defenses have ranked 108th 88th, 90th, 109th and 106th. Entering Saturday's game they were 106th, a ranking that'll go likely go downwards.

The Hoosiers are 3-4 and with games against Wisconsin, Ohio State, Illinois and Minnesota remaining, a bowl game seems like a distant possibility.

This Big 12 Official: This play was originally ruled a touchdown.

What was that official in the foreground thinking? It was reversed and Texas Tech scored a play later, but how does a call like that get missed so blatantly?

Maryland: The injury bug that hit Maryland's quarterbacks last year got its wide receivers in an embarrassing 34-10 loss at Wake Forest Saturday.

Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, the Terrapins top two receivers, both suffered broken legs. Long broke his tibia and fibula while Diggs fractured his fibula. Diggs and Long have combined for 66 catches and over 1,000 yards and starting quarterback C.J. Brown started the game after an injury suffered against Florida State, but was benched.

What was once a promising season after a shutout of West Virginia and a top 25 ranking is quickly sliding out of control for the Terps.

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Sam Cooper contributed to the post

Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter!

Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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