Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football (Hog hat melting party tickets sold separately in Fayetteville):
GOING DEEP ON CONFERENCE PERFORMANCE
Most of the major non-conference games have been played, which means opinions can be solidified about the state of the five biggest leagues. In an effort to drill down past headline wins and head-shaking losses, The Dash compiled data on level of competition and location of games.
Take a look and decide for yourself what the Power Five pecking order should be:
Southeastern Conference (31). Overall non-conference record: 28-5, .848 winning percentage. Record vs. Power Five: 6-3, .667. Record vs. rest of FBS: 11-2, .846. Record vs. FCS: 11-0, 1.000.
Percentage of games thus far against Power Five opponents: 27.3. Percentage of games against FBS opponents: 66.7. Percentage of games against FCS opponents: 33.3.
Home record: 22-2. Road record: 2-2. Neutral site record: 4-1.
Power Five non-conference games remaining: Kentucky at Louisville; South Carolina at Clemson; Florida at Florida State; Georgia Tech at Georgia.
Conclusion: Nobody has better non-conference wins than the SEC. And nobody has played fewer true road games.
ACC (32). Overall non-conference record: 24-7, .774 winning percentage. Record vs. Power Five: 3-6, .333. Record vs. rest of FBS: 9-1, .900. Record vs. FCS: 12-0, 1.000.
Percentage of games thus far against Power Five opponents: 29. Percentage of games against FBS opponents: 61.3. Percentage of games against FCS opponents: 38.7.
Home record: 17-1. Road record: 6-4. Neutral site record: 1-2.
Power Five non-conference games remaining: South Carolina at Clemson; Florida State at Notre Dame; Florida at Florida State; Kentucky at Louisville; Notre Dame at Wake Forest; Notre Dame vs. Syracuse in the Bronx; Notre Dame at Virginia Tech; Georgia Tech at Georgia; Pittsburgh at Notre Dame.
Conclusion: There isn’t a lot of non-conference meat on the ACC bone beyond Clemson’s win at Texas A&M. There are a lot of FCS wins propping up the record. But there also are a lot of Power Five opportunities remaining to significantly enhance (or damage) the league’s overall résumé.
Big 12 (33). Overall non-conference record: 20-7, .741 winning percentage. Record vs. Power Five: 4-6, .400. Record vs. rest of FBS: 9-0, 1.000. Record vs. FCS: 7-1, .875.
Percentage of games thus far against Power Five opponents: 37. Percentage of games against FBS opponents: 70.4. Percentage of games against FCS opponents: 29.6.
Home record: 16-2. Road record: 3-2. Neutral site record: 1-2.
Power Five non-conference games remaining: None.
Conclusion: The non-conference hay is almost all in the barn, and there really isn’t any remaining means for improving the record. Big 12 has avoided most bad losses, but doesn’t have a lot of big wins.
Pac-12 (34). Overall non-conference record: 22-10, .688 winning percentage. Record vs. Power Five: 3-4, .429. Record vs. rest of FBS: 10-6, .625. Record vs. FCS: 9-0, 1.000.
Percentage of games thus far against Power Five opponents: 21.9. Percentage of games against FBS opponents: 71.9. Percentage of games against FCS opponents: 28.1.
Home record: 17-3. Road record: 2-8. Neutral site record: 1-1.
Power Five non-conference games remaining: Stanford at Notre Dame; Notre Dame at USC.
Conclusion: League has had too many losses to FBS teams outside the Power Five (thanks, Arizona and UCLA). And the road record is puny.
Big Ten (35). Overall non-conference record: 25-12, .676 winning percentage. Record vs. Power Five: 7-6, .538. Record vs. rest of FBS: 17-6, .739. Record vs. FCS: 1-0, 1.000.
Percentage of games thus far against Power Five opponents: 35.1. Percentage of games against FBS opponents: 97.3.
Home record: 21-9. Road record: 3-3. Neutral site record: 1-0.
Power Five non-conference games remaining: Notre Dame at Northwestern.
Conclusion: The league has taken the most losses, and a ton of them at home (Purdue, Nebraska and Northwestern are a combined 0-6 in non-league home games). It also has opted for the fewest FCS walkover games.
RUINOUS DRINKING GAME OF THE WEEK
In The Dash’s ongoing quest to keep the readership blotto, here’s another broadcasting cliché. Chug something every time you hear an analyst make a point that includes the phrase, “It will be interesting to see (36). … “
Roughly translated, that means, “I have no idea what’s going to happen.”
The Dash is absolutely guilty of this transgression during radio interviews and vows to drink on-air every time it occurs going forward.
STAT OF THE WEEK
When Akron (37) visited Northwestern on Saturday, the Zips were trying to beat a Big Ten opponent for the first time since ’94.
On Sept. 5, 1894, Akron beat Ohio State 12-6 in Columbus. It was the only game the Zips played that season, and it was the last game they played with a Mr. John W. Heisman as their coach. (He went on to make a name for himself elsewhere.) It also was the first and only time Akron beat a team that is currently in the Big Ten.
Until Saturday. Akron rallied from a 21-3 halftime deficit and scored 36 points in the second half – which should absolutely embarrass Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald – to improve its all-time record against current Big Ten teams to 2-29.
COACH WHO EARNED HIS COMP CAR THIS WEEK
Kalani Sitake (38), BYU. He slid onto the hot seat in Provo after his second season was a 4-9 bust, the Cougars’ most losses since 1955. But BYU has rebounded impressively, winning on the road against Arizona, losing a close battle to California and then shocking No. 6 Wisconsin in Madison on Saturday. Sitake’s timeouts iced Badgers kicker Rafael Gaglianone, and his tying field goal in the final minute went wide to secure the win for the Cougars. It will be a major surprise if BYU doesn’t get back on the right side of .500 this season — perhaps far exceeding .500.
COACH WHO SHOULD TAKE THE BUS TO WORK
So many choices this week, and only one bus seat. Since the first-year flops already have been duly noted, let’s go with USC’s Clay Helton (39). After an uninspiring win over UNLV to start the year, the Trojans have been pasted twice — first by Stanford, then Saturday by Texas. The Trojans are weak up front on both sides, ranking 117th nationally in rushing offense and 109th in rushing defense, numbers that would mortify the late John McKay, the patriarch of “Student Body Left/Right” power football at USC. Helton went 21-6 the previous two seasons, but he went 8-6 before Darnold started playing and so far is 1-2 after.
When hungry and thirsty in the bedrock football city of Columbus, Ohio, The Dash urges a dinner at The Pearl (40), a cool downtown gastropub. Get the charcuterie board and some oysters to start, then order the hanger steak as the main dish. Accompany it with a locally brewed Brass Knuckle Pale Ale and thank The Dash later.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• ‘Completely disrespectful’: Bills player retires at halftime
• Rams player arrested on DUI charge shortly after Sunday’s win
• LeBron rips Browns kicker: ‘Are you kidding me man’
• Which 0-2 team is the NFL’s most desperate?