This week's games that made no sense to anyone.
Supposedly Inferior Opponents 50, Power 5 Pennsylvania Teams 16
Pittsburgh and Penn State both had a fair amount of optimism after the first few weeks. The Panthers were 3-0 and dominated the first half against Iowa. The Nittany Lions had a 4-0 start to go along with the news that their bowl ban had been lifted.
All that optimism is gone now.
Pittsburgh’s running attack got stuck in neutral as Iowa rallied for a road win, and then the Panthers suffered an 11-point home loss to Akron. Paul Chryst now has losses to Akron, Navy, and Youngstown State on his resume.
Meanwhile, Penn State and Christian Hackenberg managed just 266 total yards in a blowout loss to Northwestern. This is the same Northwestern team that lost at home to California and Northern Illinois.
Both of these teams will probably still make a bowl game, but weekends like this kill momentum that both programs need.
Washington State 28, Utah 27
The Pac-12 continues to make no sense in a way that hurts its national reputation. Utah is a dark horse contender in the South division that should not be losing at home to Washington State, one of the worst teams in the conference.
But lose the Utes did, and in spectacular fashion. Utah built a 21-point lead, but had trouble in the passing game. Connor Halliday rallied the Couargs with three second-half touchdown passes.
The Pac-12 South appears to be UCLA-or-bust in terms of making the playoffs.
Powder blue helmets notwithstanding, Ole Miss’ win over Memphis was ugly. It means that two of the biggest games for week six will take place in Mississippi.
There are still significant questions about the state’s two SEC teams, but the fact that a weekend like this is happening is stunning in and of itself. Both Ole Miss and Mississippi State are in the top 15. In 2006, the teams combined to go 7-17 under the direction of Ed Orgeron and Sylvester Croom.
College football is weird, but the SEC West is just insane.