Week eight witnessed a major upset engineered by Penn State, a shockingly dominant performance by Auburn, and Alabama pull away from a top-ten team to show why they remain number one for the foreseeable future.
Here are the weekend’s winners and losers…
Penn State: Anytime you knock off the second ranked team in the country, you call it huge. However, Penn State did not just beat Ohio State. They gave Penn State fans their best football moment since the Paterno scandal.
Add to that their status as 17-1/2 point dogs, and there’s cause for smiles in Happy Valley.
Auburn: To those who played Auburn before they returned to their 2013 form, count yourselves lucky that you played Auburn before they returned to their 2013 form.
Auburn annihilated Arkansas 56-3 on Saturday. They rushed for 543 yards, a school record for an SEC Conference regular season game. Next to Alabama, the team playing the best ball in the SEC West can be found on The Plains.
Alabama: Everyone has heard of the No-Name defense, now they can call Alabama a No-Name team. Not that Nick Saban teams have a reputation for furnishing household names like Pete Caroll’s USC teams in the early 2000s.
Normally, Bama would at least give you a Derrick Henry, Amari Cooper, or TJ Yeldon. This season, though, the identities of those in the Alabama state witness protection program are less protected than the roster of this current edition of the Crimson Tide.
You’ll hear a lot in the coming week about how Alabama has no more significant competition now that they knocked off A&M. I wouldn’t predict Auburn to beat Bama. But, watch out. Auburn looks like a top 10 team right now. And of course, Auburn and Alabama meet in the final game of the regular season.
Ohio State: You had one job, beat a team that barely survived Temple. When Vegas makes you 17-1/2 point road favorites that’s what you do.
The Buckeyes still face Michigan and possibly playing for the Big 10 championship. However, with multiple blocked kicks, plus some drops, the Buckeyes displayed a level of sloppiness not often seen in the Urban Meyer era.
Texas A&M: You too had one job. Beat Alabama, and avoid the impossible scenario of needing to win out, and needing Bama to lose twice. Now A&M will need to sit back and hope that Saban takes the Indianapolis job, a move even more unlikely than Bama losing two games.
Stanford: No one, not even Notre Dame, has more radically underperformed expectations this year than Stanford. They lost 10 to 5 on Saturday to Colorado, a school better known for pot smoking, than for football. Instead, the Cardinal offensive line looked more under the influence than Colorado did on Saturday.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn