Cal’s Block Stops Texas to Make Pac-12 Perfect; Big 12 Tops SEC for 1st

Perfect days for the Pac-12 and Big 12 hinged on the game between the flagship universities of the two biggest states in the nation, and Cal’s Darius White deflected a Texas extra point for a 45-44 win.

The Pac-12’s 10-0 tied them with SEC for No. 2 in the rankings, while the Big 12 moved atop the conference rankings by winning their other six games, including Texas Tech’s shocker over Arkansas from the struggling SEC.

UCLA rallied to top BYU. The ACC nudged past the Big Ten for 4th by winning three of five head-to-head games on the scoreboard below.

We grade each team on their performance from A to F (“I” indicates and intra-conference game that does not affect the conference ranking). The bottom of each table shows the conference’s record and if that was more or fewer wins than projected. The conference grade is based on the margin of victory defeat overall all the games (square roots are used to make points in close games much more important than rolling up points in blowout wins.)

ACC improves to +8, ranked 4th.

The ACC was on its way to three romps of the Big Ten until Miami blew a 23-point lead against Nebraska and needed overtime. Corn Elder intercepted a Nebraska pass in overtime and Michael Badgley barely scraped a game-winning field goal inside the right post for a 36-33 win.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Boston College ACC +6 0 14 I -7 36% Florida St
Clemson ACC +6 20 17 I 7 64% Louisville
Duke ACC +6 10 19 F 0 50% Northwestern
Florida St ACC +6 14 0 I 7 64% Boston College
Georgia Tech ACC +6 22 30 C+ 2 53% Notre Dame
Louisville ACC +6 17 20 I -7 36% Clemson
Miami FL ACC +6 36 33 A -4 40% Nebraska
NC State ACC +6 38 14 C+ 10 76% Old Dominion
North Carolina ACC +6 48 14 A+ 0 50% Illinois
Pittsburgh ACC +6 24 27 B -9 34% Iowa
Syracuse ACC +6 30 27 C 2 55% C Michigan
Virginia ACC +6 35 29 D 25 95% William & Mary
Virginia Tech ACC +6 51 24 A 4 60% Purdue
Wake Forest ACC +6 17 14 C 4 60% Army
9-5, +1.3 wins Now +7 C+ 7.73

American Athletic stays at +0, ranked 6th best conference.

Memphis’ claim as the top non-Power 5 team was back by Paxton Lynch’s two bombs and Jake Elliot’s three field goals to win at a Bowling Green team that stunned Maryland the week before. UConn wasted a great defensive performance to fall just short, 6-9, against 24-point favorite Missouri, and SMU and Tulsa played tough into the second half against top-level teams.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Cincinnati Amer +0 37 33 D 17 85% Miami OH
Connecticut Amer +0 6 9 B -24 5% Missouri
East Carolina Amer +0 21 45 I -2 47% Navy
Houston Amer +0 C 0 0% Idle
Memphis Amer +0 44 41 C- 12 79% Bowling Green
Navy Amer +0 45 21 I 2 53% East Carolina
SMU Amer +0 37 56 C+ -34 1% TCU
South Florida Amer +0 17 35 C -12 21% Maryland
Temple Amer +0 25 23 D 16 84% Massachusetts
Tulane Amer +0 38 7 C+ 19 86% Maine
Tulsa Amer +0 38 54 B -25 4% Oklahoma
UCF Amer +0 15 16 F 32 97% Furman
6-5, +0.4 wins Still +0 C 5.62

Big 12 improves to +11, passes SEC as No. 1 conference.

Patrick Mahomes hit 26 of 30 passes as Texas Tech shocked Arkansas to give the Big 12 and Texas another signature win over the SEC. The Red Raiders even used a half back touchdown pass, just as TCU did when blowing out Mississippi last year. Iowa State upset a Toledo team that beat Arkansas last week. The Big 12 missed perfect day by an extra point, as Texas fell 45-44 to Cal.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Baylor Big 12 +10 0 0% Idle
Iowa St Big 12 +10 30 23 A -9 34% Toledo
Kansas Big 12 +10 0 0% Idle
Kansas St Big 12 +10 39 33 D 15 84% Louisiana Tech
Oklahoma Big 12 +10 52 38 C- 25 96% Tulsa
Oklahoma St Big 12 +10 69 14 B+ 19 88% UT San Antonio
TCU Big 12 +10 56 37 C- 34 99% SMU
Texas Big 12 +10 44 45 D 6 63% California
Texas Tech Big 12 +10 35 24 A+ -13 19% Arkansas
West Virginia Big 12 +10 0 0% Idle
6-1, +1.2 wins Now +11 B 4.83

Big Ten drops to +7, 5th-ranked conference.

The Big Ten needed a sack by Minnesota freshman Julian Huff and interceptions by Ohio State’s Darron Lee and Eli Apple to survive upsets by Kent and Northern Illinois respectively.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Illinois Big Ten +9 14 48 F 0 50% North Carolina
Indiana Big Ten +9 38 35 C+ 0 50% W Kentucky
Iowa Big Ten +9 27 24 C- 9 66% Pittsburgh
Maryland Big Ten +9 35 17 C 12 79% South Florida
Michigan Big Ten +9 28 7 C 31 97% UNLV
Michigan St Big Ten +9 35 21 C- 32 97% Air Force
Minnesota Big Ten +9 10 7 D- 27 96% Kent
Nebraska Big Ten +9 33 36 D 4 60% Miami FL
Northwestern Big Ten +9 19 10 B 0 50% Duke
Ohio St Big Ten +9 20 13 D 29 96% N Illinois
Penn St Big Ten +9 28 3 I 4 60% Rutgers
Purdue Big Ten +9 24 51 D -4 40% Virginia Tech
Rutgers Big Ten +9 3 28 i -4 40% Penn St
Wisconsin Big Ten +9 28 3 C 35 99% Troy
10-4, +0.2 wins Now +8 D 9.80

CUSA drops to -8, 8th-ranked conference.

Louisiana Tech’s Trent Taylor (12 receptions) tore up the Kansas State defense to force overtime to just miss a big upset. Southern Miss rode Jalen Richard’s 230 rushing yards to a big win over Texas State.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Charlotte CUSA – 7 14 73 i -17 14% MTSU
FL Atlantic CUSA – 7 15 33 D -1 48% Buffalo
Florida Intl CUSA – 7 39 14 C 25 92% NC Central
Louisiana Tech CUSA – 7 33 39 B -15 16% Kansas St
Marshall CUSA – 7 45 7 C 45 100% Norfolk St
MTSU CUSA – 7 73 14 i 17 86% Charlotte
North Texas CUSA – 7 24 38 i -11 23% Rice
Old Dominion CUSA – 7 14 38 C- -10 24% NC State
Rice CUSA – 7 38 24 i 11 77% North Texas
Southern Miss CUSA – 7 56 50 B+ -2 47% Texas St
UT San Antonio CUSA – 7 14 69 D -19 12% Oklahoma St
UTEP CUSA – 7 50 47 D 13 81% New Mexico St
W Kentucky CUSA – 7 35 38 C- 0 50% Indiana
6-7, -0.7 wins Now -8 C- 6.70

Independent Notre Dame hopes alive, BYU falls just short.

BYU lost hope of a playoff bid with a late UCLA touchdown, but Notre Dame dominated Georgia Tech most of the game to keep their’s alive. A week after losing their starting quarterback, the Irish relied on the ground game as CJ Prosise ran for 198 yards included the longest run in the history of Notre Dame Stadium (91 yards).

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Army ind +0 14 17 C -4 40% Wake Forest
BYU Ind +0 23 24 B -9 26% UCLA
Notre Dame Ind +0 30 22 A -2 47% Georgia Tech

Mid-American improves to -6, 7th-ranked conference.

Bowling Green, Kent, UMass and Northern Illinois just missed huge upsets to show the Mid-American is very solid.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Akron Mid-Am -7 52 9 C 47 100% Savannah St
Ball St Mid-Am -7 28 17 i 7 64% E Michigan
Bowling Green Mid-Am -7 41 44 C+ -12 21% Memphis
Buffalo Mid-Am -7 33 15 B 1 52% FL Atlantic
C Michigan Mid-Am -7 27 30 C -2 45% Syracuse
E Michigan Mid-Am -7 17 28 i -7 36% Ball St
Kent Mid-Am -7 7 10 B+ -27 4% Minnesota
Massachusetts Mid-Am -7 23 25 B -16 16% Temple
Miami OH Mid-Am -7 33 37 i -17 15% Cincinnati
N Illinois Mid-Am -7 13 20 B -29 4% Ohio St
Ohio Mid-Am -7 35 14 C+ 11 71% SE Louisiana
Toledo Mid-Am -7 30 23 C- 9 66% Iowa St
W Michigan Mid-Am -7 52 20 C 36 98% Murray St
6-7, -0.1 wins Now -6 B 5.92

Mountain West drops to -13, 9th-ranked conference.

The Mountain West followed a 1-11 week with a 2-10 week. The only losing team to look good was Air Force, which never threatened No. 4 ranked Michigan State but held them to 77 yards rushing and rode 72 yards rushing by Jacobi Owens to keep it close.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Air Force Mt West -11 21 35 B -32 3% Michigan St
Boise St Mt West -11 52 0 B 23 95% Idaho St
Colorado St Mt West -11 24 27 C -2 47% Colorado
Fresno St Mt West -11 24 45 C -19 10% Utah
Hawaii Mt West -11 47  17 B 17 89% UC Davis
Nevada Mt West -11 27 44 C -24 5% Texas A&M
New Mexico Mt West -11 10 34 C -31 3% Arizona St
San Diego St Mt West -11 27 34 D 6 63% South Alabama
San Jose St Mt West -11 21 35 C -15 19% Oregon St
UNLV Mt West -11 7 28 C -31 3% Michigan
Utah St Mt West -11 17 31 C -12 21% Washington
Wyoming Mt West -11 14 31 C -21 8% Washington St
2-10, -1.6 wins Mt West -13 C 3.66

Pac-12 improves to +10, ties SEC for 2nd-ranked conference.

The Pac-12 pulled off three thrillers to win all 10 non-conference games—two more wins than expected—and catch the SEC in the rankings as the 2nd best conference. Cal’s Darius White blocked a Texas extra point for a 45-44 win and Colorado’s Tedric Thompson blocked a short field goal by Colorado State for a 27-24 win. Meanwhile UCLA rallied in their final drive against BYU, winning when Nate Starks ran for 31, 22 and then a 3-yard touchdown for a 24-23 win.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Arizona Pac 12 +8 W B 30 98% Northern Arizona
Arizona St Pac 12 +8 34 10 C 31 97% New Mexico
California Pac 12 +8 45 44 B -6 37% Texas
Colorado Pac 12 +8 27 24 C 2 53% Colorado St
Oregon Pac 12 +8 61 28 C- 47 99% Georgia St
Oregon St Pac 12 +8 35 21 C 15 81% San Jose St
Stanford Pac 12 +8 41 31 i -3 43% USC
UCLA Pac 12 +8 24 23 D 9 74% BYU
USC Pac 12 +8 31 41 i 3 57% Stanford
Utah Pac 12 +8 45 24 C+ 19 90% Fresno St
Washington Pac 12 +8 31 17 C 12 79% Utah St
Washington St Pac 12 +8 31 14 C 21 92% Wyoming
11-1, +2.0 wins Now +10 B 9.00

SEC drops to +10 to fall into tie with Pac-12 for 2nd-ranked conference.

In the only two relevant inter conference games, Texas Tech stunned Arkansas and UConn fell just short against Missouri to continue to SEC’s slide with few inter-conference games left until the final week of the season. Five SEC 24-point favorites won, but Missouri needed an interception by Anthony Sherrils’ on a terrible fake field goal by UConn to hold a 9-6 win. Texas Tech shocked 13-point favorite Arkansas 35-24, and all other SEC teams played conference foes. The SEC would have lost half of its 10 ranked teams in just two weeks if Missouri lost, and the disappointing two weeks may cost an SEC team a playoff bid.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Alabama SEC +12 37 43 i 11 78% Mississippi
Arkansas SEC +12 24 35 F 13 81% Texas Tech
Auburn SEC +12 21 45 i -3 42% LSU
Florida SEC +12 14 9 i 4 60% Kentucky
Georgia SEC +12 52 20 i 14 82% South Carolina
Kentucky SEC +12 9 14 i -4 40% Florida
LSU SEC +12 45 21 i 3 58% Auburn
Mississippi SEC +12 43 37 i -11 22% Alabama
Mississippi St SEC +12 62 13 C 36 100% Northwestern LA
Missouri SEC +12 9 6 D 24 95% Connecticut
South Carolina SEC +12 20 52 i -14 18% Georgia
Tennessee SEC +12 55 10 C 34 100% W Carolina
Texas A&M SEC +12 44 27 C 24 95% Nevada
Vanderbilt SEC +12 47 7 C 39 100% Austin Peay
9-5, -0.7 wins SEC +10 D 9.71

Sun Belt improves to -14, still 10th-ranked conference of 10.

South Alabama traveled to San Diego to stun San Diego State. Aleem hit a 46-yard field goal to force overtime, Cody Clements capped a 270-yard passing day with a completion to the 2-yard line in overtime, and Xavier Johnson slammed it in the end zone to cap an 142-yard rushing day. The conference was strong with Arkansas State beating a very tough FCS opponent Missouri State 70-7 and New Mexico State nearly shocked UTEP.

Team Conf Final Score Grade Pred Win% Opponent
Appalachian St SunB -15 0 0% Idle
Arkansas St SunB -15 70 7 A 10 79% Missouri St
Ga Southern SunB -15 48 13 C+ 20 91% Citadel
Georgia St SunB -15 28 61 C+ -47 1% Oregon
Idaho SunB -15 41 38 C+ 0 50% Wofford
New Mexico St SunB -15 47 50 B+ -13 19% UTEP
South Alabama SunB -15 34 27 B -6 37% San Diego St
Texas St SunB -15 50 56 C 2 53% Southern Miss
Troy SunB -15 3 28 C -35 1% Wisconsin
ULL SunB -15 0 0% Idle
ULM SunB -15 0 0% Idle
4-4, +0.7 wins Now -14 3.31


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