While most attention turned to conference play, big developments occurred in interconference play.
Indiana propelled the Big Ten past the ACC and into a tie for the third-rated conference with the Pac-12, and Utah State stunned BYU to lead the Mountain West past Conference USA and the American Athletic Conference as the best non-Power conference.
The Big Ten could not have asked for a better three weeks from Indiana as the entire conference has rebounded from a terrible first three weeks. Indiana looked very impressive in beating a solid North Texas team two weeks after shocking Missouri of the SEC. The fact that these two impressive performances sandwiched a three-touchdown loss in Big Ten play to Maryland helped the conference gain another point to +8 (average Big Ten team is eight points better than the average FBS team).
Meanwhile the Mountain West now has six squads in the top half of all FBS teams with Utah State (42nd), Boise State (57th), Nevada (59th), Colorado State (60th), Fresno State (66th), and Air Force (68th). While East Carolina is still the favorite to grab the one New Year’s Day Bowl Appearance for the non-Power 5 conference, Utah State’s shocking domination at Brigham Young puts them in the mix if ECU loses.
New Mexico also upset a UTSA team that had started strong, and Air Force put themselves in position to take the Commander-In-Chiefs trophy back from Navy for the first time since 2011 with a 30-21 upset. Colorado State also had no problem with Tulsa to build on their huge upset at Boston College. Only Hawaii’s loss to Rice prevented an undefeated week for the conference.
The MAC and Conference USA both fell with poor showings. Indiana was the only Power 5 team to get a win out of conference, as Stanford allowed a chance for a big Pac-12 win to slip away against Notre Dame, and the SEC, Big 12 and ACC only played in conference.
|Rank||Week 6||Last Week||This Week||Interconference|
|1||SEC||15||15||No interconference games|
|2||B12||11||11||No interconference games|
|3||B10||7||8||51. Indiana defeated No. 77 North Texas of CUSA 49 – 24.|
|3||P12||8||8||Stanford just missed chance vs. ND|
|5||ACC||7||7||No interconference games|
|6||MWC||-7||-3||NM, Air Force and especially Utah St. pull big upsets|
|7||AAC||-6||-6||107. Tulsa lost to No. 60 Colorado St of MWC 17 – 42.|
|8||CUSA||-5||-8||UTSA, N. Texas bad losses, Rice good win over Hawaii|
|9||MAC||-15||-17||108. Ball St lost to No. 92 Army 24 – 33.|
|10||SBC||-19||-19||No interconference games|
|Ind||4||4||BYU blown out by Utah, Army won, ND stayed alive|