The best game of the night was #2 Penn State against #19 Michigan and Penn State lit it up. Here are the rest of the winners and losers from this weekend from the Top 25.
Moving on Up
#2 Penn State (Last Week #2)
So Penn State didn’t move up in the rankings, but, they did have their season defining victory against Michigan yesterday. For the first time, Penn State played a ranked team and boy did they impress. Saquan Barkley had his Heisman moment in the first 5 minutes of the game.
Well that was quick.
Saquon Barkley already doing his thing for the Nittany Lions. pic.twitter.com/AsdRTuoDib
— ESPN (@espn) October 21, 2017
Well… 👇 pic.twitter.com/F0zy9Pmf8i
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 22, 2017
Barkley had 108 yards and 2 TDS and added 53 yards and 1 more TD through the air. Trance McSorley also excelled with 282 yards and 1 TD passing and 76 yards and 3 TDs on the ground. If anything the 42-13 win against the Wolverines was the definition of domination. Bama is still the best team in the nation, but this performance pegs the Nittany Lions as the 2nd best team in the country. (Bama is just dominating opponents, there is no touching the Tide this year.) Barkley will be the Heisman winner. A win against #6 Ohio State next week will secure the Lions spot in the playoffs.
#9 Notre Dame (#13)
Last week, I said that Notre Dame had to beat every team on their schedule to climb the rankings and be the 4th team in the playoffs and last night they put the beat down on #11 USC 49-14. RB Josh Adams had 191 yards and 3 TDs as the Fighting Irish rose 4 spots in the rankings. Here is the remaining schedule for Notre Dame.
- #14 NC State – Winnable game, but NC State is rolling behind QB Ryan Finley
- Wake Forest – Easy win for the Irish.
- #8 Miami – Miami has to still lose a game and is in competition for the ACC crown.
- Navy – Navy has a strong running game but Notre Dame has a better defense.
- #20 Stanford – Stanford still has to play Washington and Wazzu before facing the Irish.
If the Irish win out they will be in the playoffs. The lack of a conference championship may hurt if the favorites in the P5 all win their conference.
#25 Iowa State (NR)
Iowa surprised the nation when they beat Oklahoma in Norman 2 weeks ago. The Cyclones are still riding the hype train outscoring teams 76-13 in the last two weeks. The upset minded ISU faces #4 TCU in Ames next week.
NR Michigan (19)
Michigan started the season as the number 11 in the country and rose as high as #8. But the rankings don’t accurately measure the season for the Wolverines. Michigan has been lacking defensive intensity the entire season. Last week, Michigan won in overtime against 3-3 Indiana. The week before, they lost against unranked Michigan State and before that, Purdue was able to keep it close until the 4th quarter. I was only a matter of time before the Wolverines were exposed.
USC has been led by Sam Darnold. but Darnold has also been the reason behind a struggling USC. Other than the game against #14 Stanford in September, the Trojans have had a hard time against strong competition. Last night they were just blown out by Notre Dame 49-14 all but ending the playoff hopes for USC.