Week Ten Midweek Musings

Week Ten Midweek Musings
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Is anyone else having a really hard time keeping track of which week it is when it’s a different week for basically each conference? It’s almost as hard as keeping track of what day it is when you’re not going anywhere. Anyway, here are my Week Ten Midweek Musings:

Michigan-Indiana

I hate to open with Michigan again, but when a pedigreed program continues to slide toward “disaster” status, it’s newsworthy. This was the Wolverines’ first loss to Indiana since 1987. Coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t seem alarmed, but if Twitter is any indication, the fans are. When your team runs the ball for 13 yards on 18 attempts, I’d say it’s time to be alarmed. To add insult to injury (or injury to insult), Aidan Hutchinson broke his leg and is likely done for the season. The defensive end is arguably Michigan’s best player on that side of the ball.

Credit to the Hoosiers, who have played very well in each of their games. Depending on which version of Michigan State shows up, their game next week could be an interesting one. (It could also be over at halftime).

Maryland-Penn State

The big surprise in the B1G this weekend was Maryland upsetting Penn State. The Terps were previously 2-41 against the Nittany Lions. A week after giving up 262 rushing yards to Minnesota in an OT win, they held PSU to 94 yards on the ground.

The Terps have a chance to really prove themselves this weekend as they face off with Ohio State. Penn State has a good chance to get back on track against 0-2 Nebraska.

BYU

Is this the year we see a non-Power Five team crash the CFP? It’s a long shot, but BYU could potentially do so. The 8-0 Cougars’ average margin of victory this season has been just over 31 points. Their latest victim, #21 Boise State, lost by a score of 51-17. Junior quarterback Zach Wilson is completing just over 75% of his passes, and has thrown 22 touchdowns with just two interceptions. The Cougars also rank eighth nationally in total defense.

Looking at the current standings, I can realistically see BYU rising as high as fifth. Cracking the top four will require some help from multiple teams. But in 2020, who knows?

USC

They aren’t a CFP contender, but they did eke out a win over Arizona State despite trailing 27-14 late in the fourth quarter. The 28-27 comeback win shows a maturity and a mental toughness sometimes lacking in recent Trojan squads.

This was a solid effort from both teams, especially considering that kickoff was at 9am Pacific time.

Miami-NC State

This turned into a thriller. It’s a shame NC State quarterback Devin Leary is out for the year after an injury in the Duke game, because the Wolfpack was looking good. Last week’s UNC-NC State matchup had the potential to be one for the ages. Backup quarterback Bailey Hockman played well against Miami, but the ‘Canes overcame a ten-point fourth-quarter deficit to win by a field goal.

I’m not ready to say this looks like the U of old, but they’re moving in the right direction. D’Eriq King was a huge get for a team that has long seemed to be a few pieces away from contending.

Schedule Updates

As feared, COVID is starting to wreak havoc on schedules as case numbers increase.

LSU at Alabama: Postponed

Tennessee at A&M: Postponed

Auburn at Mississippi State: Postponed

Cincinnati at Tulsa: Postponed a second time, now to December 4

Memphis at Navy: Postponed

Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State: Postponed

Air Force at Wyoming: Cancelled

Edit: Georgia-Missouri has also been postponed; Ohio State-Maryland has been cancelled.

Speaking of the pandemic, Yahoo’s Pete Thamel had an interesting article this week about an aspect I hadn’t considered: Will the economic impact of COVID prevent schools from firing coaches? We’ve already seen a handful of coaches agree to pay cuts.

 

Those are my Week Ten Midweek Musings. Need more midweek content? Check out the LWOS Week 10 Bowl Projections!

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