1. Mad Mark: The pressures on college football coaches are large. They get the big bucks to shoulder those loads.
Part of that is being the face of the program after games, answering questions that hopefully offer some enlightenment. The most visible person at a state university — or in Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio’s case, the second-most visible behind basketball coach Tom Izzo — should be better than this.
Here’s where some predictably unfavorable comments about Kirk Ferentz being too calm or civil and not fiery enough will show up in the comments section of this post. You can set your watch by it, even though this post has nothing to do with Ferentz.
But if this is how a coach acts after his team has a sluggish performance in a 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan, what will Dantonio be like when his team gets whipped? Oh wait, it did the week before at home against Notre Dame.
2. Illini Brutalized: It’s not every Saturday when a Western Athletic Confrerence team hangs a 52-24 beating on a Big Ten club.
That’s what Louisiana Tech did at Illinois. Colby Cameron threw four touchdown passes of over 20 yards, and the Illini were shredded. Unfortunately for the 3-0 Bulldogs, the 52-point effort was their lowest offensive output of the season. Oh well.
If you have Illinois on your list of contenders to represent the Big Ten in the soon-to-be-renamed Dallas New Year’s game formerly known as the TicketCity Bowl, think again.
3. Strangers in a Strange Land: One day, and that day may have already arrived, Missourians will ask the University of Missouri moved to the Southeastern Conference.
The Tigers left the Big 12, a league in which they border Iowa and Kansas, and had one of the nation’s longest-running football rivalries with the Kansas Jayhawks. The Big 12 has solidified itself, and has television deals which set it up for prosperity for a long time to come.
The SEC, which has schools in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina … doesn’t seem like a cultural fit or a football fit for Mizzou. The Tigers are 0-2 in their brief SEC history, with losses of 41-20 to Georgia and 31-10 to South Carolina.
Alabama and Florida await.
“That game is over,” Mizzou wide receiver T.J. Moe said after Saturday’s loss at South Carolina. “Just toss that one aside because it’s not going to happen again. Trust me. Never again.”
Alabama and Florida will interest to learn that.
4. More Mismatch Mishmash: There were 10 more games between FBS and FCS teams Saturday.
The FBS won all of them, by a combined score of 508-130. Nebraska pounded Idaho State, 73-7. Texas A&M punished South Carolina State, 70-14.
Nebraska scored 35 points in the first quarter. A&M had 49 first-half points in its victory.
5. Watch Out for Purdue: Notre Dame swept its three games against Big Ten teams.
The Fighting Irish beat Michigan Saturday, 13-6. They shut down Michigan State the week before in East Lansing, 20-3.
The week before that, Notre Dame needed a field goal with seven seconds left for a 20-17 home win over Purdue.
That’s the same Purdue team that, unlike Michigan State, didn’t struggle whatsoever in posting a 54-16 win over Eastern Michigan. The Boilermakers led 33-9 at halftime. The Spartans trailed EMU at the half, 7-3.
Purdue starts Big Ten play Oct. 16 with a home game against Michigan, plays Wisconsin at home the following week, then goes to Ohio State. So we’ll quickly see if the Boilermakers can challenge Wisconsin for the Leaders Division berth in the Big Ten championship game.
6. Ouchie! And here’s where I give the Iowa football pitchfork crowd some raw meat.
Quickish.com, which is a terrific clearinghouse of stories, tweets and videos from sports media folks, gathered some not-so-kind quips about Iowa following the Hawkeyes’ 32-31 loss to Central Michigan.
It’s going to take some time to wash the stain off this one.