Let's get to it.
12:00 set: Western Michigan at Indiana, Central Michigan at Michigan State, bits of Syracuse at Penn State
If the Big Ten were trying to argue that there's nothing wrong with the conference, this really wasn't the way to do it. Indiana arguably had a decent performance at home against WMU, but then again perhaps the Broncos are not who we thought they were. Penn State hasn't really proven anything, which is the way JoePa probably wants it, although I'd guess not scoring on the one drive probably didn't make him too happy, and putting up 28 on a Syracuse team that gave up 20 to Minnesota at home was really not impressive. Michigan State was pretty much asleep at the wheel in East Lansing: the way they gave up the lead was amazing.
3:30 set: Notre Dame at Michigan, bits of Houston at Oklahoma State, bits of TCU at Virginia
So, two things become clear: one is that Charlie Weis may be one of the most inept playcallers in all of college football, and the other is that Rich Rodriguez has a serious problem in the secondary. Fortunately for Michigan, not too many teams run a pass-oriented or spread offense (or both). Oh wait. Anyway, Charlie, Rich would like to thank you for that nice gift you gave him, and that 10-year contract extension is looking really good right about now, isn't it?
Speaking of not being able to handle the spread, Oklahoma State gave up a billion yards to Houston, but that's okay, we know Big 12 teams have solid defenses, right? At least that's the argument we heard last year. I'm sure this year it will be something else.
Hey, is Al Groh still employed?
Late-night football: Purdue at Oregon
What a frustrating game to watch. Purdue absolutely shut down Oregon's backs and receivers for about three quarters; they didn't really stop the quarterback runs, but that didn't hurt much. What hurt much was handing Oregon 17 points directly. An interception returned for a touchdown, a fumble returned for a touchdown, and an interception returned into field-goal range so that even a three-and-out resulted in three points.
Purdue is not good enough to survive one mistake every 20 plays or so, and Joey Elliott is making that mistake regularly. They absolutely should have won that game. Oregon was struggling on offense just like they did against Boise State, and they were having all kinds of trouble stopping the running game. The crowd was quiet and Purdue had momentum, and then Purdue would get them right back in the game.
Hope has some work to do. This isn't a .500 team yet. There are no other options at QB right now, and Elliott is good enough those other 19 plays that it's hard to justify trying someone else there, but it'll be interesting to see what the offense looks like next year if Purdue can get someone who makes fewer mistakes.