With the fourth week of college football behind us, here are the biggest stories from the weekend:
1. Boise Still Rolling: Boise State got their first taste of the ESPN College Gameday crew and did not disappoint, surviving several special teams mistakes and beating Oregon State 37-24. The Broncos remain third in the coaches’ poll, and closed their gap with #2 Ohio State ever so slightly. They still need either the Buckeyes or Alabama to lose at least once, but if those teams trip up, Boise could slide into one of the top two spots.
However, the biggest boost to the Broncos may be the emergence of the Nevada Wolfpack in the Top 25. Nevada is 4-0, ranked for the first time since 1948, and Colin Kapernick’s squad has a good shot at being 11-0 when they host Boise on November 26.
2. Tide Survives: Alabama almost relinquished the top spot in the polls against Arkansas, but down 20-7 in the third quarter at SEC rival Arkansas, the Crimson Tide showed why they’re the defending national champions, scoring the final 17 points, including the game-winning touchdown run by Mark Ingram with 3:18 to go. The Alabama defense also made a big statement, allowing just three points in the second half and intercepting Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett three times.
So far, Alabama has made it through a third of their grueling start to conference play, but a home match with Florida looms.
3. Pac 10 Power Shift: With USC’s football program dealing with sanctions, two schools have stepped in and filled the void in the Pac 10. Fourth-ranked Oregon continued their offensive showcase, racking up 42 points on the road against an Arizona State team that allowed just 20 in Madison a week ago.
Jim Harbaugh continues to turn the #13 Stanford Cardinal around, as they whipped Notre Dame 37-14 in South Bend. If he can guide his squad to an upset of the Ducks next weekend at Autzen Stadium, Stanford would have the inside track at the Pac-10 title.
Other noteworthy weekend happenings: Texas pounded at home by UCLA, Big East endures another miserable week and has zero ranked teams, several close calls on upsets as Oklahoma, LSU and Penn State narrowly avoid being taken down.