Saturday morning blitz

October 4, 2013 

Hot reads

1. The unbeatables (so far): One month in, and 20 teams remain unbeaten. Some, of course, were more expected than others. So by no means are they created equal.

The ACC and Pac-12 have four apiece. Two are surprises. Miami was 7-5 in 2012, and Maryland was 4-8. Miami is probably a home win over Georgia Tech away from getting to 7-0 by the time it goes to FSU early next month. Is it too early to start thinking wide left?

On the West Coast, UCLA and Washington are the shockers. Washington hasn’t won more than seven since going 8-4 in 2001. That was also the last time the Huskies were 4-0. On Saturday, they’re at Stanford, which they beat at home last year. UCLA visits Stanford Oct. 19 and goes to Oregon the following week.

In the SEC there’s Alabama and … Missouri? The Tigers were picked to finish fifth in the East division.

The Big Ten has Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern, which hosts OSU in two days in what appears to be the Buckeyes’ best chance to lose before Nov. 30 at Michigan.

In your bracket-buster division there’s Fresno State from the Mountain West and Northern Illinois, which made it to the Orange Bowl last season, out of the MAC.

At this time a year ago there were 22 unbeatens. By the end of the regular season one was left. And after the bowls it was none, just like 2011. So usually this stuff sorts itself out. It mostly takes time.

Bet you can’t wait for those first BCS standings.

2. Dear SEC, enough, already: Four SEC teams are ranked ahead of undefeated Oklahoma, including Georgia and Texas A&M, both of which have one loss.

OU coach Bob Stoops knows where this is headed and took a shot at the SEC and its alleged dominant defenses. Stoops took issue because for years his Big 12 conference was accused of not being able to play any defense, and that reputation likely hurt its teams’ BCS hopes.

"Just a few years ago, we had all the quarterbacks," Stoops told The Oklahoman, referring to NFL starters Robert Griffin III, Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill. "And now, all of a sudden, we can play a little better defense and some other people can't play defense. Funny how people can't play defense when they have pro-style quarterbacks over there, which we've had. They're all playing in the NFL right now."

The SEC hasn’t figured out a way to slow down Heisman contenders Johnny Manziel and Aaron Murray.

"I still don't know how (Texas) A&M was third in the country in total offense and scoring offense playing all those SEC defenses. I have no idea how that happened," Stoops told the paper. "Oh, they got a quarterback. That's right."

Tracking the Top 25

Saturday’s games ... comments where deserving:

No. 1 Alabama (4-0) vs. Georgia State (0-4), 12:21 p.m.

Cupcakes, anyone? Bama’s next four opponents enter the weekend 7-11.

No. 2 Oregon (4-0) at Colorado (2-1), 6 p.m.

Colorado ranks 91st in points allowed (31.7). Ducks, No. 2 in scoring, might reach that by halftime.

No. 3 Clemson (4-0) at Syracuse (2-2), 3:30 p.m.

Orange? Crushed.

No. 4 Ohio State (5-0) at No. 16 Northwestern (4-0), 8 p.m.

Winner gets the Southern Cal job. Closest thing to Top 15 team OSU will face during the regular season.

No. 5 Stanford (4-0) vs. No. 15 Washington (4-0), 10:30 p.m.

Payback Week for the Cardinal, which had its BCS hopes dashed last year in 17-13 loss to Huskies team that finished 7-6. “Definitely not an experience I want to have again," Stanford tackle Andrus Peat said.

No. 6 Georgia (3-1) at Tennessee (3-2), 3:30 p.m.

Dawgs’ schedule has been so tough that a trip to Knoxville almost counts as a breather.

No. 7 Louisville (4-0) at Temple (0-4), Noon

Cardinals defending their schedule (first five foes are combined 6-15). Who knew four years ago they’d have Teddy Bridgewater, or that he’d develop into a Heisman candidate?

No. 8 Florida State (4-0) vs. No. 25 Maryland (4-0), Noon

Think Maryland would like to give ACC a parting gift by knocking Noles out of BCS title contention? Seminoles, 21-2 against Maryland, will be sad to see Terps leave ACC.

No. 10 LSU (4-1) at Mississippi State (2-2), 7 p.m.

No. 11 Oklahoma (4-0) vs. TCU (2-2), 7 p.m.

No. 13 South Carolina (3-1) vs. Kentucky (1-3), 7:30 p.m.

Spurrier says Kentucky will be good again someday, but it won’t be Saturday.

No. 14 Miami (4-0) vs. Georgia Tech (3-1), 3:30 p.m.

A Canes win raises stakes for Oct. 17 Coastal clash with UNC in Chapel Hill.

No. 17 Baylor (3-0) vs. West Virginia (3-2), 8 p.m.

Bears have no three-and-out possessions yet but it’s only October.

No. 18 Florida (3-1) vs. Arkansas (3-2), 7 p.m.

No. 19 Michigan (4-0) vs. Minnesota (4-1), 3:30 p.m.

No. 20 Texas Tech (4-0) at Kansas (2-1), Noon

Kansas hasn’t had a winning record this far into October since 2009.

No. 21 Oklahoma State (3-1) vs. Kansas State (2-2), 3:30 p.m.

No. 22 Arizona State (3-1) vs. Notre Dame (3-2) at Arlington, Texas, 7:30 p.m.

Straight-talk express: No school has ever defeated Southern Cal and Notre Dame in consecutive weeks.

No. 23 Fresno State (4-0) at Idaho (1-4), 5 p.m.

No. 24 Mississippi (3-1) at Auburn (3-1), 7 p.m.

Secondary meaning for “shutout” in new Oxford Dictionary: “What happened at Alabama.”

Number to know

Oct. 18, 2009

The last time Miami appeared in the AP Top 10. The Hurricanes are No. 14 this week and could move to 5-0 for the first time since 2004.

The Final Word

“This is my shot. This is our shot, as a team. I didn't know if I'd ever become a head coach again, but I do have a shot and I'm going to give it my best. I'm excited for it. I think I'm very well prepared for it. Under the circumstances, they're adverse, but I've been through adverse circumstances before.”

Southern Cal interim head coach Ed Orgeron, former coach at Ole Miss who also appeared in the movie “The Blind Side”.

- The Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and Philadelphia Inquirer contributed to this report.

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