Is Duke for Real? For the first time since Steve Spurrier was the coach, the Blue Devils have a chance to be relevant again in college football. Yes, I said football. F-O-O-T-B-A-L-L, and in the same sentence with relevant and Duke. Now I know it may be a bit premature, given their wins are all against pretty poor teams and their lone loss was a 50-13 drubbing at the hands of Stanford. But still, a 5-1 record and 2-0 in the ACC heading to Blacksburg to play perennial contender Virginia Tech is not bad. If they pull off the upset this weekend, we could see two programs in territory neither one has been in for almost two decades: Duke in a bowl, and Virginia Tech not. If Duke has a breakout season, don't be surprised to see David Cutliffe on the short list for a number of jobs, including the Arkansas position that will surely be open once the Hogs are done playing for the year.
Notre Dame For Real: Granted, Miami hasn't fared well against decent opponents, but the Irish put a hurting on the Hurricanes at least as significant as the one Kansas State inflicted to open the season. Now both Notre Dame and the Wildcats are in the top ten. Stanford's visit to South Bend this weekend is probably the most important game for the Irish in a number of years. With the Big Ten and ACC suffering down periods, it is critical for Notre Dame to prevail in order to continue momentum toward a BCS game and maybe even a shot at the National Championship.
The Red River Rivalry: Texas and Oklahoma meet in Dallas with the winner keeping alive hopes for a decent season. It appears that Kansas State is the only team in the Big Twelve (but it's not really twelve anymore, is it? I seem to have lost track) that has any idea what playing defense involves. See, there's this thing called a goal line, and you're supposed to keep the other team from crossing it. Anyway, in the Big Twelve they need to re-draw the goal lines after every quarter or so. Maybe they can just start the doing what they do with the windshield covers in NASCAR and have tear away goal lines to keep them fresh.
The Big East no Longer the Big Least? Don't look now, but there are three undefeated teams in the Big East, and none of them are favorite South Florida. Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati are all without a loss and have all beaten one or more teams from another BCS automatic qualifier conference. The pollsters aren't giving them much love, but by the end of the season they are probably going to have to pay attention. Is it possible that the Big East could actually be the second best conference this year? I would say it's possible. Very possible.
Can You Say Trap Game for the Gators? Let's see, Florida wins a huge game against LSU, then travels to Vanderbilt before facing now number 3 South Carolina in Gainesville and then onto the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party against number 14 Georgia in Jacksonville. I know Vandy's not of the same caliber as the SEC elite teams of Alabama, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and now Texas A&M, but these kids are 20 years old and Will Muschamp has his work cut out for him to get and keep his team up for this weekend's contest. Games like this are what continue to keep the SEC at the top of the college football conference heap.