Let’s take a look at Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in College Football for Week 9:
- Duke – With their 13-10 upset win over #14 Virginia Tech, Duke is now bowl eligible for the 2nd season in a row. It was Duke’s first win over a ranked opponent since 1994. David Cutcliffe is slowly building this team up, but I doubt anyone will take them lightly after this win.
- Minnesota – After opening Big 10 Conference play with two losses it looked like Minnesota would struggle again this year against Big 10 foes. Last week’s win against struggling Northwestern was probably marked with an asterisk by more than a few people. This week’s game against Nebraska was no fluke as they rode a solid defensive performance to a 34-23 win and are now 6-2 overall and 2-2 in Big 10 play.
- Minnesota Defensive Coordinator Tracy Claeys – In the last two games without Jerry Kill, Tracy Claeys has led Minnesota to two wins. The team has looked very impressive the last two weeks, especially on defense. There is no doubt he will get some looks to take over an FBS program at season’s end.
- Ball State – Can we get a little love for MACtion? After losing on September 14 at North Texas, the Cardinals have reeled off six straight wins including the road win at Virginia on October 5. They looked destined to be 9-1 going into the Wednesday, November 13 matchup at currently undefeated Northern Illinois.
- Rice and Tulane – After opening 1-2, Rice has won five straight and are 4-0 in Conference USA. Tulane opened 2-2 and have won four in a row to go to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in C-USA. The November 30 game of Tulane at Rice looks like it will decide which team represents C-USA West division in the conference championship. Not bad for two teams that used to be doormats not so long ago.
- Northwestern – After starting 4-0, the Wildcats have dropped four games in a row, all in Big 10 play. The road does not get any easier as their remaining games are @ Nebraska, vs. Michigan, vs Michigan State, and @ Illinois. There is a strong possibility that Northwestern will go from 10 wins in 2012 to a losing record this year.
- Iowa State’s Defense – In the first five games for the Cyclones, they gave up 149 points. In the last two against Baylor and Oklahoma State, they gave up 129 points. Iowa State has given up an average of 316.5 yards over the last two games.
- Temple’s Defense – The Owls gave up 7 points in the first 29:14 against SMU. In the final 30:46, the Temple defense gave up 52 points and ended up losing 59-49. That is why they are 1-7 overall.
- Penn State’s Defense – Seeing a trend yet? The Nittany Lions have given up at least 40 points in each of their last three games. 44 to Indiana, 40 to Michigan, and 63 to Ohio State.
- New Mexico State – Yes, New Mexico State did beat Abilene Christian 34-29, but let’s look at the facts. In 2012, Abilene Christian was competing as a Division II school. In 2013, they are considered a transitional FCS team, which includes a mix of FBS, FCS, and Division II opponents. It bodes well for ACU’s future in the FCS, but the same cannot be said for New Mexico State.