The Big Ten Conference crashed to the college football canvas like an over-the-hill heavyweight on Saturday, and its chances of having a representative in the College Football Playoff at season's end are taking a standing eight count.
Between Notre Dame's 31-0 knockout of Michigan, Virginia Tech's 35-21 upset of Ohio State, and Oregon's 46-27 win over Michigan State, the league was swept in its three biggest games of the week. For OSU, it was the Buckeyes' first regular season loss under Urban Meyer in two-plus seasons. Then there was Nebraska's narrow, 31-24 escape of -- gulp -- McNeese State. More on that below. With Wisconsin losing its opener to LSU last week, the Big Ten will almost certainly need someone to come off the mat and win out the remainder of the season for a seat at the playoff table.
For now, the current standings in the East Division of the Big Ten turn tradition completely upside down.
Here are 18 more things you should know from the second week of college football:
- Southern Cal was involved, so you knew something bizarre would happen. How about Trojans athletic director Pat Haden coming down from the press box to argue with officials during a thrilling 13-10 win over Stanford. Even more bizarre, Haden said he received a text that USC coach Steve Sarkisian wanted him to come down. This about sums it up. And this is why the College Football Playoff selection committee rules mandate that members with ties to a specific school recuse themselves from committee deliberations about that school.
- Marcus Mariota and Connor Cook both validated their place as two of the nation's elite quarterbacks. In the end, it was Mariota's Oregon Ducks who took care of business on the scoreboard with the help of a home crowd. But as NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah notes, Michigan State junior Connor Cookacquitted himself well in a losing effort with 343 yards passing.
- Jameis Winston was in cruise control on Saturday night. And so were the rest of the Florida State Seminoles in dispatching The Citadel, 37-12. The defending Heisman Trophy winner didn't play the whole game, preserving his health but also missing a chance to pile up some huge numbers against an outmanned foe.
- It was not a day for upsets, although Ohio State's loss to Virginia Tech and Stanford's loss to USC were technically upsets. It was a feel-good week for much of college football in Week 2, as a seemingly endless supply of lopsided matchups provided some of the top programs in the country with more self-esteem than a therapist with a full-length leather couch. Alabama, Clemson and Wisconsin drummed Florida Atlantic, South Carolina State and Western Illinois by a combined score of 151-10.
- Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper is positively on fire. The junior All-SEC draft prospect tied a UA record with 13 catches and now has 25 in two games on the season. Safe, for the moment, to say Cooper is new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin's biggest fan.
- Oklahoma drilled Tulsa, 52-7. The Golden Hurricane had almost as much trouble tackling Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard as Florida Atlantic had tackling Cooper. Shepard caught eight passes for 177 yards.
- Time to flash, Gordon: A meager opponent like FCS team Western Illinois is supposed to be a chance for a Heisman Trophy candidate to look like magic. Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, unfortunately, pulled a disappearing act.
- Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson found a schoolyard sucker. Who wasn't a childhood victim at one time or another of this timeless prank: Johnson, Tennessee's top pro prospect, pushing a guy into an accomplice who is on all fours behind the unfortunate middle man? In this case, however, the accomplice appears to be an unwitting one.
- Here's one from the transfer ticker. Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt, formerly of Oklahoma State, posted a big game for the second week in a row as the Illini moved to 2-0. Lunt was 35-of-50 passing for 456 yards and three touchdowns against Western Kentucky.
- The Pac-12's two-way duo was on display. The Washington Huskies utilized linebacker Shaq Thompson's on offense as he ran for 66 yards and a touchdown against Eastern Washington. See his 56-yard scoring scamper here. Meanwhile, UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, who was expected to be sticking to defense this year, had three carries and a touchdown in a surprisingly narrow Bruins win over Memphis.
- Tyler Lockett has been unlocked. So how did FCS lightweight Stephen F. Austin hold one of the top wide receiver prospects in the country, Kansas State's Tyler Lockett, to one catch last week? Don't ask the Cyclones. After a forgettable nine yards against SFA, Lockett exploded in a 32-28 win over Iowa State Saturday for six catches and 136 yards.
- Mother Nature allowed football at Florida on Saturday. A week after the Gators' opener against Idaho was canceled by lightning, UF rained all over Eastern Michigan, 65-0. UF quarterback Jeff Driskel completed 31 passes for just 248 yards in the blowout.
- Sleeper Watch: Justin Hardy did it again. And this time, he can't be knocked for his level of competition. We told you to keep an eye on the East Carolina wide receiver on Friday, and he delivered against South Carolina with 11 catches for 133 yards. So now, they know him all over the Carolinas. They'll know him soon enough on the first day of the NFL draft, too, according to his coach.
- UCLA surely didn't expect to be tied with Memphis late in the fourth quarter. But that's the fire the Bruins found themselves in, and star quarterback Brett Hundley was there to pull them out. His third touchdown throw on a 396-yard passing night put UCLA on top for good.
- The only thing about Baylor's season that's going right for Bryce Petty is a 2-0 record. But the Bears' star quarterback, from an individual standpoint, would probably just as soon start over. After cracking a couple of bones in his back in last week's season opener and missing a half, he was ruled out for this week against Northwestern State. With or without Petty, one of the top pro prospects in the country among quarterbacks, the Bears travel to Buffalo next week.
- Coming back from a year-long academic suspension is one thing. Coming back the way Everett Golson has is another. The Notre Dame quarterback simply made it look easy against Michigan on Saturday night, as the Fighting Irish left Big Blue feeling blue, 31-0.