Stud: CJ Verdell
In this week’s edition of Pac 12 After Dark, Washington State put Oregon on upset alert, giving the Ducks everything they could handle. Justin Herbert had a decent performance, but Oregon’s usually stout defense had a tough night, allowing 35 points and nearly costing the Ducks the game. Luckily for Oregon, running back C.J. Verdell had what may be the best single-game performance by a college football player thus far in 2019. The star rusher piled up 313 total yards and scored three touchdowns. Oregon escaped Saturday Night with their perfect Pac 12 record intact.
Dud: The Oklahoma Sooners
Another week, another shocking top-10 upset in the world of college football. After head-scratching losses from Georgia and Wisconsin, it was Oklahoma’s turn to suddenly put their playoff hopes on life support. As usual, the Sooners put up nearly 500 yards of offense, but Kansas State was the first team this season to light up Oklahoma’s defense with 48 points. The Sooners nearly mounted a miraculous fourth-quarter comeback, but they dug themselves too deep a hole to finish the job.
Stud: The Michigan Wolverines
Most people are going to focus on Notre Dame for this game, criticizing an abysmal primetime performance against a ranked. I, however, want to highlight what a fantastic job Jim Harbaugh’s company did to salvage their season with a marquee win. Make no mistake, Notre Dame was terrible and Brian Kelly deserves to be under fire for his team’s 45-14 loss, but the Wolverines showed that even while out of the playoff race, they’re still a major threat.
After a crushing road loss to rival Penn State and the media calling for Jim Harbaugh’s job security, Michigan stepped up and played arguably their best game in the Harbaugh era.
Dud: The Texas Longhorns
Week 9 was not a good week to be a ranked Big 12 team. Oklahoma’s loss was shocking and likely fatal to their playoff hopes, but Texas’ loss to TCU was simply embarrassing. The defense allowed 37 points, Sam Ehlinger threw four interceptions, and Texas is suddenly in a dogfight to even reach the Big 12 Championship. The Longhorns have now lost five of their last six games to the Horned Frogs as the Tom Herman era reaches its lowest point.
Stud: The Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota improved to 8-0 with a blowout win over Maryland. Don’t look now, but Minnesota has suddenly emerged as the favorite to win the Big Ten West. They close the season with Penn State, Iowa, and Wisconsin all still on their schedule, but look for the Golden Gophers to make a run at the Big Ten title if they can win at least two of those three matchups.
Dud: The Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin’s season has officially (and very suddenly) derailed. Two weeks ago, they were the No. 6 team in the country and looked like legitimate threats to reach the college football playoff. Since then they’ve been stunned by a really bad Illinois team and blown out by Ohio State. The Buckeyes are a top-tier team so losing to them isn’t shocking, but the Badgers weren’t even competitive.
Stud: Kedon Slovis
USC and Colorado wasn’t exactly a marquee matchup, but USC nonetheless locked up a major prime-time win thanks to a stellar performance by quarterback Kedon Slovis. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, 406 yards and four touchdowns are solid numbers against any power-five program.
Dud: Bo Nix
Auburn had a chance to propel themselves back into the playoff conversation with a big win over LSU, but true freshman quarterback Bo Nix wasn’t up to the task. Auburn competed with LSU for all four quarters and had a legitimate chance to win this game, but Nix missed key throws all night long and didn’t give his offense a chance.
Stud: Carter Stanley
Well, would you look at that, Kansas football won another game? Texas Tech might not be very stiff competition, but the Jayhawks picked up a major win that they desperately needed. Carter Stanley threw for 415 yards and three touchdowns against the Red Raiders and Les Miles has his third win of the season.
Dud: The Arizona State Sun Devils
As it is there aren’t many ranked Pac 12 teams, so it isn’t a good look for the conference when those few teams are constantly getting upset by UCLA. Chip Kelly’s Bruins are really bad, but they’ve now managed to notch their second upset win of the year with a victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils.