The Spartans' dominant defense was the main reason they won their rivalry game against Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

The Spartans’ dominant defense was the main reason they won their rivalry game against Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

The Good
Michigan State: The Spartans are a team that most of the country aren’t paying enough attention to, but that might change after they dominated ‘Big Brother’ Michigan. Most of the credit goes to the defense, which was relentless in pressuring Devin Gardner and keeping the Wolverine offense from getting anything going. The Spartan offense, which isn’t exactly known for being explosive, was still to be productive and broke out in the second half to put the game away. They’re now in control of the Legends division and with this effort have proven they’ll be a tough test for Ohio.

Florida State: Miami appeared to be playing the Seminoles well and kept it close heading into halftime. However, that was when the vaunted Nole defense decided to clamp down on the ‘Canes and keep them off the scoreboard. They had no trouble with yet another Top 25 team and with this big win, one has to believe they’ll vault over an idle Oregon to #2 in the BCS. It appears they can coast until they face Florida in the final game, but a rematch against Miami is possible in the ACC title game

The Bad
Florida: Despite a late surge, the Gators were unable to beat Georgia in their annual rivalry game, which was their third loss in a row. They’ve been struggling all season long, losing to highly ranked teams like LSU and Missouri while not really beating anyone of note. They’ve essentially played their way out of the SEC East title and at 4-4 with South Carolina and Florida State in addition to a tough Vandy squad looming, they’re in danger if not going bowling.

Texas Tech: The wheels appear to be coming off for the Red Raiders. After an impressive 7-0 start, they’ve dropped the last two games and the latest one to Oklahoma State wasn’t pretty. Not did they get beat by a wide margin, but their offense couldn’t keep with a potent Cowboy attack. They fell behind 21-0 to start off in the first quarter and never led at any point. Like Florida, their conference title hopes are shrinking week-by-week.

The Ugly
Michigan: Well that sure didn’t go according to plan. The Wolverines had no answer for the physicality of the Michigan State defense. Gardner was under siege all game and when his passing options were gone, he was unable to use his feet because there seemed to be a Spartan defender at every turn. Unlike in the Penn State game, this was one where they had no chance to win and with the division title pretty much out of the picture, will have to rally with a tough slate of games to finish the season.

The Fans: Perhaps the biggest losers this week were college football fans. The slate was already pretty weak, but then the three Top 25 matchups all ended up being by beatdowns by wide margins, so there was no compelling game to watch. Plus 5 of the Top 10 teams were on a bye. At least you can all take solace in the fact that next week will be better, led by two Top 10 matchups in Oregon-Stanford and Baylor-Oklahoma.

Awards
The ‘Charlie Weis Ate My Cheeseburger’ Award for Defense: It was said above how physical and dominating the Michigan State defense was in their game against Michigan. However, to get a clearer picture of their effort, consider the fact that they had seven sacks and held Michigan to negative 48 yards rushing. That is what you call shutting down the run game.

The ‘Shirley, You Must Be Joking?’ Offensive Performance Of The Week: Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey had 152 yards rushing and no touchdowns in the Wildcats’ in over Cal. Normally this wouldn’t be that noteworthy, however consider the fact that he’s rushed for at least 119 yards in every game he’s played this season and has an 11 game streak of at least 100 yards stretching back to last season. Now that’s consistency.

The ‘These Are Not The Droids You’re Looking For’ Mystery Of The Week: We’re in to November, which means the divisional and conference races are heating up. The Pac 12, Big 12, SEC and ACC Coastal have no resolution and might not until the final weekend. With head to head matchups between conference foes still on tap, there’s no way to predict how they’ll all turn out. Then again that will certainly provide for some exciting football.