Profiles in Profiteroles: The mighty MAC
Our weekly highlight show of lesser FBS luminaries. Non-AQs and independents, be welcome:
This will mark our fifth season tracking the record of non-AQ programs against teams from power conferences, for no other reason than liking to watch where the numbers go. We’re not sure we’ve ever seen a weekend produce a winning record for a mid-major league that involved more than one or two games. But glory be to the MAC, which played seven games against BCS-favored opponents, and won four. (Yes, we’re even including Northern Illinois’ win over Kansas, even though Kansas is Kansas. COUNT IT.)
MAC teams beat one Big Ten team, two Big East teams and one Big 12 team. Directional Michigan schools had a particularly grand weekend, with Central Michigan knocking off Iowa and Western Michigan laying out UConn. Eastern Michigan also acquitted itself admirably, putting up a dogged fight against Michigan State.
The fifth big winner of Week 4 was the gaudiest: Louisiana Tech, a team with qualities we have been relentlessly touting since last December or so, mowed down Illinois on the road, 52-24. The Bulldogs currently field the nation’s third-ranked scoring offense and have two more high-profile nonconference matchups in the next three weeks: at Virginia and home against Texas A&M. Stay tuned; they’re our favorites behind Ohio to finish the 2012 regular season undefeated.
Speaking of the Bobcats: They’re through their nonconference gauntlet after a Week 4 win over Norfolk State and received 40 votes in this week’s AP Poll. The only other non-AQ teams on that list are Boise State at No. 24 and Louisiana Tech, which received seven votes.
Profiles in ownage
• Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson, freshly-minted Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, whose seven touchdowns against Hawaii tied an NCAA record and set a new record for the Wolf Pack and the Mountain West.
• Central Michigan quarterback Ryan Radcliff, who went 26-of-35 for 283 yards and two touchdowns in the Chippewas’ victory over Iowa.
• David Harman, who kicked four field goals for CMU on Saturday, including the game-winning 47-yarder with three seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
• UTEP cornerback Drew Thomas, who was credited with eight tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery against Wisconsin.
• Western Michigan linebacker Desmond Bozeman, was was credited with 12 tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks against UConn, in addition to a strip and fumble recovery for his first career touchdown.
• Ball State receiver Willie Snead, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Keith Wenning against South Florida.
• Louisiana Tech linebacker Antonio Mitchum, who was responsible for 10 tackles (eight solo), two tackles for loss, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries against Illinois.
• Tulsa defensive back Dexter McCoil, who was credited with 10 tackles (eight solo), two tackles for loss and two pass breakups against Fresno State.
Not sure if serious
Appreciate the effort, Ohio, but needs more dancing ducks.
Walking Dead Watch and the DJ Khaled Prize for Undefeated Excellence
Undefeated heading into Week 5: Ohio, Louisiana Tech and UTSA. Still down in that winless well: UAB, Memphis, Southern Miss, Houston, Tulane, Army, UMass, Eastern Michigan and Idaho.
Case Keenum Memorial Pinballin’ Hi-Score
Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who passed for 730 yards on Saturday. Not a typo.
Thing UTEP did this week
Came a lot closer to beating Wisconsin than you might guess from a casual look at the scoreboard. Afterward, Mike Price had this to say about Camp Randall: “We weren’t intimidated by the crowd. They’re going to have a heck of a crowd this weekend at East Carolina.” [BOX | RECAP]
After four weeks of play, non-AQ teams are 15-68 against power conferences. Louisiana-Monroe remains undefeated in our hearts.
On tap and of interest for Week 5: Missouri at Central Florida; Louisiana Tech at Virginia; two big-implication Sun Belt games in Western Kentucky at Arkansas State and FIU at Louisiana; SMU hosting No. 14 TCU in the Battle for the Iron Skillet; UTSA’s first WAC game (against New Mexico State); Toledo-Western Michigan, which concluded with a grand total of 129 points last season; and Air Force and Colorado State competing for the delightfully pagan-sounding Ram-Falcon Trophy.