Something lost among the early beginnings on Saturday was this result: Temple 35, Maryland 14.
The temple had opened Villanova at a loss. The owls then doubled with a loss for Buffalo. On the other hand, Maryland opened with a win over Texas and then Bowling Green. That Maryland had done so without his head coach, the suspended D.J. Durkin made the Terrapins one of the first success stories of the 2018 season.
Maryland's stumbling was just the first blow on a hard afternoon for the Big Ten. Starting with the loss of Terrapins, a series of results on Saturday formally end the idea that the Big Ten is the country's strongest league.
Just as Maryland flew, Nebraska lost to Troy at home to mark its worst start since 1957. Two games reveal nothing about Scott Frost's tenure on his alma mater, though the number of errors the Cornhuskers must fix before his debut season runs off the rails. Illinois led South Florida 19-7 in the third quarter, but allowed the final 18 points of the game in a 25-19 loss.
Wisconsin could get into a corner with a loss 24-21 at home against Brigham Young, a team that treated the badgers with ease a year ago. The Badgers are still a factor in the Big Ten hunt, especially what appears to be a very weak West Division, but the loss of BYU leads to the theory that Wisconsin was overvalued due to 13-1 last year into the regular season Finish, which in turn was built on the back of a soft schedule. It's a pretty complicated theory.
And finally, the most disastrous score of all: Kansas 55, Rutgers 14. Rutgers is the punk of the Big Ten, but the Scarlet Knights are college football kings compared to the Jayhawks. So we thought. The worst team in the Big Ten is 41 points worse than the worst team in the Big 12 Conference, and in the world of college football that's an important math.
It was such a day for the Big Ten. Here are the remaining winners and losers from Saturday:
It's fair to call Orgeron the big winner of the day after a 22-21 victory in Auburn gave the LSU two effective wins in the first three weeks of the season and a dominating performance against Miami (Fla.) In the opening match. After a summer spent under the radar in the Southeastern Conference, the Tigers are destined for the top 10 of the Amway Coaches Poll.
TIGER STUNNER: No. 13 LSU beats with the final goal from No. 7 Auburn
Another team that took the offseason far out of the limelight: Oklahoma State was regarded as a Borderline Big 12 contender, far behind rival Oklahoma, and as likely not to make much noise outside of the conference game. Saturday's win of 44-21 against the previously undefeated Boise State showed a defense that could be good enough to make the Cowboys a factor in a New Year's six-legged cup. Few coaches in the country do a better job than Mike Gundy.
The Blue Devils continue to impress. For more than three weeks, Duke has won against Army, Northwestern, and now Baylor, the last on the road. And the 40-20 doubling of the bears came with no starting quarterback Daniel Jones, injured in last week's win over the Wildcats. Could Duke plead for being the best team in the Coastal Division at a fairly unexplained Atlantic Coast conference?
This was a winning coach that Kalani Sitake needed after a dreadful year in 2017 and a win the Cougars needed to work through a very tough September schedule. But now 2-1 with victories over Arizona and Wisconsin, BYU gets McNeese State next Saturday, Washington on September 29th and then a fairly smooth October and November. The win on Saturday came a year after losing 40-6 at home to the Badgers showing the offseason growth of the Cougars.
Brigham Young's defensive liner Merrill Taliauli (54) and offensive lineman Austin Hoyt celebrate after their side beat Wisconsin. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch, USA TODAY Sports)
These wins are pretty commonplace for the Trojans, who claim victory at Nebraska last year's LSU victory. Coach Neal Brown and the Trojans rebuilt the ship after opening the year with a one-sided loss to Boise State.
They would not believe that it could be worse for Florida State's first year coach than his rain-soaked opening loss to Virginia Tech. But Samford was worse. And Syracuse was the worst. The Seminoles' 30-7 deficit was marked by clumsiness and a handful of shaky coaching decisions. Taggart was under pressure only three games in his term.
Because it should be repeated: Rutgers lost to Kansas with 41 points or about six touchdowns.
First, let's face Pat Narduzzi and Pittsburgh, who celebrated a nice win against Yellow Jackets a week after their home game against rival Penn State. But the bigger story is the game of Paul Johnson team, which now comes 1-2 with games still against Clemson, Duke, Virginia Tech, Miami (Florida) and Georgia.
The Central American Conference
What could have been an eventful day for the MAC turned out to be a mess, full of swings and failures in games that rivaled the League's brave upstarts against the Power Five's fierce competition. Toledo thought it would be in line for a home excitement against Miami (Fla.), But come up well short in a 49-24 loss. Ball State never snapped Indiana in the loss of 38-10. The 63-10 loss Kent State suffered at Penn State was very, very much expected, so no damage. But Miami (Ohio) had no big fight against Minnesota and Ohio's defense was beaten by Virginia.