• OK, Texas Tech, now your season really begins.
The Red Raiders improved to 7-0 with a 43-25 victory at Texas A&M, but the game was more competitive than the final score indicates. Tech played a sloppy first half -- turning the ball over three times -- and headed into the locker room trailing 23-20. The Red Raiders looked better in the second half, but Mike Leach added on some artificial style points by calling a questionable timeout with 24 seconds left. Although Texas Tech led 36-25 and A&M was out of timeouts, Leach wanted officials to review a Shannon Woods run to the one-yard line. The challenge failed, but Graham Harrell trotted in for a touchdown on the next play.
The Red Raiders may be undefeated, but they've played one of the easiest schedules in America thus far. Over the next four games, though, Tech faces a season's worth of challenges:
Oct. 25 at No. 16 Kansas
Nov. 1 vs. No. 1 Texas
Nov. 8 vs. No. 8 Oklahoma State
Nov. 22 at No. 4 Oklahoma
As I proclaimed last week, it's certainly fun having unconventional Texas Tech in the national title picture, but that bubble's about to burst. The Red Raiders haven't looked particularly dominant in seven games against mediocre-to-bad competition. At this point, it's hard to imagine them making it through the next four without at least two losses.
• It wasn't pretty, but No. 10 Georgia downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 24-14. The Dawgs' victory was full of miscues in the form of penalties, turnovers and missed field goals. But it had to be encouraging to see Knowshon Moreno get back on track. Georgia's sophomore star had struggled a bit in SEC play, but he shredded through the Commodores for a second straight year, finishing with 172 yards and a TD on just 23 carries.
• Maryland continued its Jekyll-and-Hyde season by spanking No. 21 Wake Forest 26-0. This resounding victory over the supposed class of the ACC comes after a humiliating 31-0 defeat to Virginia in Maryland's last game. Back in September, the Terps lost by 10 points to lowly Middle Tennessee, but bounced back the following week to upset No. 23 Cal. Ralph Friedgen's team is impossible to figure out, but one thing is for sure: Darrius Heyward-Bey (11 catches for 101 yards and a TD) is a special talent. Maryland must work to get this guy consistent touches every week.
• The Dabo Swinney era began like the Tommy Bowden era ended: with a loss. Clemson fell 21-17 to Georgia Tech. The Tigers started the season as a top 10 team, but today's defeat dropped them south of .500 (3-4). On the flip side, Paul Johnson's first Georgia Tech team just continues to rack up wins. The Yellow Jackets are 6-1 and the triple-option is officially back in major conference football.
• Shonn Greene demands your attention. The Iowa tailback who missed last season with academic issues has turned into one of the nation's most dominant forces. With 25 carries for 217 yards and four touchdowns in today's 38-16 dismantling of reeling Wisconsin, Greene has eclipsed 100 yards in every game this season. The junior has racked up 1,154 yards, averaging a spectacular 6.5 yards per carry. Kirk Ferentz's job may be on the line, but the Hawkeyes could finish the regular season with a respectable eight wins behind their stout defense and consistent running game.
• Northwestern is officially bowl eligible. The defensive-minded team looked like the Wildcats of old, tossing up 48 points in an easy win over Purdue. But don't give them too much credit -- this Purdue team is horrendous. Sad to see Joe Tiller finish a great career with such a sour season.
• Rutgers beat an FBS opponent! The Scarlet Knights knocked off UConn for their second win of the year (the first came over Morgan State, an FCS team).