• Terrelle Pryor and Beanie Wells made a statement right off the bat in Ohio State's 34-21 win over Minnesota. With both players starting in the same backfield for the first time ever, Ohio State began the game's opening drive at its own 25-yard line. Five plays and 75 yards later, a ripple went through the Big Ten conference.
Following Ohio State's embarrassing, 35-3 loss at USC, folks began to look around for the real cream of the Big Ten crop. (Penn State seems like the current pick du jour.) But with what we saw today from Pryor (97 rushing yards, 3 total touchdowns) and Wells (14 carries for 106 yards), the Buckeyes once again look like a major player in the race for the conference's automatic BCS bid.
Next week, OSU travels to Madison for a huge Big Ten bout against Wisconsin. If the Buckeyes emerge victorious, they'll re-enter the top 10, and we will be forced to acknowledge the pink elephant in the room. And that pink elephant comes in the form of a question: If the new, Terrelle Pryor-led Buckeyes run the table in impressive fashion, will they end up in the BCS title game?
But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here ...
• T.J. who? One week after budding star QB T.J. Yates went down with a fractured ankle, reserve signal-caller Cameron Sexton guided the Tar Heels to a come-from-behind, 28-24 win at Miami. Did I mention Sexton didn't even start the game? Mike Paulus handled the first two drives, but couldn't get anything going. Sexton entered the game at the end of the first quarter and immediately led the Heels on a seven-play, 58-yard touchdown drive. UNC still trailed 17-7 at the half, but Sexton saved his best for the second half.
The gutsy junior, who finished with 243 yards passing and two TDs, guided North Carolina to three second-half scoring drives, including the game-winning march late in the fourth quarter. The culmination of that drive -- in which Sexton went 4-for-5 for 61 yards -- came on a majestic 14-yard touchdown pass to Brooks Foster. Sexton was flushed from the pocket on the play, but he managed to deliver a perfect ball on the run into the outstretched arms of Brooks. Truly a thing of beauty.
The win (and the emergence of Sexton) is huge for North Carolina. We discussed the fact that the ACC Coastal Division is wide open last week. A road win within the division is enormous. But the Heels can't rest on their laurels for long -- they have a date with 5-0 UConn next Saturday.
• Clemson's 20-17 loss to Maryland is unforgivable. The Tigers held a 17-6 lead at half, but couldn't muster a single point after the break. Clemson will have to dwell on this loss even longer than usual with next week off. Then the Tigers must travel to Wake Forest. By the end of Week 7, it's very possible Clemson will have three losses. Yet another wasted season for Tommy Bowden's bunch?
• Talk about a workhorse. Michigan State RB Javon Ringer now has 187 carries through five games. I guess Mark Dantonio just likes to stick with what works. Ringer just missed a third consecutive 200-yard game (198 yards on 44 carries) and the Spartans beat Indiana 42-29.
• Shady McCoy gets all the attention, but Pitt's other running back, senior LaRod Stephens-Howling, may have saved the Panthers' season today. Pitt trailed lowly Syracuse 24-16 entering the fourth quarter, but two Stephens-Howling scores in the final period helped the Panthers prevail 34-24.
• Duke is 3-1! In football! And they just walloped an ACC foe (Virginia) by 28 points! Exclamation points!