Michigan's offense could be in 2013. Maybe. Devin Gardner received the unexpected start against Minnesota and when you take out his first quarter stats, he was very efficient with scoring drives of 91, 90, 86, and 79 yards. He was evading defenders when they broke through their blocks. Yes, he did have one bad throw that was across his body and limped into the arms of Minnesota's defense, but most quarterbacks don't have as much zip on their throws when doing that.
However, in the end, there will inevitably be the usual quarterback controversy. There should be none--Michigan is Denard's team. And it will remain so for another 3 games and a bowl. In other Big Ten news: Michigan State lost a heartbreaking game to Nebraska (which also makes it more difficult for Michigan to make it to the Big Ten title game) and now all the Cornhuskers need to do to reach Indy is win out while the Spartans are left just scratching to be bowl eligible. Ohio State remains undefeated after blowing out Illinois 55-22, and Braxton Miller has even more Heisman worthy stats (against Illinois it's not hard). Surprising Indiana took out Iowa which sets up an intriguing matchup in Bloomington next week against Wisconsin Penn State won a convincing matchup against Purdue and now it's become plain sad that Bill O'Brien can't take his team to a bowl game following the aftermath of everything that's happened in State College over the last year, and after JoePa's death. I think it'd be not poetic justice per say, but a matter of rebirth for that school. Alas, it's not going to happen. Onto the new BCS poll:
1) Alabama (.9957) Again, number one for the 10th straight week. It wasn't the best of games, but considering they won their closest game so far in 2012 says something.
2) Kansas State (.9318) It wasn't any question of would they win? We all knew they would. But having Manziel sit out the 4th quarter due to an apparent injury puts an asterisk next to their BCS national title hopes.
3) Oregon (.9166) Wait...I think Oregon just scored again.
4) Notre Dame (.9050) Chalk up the game against Pittsburgh as one they should have lost. A couple penalties were missed, and a missed field goal by Pitt gave the Fighting Irish a fortunate victory.
5) Georgia (.8171)
6) Florida (.7863)
7) LSU (.7054) More bad decisions by Les Miles contributed to their loss. On 4th and a long 2 from the 25 yard line, LSU decided to run the ball and were stuffed at the line of scrimmage.. No 43 yard field goal to go up by 6 points. Oy vey.
8) South Carolina (.6206) Idle
9) Louisville (.6040) Maybe it's because they're in the ACC, but they are undefeated and still ranked below a 2-loss team of South Carolina
10) Florida State (.5969) Idle
11) Oregon State (.5965)
12) Oklahoma (.5812) The Sooners do not have many easy games at the back end of the season. Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma St, and TCU are left, and not any of them is an easy check in the win column.
13) Clemson (.5772)
14) Stanford (.5086)
15) Texas A&M (.5060) Even in their first year in the SEC, A&M is proving that they belong by dispatching a week Mississippi State team.
16) Nebraska (.3976) Martinez set a school yardage record in the process of using a fourth quarter comeback against Michigan State. Games against Penn State, Minnesota, and Iowa are all that remain between the Cornhuskers and Indy, and then possibly Pasadena.
17) Texas (.3593)
18) UCLA (.2533) Jim Mora has the Bruins at 7-2, and the only mystifying loss is against Cal. However, up next is Mike Leach and hapless Washington State.
19) USC (.1706) The only 3-loss team in the BCS, the Trojans are not the national media darlings they were at the start of the season. Monte Kiffin is doing well with the defense, explosive Oregon offense or not.
20) Louisiana Tech (.1584) When you see their remaining slate of games, there's not a whole lot that'll stop them from being a one loss team at the end of the season.
21) Mississippi State (.1453) A poor early schedule has pretty much doomed the Bulldogs..and they have LSU up next
22) Texas Tech (.1422)
23) Rutgers (.1214)
24) Northwestern (.0962) The Wildcats have pesky Michigan up next in Ann Arbor, followed up by Michigan State and Illinois. it's doubtful they'll win down the stretch but if they do, they'll be right behind Nebraska in contention for the conference championship.
25) Toledo (.0796)