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Oh, how the mighty have fallen
Garrett Ritonya
Antelope Staff
Photo from Internet
Nebraska is one of many surprises of the Top 25 this year in college football.

This past weekend in college football was unlike any we have seen in quite some time. Four teams that were ranked inside the top ten lost, leaving the rest of the season up for grabs in almost every conference. We saw No. 4 Mississippi fall at the hands of South Carolina on Thursday night, a sign of things to come on Saturday.  It was then that No. 5 Penn State lost to Iowa, Oregon blasted No. 6 California, and bandwagon favorite No. 9 Miami (FL) got crushed by No. 11 Virginia Tech.

So what were the results come Monday after that chaos came to a close two nights earlier?

Well, for the first time in the history of the program in the regular season, Boise State has climbed into the top five. The Broncos, after walloping Oregon to begin the season, have faced a relatively light schedule and find themselves staring an undefeated season dead in the eyes. But will the undefeated season be enough to catapult the non-BCS dream school into a national championship game or will their lackluster schedule prove to be a substantial roadblock to their title dreams?

After defeating Penn State by a 21-10 score, Iowa shot up the rankings like a Russian MIV, going from unranked to No. 13 in the Associated Press poll. The Hawkeyes find themselves at 4-0 in a relatively weak conference (Big Ten) and will get a true test when No. 22 Michigan travels to Iowa City on Oct. 10.

Oregon, once ranked inside of the top 20 before getting shellacked by Boise State in their season opener, is once again in the AP top 25 landing at No. 16. The Ducks of Eugene have defeated a powerful Utah squad and the Golden Bears of Cal during their three-game winning streak and finally appear to have the firepower back that made them an early national title threat.

Virginia Tech has gone from being a team 90 seconds away from falling out of the top 20 to a team that currently sits at No. 6 after having no problem dispatching the Hurricanes. Led by junior quarterback Tyrod Taylor and freshman running back Ryan Williams, VT has remained in the national title talks, for now. Perhaps that last second victory against Nebraska will prove to be the catalyst for Virginia Tech as they make their way toward the national title game in January. 

Of course, the top three remain the same with Florida, Texas and Alabama, but for how long will those teams camp out in the top spots? Florida has shown no real weaknesses, but will Tim Tebow’s concussion affect him for the rest of the season? Texas still has a lot to prove on defense, which could cost them when it comes time to play Oklahoma with a rejuvenated Sam Bradford. Alabama is still a power in the SEC, but will they stumble upon a trap game? Or will they fold in the SEC championship game if and when they meet Florida?

As for Nebraska, the Cornhuskers remain in the top 25 after a 55-0 beat down of lowly Louisiana-Lafayette, sticking around in the No. 23 spot. What has to be disheartening for Husker fans is that this team is 90 seconds and one 80-yard pass play away from potentially being a top ten team, especially with how many teams lost on Saturday. If they pull out the victory against VT, Nebraska sits at about No. 12 or 13 and then with the catastrophic losses this weekend, the Huskers vault themselves into the top ten. 

The Huskers have shown they can compete with the best of teams, but now they begin the most grueling part of their schedule, playing the Big 12. Nebraska opens up with a huge Thursday night game in Columbia against the unbeaten Missouri Tigers. They then follow that up with a big home game against the better-than-expected Texas Tech Red Raiders. Games against Oklahoma and Kansas in mid-season will make or break the Huskers' dreams of wearing that Big 12 North crown.

On the home front, your UNK Loper football team has solidified their positions in the RMAC with impressive victories over UNO and Chadron State this season. A team laden with experience from last year has really stepped up their play after a season-opening loss to Wayne State. Sophomores Jake Spitzlberger and Rustin Dring continue to perform at high-octane levels, passing and running the Lopers into contention every weekend. The defense currently leads the RMAC in scoring average, which will come in handy when they face high scoring offenses Colorado Mines and Mesa State in the final two weeks of the season.

Something else that should be brought up is that the Lopers, as of this past weekend, have now installed their version of the “wildcat” formation, which comes after the Antelope’s very own Adam McLaughlin wrote a column last week about whether or not the Lopers could and should run this fad offense. They debuted it against Chadron State to marginal success, but it could be a work in progress.


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