So another college football Saturday is in the books, and what have learned?
A brief synopsis:
* Everything is about perspective.
That's the takeaway from Indiana State's 27-20 win over Ball State, one week after Ball State came within a minute of knocking off Iowa in Iowa City. The FCS Sycamores immediately trumpeted the win as one of the biggest for the program in decades.
Which, come to think of it, Ball State would have done had the Cardinals hung on against the Hawkeyes. A measure, odd as it may seem, of just how far the program has come under the skilled guidance of Pete Lembo.
* Vegas must hate Purdue.
Or at least, Vegas must hate the Boilermakers during Notre Dame week.
The wise guys had Notre Dame favored by a gazillion points against the Purdues, who were coming off a hopelessly inept three-touchdown loss at home to a middle-shelf MAC school, Central Michigan. But something about the Irish always gets Purdue's back up, and so of course it was a 14-10 game in favor of the Boilers until Everett Golson directed the go-ahead drive in the dying seconds of the first half.
Final score: 30-14, Notre Dame. Hardly the decimation Vegas was counting on, and yet another reason why abandoning the long-standing series for the next six years is sheer folly, and removes a bit of historical context from Notre Dame's schedule.
Instead of a fellow Indiana school they've battled tooth-and-nail since 1896, and continuously since 1946, the Irish will begin a spate of who-cares series with nodding acquaintances such as Wake Forest and Duke. Zzzzzzz.
* Hey, at least Ohio State won.
Which is to say: It was another so-so day for the Big Ten, aka, Not All That Great Football For The Mathematically Challenged.
Yes, the Buckeyes laminated Kent State 66-0, and Michigan handled Miami (O.), and Maryland almost beat West Virginia -- which may not actually count, because Maryland's not really a Big Ten school yet except in name. Elsewhere, though ...
Well, there was Indiana, which became another pelt for the Mid-American Conference (aka, Pretty Much Like The Big Ten, But Without The Money). Final was Bowling Green 45, Indiana 42, as Luers grad James Knapke plumped up his numbers against the traditionally porous Hoosiers defense, throwing for 395 yards and three scores.
Iowa, meanwhile, shrugged off its near-miss against Ball State with a come-from-ahead loss to Iowa State, the Cyclones' third win over the Hawkeyes in the last four meetings. TCU (30-7) and Washington (44-17) thanked Minnesota and Illinois for stepping out of conference and providing the sort of tuneups that only Directional Hyphen State used to provide. And in an actual sort-of conference game, Penn State beat Rutgers 13-10, proving Rutgers will fit right in with the Big Ten.
I mean, dreary losses are what it's all about, right?