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Tigers are 'D' real deal

If defense wins championships, LSU is headed to New Orleans. The Tigers' young, in-your-face defense has been impressive in wins over Oregon and Mississippi State. Surviving the rest of the schedule won't be easy, starting with a trip to West Virginia this week, but LSU looks like a legitimate contender for the BCS title game.

Kellen Moore is the best player who won't win the Heisman. The senior quarterback is as polished as they come, but he plays at Boise State. An easy schedule will hamper his chances for college football's top award.

Auburn's defense is nonexistent. The Tigers were torched for 448 yards by Utah State, 531 by Mississippi State and 624 by Clemson. That puts even more pressure on the Auburn offense to outscore the opponent.

Michigan should let Denard be Denard. Everyone wants to see the exciting 2010 version of Denard Robinson, but a new offensive scheme has held him in check. What he did in the second half against Notre Dame and in the Eastern Michigan game is more his speed.

Wisconsin and Nebraska are the cream of the Big Ten crop. Led by quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Taylor Martinez, both teams have looked impressive, and they're set to meet Oct. 1 in Madison. That could be a preview of the Big Ten title game.

Oklahoma deserves the No. 1 spot. The Sooners took on No. 5 Florida State in front of a hostile crowd in Tallahassee and took care of business. Oklahoma forced three turnovers, and Landry Jones rushed for a score and threw a late touchdown pass to Kenny Stills for the go-ahead score.

The state of Oklahoma stayed up past its bedtime Saturday. The Oklahoma State-Tulsa matchup was delayed for 3 hours by weather, didn't kick off until after midnight and ended at 3:35 a.m. Sunday.

Ohio State's loss to Miami was as ugly as its offseason scandals. Buckeyes quarterbacks completed 4 of 18 passes for 35 yards, and the loss dropped them out of the polls for the first time in seven years.

South Carolina is riding on the shoulders of Marcus Lattimore. The sophomore has been a workhorse, carrying 37 times for 246 yards against Navy on Saturday. On the power of his performances, the Gamecocks have been able to eke out three wins.

You can't escape expansion news. No matter how many great games there were Saturday and no matter how tired you are of hearing it, conference expansion still dominated the headlines Sunday.

mmurschel@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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