Idle Notre Dame Moves Up in Polls

( — Despite being idle this past weekend, the Irish moved up in the three human polls — AP, Coaches, and Harris. The Irish entered the weekend #9 in the AP poll but leapt over Georgia after their loss this weekend to move to #8. The Irish were 10th in both the Harris Poll and Coaches’ Poll and moved to 9th after Georgia’s loss as well.

Georgia, despite playing without their starting quarterback DJ Shockley fell behind the Irish after going down to the wire with Florida before losing 14-10. Georgia’s earlier close calls with Arkansas (23-20) and South Carolina (17-15) could have played a role in voters tabbing the Irish over the Bulldogs.

The move in the human polls should help the Irish move up in the BCS as well. It is unlikely that the Irish will move past Georgia in the BCS because of the computer polls, but with Boston College losing this past weekend the Irish should move up at least 1 spot to 14th putting them two spots behind where they need to be to qualify for the BCS.

Here’s a look at how Notre Dame’s opponents faired this weekend.

Michigan Upends Northwestern
The Wolverines jumped out early on Northwestern and shut the Wildcats out in the 2nd half to win in Evanston 33-17. The win pushed the Wolverines to 6-3 and moved them to #22 in the AP Poll and #23 in the Coaches’ Poll. Michigan has Indiana and Ohio State left this season.

Spartans Rebound with Rout of Indiana
Michigan State had lost three straight games heading into this weekend against Indiana, but the Hoosiers were just what the doctor ordered. Drew Stanton threw 2 touchdowns and ran for a 3rd as Michigan State cruised to a 46-15 victory and improved their record to 5-3. They have Purdue, Minnesota, and Penn State left making a 7-4 finish a good possibility.

Arizona State 44, Washington 20
Tyrone Willingham’s Huskies got beat up, again this week. Arizona State’s once promising season went south early, but the Huskies were just what they needed to get their offense rolling again. Washington is now 1-7 this season and will most likely finish with 2 wins at best this year with Arizona, Washington State, and Oregon State left.

Purdue’s Woes Continue Vs Lions
The Boilermakers were 2-5 heading into this weekend after being dark horse contenders earlier this season. Penn State beat up on Purdue and won 33-15 to fall to 2-6 and drive more traffic to

USC Dominates Wash St., Wins 30th in a Row
The streak is still alive for USC after a 55-13 blowout of Washington State this past weekend. USC still has an improved Stanford team to play this weekend before 3 games against ranked opponents – #24 Cal, #22 Fresno State, and #8 UCLA.

BYU Gives up 41 points, But Scores 62 for Win Over Air Force
The Cougars gave up 41 points to Air Force after surrendering 49 to the Irish last week, but still get the win over Air Force with a 62 point offensive explosion. Curtis Brown ran for over 200 yards and ran for 4 touchdowns while John Beck added 3 passing touchdowns.

South Carolina beats Tennessee on Last Second Field Goal
Tennessee’s woes continued this weekend with a last second loss to South Carolina at home this weekend. Tennessee is now 3-5 this season after starting the year as the #3 team in the country. The Vols fell out of the Top 25 this week for the first time since the 2002 season.

Rutgers Becomes Bowl Eligible Against Navy
Navy fell to 4-3 this weekend after a 31-21 loss to Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights became bowl eligible and clinched their first winning season since 1992. Navy meanwhile still has Tulane, Notre Dame, and Army and could finish the season 7-4 to go to a bowl game as well this year.

Syracuse Dreadful Season Continues with Loss to Cincinnati
The Orangemen fell to 1-7 after losing to Cincinnati this past weekend 22-16. Cincy used a 4th quarter fumble return to beat Syracuse. The Orangemen, under new coach Greg Robinson, are struggling mightily in his first season on the ‘Cuse sideline. With South Florida, Notre Dame, and Louisville still on the schedule, Syracuse could end up finishing the season with 1 loss. Revenge will be sweet after the blowout Syracuse gave Notre Dame in 2003, but a better record would have been nicer to help the Irish’s strength of schedule.

Stanford Collapses, Looses Upset Bid over UCLA
For about 52 minutes Stanford dominated the Bruins and held a 24-3 lead with about 8 minutes to go before UCLA flipped the switch and rattled off 21 points in the final 8 minutes to send the game into overtime. In overtime, Stanford kicked a field goal, but UCLA scored a touchdown on their drive to stay unbeaten. Stanford is a much better team than the one that lost to UC Davis earlier in the year, but failed to close out this game and now sits at 4-3 with USC, Oregon State, Cal, and Notre Dame remaining.

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