So the only thing standing in the way of a MAC title-game appearance on Dec. 2 in Detroit, as three voters in the preseason poll projected, are the Owls themselves.
Pierce rushed for 152 yards and two TDs on 23 carries. He also tied Paul Palmer's all-time program record of 264 points. And for the second consecutive week, Matt Brown reached triple digits on the ground (12-120, TD).
The Owls, as they've been doing, controlled the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
PENN 27, COLUMBIA 20
For the second time in 3 weeks, the Quakers (3-2, 2-0) won an Ivy road game in the closing seconds.
This time, quarterback Billy Ragone scored on a 7-yard third-down run with 25 seconds left, after the Lions (0-5, 0-2) tied things with a field goal at 1:31 of the fourth quarter.
The Quakers have won 17 straight in the league, which matches the second-longest all-time Ivy streak. They've tied a school record with 12 straight Ivy away wins. It was their 15th consecutive win in this series, and their 17th in a row in the month of October.
Brandon Colavita, who went over 1,000 rushing yards for his career, put Penn in front 20-17 on a 3-yard run with 11 minutes to go.
The Quakers host Yale (3-2, 2-0) Saturday. The Bulldogs will be coming off a 28-19 loss to Lafayette (2-4), whose other win was over Penn.
JAMES MADISON 34, VILLANOVA 10
At least the visiting Wildcats (1-6, 0-4 CAA) led by four midway through the third quarter. It was their third consecutive loss to a top-15 club.
This week they get Old Dominion (5-2, 2-2), which was No. 18 before losing to Towson (39-35).
The No. 13 Dukes (5-2, 3-1) scored two TDs in the third quarter, and two more in the fourth. Jordan Anderson had three altogether.
JMU rushed for 253 yards.
Villanova redshirt freshman Dustin Thomas, after missing a month with a shoulder injury, went 11-for-24 for 127 yards, with a TD and two interceptions.
It was the sixth time the Wildcats have scored only had one offensive TD.
Another slim-pickings kind of week. Nevertheless . . .
-- South Florida: Any team that wins at Notre Dame shouldn't be losing at Connecticut.
-- Illinois: It's OK to lose to Ohio State, even at home, even when Ohio State maybe isn't all that. But try to score more than seven points.
-- Baylor: It's OK to lose at Texas A & M, even when you're trying to be taken seriously. But maybe not by 27.
-- Michigan: It's OK to lose to Michigan State, especially on the road. But maybe not for the fourth straight time.
-- Cal: When you're the home team on a Thursday night, you probably shouldn't be losing by 21, particularly to a Southern Cal team that's not exactly vintage.
Again, it wasn't exactly a target-rich environment.
AND THEN THERE WERE . . .
10. As in unbeatens. With the losses by Michigan, Illinois and Georgia Tech, that's how many are left. And only eight are from BCS conferences. Two, Kansas State and Oklahoma, will meet on Oct. 29. Alabama and LSU play on Nov. 5. Can hardly wait.
Oklahoma's Rayn Broyles became the NCAA's career leader in receptions, passing Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield, who had 316 from 2001-04.
He also moved into first place on the Big 12's all-time TD reception list, with 44, passing Oklahoma State's Rashaun Woods (2000-03).
He broke Stubblefield's record on a 57-yard TD catch midway through the second quarter of a 47-17 win at Kansas.
DID YOU NOTICE?
-- Ohio State completed one pass against Illinois, and it went for a TD.
-- In the Auburn-Florida game, seven players took snaps at quarterback.
-- Boise State, which might be headed to the Big East, won its first Mountain West game, 63-13 at Colorado State.
-- For the second straight year, Connecticut beat South Florida without scoring an offensive TD.
-- Utah, which won at Pittsburgh, is now 9-0 against the Big East.
-- LSU won its sixth straight game over an SEC East opponent, something it's never done before.
-- Alabama's 52 points against Mississippi were the most it's scored in the SEC since 1990. It was the most lopsided loss for the Rebels since 1981.
-- Kansas State is 6-0 for the first time since 2000.
-- Baylor's Robert Griffin III, in a 27-point loss, became the third QB this season to set a school record for passing yardage against Texas A&M, which has the nation's worst pass defense. The Bears still haven't won at A&M since 1984. Since the Aggies are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, they might never get another shot.
MIKE KERN'S TOP 15
1. Louisiana State (7-0).
Beat Tennessee, 38-7.
Lost at Auburn last year by 7.
Saturday: vs. Auburn.
2. Alabama (7-0).
Beat Mississippi, 52-7.
Hasn't lost to Tennessee since 2006.
Saturday: vs. Tennessee.
3. Oklahoma (6-0).
Beat Kansas, 47-17.
Has beaten Texas Tech seven straight.
Saturday: vs. Texas Tech.
4. Wisconsin (6-0).
Beat Indiana, 59-7.
Lost at Michigan State last year by 10.
Saturday: at Michigan State.
5. Stanford (6-0).
Beat Washington State, 44-14.
Won at Washington last year by 41.
Saturday: vs. Washington.
6. Boise State (6-0).
Beat Colorado State, 63-13.
Never met Air Force before.
Saturday: vs. Air Force.
7. Oklahoma State (6-0).
Beat Texas, 38-26.
Has won 3 of last 4 against Missouri.
Saturday: at Missouri.
8. Clemson (7-0).
Beat Maryland, 56-45.
Lost last year at North Carolina by 5.
Saturday: vs. North Carolina.
9. Arkansas (5-1).
Lost 2 of last 3 to Ole Miss.
Saturday: at Mississippi.
10. Oregon (5-1).
Beat Arizona State, 41-27.
So who needs LaMichael James?
Saturday: at Colorado.
11. South Carolina (6-1).
Beat Mississippi State, 14-12.
Hard to figure this team out.
Next: Oct. 29 at Tennessee.
12. Nebraska (5-1).
Get week off before hosting Michigan State.
Saturday: at Minnesota.
13. West Virginia (5-1).
Lost at home to Syracuse last year.
Friday: at Syracuse.
14. Kansas State (6-0).
Beat Texas Tech, 41-34.
Won by 52 at Kansas last year.
Saturday: at Kansas.
15. Michigan State (5-1).
Beat Michigan, 28-14.
And next up is at Nebraska.
Saturday: vs. Wisconsin.