On the West Coast you've got Oregon and Stanford. But you've also got UCLA, in its second season under Jim Mora, and Washington, which hasn't won more than seven since going 8-4 in 2001. That was also the last time the Huskies were 4-0. On Saturday, they're at Stanford, which they beat at home last year. UCLA visits Stanford Oct. 19 and goes to Oregon the following week.
In the SEC there's Alabama and . . . Missouri? The Tigers were picked to finish fifth in the East division, ahead of Kentucky. And they very well might. They've beaten Murray State, Toledo, Indiana and Arkansas State. Who knows how many more they'll get, since they have to go to Kentucky.
The Big Ten has Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern, which hosts OSU in 2 days in what appears to be the Buckeyes' best chance to lose before Nov. 30 at Michigan. And right now, who knows for sure about the Wolverines, who are at NW in mid-November.
In the Big 12 you've got Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech. Baylor, which has scored 69, 70 and 70 against Wofford, Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe, was picked to finish fifth. Tech, which has beaten then-No. 24 TCU, was picked for seventh with new coach Kliff Kingsbury. The Red Raiders could be 7-0 on Oct. 26 when they head to OU. The same could be said for the Bears, who host OU the week after that on a Thursday.
The AAC has Louisville and Houston, which is coming off a 5-7 season and has to go to Rutgers, Louisville and Central Florida. The Cardinals, with Teddy Bridgewater, have only one tough road trip. That's not until December, at Cincinnati. And like the Big 12, there is no conference title game to get in the way.
In your bracket-buster division there's Fresno State from the Mountain West and Northern Illinois, which made it to the Orange Bowl last season, out of the MAC.
At this time a year ago there were 22 unbeatens. By the end of the regular season one was left. And after the bowls it was none, just like 2011. So usually this stuff sorts itself out. It mostly takes time.
Bet you can't wait for those first BCS standings.
Now that Lane Kiffin is gone, who was the last USC coach to last less than four seasons? Hint: He succeeded John Robinson. See Answer Man.
This and that
* Georgia has played three teams that were in the Top 10 at the time. And beaten two, despite giving up 38, 30 and 41 in those games. It has only one game left against anyone currently in the Top 25 (Florida).
* Before 2009 USC hadn't given up more than 49 points (at Notre Dame, 1977). Since then it's allowed 55 (Stanford), 53 (Oregon), 56 (Stanford, three overtimes), 62 (Oregon) and now 62 again (Arizona State). Three were at home.
* West Chester, Delaware Valley and Ursinus are 4-0. The Rams host California (3-1), which they haven't beaten in back-to-back seasons since 1994-95. The Aggies are at MAC preseason favorite Lycoming (3-1), which just snapped Widener's 15-game home winning streak. And the Bears travel to Moravian (0-4).
* With his 89th victory, Jay Acorsi passed his former boss, K.C. Keeler, as Rowan's all-time leader. "I didn't really know until the end of [Friday night's 7-0 win over Montclair], when they announced it over the loudspeakers," said Acorsi, who's in his 12th season. "I got here in 1993 as a graduate student and I've yet to escape this place. I guess it just means I've been here a while. When I retire I'll probably go, 'That's pretty cool.' " The Profs (2-1) are at Brockport (1-2).
Paul Hackett (1998-2000). The first time Robinson left, in 1982, Ted Tollner at least made it through four seasons before giving way to Larry Smith.
Spotlight on ... Jaelen Strong
Jaelen Strong didn’t follow a straight line to Arizona State. But it doesn’t seem to be hindering him any.
The wide receiver was a big part of West Philadelphia’s state championship team in 2010. Yet he didn’t have the grades for an FCS scholarship, so he spent 2 years at Pierce (junior) College in Los Angeles, where he didn’t even play football as a freshman.
Now in his first season with the Sun Devils, the 6-4, 205-pounder — who has 2 years of eligibility left after this — is the team’s leading receiver with 31 catches for 433 yards and two touchdowns. ASU, of course, just scored 62 against USC to hasten Lane Kiffin’s departure.
There are those who think Strong has a future at the next level.
Maybe stuff happens for a reason. His high school coach, Albie Crosby, knew ASU offensive coordinator Mike Norvell, then an assistant at Pitt for Todd Graham before he got the gig in Tempe.
And he only ended up at Pierce through a friend, Gerald Bowman (Imhotep), who’s a safety at USC.
“I’m happy,” Strong told AZCentral Sports. “I think I made the best decision of my life coming here.”
His dad was Drexel basketball great John Rankin, who passed away a decade ago of leukemia.
“It took a toll on me,” Strong said. “Not having him around ... was weird. It bothers me to this day.”
Nobody said the journey’s supposed to be detour-free. What matters is how you deal with the audibles. This week he will be trying to get it done against Notre Dame.
AAC me up
* Houston has scored in all 16 quarters.
* SMU will wear throwback blue jerseys against Rutgers in recognition of its 10-2 1983 team.
* Connecticut, which just fired its coach, is 0-4 for the first time since 1991. The Huskies' next game is next week at South Florida, which is 0-4 for the first time in its 17-year existence under first-year coach Willie Taggert. The Bulls, who’ve lost 13 of their last 14, host Cincinnati (3-1) first.