• If we learned anything from SMU's wild 72-42 victory over Houston on Thursday night, it's that the new-look Big East will certainly provide a lot of excitement. While the league will resemble nothing more than a glorified Conference USA, the profiles of these former Southwest Conference rivals will at least be raised, especially because of the impending new TV deal.
US PRESSWIREFrank Beamer is going through a rough season at Virginia Tech.
• What has happened to Virginia and Virginia Tech? The Cavaliers were surprisingly in the ACC race throughout the 2011 season but has now lost six straight since beating Penn State in Week 2. Mike London has been doing quite well on the recruiting trail, but this season has been a major setback for the program. The Hoos are dead last nationally in turnover margin. Meanwhile, the Hokies' front seven has not been the strength of the team as many had anticipated. And all of the new faces on offense have not come together. Frank Beamer's squad has looked terrible most of this season in a league that is always there for the taking.
• Florida International blew a 16-point lead over Troy and fell 38-37, dropping the Golden Panthers to 1-7 on the year. Mario Cristobal could have taken the head job at Rutgers this past offseason but elected to stay in the Sunshine State. I wonder if he regrets his decision because he will be off the grid this offseason when other jobs become available.
• Cal's inconsistency may ultimately send Jeff Tedford out of Berkeley. Boosters likely won't have any problem buying him out after the season following the team's listless effort against Stanford. Becoming bowl eligible looks like a long shot now with Washington, Oregon and Oregon State left on the schedule.
• As for Derek Dooley, it's tough for him to win at Tennessee when his team is allowing the opponent to march up and down the field with ease. The Vols are ranked No. 95 in total defense because they just don't have the talent and depth as some of the SEC's best defenses. I still believe he should get one more season to turn it around, but that is becoming increasingly less likely.
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