George W. Bush was among 16,849 fans at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Saturday, but even the presence of the former president was of no inspiration to Southern Methodist's struggling offense. The Mustangs, who ranked 124th in total offense entering the game, could only muster a field goal against Cincinnati and lost, 41-3.
It's not like the Bearcats' defense was anything special, Cincinnati was 120th in total defense and had been giving up 573.6 yards a game. SMU totaled 276.
Wiz correspondent Greg Laughlin took in the festivites and the rest of his images are available after the jump.
Double D, Boston Herald: Rutgers has gently eased its way into the Big Ten. That ends Saturday with the beginning of a brutal stretch of games — at Ohio State, at Nebraska and at home against Wisconsin. The Buckeyes are coming off a bye week and are ready to take the guests to the woodshed. Ohio State, a big favorite, will cover the number.
Howie Kussoy, New York Post: Trying to find action on Notre Dame-Florida State can be difficult, but the uncertainty surrounding Jameis Winston and the Seminoles' continued championship hangover make this an easy pick. Take the Fighting Irish and the points.
Matt Youmans, Las Vegas Review-Journal: Anybody who truly believes Winston was not paid for his autographs must be interested in buying nice beachfront property in Yuma. Sportsbooks are taking note, and if they do put up a line, the amount bettors will be able to wager is likely to be limited.
Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports: If you're tired of hearing about Winston, well, you're likely to hear a lot more about him on Saturday night when Florida State plays host to Notre Dame. The Seminoles have won their last seven games against ranked opponents by an average of almost four touchdowns. The unanimous pick is Florida State.
Reno Gazette Journal: Handicapper Josh Nagel is a spotless 7-0. He'll risk his perfect record by taking Wyoming, a slight favorite, against San Jose State. It is the Cowboys' first home game in a month and the team needs a victory to strenghten its bowl hopes.
Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports: The Confidence Pool. Kansas State and Bill Snyder are coming off a bye week against an opponent that was outgained by 200-plus yards but still beat its archrival. It's a perfect spot for the master, whose team is getting 10.5 points. Load up on the Wildcats against Oklahoma.
Jon WIlner, College Hotline: Pacific 12 picks. Oregon is not the dominant force it has been, neither is Stanford. Nonetheless, Washington is going to have a difficult time scoring with inexperienced Cyler Miles at quarterback. Arizona State's defense is not equipped to handle the Cardinal's power. Take Oregon and Stanford and give the points.
Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: The beginning of a wildly successful second half of the season begins now! Idaho has the nation's longest losing streak at 13. The Vandals are taking on New Mexico State, which is no prize, either. Idaho's streak has to end at some point, doesn't it? Take the Vandals and the points.
Saturday Down South: Saturday Down South: Brad Crawford and Christopher Smith pick the Southeastern Conference games.
Mississippi State's rise to No. 1 is all the more amazing when you consider that Alabama spent almost as much on coaches' salaries ($11.8 million) as the Bulldogs did on their entire program ($15.3 million) in fiscal 2013, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education.
Alabama had $41.6 million in expenses, which put it at the top of the list of spenders. Mississippi State resides at No. 58, meaning there are only seven other teams from the 65 competing in power conferences (including Notre Dame) that spent less than the Bulldogs.
No other team in the Southeastern Conference is as frugal as Mississippi State. Even in-state rival Mississippi spent $25.2 million, which put the Rebels at No. 13 in the spending ranking.
What a difference two weeks makes. Mississippi State's chance to win the championship playoff goes from 33/1 to 16/1 to 7/1. Mississippi goes from 33/1 to 16/1 to 15/2. Todd Gurley goes from being the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy to off the board. Odds are courtesy of Bovada. Screengrab from 30fps.