Around the Nation Week 8

Midterm Grades

No, they are not typical college students.

They do not have to worry about rent, or meals, or getting into the classes they need.

Instead, they live in nice dorms (or in apartments paid for by college stipends), eat feasts at every meal that would have made ancient kings blush, and enroll in courses laid out by an academic support staff the size of an army platoon.

No, players at big time college football programs are not typical students.

Still …

Those players attend mandatory study halls. They research and write papers outside all the time devoted to football practice and meetings. And, like every other college student, they dread and take examinations.

Yes, even the most hardened college football player can still be made to shudder at the sound of one word … midterms.

This time of the semester brings our annual midterm grades, and this is no easy course.

See if your team earned the mark you expected … and if not, email your team, assign your own grade and reasoning, and we might just post that score.

Summa Cum Laude

Texas: The Longhorns steered past Oklahoma in another great Red River Shootout and jumped to #1 in both polls.

Alabama: Tide head coach Nick Saban is like a mad professor, always striving for perfection – so far so good.

Penn State: Even non-traditional age students can excel with good preparation; just ask that youngster named Joe Paterno coaching the unbeaten Nittany Lions.

Dean’s List

Florida: This kid can outrun everybody at recess, may be tough to beat in any subject.

Missouri: Posted some outstanding scores before stubbing toe on last test; still plenty sharp however.

Vanderbilt: Formerly a nerd, this student has grown into an all-around big man on campus.

USC: Best-looking student in the class, but sometimes a bit of an airhead.

Ohio State: This know-it-all kind of gets on the instructor’s nerves, but you can always count on him being in class

Oklahoma State: Hey look, he’s a man. He’s forty (one). He just beat Missouri and moves into the accelerated program.

Brigham Young/Utah/Boise: New students in class could come up big by final exam time.

Gentlemen’s Cs

Oklahoma: A sharp cookie, but came unprepared for biggest test to this point in semester.

Georgia: Talented, yet undisciplined effort makes one wonder if a move up the class roll is possible.

Notre Dame: Much is expected of this blue-blood and the performances have been acceptable.

Wake Forest: Not much to look at, but performance sure is solid.

Ds (Could Still Pass)

South Carolina: Unpredictable although impressive on last few quizzes.

Ole Miss: Looks like a pageant winner one week and a dropout the next.

Big East: This whole conference is on performance probation.

Wisconsin: Usually a good student, fallen on poor grades lately.

Florida State: Showing signs of improvement with a lot of work still to do.

Drop the Course

Auburn: Stop trying new systems and go back to old-fashioned hard work.

Clemson: Good thing tuition has been paid in advance with a new contract, else withdrawing would be in order.

Michigan: Always tough to see a former star student struggle; we’ll see them back in class after a year or two.

Tennessee: A whole lot of money is being spent on this student, with very little to show for the dough.

Enjoy the games!

Around the Nation

The week after a big Saturday is always a bit sparse, but some good games dot the docket.

In Big Ten country, Ohio State plays at tough Michigan State, and Michigan travels to front-running Penn State.

Big 12 contenders cannot catch their breath after last weekend’s upsets because Texas hosts Missouri and Oklahoma welcomes high-scoring Kansas.

Out West, Cal visits Arizona in the best PAC-10 game.

If you are tracking BCS busters, Boise State hosts Hawaii, Utah welcomes Colorado State, and BYU travels to TCU for a tough Thursday night game on the Versus network.

Around the South

In the SEC, Vanderbilt faces a tough test on the road at Georgia. Winner leads the East.

Ole Miss visits Alabama and LSU travels to South Carolina in other games of note.

The ACC features Wake Forest at Maryland and Virginia Tech at Boston College.

UTEP goes on the road to Tulsa in a battle of C-USA West leaders.

Study hard and see you at kickoff!

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