THE BOTTOM LINE
By Brad Edwards, Special to ESPN.com
Brandon Schnittker and Ohio State were left dejected after the loss to Texas.
Labor Day Weekend was somewhat historic for the Big Ten, as the conference went 10-0 in season-opening games and enjoyed its first undefeated weekend since 1985.
None of us knew, however, that the Big Ten was only days away from making college football history in a much larger and much less fruitful way.
On Saturday, No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 8 Iowa all lost, marking the first time since The Associated Press began ranking teams in 1936 that three top-10 teams from one conference were all defeated on the same day. The SEC (1999) and Big Ten (1983) previously had a top-10 trio lose in the same bowl season, but those games didn't fall within a 24-hour span.
The silver lining for the Big Ten is that these losses, although high profile, are the only setbacks for any of its teams through two weekends. Therefore, a look at the conference standings today might be confused for an episode of The Twilight Zone. On top are Illinois and Indiana; on the bottom are Ohio State and Michigan.
Print that page and file it away. Your grandkids might find it amusing someday.
When Charlie Weis was hired to coach Notre Dame, most people believed the Irish offense would make huge strides fairly quickly. And it would have to, of course, because the team's defense seemed to be a major liability after the way the 2004 season ended.
Well, as Pittsburgh and now Michigan have found out, the Domers aren't the moveable object they once were. After allowing 15 touchdowns in the final three games of last season, the Notre Dame defense has surrendered only three TD in the first two games of this season -- one being a totally meaningless 4th-quarter score by Pittsburgh. This quick metamorphosis under new defensive coordinator Rick Minter looks remarkable on paper.
SMU PONIES UP
Notre Dame improves to 2-0, along with Alabama, Nebraska and Penn State -- four programs steeped in tradition that are trying to regain their places among college football's elite. But those aren't the only rising-from-the-ashes stories to keep an eye on this season.
SMU beat rival TCU (yes, the same team that won at Oklahoma a week earlier) to record its first win over a ranked team since getting the "death penalty" from the NCAA in 1987. Although the Mustangs had tied No. 7 Texas A&M in 1994, that couldn't have been as sweet as taking back the Iron Skillet from the 22nd-ranked Horned Frogs on Saturday night.
At the same time, perennial SEC doormat Vanderbilt was busy completing its second straight come-from-behind road win, upsetting Arkansas in Fayetteville. Don't look now, but the 2-0 Commodores host Ole Miss this weekend, and if they can win that game, they would be staring at the very real possibility of becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 1982. Vanderbilt has additional home dates with Richmond, Middle Tennessee and Kentucky.
Why do I feel like I just told the pitcher about his no-hitter in the eighth inning?
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
8 The number of games Texas had lost to top 10 teams before beating Ohio State on Saturday night. The streak started with a loss to No. 3 Nebraska -- a team the Horns had beaten earlier that season when the Huskers were ranked third -- in the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 4, 1999.