AT THE HALF
Some random thoughts as we hit the midpoint of the season:
Old school is back: The top three teams in this week’s AP poll — Texas, Alabama, Penn State — look more like the top of the 1985 poll.
Hanging around: If Penn State keeps winning, it’ll be awfully hard to ease Joe Paterno out the door.
Something’s brewing: Tim Brewster went 1-11 at Minnesota last season and had the nation’s worst defense, giving up 519 yards a game. This season, the Gophers are 6-1, coming off an upset of Illinois and giving up 150 fewer yards a game.
Southwest surprises: There’s disappointment in the desert.
After starting 8-0 under Dennis Erickson, the Sun Devils have gone 4-7 and their once explosive offense has disappeared.
On the flip side, New Mexico State is 3-2 after beating Nevada and has winnable games with Idaho and Utah State coming up.
The Aggies have a shot at their first bowl game since the 1960 Sun Bowl.
It’s hard to stay on top: This tidbit comes courtesy of ESPN’s Ivan Maisel. Of the eight BCS teams from 1998 — Wisconsin, UCLA, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee and Florida State — only the Buckeyes, Gators and Seminoles have winning records this season.