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Conference perception key as Big 12 makes slight statement

Virginia Tech laid an egg at home against a good East Carolina team a week after handling Ohio State in Columbus the previous week. USC was taken down on the road at Boston College a week after scoring a huge Pac-12 win against two-time defending conference champion Stanford. As they say in college football, momentum will only carry you so far. Let this be a lesson to all around college football that no game should be taken for granted. This season, perhaps more than most, wins are more valuable than ever before and only a few select programs may be able to weather the storm that comes with a loss along the way to the College Football Playoff.

Virginia Tech and USC were not likely to be realistic playoff contenders at the end of the season, and the chances to play for a conference championship were not affected by this weekend’s results (USC is still 1-0 in the Pac-12 and Virginia Tech has yet to play an ACC game), but the losses taken this weekend do affect the overall perception of the conferences. Never before have conferences had to ban together to support other member schools in non-conference action.

Perception is everything this season. USC losing to Boston College dings the Pac-12’s reputation, although the conference overall is still doing well. The Eagles’ victory should also give the ACC a boost and prove this is not a conference that is simply Florida State and everybody else. But then again, Virginia Tech losing at home to East Carolina negates the positive gain from Boston College’s victory.

As it turned out, this past weekend in college football happened to be a successful weekend for the Big 12. After witnessing the dismal performance of the Big Ten the previous week, the Big 12 was thrown under the microscope with a good handful of games against power conference opponents. There were some highs and lows, but the Big 12 avoided a complete meltdown the way the Big Ten has experienced the past couple of weeks.

Continue reading the rest of this column on your local CBS Local website…

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Each week of the season I will be providing a college football commentary for CBS Local. Look for it on your CBS Local website or check here for a quick excerpt and links.

About the Author

Kevin McGuire
Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Also a contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Member of Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.
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