Big Board: Week 8 

There were several top-10 upsets last weekend in college football. 

Then-No. 8 Oregon and then-No. 10 USC fell to No. 5 Washington and No. 15 Notre Dame, respectively. 

PODCAST: 5 Pac-12 Questions After a Wild Weekend 

It resulted in a shakeup inside the top-10 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, seeing No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Penn State drop a spot while No. 8 Texas rose one place. 

Here are several players and notes to keep a tab on in this week’s Big Board. 

Drake Maye, North Carolina 

The Tar Heels have achieved their highest ranking since 2021. 

North Carolina is No. 10 in this week’s AP poll after getting out to a 6-0 start behind the efforts of quarterback Drake Maye — who had plenty of expectations entering the season. 

Maye entered the season with the 10th-best Heisman Trophy odds as of Aug. 29 according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Since then, he’s risen to sixth-best at +1600 odds according to FanDuel Sportsbook. 

Maye is No. 19 among quarterbacks with a 68.9% completion and he’s tied for No. 33 with 12 passing touchdowns. 

He’s also No. 26 in passing efficiency with a rating of 159.14. Maye has shown all of the necessary skills to compete with some of the best at the highest level. 

READ: Quotables: Week 7 

North Carolina is coming off a 41-31 win over Miami, its first ranked win of the season, after trailing 17-14 at halftime. 

The junior quarterback has passed for at least 208 yards in all seven games this season, and up until last week, he had completed at least 70% of his passes in each contest. 

Maye could be warming up, and that could be happening at the right time as North Carolina has its eyes on the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship and beyond. 

Taking stock of Michigan after seven games 

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Michigan is the fourth team in the Poll Era, or since 1936, to score at least 30 points and allow no more than 10 in seven consecutive games. 

So what does that mean for the Wolverines? 

Well, that statistic ranks up there with Ohio State in 2019, Nebraska in 1972 and Notre Dame in 1966. Those three teams all saw national championship appearances around those seasons: the Buckeyes in 2020, the Cornhuskers in 1971 and the Fighting Irish in that 1966 season. 

Michigan hasn’t played in a national championship game since going 12-0 in 1997. Current head coach Jim Harbaugh has won one bowl game in which his team has played, coming in the Citrus Bowl during his first season at the helm in 2015. 

There are still question marks surrounding this Michigan team. It still has yet to play a ranked opponent, and its seven previous opponents have a combined record of 22-26. 

But, Harbaugh and the Wolverines have advanced to the College Football Playoffs in each of the past two seasons and have been on the doorstep of a national title. Perhaps their fortunes could change in 2023. 

Is Michael Penix Jr. the true Heisman Trophy frontrunner? 

After a game-winning performance in Week 7, there appears to be a Heisman Trophy frontrunner this season. 

Michael Penix Jr. put the Huskies on his back as they faced a 33-29 deficit with less than two minutes remaining. On two plays, Penix threw his way toward the end zone and connected on passes of 35 and 18 yards, and the latter proved to be the game-winner as receiver Rome Odunze entered the end zone with the score. 

Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer said Penix displayed the heart and guts of a true competitor in last Saturday’s top-10 bout between Oregon and Washington. 

Penix’s new Heisman Trophy odds according to FanDuel Sportsbook are –140. He is the current favorite to win the Heisman. 

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Penix’s statistics also reveal he’s a contender for college football’s top award. He’s No. 3 in passing efficiency and No. 11 in completion percentage. 

He’s also second with 2,301 passing yards and fourth with 20 passing touchdowns. Penix is No. 2 in total offense averaging 384.2 yards per game by himself. 

With strong performances and a signature win under his belt, Penix could be looking back on his two-play, game-winning drive as sort of a Heisman moment that could be key later down the road.