- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. It’s officially midseason, judging by the calendar and the improvement of three of the most scrutinized quarterbacks in the nation. Andrew Maxwell of Michigan State has improved his passing efficiency in each of the past three games. Josh Nunes threw for 360 yards and three touchdowns as Stanford beat Arizona, 54-48, in overtime. Joe Southwick of Boise State has thrown six touchdowns and one pick in the past two games. Those who miss Kirk Cousins, Andrew Luck and Kellen Moore are beginning to breathe again.
2. Then there is LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who continues to struggle along with the rest of the offense. The Tigers have scored one touchdown against their last three SEC opponents. Granted, that includes two outstanding defenses (Alabama in 2011, Florida in 2012). With No. 3 South Carolina coming into Tiger Stadium, the streak may continue. One big problem -- the Tigers have lost 11 turnovers in six games this season, one more than they lost in 14 games last season.
3. They love the Big Ten at Louisiana Tech, 5-0 and No. 23 in the AP poll. The media’s rankings may not resemble the BCS standings when they come out soon, but keep this in mind: long term, the Bulldogs’ chance to bust the BCS rest on their being ranked ahead of one of the six AQ champions. With No. 8 Ohio State ineligible for the BCS, the next highest-ranked Big Ten team is No. 25 Michigan. Short term, the Bulldogs’ BCS chances rest on defeating No. 22 Texas A&M in Shreveport this week.