We all know it's been an odd year in college football, but one thing I've been noticing lately is how every conference seems to have one team that just makes the whole conference look bad by doing well in league play, and then absolutely awful in out of conference play. I'm talking teams that look so bad in out of conference play that you'd expect that if their conference was even the least bit respectable would leave them winless in conference play. These make you look at the conference that they're doing well in and think "how can this conference be any good if this awful team is running right through it?", yet it seems like almost every conference has one. They are:
UCLA - It started with a 44-6 shalacking from a 1-2 Utah team. Utah has improved since then, but still...44-6 from a mediocre at best team. But, it gets worse. This team also has a 20-6 loss to Notre Dame. Yeah, Notre Dame. The same Notre Dame team that has 1 win this year. The same Notre Dame team that can't handle Navy. Looking at these games you wouldn't think UCLA is even a top 100 team in D1 football, yet they're 4-1 in the Pac 10 including a big win over Cal. One would think the Pac 10 must be terrible to let a team that can't even stay in the game with some of the worst out of conference opponents imaginable win a game in the conference, much less coast to a 4-1 start. Yet, in reality, the Pac 10 is one of the better conferences this year. Strange year.
Oklahoma State -It started with a 35-14 dismantling by Georgia, a 2-loss SEC team. Not soon after came a 41-23 loss to Troy. Yes, Troy. Yet, OSU currently sits at 3-1 in the Big 12 despite playing teams in the top half of the conference, with their only loss being by 1-point and currently holding a big 2nd half lead over Texas.
Michigan - We all know the story here. First a loss to a DII team and then a drubbing from Oregon. How have they fared in the Big 10? Undefeated (although they trail MSU late here). They've certainly improved since the start of the year but still...yikes.
Not quite as bad, but still bad
Mississippi State - Unlike the teams listed above they haven't exactly run through their conference (they sit at 2-3 currently). But still, they knocked off what are supposed to be two strong conference opponents in Auburn and Kentucky, and then didn't even look like they belonged on the same field when traveling to West Virginia out of conference.
UConn - Undefeated in the Big East, but headed over to face a middle of the road ACC team and couldn't handle it.
EDIT: Since I typed this up (had it in a notepad file), Texas came back with 24 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to knock off OSU and Michigan came back with 14 straight of their own to beat MSU. So Michigan remains undefeated in the Big 10 while OSU drops to 3-2 in the Big 12, possibly dropping them down into the next tier.