It didn't take long for Brady Hoke to make an impact at his new job.
The former Ball State coach has guided San Diego State to a 4-4 record after beating New Mexico 23-20 over the weekend. With the victory, the Aztecs move up to No. 82 in the latest CBSSports.com 120 rankings.
The Aztecs now have a legit shot to finish 6-6 and make a bowl game, something they haven't done since 1998 when the team went 7-5 and played in the Las Vegas Bowl.
"Obviously you want to win more than you lose," said Hoke. "These kids have worked hard. Our seniors have done a tremendous job. For them, that's why we get excited as coaches to sing our fight song in the locker room. Guys know how we played and what we need to do to get better. It's great to be at that point right now."
A three-point win over a winless team might not seem like a big deal to most schools, but not only did the Aztecs snap an eight-game losing skid to the Lobos, but got revenge for last year's 70-7 beating.
San Diego State still has to play two of the biggest teams in the conference, beginning with TCU on Saturday and then at Utah on Nov. 21. But win or lose, things are starting to look up in San Diego.
This is a program that was supposed to turn things around with Tom Craft and Chuck Long, but neither could get the program going. Long was 9-27 in three seasons, including 2-10 last season.
"It's always good," said quarterback Ryan Lindley on what it means to win. "I think getting to .500 is something that, this late in the season, this program hasn't done in awhile and it's always good to get a victory."
Things just got tougher for the Aztecs as Vincent Brown will likely miss the rest of the regular season. The San Diego Union Tribune is reporting that Brown, who leads the team with 45 catches and 778 yards, suffered a thumb injury against Colorado State. He underwent several tests last week that revealed ligament damage.
The voters had to do some switching in the Top 10 after Oregon dismantled USC 47-20. Oregon moved up from No. 11 to No. 7, but a majority of the voters felt Boise State should still be ranked ahead of the Ducks based on the head-to-head meeting. So Boise State moved from No. 8 to No. 6.
Boise State is ranked ahead of Oregon in every major poll, including the BCS.
There are some key games in the non top 25 this weekend. One of the biggest is between No. 41 Kansas and No. 56 Kansas State.
The Wildcats actually lead the Big 12 North with a 3-2 conference record and 5-4 overall. Kansas is 5-3 overall, but just 1-3 in conference. Kansas State can take another step closer to winning the division with a win over the Jayhawks.
Not bad for a program many thought would be in shambles this season, but Bill Snyder has done a good job getting this team into position to make a bowl game.
Meanwhile, Kansas' Todd Reesing was benched against Texas Tech, but coach Mark Mangino said Reesing will be back as the starter against the Wildcats.
The other big game to keep an eye on is No. 43 Fresno State at No. 44 Idaho. Even though Boise State steals most of the headlines in the conference, Fresno State is 4-1 in WAC play, while Idaho is also 4-1. Don't forget about Nevada either, they are 4-0 in conference play.
... Miami (Ohio) won its first game of the season, beating Toledo 31-24. It might be the last win of the season because the Redhawks still have to play at Temple, Bowling Green and Buffalo.
... No. 120 ranked Western Kentucky was in a wild game, losing to North Texas 68-49. Riley Dodge accounted for seven touchdowns, four passing and three rushing, as North Texas matched its school record of 68 points set against Youngstown State in 1957.
... After being ranked for the first time last week, Central Michigan fell out of the Top 25. It lost 31-10 to Boston College to drop from No. 22 to No. 35.