Unmitigated disaster. That's what last night was, and there's no getting around it. The Wildcats' stay at number one lasted precisely a week, and tonight we'll have to steel ourselves for the backlash. On to the blitz.
#1 Kansas St. Wildcats: Outplayed, outcoached, outmanned. It was horrible. But you know what? It happens. It even happens to national champions sometimes. I think we all know what really happened here. A team and coaching staff looking ahead despite their protestations. An opposing defensive coordinator who we all should have expected would have a gameplan to exploit our head coach's tendencies. The cover of that damned magazine. Yes, I know it's the worst defeat ever suffered by a BCS number one team, and the first time number one's been beaten by an unranked team or a below-.500 team, and it's just horrible and embarrassing. Whatever. Guys, we still have an excellent team. All we have to do is beat Texas to guarantee a BCS bowl, and it might even still result in a miracle. We're back to being the underdog, and that's where we excel. Let's summon up the energy and optimism to change the world. Or something.
Baylor 52, Kansas State 24
#2 Oregon Ducks: I just want to restate for the record: I called this. Repeatedly. Stanford's defense is for real, and had the moxie to shut down the Oregon attack. Now we wait and see what's what. Let's get this out of the way right now: I think Oregon deserves to be ranked ahead of Kansas State tonight. However, it may not work out that way, and if so... well, it's about time we got the long end of the stick.
Stanford 17, Oregon 14 (OT)
#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: You're not going to get any style points beating up on Wake Forest, but as it turned out all that was necessary for the Irish was to beat them period. That said, it was the most comprehensive beat-down the Irish put on anyone since Miami, and that should be acknowledged. Wake Forest never had a chance in this game, and the starters began filtering toward the bench before halftime.
Notre Dame 38, Wake Forest 0
#4 Alabama Crimson Tide: Oh, look, Bama's back in the picture. This, however, is the point at which we have very little to say about what happened on the field, as Bama facing off against an FCS team with one win isn't exactly a football game.
Alabama 49, Western Carolina 0
#5 Georgia Bulldogs: Another laugher, although Georgia took a bit to get warmed up. Georgia Southern's triple option wasn't as effective as it was against the Tide last year... nor was it as effective as Wofford's, which we'll get to momentarily.
Georgia 45, Georgia Southern 14
#6 Florida Gators: Standard Florida defensive effort; standard desultory offensive performance. The Gators now stand to gain a potential berth in the BCS title game themselves should Notre Dame falter. Yes, against the winner of the SEC Championship Game. Sharpen your pitchforks.
Florida 23, Jacksonville State 0
#7 LSU Tigers: And here we get to the point where the Wildcats' fall is going to stop in the BCS rankings, though not the coaches' poll. Not only does LSU have two losses, they had to fight back in the fourth quarter to get past an Ole Miss team to whom they gave up entirely too much offense.
Louisiana State 41, Mississippi 35
#8 Texas A&M Aggies: Sam Houston's a pretty good FCS team, but they're an FCS team, and they're not as good as they were last year. So you may look at the final score and shrug. Don't. A&M destroyed the Bearkats; nearly all of SHSU's scoring was on the twos. That said, let's not all lose our minds over Johnny Manziel's performance yesterday, because, hello, FCS.
Texas A&M 47, Sam Houston State 28
#9 South Carolina Gamecocks: With nine minutes to go, this game was still very much in doubt. Wofford had the ball on their own 34, trailing only 10-7, when they went for it on fourth and one. They didn't make it, the Gamecocks scored shortly thereafter, and 43 seconds later put it away on a fumble return for a touchdown. Still, it can't be ignored: heading into the fourth quarter, Wofford had South Carolina tied at seven.
South Carolina 24, Wofford 7
#10 Florida St. Seminoles: The Noles are on the way to the ACC title game after obliterating a team with a linebacker playing quarterback. You almost have to feel sorry for Florida State at this point, as even a win over Florida will leave them stuck behind a bunch of teams.
Florida State 41, Maryland 14
#11 Clemson Tigers: Tajh Boyd's pretty good. Clemson's defense isn't. The Tigers scored 62 points, with Boyd accounting for eight touchdowns, but they only won by 16 and relatively speaking that is very bad.
Clemson 62, North Carolina State 48
#12 Oklahoma Sooners: It appears that West Virginia got their mojo back. They almost got enough of it back to handle the Sooners, but Landry Jones led a final-minutes drive ending in a five-yard scoring pass to Kenny Stills to put the Sooners back in front, and Geno Smith wasn't quite able to get the Mountaineers back on top given only 24 seconds to work with. Tavon Austin ran for 344 yards and had 572 all-purpose yards, and Smith threw for 320; it was the worst defensive performance in Oklahoma history. Luckily for the Sooners, Good Landry Jones showed up last night; Jones had 554 yards passing and six touchdowns.
Oklahoma 50, West Virginia 49
#13 Stanford Cardinal: I knowed they could dood it. Too bad my amazing powers of certitude didn't apply to us. A staunch effort by a fired-up Cardinal team, led by a defense that apparently was, indeed, up to the task of stopping Oregon's offense despite all protestations to the contrary from certain folks who swore up and down Stanford just wasn't built for it.
#14 Nebraska Cornhuskers: Taylor Martinez is now the Huskers' all-time passing leader, and you should pause for a moment to reflect on this fact and what it says about Nebraska football. On the other side of the ball, remember when Minnesota was 5-0? Good times.
Nebraska 38, Minnesota 14
#15 Texas Longhorns: While taking the week off, the Horns suddenly find themselves with a chance to win the Big 12 again. I think the burnt orange boys are going to be in serious trouble in two weeks, though. This isn't like 1998 when K-State had nothing to play for but pride and anger.
#16 Oregon St. Beavers: I thought Oregon State didn't have an offense? I thought Cal had some semblance of a defense, at least until they get tired? No, apparently both of these assumptions are wildly incorrect. One more carry and Terron Ward might have had more rushing yards for the Beavers than Cal QB Allan Bridgford had throwing, and that doesn't even begin to address Sean Mannion's night: 325 and four scores.
Oregon State 62, California 14
#17 UCLA Bruins; #18 USC Trojans: I guess the monopoly is over. Congrats, Rick Neuheisel! The Bruins are your Pac-12 South champs, Matt Barkley may be done with a shoulder injury, and dogs and cats are living together.
Cal-Los Angeles 38, Southern California 28
#19 Louisville Cardinals: Louisville didn't even play, and still got their asses kicked by Maryland, Rutgers, and Jim Delany. Cardinal fans may be on suicide watch.
#20 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs: And suddenly, we're pretty much guaranteed that no mid-major team will crash the party. Colby Cameron threw two picks -- his first errant passes since the Polk administration -- and Utah State rolled out to a 41-17 lead with a minute left in the third quarter. Twelve seconds later, it was 41-24, and LaTech started LaTeching, finally catching up on a 32-yard Matt Nelson field goal while the clock showed nothing but zeroes. But the Bulldogs couldn't get it done in overtime, and now Utah State merely has to defeat hapless Idaho to claim the WAC championship in perpetuity.
Utah State 48, Louisiana Tech 41
#21 Michigan Wolverines: Denard Robinson played running back. Iowa is bad. And Michigan really needs to win next week to avoid the spectre of a split national title.
Michigan 42, Iowa 17
#22 Rutgers Scarlet Knights: How two teams combine for 761 yards of total offense and only manage to score 13 points is beyond my meager comprehension. I point this out just so that nobody thinks this was some titanic display of MANBALL. Timely defense, sure. Mighty? No.
Rutgers 10, Cincinnati 3
#23 Texas Tech Red Raiders; #24 Oklahoma St. Cowboys: You might think that Clint Chelf went off on the Raiders, but no. He was only 11/21 for 229 yards, albeit with three touchdowns. 174 of those yards belonged to Isaiah Anderson, who scored all three times as well, all in the second quarter as the Pokes launched themselves to a 35-0 lead. The upshot: Bedlam will now feature two teams with a combined record of 15-5, which isn't awesome, but it's not bad.
Oklahoma State 59, Texas Tech 21
#25 Washington Huskies: Another Colorado game, another great performance by someone. Keith Price threw five touchdown passes and, naturally, the Buffs never had a chance.
Washington 38, Colorado 3
PARSING THE POLLS
Not a lot to parse now, kids. In the coaches poll K-State tumbles all the way to eighth, while Oregon slides to fourth. Notre Dame, of course, moves to the top and Bama jumps three spots to number two, snagging two first-place votes. Georgia also grabbed one, and they're in third. Everyone else in the top eight moved up a slot. The spacing is fairly balanced until you get to #7 LSU, straggling over a hundred points behind Florida. K-State's just six points behind the Tigers, but only 27 ahead of Clemson. Down at the bottom, Northern Illinois and Kent State both move in, so yay MAC.
The 'Cats dropped to seventh in the AP poll, with Oregon sliding to fifth. The rest of the top six all moved up two places except for Florida, settled in between Ducks and Wildcats. As with the coaches, Northern Illinois joins Kent State in the poll; Utah State slides in at #25, too.
There is an outside shot that due to computer rankings, K-State will end up fifth or sixth in the BCS standings; that would leave open the possibility for the 'Cats to somehow claw their way back into the title game should Florida State beat Florida, USC beat Notre Dame, and (if necessary) Oregon loses to someone. But that's nothing we can concern ourselves with. There's only one thing that really matters now: