It's not the most stress-free season to be a Michigan State fan.
The No. 8 Spartans edged another opponent this week to remain undefeated at 8-0, this time scoring 28 points in the second half — including 21 in the fourth quarter — to squeak by Northwestern, 35-27.
"If you want to win championships," said Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio, who was back on the sideline after working the previous two games in the press box following his heart attack. "If you want to go 8-0, we've got to do it the hard way at some point."
That seems the Spartans' way all season. Saturday's win, which included two MSU touchdowns in the final two minutes, comes after last week's 26-6 victory over Illinois in which the Spartans scored 23 unanswered points after trailing, 6-3.
And that win followed some other gutsy performances: three fourth-down calls, including a crucial one in the final minutes, to help seal a 34-24 win against Wisconsin; and the fake-field-goal-turned game-winning 29-yard-touchdown pass in overtime against Notre Dame.
Now, the Spartans are off to their best start since the 1966 team won its first nine on the way to a 9-0-1 record. Those Spartans also had a legendary game against Notre Dame, a 10-10 tie dubbed "the Game of the Century."
It figures that if the tides have turned in the Navy-Notre Dame rivalry, the side known for navigating them best now has them in its favor.
Not that Notre Dame didn't enjoy an edge against the Midshipmen. Why, from 1964 through 2006, the Irish went 43-0 against the U.S. Naval Academy.
But in the last four years, the Midshipmen have done an about-turn, winning three of four, including a 35-17 bulldozing Saturday.
Here's how bad it was: Navy rushed for 367 yards, its most ever against Notre Dame. And the 18-point margin of victory? Also Navy's widest against the Irish.
And, last but not least, Navy fullback Alexander Teich ran for 210 yards to become the first fullback in Navy history to rush for 200 a game.
The Irish had been on a three-game winning streak, but with the loss, they grant Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs and his fellow seniors a rare treat: They'll become the third class at Navy to have beaten the Irish three times, joining the 1937 and '64 classes.
What was the last bowl game Baylor played in?
The usually rotten Syracuse Orange appear a tad fresher these days, especially after a 19-14 shocking win against No. 20 West Virginia puts the Orange at second place in the Big East standings, a place where they've finished last each of the last five seasons.
Georgia Tech, Georgia State, West Georgia, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, and Shorter University all lost, leaving heavy Peach State pressure on Georgia, which recently debuted its latest bulldog mascot, Uga VIII, also known as "Big Bad Bruce." Must have worked. The Bulldogs bit Kentucky, 44-31.
The 1994 Alamo Bowl. The Bears were members of the now-defunct Southwest Conference, and entered the game having scored 32.6 points per game.
But the Bears hibernated against Washington State, losing 10-3 while managing only 151 offensive yards.
The Bears haven't bowled since, instead becoming just bearers of bad news.
That is, until they beat No. 22 Kansas State in a Texas shootout, 47-42, to improve to 6-2 and become bowl eligible for the first time since their Alamo defeat.
But because the Bears face Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in their last four games, it's likely back to the Alamo for Baylor, if they can remember where it's at.