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It's not a great day for good teams in college football

Several teams are no longer undefeated, scrambling the BCS standings picture. Notre Dame shows it is relevant again, and USC upsets Oregon, by losing to Arizona.

October 27, 2012|Chris Dufresne
  • Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o celebrates with his teammates after intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter of the Fighting Irish's 30-13 victory over previously unbeaten Oklahoma on Saturday.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o celebrates with his teammates after… (Alonzo Adams / Associated…)

It was a rotten day to be undefeated, or USC, or the BCS standings, which suddenly got indigestion.

It was great to be Kansas State, Kent State, Ohio State, Florida State, Michigan State, Boise State, McNeese State — but not New Mexico State or Mississippi State.

It was not a load of malarkey to be Notre Dame or a Pac 12 quarterback named Matt (Scott, though, not Barkley).

"Folks, let me say this loud and clear," ABC's official national-title organizer Brent Musburger said. "Notre Dame is relevant again."

Come on, now, everyone knows Notre Dame never loses to Oklahoma in Norman.

Oh yeah, No. 5 Notre Dame (8-0) is relevant again after Saturday night's 30-13 win over Oklahoma.

The Irish just about pitched a perfect game, finishing with no turnovers and only one penalty.

Notre Dame now stands 9-1 against Oklahoma, the Sooners' lone win coming back in days of Eisenhower and bomb shelters.

Lenn Robbins of the New York Post noted during the game on Twitter that you knew it was going to be Notre Dame's night because the field judge was named McGinn, the umpire was Feeney, the head linesman was McGrath and the field judge was Gallagher.

Saturday was the day a season started to teeter-totter tip from one side to another, a day where dreams were promoted, deferred or disparaged.

Remember the 11 teams that started the weekend undefeated?

Well, there aren't as many now.

It's one thing, though, for Alabama to take down fraudulent Mississippi State, which somehow sneaked to 7-0 and No. 11 in the BCS by playing the cream-puff section at your local bakery.

Alabama ate up Mississippi State like an elephant eats a peanut.

It also understandable Florida could lose, 17-9, to Georgia. How Florida got to No. 2 in the BCS with that offense needs to be investigated.

Of course, it wasn't as if Georgia looked like the Green Bay Packers. The Bulldogs won despite 14 penalties and a quarterback, Aaron Murray, who tossed three passes for interceptions.

To put Florida's offense in perspective: This was a Georgia team that allowed 44 points to Tennessee, which dropped to 0-5 in the SEC with Saturday's loss to South Carolina.

Florida could have clinched the SEC East. Instead, the Gators seeded the road for Georgia, which now has the clearest path to a possible title-game showdown against No. 1 Alabama.

But how do you explain Ohio, which broke into the BCS last week at No. 24, losing to Miami of Oh-who-o?

And what about Rutgers, which had everyone in Piscataway excited again only to see the Scarlet Knights commit seven turnovers in a home loss to Kent State.

USC's one-loss national title hopes, already hanging by a chin-strap thread after the Stanford loss, were completely severed in Tucson by an Arizona team that recently got shut out, 49-0, by Oregon.

It can't make USC (6-2) feel better knowing a very ticked-off Oregon is now headed to the Coliseum next week. The Ducks swam to a 56-0 lead on Colorado en route to a 70-14 win but must be peeved the Trojans won't enter the game ranked in the top 10.

USC's defeat could hurt Oregon's computer ranking as it anticipates a possible undefeated BCS bake-off with Kansas State or Notre Dame.

Bill Snyder's Wildcats continue to impress, improving to 8-0 with a 55-24 win over Texas Tech.

Believe it or not, some people actually thought Texas Tech was decent.

Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame could now be headed for the four-team playoff we've all been waiting for — except it doesn't start until 2014.

It's ridiculous to think Oregon should lose its No. 2 poll standing after a 56-point win, but we also shouldn't get worked up Sunday if Kansas State becomes No. 2 in the BCS standings with Notre Dame on a bee line.

These are three, impressive, machine-like teams, so why not let a bunch of computers decide?

Also: who would have fathomed in August that USC, preseason No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, would have the same record as UCLA before Halloween?

It's funny how 13 penalties and five turnovers in the desert can wreck a season.

How inspirational was it, though, to see Arizona quarterback Matt Scott get his long-awaited chance to get even more than even with USC's Barkley?

Saturday's win came five years this month after Barkley's Mater Dei team defeated Scott's team at Corona Centennial. Scott then watched Barkley become the Pac 12's all-time leading touchdown passer as Scott grew old on the Arizona bench.

Sometimes this is the way life sets it up, though, with Scott making his statement as a gray-beard, red-shirt senior.

One of the great things about college football is you never know what's going to happen — or happen next.

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