Seven things we learned on Sunday:
This could be the end of the USC dynasty: A case can certainly be made.
Losing to a 7-6 UCLA team is one thing. Losing to a pulseless cellar dweller at home is indefensible. It seems Hollywood has finally caught up to the Trojans after their stunning loss to Stanford. They not only were reading their press clippings, they were having them framed and mounted. Never thought that would happen to a Pete Carroll-coached team.
|Dodd's Power Poll|
|2. Ohio State|
|5. Boston College|
|6. South Florida|
|8. South Carolina|
|11. Arizona State|
|13. West Virginia|
|19. Virginia Tech|
|22. Texas A&M|
|25. Florida State|
John David Booty isn't a Matt Leinart. At this point he isn't even the John David Booty who threw 29 touchdowns last season. The defense clearly isn't as good as advertised. The desire is waning. Their chances of a third national championship in five years are all but dead.
Let's put in perspective how bad Stanford was before beating the Trojans. The Cardinal had lost to three Pac-10 opponents by at least three touchdowns. They were coming off a 38-point loss to Arizona State. They were last in Pac-10 rushing defense and pass-efficiency defense. Even after winning, the Cardinal are 105th nationally in total defense.
"It's the greatest feeling I've ever felt," said Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.
Not only did the Michigan Man beat USC, the result might make his preseason prediction come true: This could be Carroll's final season. With the Chargers and Trojans in decline, Carroll's next stop might be San Diego.
Equality is a parody of parity: That's another way of saying, "Whatcha got for us now?" in the second half of the season. In the space of the season's first 36 days we've seen -- depending on your sports book -- the three biggest upsets of all time.
All three came on the road. All three caused major upheavals in the game.
1.) No I-AA had ever beaten a I-A team ranked in the AP poll. Bam, Appalachian State over Michigan. AP was so impressed it amended its rules to include I-AA teams in its I-A poll. Never mind that I-AA already had its own. Appalachian State immediately was eligible to become the first national champion of two divisions.
2.) Syracuse, a 37-point underdog, won at Louisville on Sept. 22. At the time it was the biggest point-spread upset ever.
3.) Until Saturday, when Stanford, a 41-point 'dog, trumped them all.
That translates to the Cardinal being a 100-1 shot in a Las Vegas money line. If you could have gotten those kinds of odds.
"Nobody would offer a money line on that," a spokesman for Las Vegas Sports Consultants said.
USC got beat by a Czech supermodel: At first glance, it seems like it. Nothing against Stanford's backup quarterback, but a Tavita Pritchard works the runway, it doesn't drive 45 yards and convert two fourth downs to beat USC in the Coliseum.
Pritchard is the nephew of Washington State legend Jack "The Throwin' Samoan" Thompson. The DNA wasn't exactly passed on. The Pitchin' Pritchard he ain't. With starter T.C. Ostrander out, Pritchard was thrust into the biggest moment of his athletic life.
We can only assume that from reading his bio. Last season, for example, Pritchard played special teams and "flirted" with playing receiver.
Flirted? What a tease.
What a supermodel.
Again from his bio: Pritchard says if he weren't playing football, he'd be a male model. Derek Zoolander would be proud.
What would you expect from a guy whose favorite movie is Dumb and Dumber or whose favorite pregame ritual is praying and taking a nap?
Before Saturday: Anonymity. Now? Guaranteed front row in calculus class for life.
Gut Check Saturday? Aim lower. Les Miles has a brass set: For a guy who looks, talks and acts like a raging Republican, the LSU coach was anything but conservative against Florida.
|Les Miles' fearless calls lead LSU to a win over Florida and a unanimous No. 1 ranking. (Getty Images)|
"Eight," Miles said stoically when asked how many fake field goals he has in the playbook. An earlier fake against South Carolina worked as well.
Twice in the last drive, tailback Jacob Hester threw himself into the line and picked up first downs, each by the length of a football or less.
On fourth-and-1 from the Florida 7 with 2:10 left, the obvious play would have been to kick the game-tying field goal. Miles didn't hesitate. Had the Tigers been stuffed, who knows, South Florida might be No. 1 today?
Instead Hester picked up the first down and eventually scored the game winner.
"I don't know if it's gambling or just confidence," Hester said. "Coach didn't blink an eye calling the fake field goal or any of the fourth downs."
One coach saved his job: The pyre had been built. The villagers, with their torches and pitchforks, were ready to burn Phil Fulmer at the stake. Then Tennessee embarrassed Georgia for the second consecutive year.
At one point Saturday, Tennessee had outscored Georgia 58-6 going back to midway through the third quarter of last season's mauling in Athens.
Guess who suddenly controls its own destiny in the SEC East? The Fightin' Fulmers after trouncing Georgia 35-14.
One coach put his job in jeopardy: Karl Dorrell and his Bruins provided the answer to that burning question: What does it take for Notre Dame to win?
Start with seven turnovers. Add a general UCLA malaise and sub-standard quarterback play. Gee, sounds a lot like Notre Dame most of the season. Don't blame it on another injury to starting quarterback Ben Olson. When Olson does play, he usually doesn't measure up. The rest of the time he's usually injured.
ND's 20-6 win will not sit well with grumbling Bruins everywhere. Especially with the city's loyalties back in play somewhat with the USC loss.
Oklahoma, Boston College, Cal and Ohio State benefited the most from Saturday's results: Aside from LSU, of course. This is important if you believe, like a lot of us, that absolutely no one will finish undefeated.
• A week after the crippling loss to Colorado, Oklahoma vaulted back up into a tie for No. 5 in the coaches poll (with South Florida) by beating Texas. The Sooners have only one game left against a team that was ranked going into Saturday (Missouri). But if teams in front of them keep losing, they will get their title shot.
• Ohio State might be the strongest team not named LSU. The defense strangled Purdue in a 23-7 victory at West Lafayette. The Boilers' first 13 possessions included 12 punts and a turnover on downs. It's 2002 all over again.
• Cal had the easiest Saturday in the country. It moved up to No. 2 without playing. The prospects of the Bears playing for a national championship are looking better all the time. They get USC at home and their toughest roadie is Oct. 27 at Arizona State, which barely beat Washington State on Saturday.
• A suddenly dangerous Notre Dame -- OK, "awake" will suffice as an adjective right now -- looms for No. 4 Boston College, and Virginia Tech is next. Matt Ryan could be the Heisman front-runner at this point.