Seven things we learned on the seventh day.
|Dennis Dodd's Power Poll|
|3. Virginia Tech|
|8. Penn State|
|10. Florida State|
|11. Ohio State|
|13. Notre Dame|
|14. West Virginia|
|15. Texas Tech|
|24. Fresno State|
|25. Boston College|
|25. (tie) Rutgers|
|Non-BCS Top 10|
|3. Fresno State|
|4. Boise State|
|5. Central Michigan|
|8. Miami (Ohio)|
|9. Central Florida|
|10. Colorado State|
UCLA is no UC Davis but ... What's wrong with this national championship picture? UCLA is still in it.
Here's the crack in the mirror: After a stunning comeback at Stanford by the Bruins, only USC is closer to playing for the national championship.
That's because with five undefeated teams left, only the Trojans and Bruins meet head-to-head (Dec. 3). If the planets align, the victor could clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl -- aka UCLA's home stadium.
To paraphrase the guard from a certain Judy Garland movie: No way, no how could anyone see the great and terrible Bruins winning at Stanford. Not trailing by three touchdowns with less than eight minutes left.
Well, UCLA is great because it's 8-0. Some way, somehow.
It's terrible because UCLA is easily the worst undefeated team left. It gives up gobs of yards. It had to rally in the fourth quarter to beat Washington. It trailed Washington State by 17 (before winning in overtime) and Cal by 12.
All of those were topped when UCLA avoided The Flameout at The Farm. For more than 52 minutes, the Bruins were putrid. They trailed Stanford 24-3. Computers, televisions and radios were clicking off all over the country.
College football was ready to get on with its life with four undefeateds.
Then the horsefly at the national championship banquet got real annoying. Three UCLA touchdowns in the final 7:04. Drew Olson threw to Brandon Breazell in overtime for the victory.
"I don't know how everyone else felt, but this was the first time this season that I had a little doubt after we fell behind like that," offensive tackle Ed Blanton told the Los Angeles Times.
The Bruins have to jump through a couple of flaming hoops before they get to USC on Dec. 3 (at Arizona, at home against Arizona State). But aren't they used to being singed by now?
Saturday night at the Ruth's Chris Steakhouse lounge in Jacksonville: Florida fans are gnawing on dead animal flesh and swilling adult beverages, celebrating the victory over Georgia.
Then they realize their perfect day is about to get better. The TV in the lounge is showing South Carolina's Josh Brown kick the game-winning 49-yard field goal at Tennessee with 2:45 left.
"Un (freakin')-believable," one Gator says.
The place lets out the loudest cheer this side of Gainesville on Saturday. Their former coach had just beaten Phil Fulmer on the day when Peyton Manning's number was retired. The same Manning who never beat their former coach. (0-4 against Spur Dog).
How great is it to be a Florida Gator right now?
Scarred Knights no more: They are the few, the proud, the Scarlet Knights of the state university of New Jersey.
Rutgers (6-2) all but clinched its first bowl bid in 27 years with a 31-21 victory over Navy. This is why we love college football. Fans rushed the field after Rutgers became bowl eligible. Coach Greg Schiano stood there and watched it, proud as hell after almost being run out of town.
"That was awesome," running back Brian Leonard told the Newark Star-Ledger. "This is what college football is all about. This is why I came to Rutgers -- why we all did."
Insight Bowl rep Jim Tighe probably felt like visiting royalty. One word from him, and Jersey does the desert.
Oh, to be Young: We have a new Heisman leader.
It's doubtful Texas beats Oklahoma State if Texas' Vince Young doesn't do one of his Dr. J routines. For those of us old enough to remember, it went something like this: Gimme the ball and get out of the way.
That's what Young did when it was obvious the rest of the Longhorns weren't interested in getting up for the Cowboys. Texas trailed 28-9 before turning it on to win 47-28, thanks mostly to Young.
His 506 yards in total offense were split this way -- a career-high 267 rushing (on 21 carries) and 239 passing. Four touchdowns.
Texas has outscored Okie State 118-0 in the second half of the past three meetings after trailing at halftime.
Two of those comebacks have been led spectacularly by Young. Right now there is no better, or more dangerous, player in the country.
Miami had to wear practice jerseys after thieves stole their game jerseys before the 'Canes played North Carolina. Either that, or the school was introducing a new line of UAB look-alike unis.
Oh, they were throwbacks? More like throw-up. The 1967 color scheme featured green, gold, red and black. That, combined with Nike introducing new jerseys at Virginia Tech and Florida (which looked like CFL teams), set football fashion back a few decades.
Green jerseys don't work at Notre Dame either: However, just plain green does.
Give Notre Dame for knowing how to market, if not dress (winless in its last four games in green). While most college scribes were sitting in press boxes around the country Saturday, ND sent out an e-mail announcing a 10-year contract for Charlie Weis.
What better time to spread the news than on a football Saturday when Notre Dame has a bye? While no one expects Weis to be around until 2015 -- the contract was in response to the NFL's growing interest in the coach -- he did pocket at least $8 million out of the deal.
Stay with us here: Extensions these days are nothing more than elaborate buyouts. Let's say Weis gets 35-40 percent on the dollar if he is fired today. Assuming the reported $2 million per year salary he receives, that means Weis would make about $800,000 for every year left on his contract.
Multiply that by 10 years and Weis just became $8 million richer -- at least. But if he keeps winning, money will be no object for some NFL owner wanting to hire a guy with four Super Bowl rings already.
This is the cost of doing business these days for college ADs. The threat of the NFL can get a guy a raise.
Can't leave this alone without pointing out the obvious irony. Ty Willingham got canned after only three years. Weis gets a 10-year contract after coaching seven games.
Oklahoma-Nebraska the way it ought to be: The Sooners felt a lot better about themselves after a 31-24 victory in Lincoln that was a throwback in itself.
Barry Switzer and Tom Osborne showed up, trading lines.
"He'll hang half a hundred on who he runs against," Switzer said of Osborne, who is chasing the Nebraska governor's office.
"And he's a Democrat," Osborne reminded a national television audience.
They looked like the old Sooners, at least from the Stoops era. Adrian Peterson ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns. The defense limited Nebraska to 16 rushing yards. Oklahoma (5-3) could reach as high as the Cotton Bowl, if it wins out, and set things up for a championship run in 2006.
"It's three in a row," defensive lineman Dusty Dvoracek said, "we've got a little rhythm now."