Can we go ahead and pencil in Oklahoma and Texas for the top five again next season?
Both Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford said last week they will be back in 2009. Texas' McCoy will be a senior. Bradford will be a redshirt junior. In his team's toughest test of the season (a 28-24 win over Oklahoma State), McCoy was 38 of 45 for 391 yards. He has 44 incompletions for the season.
Bradford was a bit more sporadic, completing only 13 of 32 against Kansas State.
• It's not quite to DefCon level for Vanderbilt yet but it's close.
Since starting 5-0, the Commodores have lost three in a row. The latest defeat was crucial, a 10-7 loss to Duke. That was its best opportunity to pick up that magic sixth win after the 5-0 start. Now? Vandy is going to have to hustle to get No. 6 that would end a bowl-less streak that goes back to 1982. It's going to be a nervous November. The 'Dores have Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee and Wake Forest lefton the schedule.
• Crazy times in the ACC. Virginia is in first place in the Coastal Division. At 3-1 in the conference, UVA has already won the head-to-head with the two teams behind it -- Georgia Tech (3-2) and North Carolina (2-2). Virginia has lost to Duke and plays other division challengers, Miami and Virginia Tech, next month.
A team that lost both its opener (52-7 to USC) and its starting quarterback (Peter Lalich, kicked off the team) controls its own ACC destiny.
"This is a team that never cracks," Virginia quarterback Marc Verica said. Actually,it is. The Cavs lost three of their first four by an average of 36 points.
Meanwhile, Florida State, 6-1, has the best record after winning its fourth in a row -- 36-20 over Virginia Tech. The ACC game of the year might be Nov. 22 when FSU goes to Maryland.
• Of course that conjures all kinds of less-than-exciting matchups in the Orange Bowl. Obie picks last in the BCS this season (it has the national championship game a week later) and is tied to the ACC champion.
Try scalping tickets for these potential Orange Bowls:
Virginia vs. Utah -- Sounds like a battle for swing-state votes.
Georgia Tech vs. Boise State -- This is why the Humanitarian Bowl was created .
Florida State vs. TCU -- Dadgummit, Bobby deserves better in his last game .
Maryland vs. Ball State -- They can agree on one thing. Red rules!
• TCU (78-0) has not allowed a fourth-quarter point this season... Navy did not attempt a pass in beating SMU 34-7. Seven-seven consecutive runs were enough. That was the first time in 11 years a major-college team played a game without throwing.
• Let's hope Missouri's Chase Coffman gets consideration for the national award that honors the best at his position. Coffman broke the I-A record for career passes caught by a tight end in the Tigers' 58-0 victory over Colorado. He now has 220.
The problem is that voters for the John Mackey Award are encouraged by its namesake (the Colts' hall of famer) to select only players who line up in the traditional tight end formation outside an offensive tackle most of the time. Like a lot of modern tight ends, Coffman frequently lines up in the slot in Missouri's wide-open offense. It would be a shame if he wasn't given fair consideration for the award.
If not, a projected high NFL draft position could soothe his pain.
• How bad is it for Washington? Defensive tackle Senio Kelemete injured his left knee during warm ups before the Notre Dame game. He is one of nine true freshmen who have started this season for the Huskies.
• Curious talk from ND coach Charlie Weis on the bond between former Notre Dame coaches. Most likely the last installment of "The Ty Bowl" was played Saturday in Seattle:
"Guys that leave here before they're ready to leave, they're not the people that would be the best people for me to talk to. "It's not that we're not cordial. It's just not the best situation. What I have a question to ask somebody who's been in that boat, I call Ara (Parseghian) and Lou (Holtz) because they were here over a decade, and I just feel those are the guys that can guide me the best. I feel bad for the other people, but the bottom line is when people leave before they want to leave, it's never a good conversation."
• Minnesota remains in contention for setting the record for the biggest one-year turnaround in history. The Gophers improved to 7-1 after a 17-6 victory over Purdue. That's eight games better than last season's 1-11 finish. The record is Hawaii which in 1999 finished 8 1/2 games better than it did in 1998.
• Here are the options for those of you who want to go to Lubbock on Saturday. Get in your car. Start driving. Now.
As I blogged Saturday, air fares even from Dallas are prohibitive. I know one scribe who is flying to Dallas and making the five-hour drive west. Another colleague is flying Amarillo and driving two hours south. Look, I know Lubbock is isolated. Bobby Knight didn't go to Texas Tech so he could, you know, be around people.
But it's a little annoying that there isn't decent airline service to the place. I've been to the ends of the earth (Pullman, Wash., Auburn, Ala., Gainesville and Tallahassee) in this job and nothing compares with the prairie schooner need to get to Lubbock.
• One disgruntled Clemson fan I ran across doesn't like how quickly interim coach Dabo Swinney has changed the football culture in the program:
"I don't think he even gave (Tommy) Bowden enough time to be cremated before he married his wife."
Yup, that's one way of putting it.