by Pat Dooley
You call that chaos? You call that bedlam?
It was a great Saturday night of watching football at the Dooley Dome, but where were all the upsets?
I mean, we came close with Alabama needing a late touchdown drive and Notre Dame needing a brutally-bad pass interference call and three overtimes. But the craziness didn’t happen.
And if it holds through the rest of the season, how do we decide who will play Alabama at the end?
COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25
1. Alabama: That was a close one, but another win for Nick Saban.
2. Oregon: My gosh, the Ducks can put up some points can’t they?
3. Kansas State: It was hard to pay attention to KState-Okie State with Alabama-LSU and Oregon-SC going on. If I were commissioner, we’d spread big games out.
4. Notre Dame: I was so close to picking Pitt. Glad I didn’t.
5. Georgia: Not the fifth best team in America, but Doggies get there because of attrition of others.
6. Florida: If you didn’t see them play all year, you’d be very impressed with Gators’ body of work.
7. FSU: Biggest win — Clemson. Second biggest win — uh, well.
8. Ohio State: Unbeaten and yet unremarkable.
9. Oregon State: While you were sleeping, Beavers got another big win.
10. Louisville: Charlie Strong’s team just keeps winning games.
11. Clemson: Another team without a big win this season. But you can only play teams on your schedule.
12. LSU; Two losses to two top 10 teams.
13. Texas A&M: Johnny Football, meet the Alabama defense.
14. South Carolina: After a week off, it will be interesting to see how Gamies deal with loss of Marcus Lattimore.
15. Oklahoma: Underrated win over Iowa State this week.
16. Stanford: Limited a bad Colorado team to 76 total yards, minus-21 rushing.
17. Nebraska: Great final drive to pull out win over hard-luck Michigan State.
18. UCLA: Jim Mora has done a surprising rebuilding job.
19. Texas: Nice win for Hornies over Texas Tech.
20. Louisiana Tech: One of the most entertaining teams in the country.
21. Mississippi State: Bulldogs outscored 76-20 last two games. Next up — LSU.
22. Rutgers: Could be the team that gets Louisville.
23. Kent State: There’s a run on MAC teams starting now.
24. Toledo: Huge game next Wednesday against Northern Illinois.
T-25. Northwestern: Game against Michigan is a big one.
T-25. Northern Illinois: Did I mention next Wednesday night?
1. It seems pretty clear that Florida could well be playing FSU at the end of the season for a berth in the Sugar Bowl. If the Gators win these next two revenue games and Georgia beats Auburn and Alabama beats Georgia for the SEC title, Florida will be the most attractive SEC team available if the Gators are 11-1. And if Louisville ends up unbeaten, guess who the Sugar Bowl would love to invite?
2. I don’t know if Derek Dooley will survive at Tennessee and the easy November schedule might facilitate his return. But there is no way he can walk into AD Dave Hart’s office and tell him he is keeping defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri. The Vols are giving up 483.1 yards a game, including 721 against Troy on Saturday. “I’ve never been in a game like this, guys, so forgive me,” Dooley said after the Vols’ win. “Is that 1,400 (yards between the two teams)? Is that what I’m looking at? Holy Jesus! We used to get that in a season.” Tennessee has given up 254 more yards a game than Alabama. I don’t care if your personnel is lacking, that’s bad coaching.
3. You almost felt like Les Miles was goaded into trying some funky plays because of the national stage Saturday night. Diminutive Tracy Wolfson, after conducting a rare eyeball-to-eyeball interview with a coach on one sideline, turned her attention to the Mad Hatter and was practically begging him to try something. But a fake field goal on fourth-and-12? “I wish I had a couple of my calls back,” Miles said.
4. It doesn’t look good for Joker Phillips in Lexington. Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story, who has been preaching patience with Phillips, came out Sunday with a column saying the split has to happen after a 40-0 loss to Vanderbilt. “I understand this is a business based on results,” Phillips said, “and we haven’t gotten results.” Phillips is 12-23 as head coach at UK.