1. Sorry, neither FSU nor Notre Dame is out of it.
Not to make everything about the College Football Playoff, but let's say you wanted to write a scenario in which both No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 2 Florida State could position themselves for the Playoff, despite one of them losing.
It's hard to say who would want that, as the Seminoles and Irish might be the two most hated programs in the country right now, the former for current scandalous headlines, and the latter for decades of glowing ones. But college football welcomes all requests, no matter how niche.
You'd need something like a great game that came down to the wire, ending on a controversial call, with everyone watching, with a result that could've gone in either direction. And that's what we got in a 31-27 Seminoles win. The series brings expectations of high drama. Saturday night's edition delivered.
While the late offensive pass interference call against Notre Dame was correct, the application of it has not gone over well in all circles. Had it not been called, we'd be talking about a road upset of the defending national champions.
Both teams closed the night by looking like the title contenders they were made out to be, at least in the passing game, which is the part people pay the most attention to. Jameis Winston completed 15 of his final 16 and barged his way back into the Heisman race (even if following head coach Jimbo Fisher's postgame advice won't bring him an actual win). And Everett Golson added bullet points to his own resume in the second half, recovering from an interception, throwing his third touchdown, and for a brief moment, throwing the fourth that would've stamped his name into Irish history books.
A classic brawl like that, on ABC and with minimal distractions for the neutral viewer (and selection committee member), spells well for the rest of their seasons. FSU passed another main-event test, and Notre Dame did, too.
Florida State's easy schedule down the stretch all but guarantees a Playoff berth. The Seminoles are unlikely to face a ranked opponent before their ACC Championship appearance, possibly against another unranked team.
Notre Dame still has an outside shot, and really without too much cooperation from the rest of the top 25. The Irish are a long way from 11-1, but the idea of an 11-1 Notre Dame missing the Playoff despite its only loss looking like that is a fanciful one. Whether you like it or not.
2. The Big 12 race somehow got even more tangled.
College football fans are inclined to refer to just about anything as "chaos." But the Big 12 is doing what it can to meet that description.
Each other major conference sections off its own madness within divisions and sorts out remaining questions with a title game. But look at this:
The SEC or Pac-12 might (might!) have more top-to-bottom depth, but the top six teams in the Big 12 can stack up with any other group in the country. Each could hold legitimate Playoff claims if it wins out, and if they keep going at this pace, things will only get more fun.
Saturday marked the third straight week the Big 12 favorite (or something close to it) lost. Oklahoma lost to TCU October 4. TCU lost to Baylor the following week. And Baylor was blasted by West Virginia Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Sooners fell at home to new presumed favorite Kansas State, the only team left without a loss in conference play. If the current pattern holds, Kansas State could run into difficulty this upcoming Saturday against Texas. If not, the Wildcats still have games against four of those other five teams.
It's hard to even guess how the Big 12 will turn out, and that's just great. It's the last major conference with a title race decided totally by the regular season, and it seems there's real potential for it to come down to the final week. Who knows? Maybe we'll get a throwback to 2008 and see another three-way tie.
3. That was the Will Muschamp era.
With 20 minutes to go during the Homecoming game against the defending SEC East champions, the Florida Gators were so hopelessly out of it that the remaining fans only had one chant to turn to:
You can pick whichever numbers you want.
Saturday's 42-13 wall of hurt. A 4-8 season. This 3-3 start. A 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern last year. A blowout at Alabama a month ago in which the Tide appeared to be doing the Gators the courtesy of keeping them in the game on purpose, which only made the 42-21 score more embarrassing. Florida fans pining for 23-14 Ron Zook. A 15-14 record in the SEC ... 8-13 if you take away 2012's Sugar Bowl run, which wouldn't be fair to do, but which would get you closer numerically to what's inside the souls of Gator fans right now.
The numbers don't even matter. Listen to that chant. Look at this photo. Look at these photos:
And ones like this:
I stayed till the end y'all. pic.twitter.com/A9hmvaEzbV— Sam Dakota (@thesamdakota) October 19, 2014
And then at the schedule, which gives the Gators a bye week before Georgia. Bye weeks seem to be popular times to fire coaches, with that extra week giving the interim a few extra days to adjust.
Muschamp's boss has said no changes will come before the end of the season. And the only question left is whether the things he saw Saturday night changed that.
Five fun things
No. 2 Florida State 31, No. 5 Notre Dame 27 (recap)
No. 3 Ole Miss 34, Tennessee 3 (recap)
West Virginia 41, No. 4 Baylor 27 (recap)
No. 7 Alabama 59, No. 21 Texas A&M 0 (destruction)
No. 8 Michigan State 56, Indiana 17 (recap)
No. 9 Oregon 45, Washington 20 (recap)
No. 10 Georgia 45, Arkansas 32 (recap)
No. 14 Kansas State 31, No. 11 Oklahoma 30 (recap)
No. 12 TCU 42, No. 15 Oklahoma State 9 (recap)
No. 13 Ohio State 56, Rutgers 17 (recap)
No. 17 Arizona State 26, No. 23 Stanford 10 (recap)
No. 19 Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17 (recap)
No. 22 USC 56, Colorado 28 (recap)
No. 24 Clemson 17, Boston College 13 (recap)
No. 25 Marshall 45, Florida International 13 (recap)
Air Force 35, New Mexico 31
Appalachian State 53, Troy 14 (recap)
Ball State 32, Central Michigan 29 (recap)
Cincinnati 41, SMU 3 (recap)
Colorado State 16, Utah State 13
Duke 20, Virginia 13 (recap)
Florida Atlantic 45, Western Kentucky 38 (recap)
Idaho 29, New Mexico State 17
Kent State 39, Army 17 (recap)
Louisiana Tech 27, UTSA 20 (recap)
Louisville 30, NC State 18 (tweetcap)
LSU 41, Kentucky 3 (recap)
Maryland 38, Iowa 31 (recap)
UMass 36, Eastern Michigan 14 (recap)
Middle Tennessee 34, UAB 22 (recap)
Minnesota 39, Purdue 38 (recap)
Missouri 42, Florida 13 (recap)
Nevada 42, BYU 35 (recap)
North Carolina 48, Georgia Tech 43 (recap)
Northern Illinois 51, Miami (Ohio) 41 (recap)
Ohio 23, Akron 20 (recap)
San Diego State 20, Hawaii 10 (recap)
San Jose State 27, Wyoming 20 (OT)
South Alabama 30, Georgia State 27 (recap)
South Carolina 41, Furman 10 (recap)
South Florida 38, Tulsa 30 (recap)
Southern Miss 30, North Texas 20
Syracuse 30, Wake Forest 7 (recap)
Texas 48, Iowa State 45 (recap)
Texas Tech 34, Kansas 21 (recap)
UCF 20, Tulane 13 (recap)
UCLA 36, California 34 (recap)
Western Michigan 26, Bowling Green 14 (recap)