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By Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com
In case anyone needed a reminder, this is why rivalries are the foundation of college football. Six ranked teams were upset by their bitterest enemies, and a fresh breeze washed over the land.
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Alabama needed to wait until Auburn's Hail Mary hit the ground in the final seconds before the Tide could breathe easily against the Tigers.
By Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com
STANFORD, Calif. -- Charlie Weis and his boss, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, boarded the same Delta team charter from San Francisco to South Bend on Saturday night.Weis left the Bay Area with his 27th and, undoubtedly, final loss as the Irish's head coach. Swarbrick left with a decision (pause for laughter) to make.
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Charlie Weis avoided the media following Notre Dame's loss to Stanford.
By Pat Forde, ESPN.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- As the most impactful player in college football history made his way around the edge of Florida Field for the last time, the poignancy of the moment was etched on thousands of faces.The little girl in tears, saying, "Timmy, I love you." She got a hug. The little boy with special needs who comes to practices got a hug, too. Women from ages 12 to 60 screamed with delight after Tebow touched their hands (some of the younger ones simply burst out crying). Men shouted their thanks. Some rubbed his head; some smacked his shoulder pads. Thousands of fans of all ages and colors paid tribute by mimicking his trademark eye black, the wife and daughters of the head coach among them.
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Love him or hate him, Tim Tebow will go down as one of the most impactful players in college football history.
By Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- More than 90,000 fans packed Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday to celebrate the career of one of college football's greatest players.Florida quarterback Tim Tebow -- who helped the Gators win BCS national championships in 2006 and '08 and has them in position to win another title this season -- was playing his final home game at The Swamp. But as Florida fans celebrated the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, an equally extraordinary career might have been ending on the opposite sideline. Florida State coach Bobby Bowden -- who, with 388 career victories, trails only Penn State's Joe Paterno as the sport's all-time winningest coach -- seems to be weighing whether his career will end after this season, too. After saying for weeks that he intended to return to the FSU sideline in 2010, Bowden doesn't seem sure his 34-year tenure with the Seminoles will extend beyond his team's upcoming bowl game. "Yeah, I want to coach next year," Bowden said, when asked whether he intended to return to the sideline in 2010. "But let me say I need to go home and do some soul-searching." It's the first time Bowden has hinted that he's considering immediate retirement. In the past, Bowden always said he'd leave Florida State on his own terms and wouldn't be forced out the door. But Bowden, who turned 80 last month, also always said he'd come back only if the Seminoles were winning. Florida State hasn't won much at all recently. After winning 10 games or more every season from 1987 to 2000, the Seminoles have won 10 games only once in the past nine seasons. FSU's 37-10 loss to the No. 1-ranked Gators on Saturday night left the Noles with a 6-6 record, the third time in the past four seasons they've lost six games. The Seminoles' sixth straight loss to the Gators might have finally been the breaking point for Bowden. In fact, it might have showed him how far his program has fallen behind programs such as Florida. "There's not much you can say about that ballgame," Bowden said. "It was a pretty good whipping." To read the rest of Mark Schlabach's story, click here.
By Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com
AUBURN, Ala. -- Lord knows, Nick Saban tries. The Alabama coach never claimed to be a poet of the podium. When he speaks to the media, he edits as he goes, interrupting his own rhythm, his thoughts doing to him what his defenses do to opposing quarterbacks.The emotion that burst forth from the coach of the No. 2 Crimson Tide on Friday after their 26-21 comeback over Auburn hit some heartfelt notes, if not always in the right order. "I've never probably been prouder of a football team than I am proud of our guys in this game," Saban said. "The character we showed, and the adversity we showed, to overcome the adversity we overcame in the game, on the road, getting behind, I don't think you can say enough about the competitive character this team showed today, and that's what I'm most proud of." But to his team? That's another story. Saban speaks with all the comfort of broken-in loafers. This is what he said to the Crimson Tide after the game: "Only the strong survive," Saban said. "But the strong still get their ass whipped." Alabama finished great but did not play well. That's what archrivals can do to you, no matter your ranking. Texas A&M drew from that well Thursday night against No. 3 Texas. For more than 51 minutes Friday, in front of a roaring crowd of 87,451 at Jordan-Hare Stadium, that's exactly what Auburn did, too. To read the rest of Ivan Maisel's story, click here.
By Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com
• ACC: Riley Skinner; Russell Wilson; Ryan Williams
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• Big 12: Colt McCoy; Ryan Broyles; Ndamukong Suh
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• Big East: Tony Pike; Mardy Gilyard; Mohamed Sanu
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• Big Ten: Juice Williams; Oklahoma's defense; Derek Dimke
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• Pac-10: Toby Gerhart; Danny Sullivan; Malcolm Smith
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• SEC: Rolando McClain; Tim Tebow; Dan Mullen
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• Non-AQ: Theo Scott; Curtis Steele; Trevor Vittatoe
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