Unbeaten teams, unbreakable records and the passing of powerhouses
When three of the current BCS top five and half the top 10 were unranked to start the season, and the No. 1 team was No. 11, you know it's a wacky season. I have asked some guys who have seen a lot of seasons pass -- including coaches like Florida State's Bobby Bowden and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer -- and all have answered that they can't recall anything like this season.
Set your alarm clock on Saturday. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and the rest of the "GameDay" crew will be in State College, Pa. Tune in to find out about No. 1 Ohio State, No. 25 Penn State and everything else in college football.
When: Sat., 10 a.m. ET (ESPN)
Where: State College, Pa.
Bulls (still) on parade And 'Neers vs. KnightsUSF, still ranked an average of fifth by the BCS computers, is a narrow favorite at UConn. All of a sudden, the Huskies' home field commands respect?
Rocky TimesTennessee arrived in Tuscaloosa as the favorite in the SEC East and left beaten and embarrassed, but still not out of the race. Coach Philip Fulmer is feeling heat, with unrest growing after a second lopsided loss to a main rival this year, which Alabama accomplished without five suspended players.
Recruiting falloutNebraska has lost a top running back recruit but gained a California juco defensive lineman, even as the manure hits the fan in Lincoln. Simi Kuli, from El Camino College, is Nebraska-bound, according to Internet reports. But recruiting guru Tom Luginbill also relays to me that Big Red's uncertain coaching situation has cost the Huskers the nation's 89th-rated prospect, running back Jonas Gray from Detroit. He has de-committed and plans to now join the growing class of blue chippers pledged to Notre Dame. Stay tuned: This year's crop of "de-commits" is likely to surpass the huge number from across the country last season.
Noles in trouble?
POTUSThat gives a nice segue to this little historical nugget, since Paterno's tenure at Penn State has spanned 11 presidential administrations. In 1930, on Oct. 23, two future presidents put on the pads in college football games: Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Reagan was a stalwart guard for Eureka (Illinois), which beat Illinois Wesleyan. Nixon came off the bench at end (not necessarily the end of the bench) for Whittier (California). Alas, Nixon's squad was blanked by San Bernardino 13-0. That same autumn, Gerald Ford was a stud senior at Grand Rapids South High School, a year away from becoming a Wolverine and the most accomplished football player to become president.
Bluegrass red carpetThey really rolled it out for "GameDay" last weekend in Lexington. We have never experienced such overwhelming hospitality from a school and a city in the 14 years of road shows. We were showered with well-wishers and gifts. When you walk into your hotel suite and find six bottles of nice bourbon (three large and three small), you know they want you to enjoy your stay. I don't know how they knew my favorite brand, but they provided it. You can spot it by the silver race horse on the cork. The rest of the Hospitality Top Five: Clemson, Eugene, Blacksburg and Tempe (thanks to the classy Fiesta Bowl folks). Speaking of thoroughbreds, we'll have an eye on the Breeders' Cup on Saturday in the "GameDay" bus. There is a very short list of non-college football events ever allowed on one of our five dishes: U.S. Open men's semis, Ryder Cup if it's close and postseason baseball if it involves someone's favorite team. And most of all, the Breeders' Cup. Our ace researcher Chris Fallica also enjoys the ponies. A lot. So, I offer you this bonus for slogging all the way to the bottom of the column. Fallica's Breeders' Cup top selections, delivered with all the bravado we have come to expect. Use them however you like. Classic: Curlin over Street Sense, with favorite Lawyer Ron fading from the early lead and pressure from Hard Spun.
Juvenile Fillies: Proud Spell to win.
Distaff: Balance worth a look at a hefty price.
Sprint: Greg's Gold the latest speedy Californian to claim this prize, with a great trip from Victor Espinoza. And I'm off and running, getting ready to watch QB Matt Ryan and the Eagles invade Lane Stadium on Thursday night (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET). Chris Fowler is the host of ESPN's "College GameDay." Kick off each Saturday with "College GameDay" at 10 a.m. ET to get the latest news on college football.