Michigan State: Mark Dantonio looks like Brooklyn Decker after his fake field goal call in overtime netted the Spartans a 34-31 win over Notre Dame. Yes, there was an issue with the play clock, and probably a missed pass interference penalty, on the play dubbed "Little Giants," but Aaron Bates' 29-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Gantt immediately goes down as one of the all-time great gambles in college football history.
Clemson: I have to admit, against all odds, that 24 games into Dabo Swinney's tenure I like the cut of his jib. The Tigers were prepared and motivated for Auburn and the national stage on Saturday, which is more than Miami, Florida State or North Carolina can claim in 2010. The way Swinney defended his kicker, who missed a chip shot to force a second overtime, was also admirable.
T.J. Yates: The supposed "weak link" at UNC has been nothing short of the Tar Heels' best player through two difficult losses. Even more impressive has been his character. Thrust into an untenable situation, through no doing of his own, the senior quarterback has emerged as the spokesman for the troubled football program when others have been either unwilling or incapable.
Duke-Wake: Look, it was not realist to think Duke could beat Alabama or that Wake Forest could travel across the country, kick off after curfew, and beat an underrated Stanford team, but 62-13 and 68-24?
Given the scoring fest between the two ACC teams in Winston-Salem last week, the 130 combined points allowed by their defenses is not a surprise, but the lack of competitiveness against a foe BCS conference is embarrassing for the ACC and both schools.
Take a seat
N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien's popularity with the ACC office (cue mental image of ACC commissioner John Swofford, former UNC football player and UNC athletic director, begrudgingly waving a tiny Wolfpack pom-pom during Thursday's 30-19 win over Cincinnati), has never been higher.
He must be feeling good, and deservedly so after a 3-0 start, because he threw a jab at the Wolfpack fan base for taking too long of a tailgate hiatus at halftime.
"We came out, there's nobody in the stands in the third quarter," O'Brien said. "We've got to learn to come for the whole game."
Given the wins-to-dollars return on the investment made by State fans since Carter-Finley was renovated, that would be a fight O'Brien would be wise to avoid.
"You can't have a lull in the second quarter. You can't let down. You can't get tired."
— Alabama coach Nick Saban disappointed that his defense gave up its first touchdown of the season in Saturday's 62-13 win over Duke.
Translation: We do not train to be merciful here. Mercy is for the weak. Sweep the leg. No mercy.