By Ray Hamill
Saturday was a perfect example of why an extended playoff field is so long overdue in college football.
In the most exciting day of action so far this season, seven top-25 teams went down, including three top contenders, with a couple of others barely escaping with a victory.
In the biggest upset of the season thus far, No. 5 Stanford saw its national championship ambitions take a serious and perhaps critical hit in a stunning 27-21 loss at Utah, further showcasing the strength of the Pac-12.
No. 7 Georgia, meanwhile, has had the toughest schedule of anyone through the opening half of the season, playing its fourth game against a top-25 team in just six weeks, and it’s taking a toll on the Bulldogs, who lost for a second time — 41-25 to No. 25 Missouri — and likely has seen any national hopes fade away.
In a third upset, No. 12 Oklahoma fell 36-20 to rivals Texas, ending any premature talk of Mack Brown being fired. Texas improved to 3-0 in conference play with the win.
Two other top-10 teams barely escaped with a win, with No. 9 Texas A&M holding off Ole Miss 41-38 on a last-second field goal, while Boston College gave No. 3 Clemson a scare before the Tigers eventually prevailed 24-14.
No. 17 Michigan wasn’t quite so lucky, falling 43-40 in quadruple overtime to Penn State, while No. 19 Northwestern fell hard 35-6 to Wisconsin.
In another all-top-25 showdown, No. 10 LSU defeated No. 17 Florida, 17-7, while No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon each won big with respective victories over Kentucky (48-7) and No. 16 Washington (45-24).