PLAYERS OF THE WEEKEND
National: Freshman Johnny Manziel, who had 253 passing yards and 92 rushing as Texas A&M pulled off the landscape-changing upset at Alabama.
Local: Chris Haupt, who set a Widener record with his 33rd touchdown pass of the year as the No. 9 team in Division III completed a perfect regular season by beating Delaware Valley in Chester, 42-23.
It's Widener's first Middle Atlantic title since 2007; the team is 10-0 for the first time in 11 years. Del Val (7-3) was trying to become only the second team to get at least a piece of the crown five straight times. The other was Widener (1978-82).
Villanova 35, James Madison 20: A year after going 2-9 the Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 CAA), ranked 21st in FCS, can still tie for the league title and/or make it back to the 20-team playoffs. They need to finish with a win at Delaware (5-5, 2-5) and see what happens. Six CAA teams are in the conversation. There might only be room for four.
To have a chance they had to beat No. 9 JMU (7-3, 5-2), at home. It was 17-0 at the half, 33-7 at the end of three quarters.
They had a week off to think about that 49-35 home loss to Towson.
Freshman QB John Robertson, who threw for a score and ran for two, took a shot to the head on a 1-yard TD run with 10 minutes left in the third period. He came back for one series (a three-and-out) but didn't play after that because coach Andy Talley said he couldn't remember the plays. So he obviously will be monitored.
If he can't go, sophomore Chris Polony will. He's not Robertson, especially when it comes to the running part of it, but he did direct a TD drive.
The Dukes can defend, especially against the run. But Villanova rushed for over 300, as soph Kevin Monangai became the fourth Wildcat to reach 1,000 in a season.
Cincinnati 34, Temple 10: The Owls (3-6, 2-4 Big East) have been outscored 161-54 the last four games, against teams that are a combined 28-10.
Playing at home for the first time in 3 weeks, it was 24-3 at the half.
The Bearcats (7-2, 3-1) used a new quarterback, senior Brendon Kay, who was making his first start since high school. He passed for 244, including two long TDs, and ran for 71 yards.
For the fourth straight game, Temple QB Chris Coyer was taken out. But this time it was after 30 minutes, the earliest exit yet. Juice Granger threw for his first career score, while Penn State transfer Kevin Newsome came in late for the second straight game.
Matt Brown carried nine times for 35 yards, his best production out of the backfield since injuring an ankle 5 weeks ago. But Montel Harris, who has been playing well, went out late in the second period (knee) and didn't return after gaining 19 yards on eight carries.
For right now it is what it is, in the first year back in a BCS conference.
Coyer started the last four games last season for a veteran team and provided a spark. He was the Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the New Mexico Bowl win over Wyoming.
This week the Owls are at Army (2-8), which of course runs the option. The Knights beat Air Force by 21 at home 2 weeks ago, and were tied at Rutgers after three quarters before losing Saturday, 28-7.
The Owls are still trying to get a 12th game, against Hawaii (1-9) on Dec. 7 to make up for the one they lost when they moved over from the MAC in March. They need six wins to be bowl eligible. They host Syracuse (5-5, 4-2) on Nov. 23.
SHAKEUP AT THE TOP
Down goes Bama. Down goes Bama. Down goes Bama.
One week after the Tide nearly lost at LSU, the defending champs are no longer No. 1, thanks to Texas A&M.
But that doesn't mean their chances of winning a third ring in 4 years are necessarily kaput.
There are three unbeatens remaining, not counting Ohio State, which is ineligible to play in the BCS final. If history has shown us anything, it's that unbeatens tend to lose at some point in the process. There might not be a playoff yet. And I get why that upsets most precincts. But try to tell me that what's going on now isn't a series of weekly elimination heats. And that's not such a horrible thing. It's very much like one-and-done, unless of course you happen to get a mulligan.
Not that long ago, a lot of folks were saying how it was a shame there wasn't already a four-team playoff this year, because it would work out so neatly. You want to rethink that? What looks so simple in late October isn't always the case a month later. Or even maybe just a week or so later.
Oregon, which looks like it can outscore anyone, still has to play Stanford, Oregon State and either UCLA or USC again. Notre Dame has to go to USC. And Kansas State has to go to Texas. So more can unravel. If two of them lose, it opens up room for a one-loss team to get back in. That would look to be the SEC champion. And really, can you have a BCS final without a team from that conference? We'll see.
But don't think for a moment that anything is a lock. It's simply not the nature of this beast.
FYI: Twenty-four players from Bear Bryant's Texas A&M teams (1954-57) were honored as the Aggies made their first trip to Tuscaloosa.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
As a tribute to Darrell Royal, Texas ran its first play from the wishbone formation, which the former Longhorns coach introducted to major college football in 1968. Instead of a run UT gained 47 yards on a pass off a lateral, in the stadium that bears his name.
DID YOU NOTICE?
* Kansas State can play defense, too. The Wildcats are 10-0 for the second time under Bill Snyder, and first time since 1998.
* Miami freshman Duke Johnson had 368 all-purpose yards.
* Louisville still never has been 10-0.
* Massachusetts got its first FBS victory, 22-14 at 1-10 Akron.
* Syracuse's Ryan Nassib (Malvern Prep) now has a Big East-record 738 completions.
* The 118 points by Georgia Tech (68) and North Carolina (50) are an ACC record. It had been 110 (Virginia over Tulane in 1968, 63-47). Eleven players had TDs.
* Manti Te'o has six interceptions, a season record for Notre Dame linebackers.
* Georgia shut out Auburn for the first time 1976.
* Clemson has won a record 12 straight home games.
MIKE KERN'S TOP 10
1. Oregon (10-0): Beat Cal, 59-17. Scored 52 and 53 against Stanford last 2 years. Saturday: vs. Stanford.
2. Kansas State (10-0): Beat TCU, 23-10. Lost at Baylor 2 years ago, won by 1 last year at home. Saturday: at Baylor.
3. Notre Dame (10-0): Beat Boston College, 21-6. Won last year by 7 at Wake Forest. Saturday: vs. Wake Forest.
4. Alabama (9-1): Lost to Texas A&M, 29-24. Can still get to Miami on Jan. 7. Saturday: vs. Western Carolina.
5. Georgia (9-1): Beat Auburn, 38-0. Should get shot at Bama in SEC final. Saturday: vs. Georgia Southern.
6. Florida (9-1): Beat Louisiana (Lafayette), 27-20. Nearly avoided big-time Fraud Fiver. Saturday: vs. Jacksonville State.
7. Ohio State (10-0): Idle. Lost at Wisconsin in 2010, only loss to Badgers since 2004. Saturday: at Wisconsin.
8. Florida State (9-1): Beat Virginia Tech, 28-22. Hasn't lost to Maryland since 2006. Saturday: at Maryland.
9. Louisiana State (8-2): Beat Mississippi State, 37-17. Won at Ole Miss last year, 52-3. Saturday: vs. Mississippi.
10. South Carolina (8-2): Beat Arkansas, 38-20. It's OK to look ahead to at 9-1 Clemson. Saturday: vs. Wofford.
Louisville: You really need an explanation?
North Carolina: Can't be scoring 50 at home and still lose by 18. Unless maybe you're playing Oregon. The Tar Heels were playing Georgia Tech. They gave up 30 in the third quarter.
Alabama: It's OK to lose once in a while, even at home, especially coming off LSU. Nevertheless ...
Miami: I realize they were down a handful of starters (injuries and suspensions). But probably shouldn't be losing at Virginia anyhow, on two late touchdowns.