NEW YORK -- Saturday's ultra-packed window of late-afternoon games offered viewers a virtual potpourri of badly played football. With a busy trigger finger on the remote, one could deftly navigate from Tennessee's botched handoffs to Michigan's fumbles to Notre Dame's dropped passes.
What does it say that Michigan turned the ball over five times in the first half against Wisconsin and still won?
Gennaro Filice will be detailing the Wolverines' epic comeback. Let's hit some of the other (cough) highlights:
• Even the most ardent SEC apologist couldn't possibly classify Auburn's 14-12 win over Tennessee as some sort of defensive tour de force. The Tigers' offense remains an absolute mess. Half of Auburn's points came when Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton and RB Arian Foster muffed a simple handoff on their own five-yard line. The Tigers' longest drive of the second half went 53 yards -- and ended in an interception.
Auburn's defense was admittedly suffocating -- the Vols' last four drives netted a combined 12 yards -- but it's not like Tennessee's offense was burning up the charts coming into the game, either. As of now, it appears the SEC still has several very good teams but not nearly the depth of the past two seasons. Not if Auburn is considered in the upper half.
• The East Carolina party is officially over. For the second straight week, the Pirates lost to a foe with a losing record. This time it was 1-3 Houston, whose all-conference quarterback, Case Keenum, carved up the Pirates' previously stingy defense to the tune of 398 yards and three touchdowns.
• In spite of the aforementioned dropped passes, Notre Dame turned in its most impressive offensive performance of the post-Brady Quinn era in a 38-21 win over Purdue. QB Jimmy Clausen looked firmly in control, particularly on a perfectly lofted 30-yard touchdown pass to David Grimes, but the real breakthrough for the Irish was their long-suffering running game. Armando Allen burst for 133 yards on 17 carries.
• Florida State may not have a quarterback, but RB Antone Smith turned in his finest performance since last year's Music City Bowl, running for 155 yards and three touchdowns in a 39-21 win over Colorado. And the 'Noles' defense -- finally back at full strength now that everyone's suspensions are over -- completely smothered Buffs QB Cody Hawkins.
• Meanwhile, the same Wake Forest team that held the 'Noles to three points last week lost 24-17 to Navy. Not a good sign for the ACC. Or, a possible sign of a Duke ACC title run -- the Blue Devils, which stomped Virginia 31-3 today, handled the Midshipmen 41-31, and their only loss so far was to 5-0 Northwestern.
Just throwing it out there ...