Despite winning, Pete Carroll is whining…An absolute must-read for college football fans is Bill Plaschke’s column in the Los Angeles Times this week. Plaschke calls out USC’s Carroll, who recently has been complaining about the unfairness of the BCS, and articulates why the system is working, for the most part. Here’s the link: Bill Plaschke on Pete Carroll and the BCS

Coaching carousel…Some plum coaching jobs are up for grabs now as Ty Willingham is officially out atWashington, and Tennessee gave Phil Fulmer the boot.ClemsonSyracuseKansas State, and even Toledo, where Tom Amstutz has decided to step down, are traditionally competitive programs eager to find the right leader.

It was interesting while it lasted…Minnesota had a legitimate shot at the Rose Bowl Game this season had it finished 11-1. The Gophers ended their run by losing to Northwestern last week on an interception returned for a touchdown with 24 seconds remaining in the game.

What was he thinking? Trailing 24-22 in last week’s game against Wisconsin, Michigan State’s desperation drive stalled at the Badger 27-yard line with 22 seconds on the clock and no timeouts left. The Spartans frantically raced their kicking unit onto the field when Wisconsin coach coach Bret Bielema called a timeout in an attempt to ice kicker Brett Swenson. Then he called a second timeout before Swenson calmly banged in the game-winning 44-yard field goal. The announcers were incredulous that Bielema called the timeout rather than forcing Swenson to make the kick under a far more stressful and disorganized kicking situation. I watched the game and the announcers were spot-on. Michigan State would have barely got the field goal attempt off if Bielema had just let the clock run.

Props to Florida’s Meyer for putting values-based discipline ahead of winning: Urban Meyer kicked cornerback Jacques Rickerson off the team Tuesday after he was arrested on a charge of felony assault on his girlfriend. “Jacques Rickerson is no longer part of our team—that is not what our program is about,” Meyer said in a press release.

The Mountain West Conference still has three teams in the BCS rankings…BYU is No. 15, TCU is No. 12, and Utah is No. 8. BSU and Ball State give the non-BCS coalition five teams in the BCS.

BCS Busters still standing: Say goodbye to Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane lost to Arkansas last weekend, 30-23. Utah, Boise State and Ball State are still standing with Boise State having the easiest path to remain undefeated. Utah has to get through TCU this Thursday night and BYU on Nov. 22.

Heisman ThermometerHottest until Tech loses: Graham Harrell, Texas Tech. Still hot enough to win: Colt McCoy, Texas. Hotter every week: Tim Tebow, Florida. Hot, but not hot enough: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma.

Conference Power Meter: 1. Big XII. 2. SEC. 3. Big Ten. 4. MWC 5. Pac-10 6. ACC. 7. Big East. 8. C-USA. 9. WAC. 10. Sun Belt.

Top games this weekend and why:
No. 11 TCU at No. 10 Utah. If TCU wins, it will take the MWC crown away from two-time defending champions Brigham Young. If Utah wins, it’ll still need to get by BYU on Nov. 22.
No. 23 Maryland at Virginia Tech. The Terps have four tough conference games to close out the season. If they want to make it to the conference title game, it all starts with this key road game.
No. 12 Ohio State at Northwestern. The Wildcats are an exciting, rather unpredictable team. On paper, the Buckeyes should roll over Northwestern, but never underestimate Pat Fitzgerald and his team.
No. 22 Georgia Tech at No. 19 North Carolina. There isn’t a closer conference race in the country than the ACC’s Coastal Division. Georgia Tech has an easier route remaining than North Carolina and a win over the Tar Heels will put them one win away from the ACC title game.
No. 21 California at No. 7 USC. Cal’s had better chances at wrestling away the Pac-10 title from USC in the past five years, but maybe the Bears have learned something from all the past disappointments.
Notre Dame at Boston College. Notre Dame has never lost to Pitt and Boston College in the same season. Expect a real dogfight.
No. 3 Penn State at Iowa. The Hawkeyes are a better team than their record indicates and they are tough to beat at home. It’s a huge test for Penn State after clearing the biggest hurdle two weeks ago at Ohio State.
Stanford at Oregon. Jim Harbaugh is working a miracle in Palo Alto and Stanford can become bowl-eligible with a win over the Ducks.
**Co-Game of the Week** No. 1 Alabama at No. 15 LSU. Nick Saban leads the Tide into enemy territory. Don’t be surprised if ‘Bama gets the boot from its top ranking after this game.
**Co-Game of the Week** No. 8 Oklahoma State at No. 2 Texas Tech. This is a must-win contest for both teams. Can Texas Tech sustain the emotion it marshaled against Texas last week?

Upset Specials: I was 2 for 3 last week, correctly picking Georgia Tech over Florida State and Cincinnati over USF. This week: Stanford over Oregon, Virginia Tech over Maryland, LSU over Alabama.