►The Michigan Wolverines’ dismantling of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish created the second biggest seismic shift in this young season after the Tennessee-Cal outcome rocked the first week polls…Michigan jumped six slots and Notre Dame tumbled 10. It seems like it’s been years since Michigan has played with the level of intensity and ferocity that they displayed last Saturday…Senior Wolverine linebackers Shawn Crable (6-foot-5, 245) and Prescott Burgess (6-3, 245) terrorized Brady Quinn from start to finish…Burgess intercepted Quinn on the second play of the game and returned it 31 yards for the score…later, midway through the third quarter, Burgess was there again with a pick to stop the Irish dead in their tracks…Crable had several big hits–one head-knocker on Quinn should make all the end-of-season highlight reels…hard to believe BQ could even get off the field on his own after that bell-ringer…if you saw the game, you know what I mean…

►The Michigan-Ohio State game on Nov. 18 is looking mighty important right now regarding national title implications…but first, both teams need to get by a pretty rocky Big Ten schedule…Iowa and Michigan State are poised to pull off big upsets…Wisconsin, Minnesota, Penn State and Purdue are always dangerous…Northwestern has a lot of fight…sadly, IU and UI are the conference bottom feeders, except when it comes to basketball. Even if Michigan rolls into Columbus with one conference loss against an undefeated Buckeye squad, the Big Ten title will be up for grabs and the game will still have national title implications.

►Things don’t get any easier this Saturday for Charlie Weis and the Gold Domers as they have to travel north to East Lansing, home of the Michigan State Spartans. Despite last year’s big MSU win over the Irish, Spartan fans still demand payback with compounding interest on Notre Dame for Ara Parseghian’s decision to play for a tie in that legendary 1966 battle that was billed as the “Game of the Decade.” N.D. came in ranked No. 1 and Michigan State was No. 2. The Irish had the ball on their 30-yard line with 1:10 left, but they elected to run the clock out and settled for a 10-10 deadlock. Dan Jenkins of Sports Illustrated joked that the Irish “tied one for the Gipper.” The decision paid off, though, as Notre Dame stayed first in the polls and the Spartans remained No. 2…this was back when the national champion was voted by the pollsters before the bowl games…Four Michigan State players from that team were selected in the first eight picks of the 1967 NFL draft…No. 1 Bubba Smith (Baltimore Colts), No. 2 Clint Jones (Minnesota Vikings), No. 5 George Webster (Houston Oilers) and No. 8 Gene Washington (Minnesota Vikings).

►Remember these guys? The two college quarterbacks who were selected third and fourth in that same NFL draft? The Florida Gators’ Steve Spurrier was picked third by the San Francisco 49ers and Bob Griese of the Purdue Boilermakers was selected fourth by the Miami Dolphins.

►NASA satellites were able to monitor some nifty artwork taking place in the Los Angeles Coliseum Saturday night…USC Trojans super-duper receivers Dwayne Jarrett and Steve Smith were seen carving crop circles in the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ secondary on ABC’s nationally televised game. Now they just need to find a game of epic proportions to show off their handiwork like Ted Ginn, Jr. and Tony Gonzalez did for the Buckeyes against the then No. 2 Texas Longhorns.

►Keeping the Cornhuskers happy on the road…Bill Callahan treated the Huskers to the ultimate training table meal on Friday for lunch at Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills…prime rib, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and so on…mmm…the last time the Huskers dined there was for the annual Lawry’s Beef Bowl prior to the national championship showdown versus Miami in the 2002 Rose Bowl Game.

►If you’re a Cornhusker fan searching for some sort of measuring stick regarding the USC game, try this…the BYU Cougars played in USC’s home opener three years ago when Matt Leinart was a sophomore. BYU trailed 21-18 with about 10 minutes left in the game and were driving for the go-ahead score when the Trojans forced a fumble…USC scored, then stopped the Cougars again and cashed in another big play score for the 35-18 final score…the men of Troy went on to claim a share of the national championship that year after defeating Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl Game. As for BYU…they ended up 5-6, missing out on a bowl game after former head coach Gary “Win by 9, not by 3″ Crowton blew a sure three-point lead versus Stanford. Instead of running out the last few minutes of the clock with a 14-11 lead, he called for a pass play that was intercepted and promptly converted into seven points for an 18-14 Cardinal victory. When asked about his play calling after the game, Crowton admitted to reporters that he wanted to “Win by 9, not by 3.”

►Is a one-game suspension enough for the Pac-10 officiating crew that muffed (we’re being nice here) two crucial calls in the Oregon Ducks-Oklahoma Sooners contest? More questions…How many other Pac-10 teams have benefited from the Zebras in past games against non-con opponents? The Sooners requested to have the game stricken from the record books…Not only would that be unfair (especially to Adrian Peterson) but…hey, here’s an idea…how about if Oklahoma forfeits all the games Rhett Bomar played in at Oklahoma? Saving the best question for last…is there some way we can make sure these two teams meet in a bowl game again this holiday season? What a love-fest that would be…

►Oh, how the mighty have fallen…I wonder if Miami’s A.D. is scrambling to change future schedules around after the Hurricanes’ 1-2 start this season…What is wrong with this UM team? They are loaded with talent. Is it chemistry? Leadership? We all knew Louisville would give the Hurricanes one heck of a game at home, but did you really think it would be a blowout? Perhaps Larry Coker should have insisted his boys have a little more respect for their opponent…why on earth did he allow his players to stomp on the Cardinals’ midfield logo before the game?

►Just for kicks…a Louisville fan’s sign at the game read: “Cards send Tropical Depression back to Miami.”

►Props to Tommy Bowden’s Clemson Tigers for bouncing back from their emotional double-OT loss to the Boston College Eagles and pulling out a crucial conference win on the road against Senior Bowden’s Florida State Seminoles. It looks like the ACC’s Atlantic Division will be a three-horse race between the abovementioned teams. The Virginia Tech Hokies looks like the odds-on favorite to take the Coastal Division, but they do play on the road at Miami and B.C., while Miami’s schedule looks pretty favorable from hereon…dark horse Georgia Tech gets Miami at home, but has to play the Hokies and Clemson on the road…

►QuickSnap, presented by Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills: When was the last time Miami and Florida State both lost during the same game week, who did they lose to, and what were the scores? Send your answer to quicksnap@realfootball365.com. Be quick and be correct. The first email received with the correct answer wins you a set of two limited edition 2005 Rose Bowl Game trading cards featuring Texas and Michigan. Texas won the game on a last second field goal, 38-37, in the first meeting ever between the two programs. The winner will be announced in next week’s Fourth and inches…

►Catch a Tiger by the Tail…In the battle of the big striped cats, the Auburn Tigers and LSU Tigers got really defensive with each other in the most anticipated West Division clash of the season…Auburn took it 7-3, but the game could have gone either way and almost did right down to the wire…this game and Florida’s 21-20 squeaker over Tennessee offer strong proof how the SEC cannibalizes itself each season. A 16-team playoff would allow at least two, and possibly three SEC teams to have a shot at the national title each year…I’m a staunch bowl game traditionalist, but there’s got to be a way to preserve the importance of the bowl games while providing a more level playing field for the Top 16 teams in the country to have a shot at the national title each season. There are some good ideas out there…more on this in the future…

►Pride comes before the fall…It’s pretty sad to see how a talented athlete like Maurice Clarett has spiraled out of control off the field…a convicted felon, he’s headed to prison for at least three and half years. Imagine how different his life might be right now had he stayed in school at Ohio State and completed his football career–and more importantly–graduated…instead, he scorned the education Ohio State offered and challenged the NFL’s draft entry rules as a freshman…if there’s one indisputable fact about life, it would have to be that there’s a consequence for every choice we make.

►Anti-Smurf Turf…How in the world can the NCAA allow the Boise State Broncos to taint, er, I mean paint their field the same hue as their primary color jerseys? What would they say if Oklahoma wanted to paint their gridiron crimson, or if Tennessee decorated their field grass in that creamy orange flavor? It’s the biggest joke in college football as far as home fields go and it needs to be banned….and don’t cry about how much money it will cost to change back to a normal GREEN grass color…BSU should have never made the decision to poison their field with that repugnant color in the first place…it’s an insult to college football.

►Uh-oh…Stanford Cardinal has a spankin’ new stadium to show off and fans are filling the seats, but their season record stands at 0-3 with perhaps the most winnable games on their schedule now in the rear view mirror. It’s conceivable that the injury depleted Cardinal could go winless this season…the only possible W looks like Oregon State at home the next to last game of the season…Ty Willingham, where are you? “Oh, there you are…up north with the Huskies…I guess we’ll see you on Nov. 11, Ty.”

►Check-up on Northwestern…following the tragic passing of head coach Randy Walker, Pat Fitzgerald has done a remarkable job getting the Wildcats to focus on their season…NU should be 3-0, except for an uncharacteristic letdown versus New Hampshire, so they’re 2-1…the ‘Cats head out to Reno, Nev. to roll the dice on one more non-con game…waiting for them are the Nevada Wolfpack…not an easy win playing the ‘Pack at home. Name a team that has a tougher four-game stretch than Northwestern from Oct. 21 through Nov. 11: Michigan State, at Michigan, at Iowa, Ohio State. Yikes! One thing’s for sure, Pat Fitzgerald will have his ‘Cats ready to play every week. They won’t back down from any challenge…that said, the Big Ten is really tough at the top four slots this year, especially when you draw a schedule that has you playing them week after week after week after week…NU needs a win against Nevada to give them a realistic shot at 6-6 this year.

►More Crowton…Northwestern’s visit to Reno reminds me of a foolish decision the former Cougar coach (and currently OC for the Oregon Ducks) made a few years back with another talented BYU team. The Cougars were 2-0 after defeating Syracuse and Hawaii…(yes, Syracuse was considered a decent opponent just a few years ago…) Anyway, Coach C. decided to gamble and fly over to Reno from Salt Lake City on the morning of the game…the ‘Pack felt disrespected, naturally, and the Cougars started out sluggishly…Nevada WR Nate Burleson lit up BYU’s secondary and the Cougars scrambled to catch up late in the game, only to fall short, 31-28. The shock of that upset lingered for weeks throughout Cougardom…the season pretty much went down the toilet after that… it was BYU’s first losing season since 1974. End note: The year before, the Cougars devastated Nevada in Provo, 52-7.

►MACfabulous upsets…Props to the Toledo Rockets for their two-OT 37-31 upset over the Kansas Jayhawks last week on ESPN2’s Friday Night Football…and to the Western Michigan Broncos for their 17-10 upset over the Virginia Cavaliers.

►Heisman’s dark horse: Garrett Wolfe, RB, Northern Illinois: 74 carries, 630 yards, 8.5 ypc, 210 ypg, four TDs. No. 1 ranked running back in Division 1.

►Can it get any worse? Barring the biggest upset of the young season, Colorado Buffaloes head coach Dan Hawkins will be 0-4 after this week’s game on the road against the Georgia Bulldogs. By contrast, Hawkins lost a total of three Western Athletic Conference games during six seasons at the helm of BSU.

►Stats Padder Games of the Week: The Auburn Tigers (43 pt. favorites) feast on the Buffalo Bulls…Florida State Seminoles (plus 30.5) dine on Rice Owls…and, the very ticked off Oklahoma Sooners (plus 29) ambush the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders.

►Best Games of the Week: Arizona State Sun Devils at California Golden Bears; Air Force Falcons at Wyoming Cowboys; Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Navy Midshipmen; Notre Dame at Michigan State; UCLA Bruins at Washington Huskies; Wisconsin Badgers at Michigan; Alabama Crimson Tide at Arkansas Razorbacks; Boston College Eagles at North Carolina State Wolfpack.

►Upset specials of the week…look for the Kansas State Wildcats to put up a very tough fight at home against No. 8 Louisville, which is coming off a huge emotional revenge win over Miami…I like the way the Hawaii Warriors played Alabama on the road to start the season…they’ve never won on the road at No. 25 Boise State, but there’s always a first time for everything…both ranked teams are favored by at least two touchdowns.