* The Guru's ballot this week is fairly static, a reflection of the disease afflicting college football these days. The competitive nonconference games seem to be the phenomenon of years gone by, the void being filled by what Gene Murphy used to call the "Body Bag Games," big paydays for small schools so they could be slaughtered by big school in front of their overhydrated fans.
* The only game pitting two teams in the AP Top 25 this past weekend was No. 2 Alabama's visit to No. 23 Penn State. But even that was a stretch. Everybody knew that this was a mismatch and Penn State was grossly overrated. Two of the day's three most exciting affairs were conference games (Mississippi State at Auburn; Utah at USC) and the other was Notre Dame at Michigan ...
* Speaking of Michigan-Notre Dame, while the game was witnessed by the largest audience in college football history and had a classic finish, they don't mask the fact that these two programs (the two winningest in history by percentage) are mediocre outfits living off their brand names to sell hundreds of thousands of tickets. As one disgusted Irish poster noted, it was a glorified MAC matchup. But that was the "best" we got all weekend.
* The only way to deal with this scheduling malaise is expanding the BCS "playoff" to more than two teams, so one loss doesn't kill your chances of winning the national championship and that winning the conference still means something beyond a bowl berth. But until we have meaningful reform with the BCS, expect more of Florida State 62, Charleston Southern 10.
* We did learn something from the USC-Utah game: If you are a betting man, don't tear up your slip until you're absolutely, positively the final score is really the final score.
* New teams that made the ballot this week: Auburn, Arizona State and California.
* Conference-by-conference tally: SEC (6), Big Ten (5), Pac-12 (5), Big 12 (3), Big East (2), ACC (2), MWC (1), C-USA (1).