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CFB Round-Up, Week 9: Um...Sure

Hey, I know you were probably knee-deep in candy, but...if you happened to see the end of Miami-Duke, then you witnessed the epitome of ineptitude of officiating.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

On a day that, in comparison to the previous eight weeks of the season, was relatively excitement-free, Miami and Duke, two afterthought teams in the ACC race, put forth an ending that could have reverberations throughout the world of college football.

There's really no way to paint the picture of what happened. You have to see it. But for all the craziness that happened, and the memories that were created, it's the aftershocks that will be remembered.

Because for all of the craziness that occurred, after Miami escaped with perhaps the most miraculous, you-had-to-see-it-to-believe-it victories we've ever seen, it was the miscues, missed calls, and seemingly oblivious, egregious errors made by the referees that we're talking about.

And, less than 24 hours after, the conference as a whole is taking action, suspending the refereeing crew for two games. For Duke, victims of the ineptitude, it's the smallest of consolation prizes; the loss is real, no matter how tinted it may be.

Other than that, was a Saturday to forget, as we gear up for Week 10 -- a day that features LSU-Alabama, Florida State-Clemson and TCU-Oklahoma State. I guess every season needs to have a Survival Saturday; yesterday, we bore witness to this year's.

Only one game featured two top-25 teams (and one of them was Temple, so...does it count?). Here's a recap. Read it, digest, and prepare to ignore your family next weekend -- it's going to be a channel-flipping, DVR-filling day.

(9) Notre Dame 24  (21) Temple 20

Well, you have to hand it to both teams. For Notre Dame, this had all the makings of a season-altering, momentum killing loss. For Temple, this could have destroyed all the momentum built up by a 7-0 start, where they get embarrassed on national TV by a superior foe.

Neither scenario happened -- and, in the process, both programs may have come out for the better.

Notre Dame, with one-loss already, is clinging to the faint possibility of a playoff spot, with no wiggle room left. On Saturday, facing a hostile, never-seen-this-before environment, the Irish showed the defensive ferocity that will be their calling card going forward. They survived to see another day.

And, in the loss, Temple proved that belong right beside. Coach Matt Rhule's program has been one of the many surprises this season, as they entered Saturday part of the trifecta of unbeaten AAC teams. Despite the loss, a bigger message was sent.

"I thought they had tremendous poise," Rhule said of his players. "I thought they were excited to be there, excited for the moment."

One team won, one team lost. Despite the outcome, however, two programs came out on top.

(8) Stanford 30  Washington State 28

Well, well, well...all of the cries coming from Pullman this week -- at ESPN's College Gameday, specifically -- were, it seems, with merit. Because a cute early-season story proved to be so much more, even in defeat (are you seeing a theme for the weekend, yet?).

This game, passed over by the big-wigs at ESPN for Temple-Notre Dame, helped elevate the Cougars, who already possess a road win over Oregon, and kept the Cardinal squarely in the hunt for one of the four playoff spots.

Behind 112 yards rushing from quarterback Kevin Hogan -- a man who will never be compared to RGIII or Marcus Mariota in the run game -- the Cardinal, rolling since a Week One loss at Northwestern, survived perhaps their trickiest test of the season.

"Kevin Hogan has got so much heart," Stanford coach David Shaw said. "We had to lean on him as a runner."

On a stormy Halloween night, buries in the Southeast region of Washington, the Cougs and their fans, after years of ineptitude, entered Saturday ready to make a statement: That coach Mike Leach is working; that the early-season loss to FCS power Portland State was a fluke; that the win over Oregon had more to do with the Cougars efficiency than the Ducks ineptitude.

Despite the loss, all of those questions were answered.

"No one's happy," Washington State receiver Gabe Marks said. "We made five (field goals). We missed one at the end and we lost. ... We should have won."

In a small way, they did.

Week 10

As previously stated, next Saturday has all the makings to be an instant classic. With the potential for three top-10 matchups, depending on where Oklahoma State ends up, the playoff picture will begin to round into form. And, as this week will be the first time we get a glimpse into the playoff poll, a week like this couldn't come at a better time.