If last week was based in overreaction, this week is doused in sheer terror of what lies ahead, after one of the more bizarre Saturdays we've ever seen -- despite the fact that, honestly, not much happened.
Perhaps the biggest news to come from the day was Malik Zaire, the most dynamic quarterback we've seen at Notre Dame in some time, going down for the year after a nasty ankle break in the team's miraculous, come-from-behind-in-the-last-second-like-only-they-can kind of win.
We're only two weeks in, and this is already starting to feel like 2012 all over again, where the Irish, week-after-week, pulled out games they had no business winning. This year's team appears to be much better top-to-bottom, but that will be tested heavily without Zaire.
As bad as the prognosis was for Irish fans to swallow, they can take solace in the fact that they're not in the SEC. It was a very rare black eye day for the conference, one that has been insufferably shoved down our throats -- right or wrong -- for the last decade.
First, there was Auburn, the 6th ranked team in the country (barf) doing all they could to lose at home to FCS-level Jacksonville State, before ultimately slithering away in overtime.
There was Arkansas, the sexiest pick to be conference crasher (and my personal pick as the 2017 SEC champions) losing at home to Toledo from the MAC conference.
Missouri looked awful against Arkansas State. Jim McElwain did this. And Alabama played perhaps the most boring game of the season.
Nothing compares to what took place in Knoxville, however. We'll get to it below, but letting a statement win slip through your fingers was the worst way to top off a day that fans down south will want to forget as soon as possible.
Outside of the SEC (yes, they do play football in other parts) the Big 10 had a banner day, the Broncos of Boise State won't be in the playoffs after BYU (sleeper?) knocked them out, and USC, quietly, has put together back-to-back dominant defensive performances to start the season.
Oh, and Georgia Tech may be the best team no one is talking about. You heard it here first.
Ok, now let's get to the games that you actually care about.
(19) Oklahoma 31 (23) Tennessee 24
Oh, boy -- this one is going to sting. For months, Tennessee has been the dark, brooding undertaker, coming for all of college football, hell-bent on becoming the next dynasty to roll through the hills of the South. There's only one problem: they can't win any games that matter.
After jumping out to a 17-0 lead early, Tennessee's offense became completely anemic, and their defense vulnerable enough, and before we knew it, this game -- the Volunteers coming-of-age win -- was in double overtime. When Zack Sanchez picked off Joshua Dobbs' pass in the second overtime, the Sooners -- perhaps the most bi-polar program in the country -- sealed an improbable, come-from-behind road win that could send them flying up the polls -- and Tennessee reeling.
(14) LSU 21 (25) Mississippi State 19
Perhaps the best thing for the SEC is to just jump into conference play early, avoiding any and all chances of a debilitating out-of-conference upset. That happened in Starkville Saturday, when 2014 darlings Mississippi State hosted every other year darlings LSU.
In this case, the old dog knew one too many tricks. LSU, lurking in the shadows of a "loaded" SEC West, rode sophomore sensation Leonard Fournett's career high 159 yards and three touchdowns to give the Tigers, playing in their first game of the season after last week's tune-up was canceled for weather, a huge conference win.
LSU jumped out to a 21-6 lead early in the fourth quarter, before fending off Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs.
(5) Michigan State 31 (7) Oregon 28
You'll surely read about this one ad nauseam, but it was a top-7 matchup that truly lived up to its billing. Although it felt like Michigan State was in control for most of the game, Oregon, to its credit, never relented, proving their worth as a top-10 team despite the loss.
It wasn't a back-and-forth affair, with Oregon's lone lead being 7-0 after an opening possession touchdown, but more like a race where one team was continuously, frustratingly, just out of reach. Michigan State, as expected, was able to control the clock against an Oregon defense that was coming off a horrendous performance the week before. Timely stops in the fourth quarter gave the Ducks a chance, and an overthrown ball to wide-open Byron Marshall will haunt them, but ultimately, Oregon made too many errors to walk away with a win.
The beauty of a non-conference game this big -- and this close -- is that both teams come out good. Michigan State has solidified itself as a legit playoff contender, and Oregon, despite the loss, showed it can hang with the best, even on the road. It's very conceivable that these two could meet again -- be it a playoff game or the Rose Bowl, and if it's half as good as this one, we'll all be in for a treat.
Next week, things finally pick up. Georgia Tech-Notre Dame, Alabama-Ole Miss, LSU-Auburn are the highlights, but sneaky good games are all over: BYU, fresh off wins at Nebraska and against Boise State, takes on "Chosen" Rosen and UCLA; Stanford travels to USC; and Texas Tech travels to Arkansas.