After a weekend in which the number of undefeated teams was cut in half, college football's rankings were split with Oklahoma replacing Miami atop the Associated Press media poll and the Hurricanes remaining the top team in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.
In a span of about six hours, Notre Dame, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech and Georgia lost for the first time, leaving Oklahoma (8-0), Miami (8-0), Ohio State (10-0) and Bowling Green (8-0) as the remaining unbeatens.
Oklahoma has been ranked No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series ratings the past two weeks. Defending national champion Miami, despite a 30-game winning streak and being ranked No. 2 in the BCS ratings, faces the challenge of a rising Ohio State team. The Buckeyes are No. 3 in both polls and are expected to be very close to -- or even pass -- Miami when new BCS ratings are released tonight. The top two teams in the final BCS ratings play for the BCS championship in the Fiesta Bowl this season.
After a record-setting run of 21 consecutive weeks atop the AP poll, Miami fell after beating lowly Rutgers, 42-17, in a game in which the Hurricanes trailed early in the fourth quarter. While Miami struggled, Oklahoma was impressive, beating No. 18 Colorado, 27-11.
"I know everybody'd like me to have something really good to say about it," Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops said. "But in the end -- I say this all the time -- they're not sending out any trophies this week, so I don't know what it means."
Oklahoma, Miami and Ohio State still have games left that could derail national championship hopes. The Sooners are favored to reach the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 7 in a possible rematch with Colorado. The Hurricanes play at Tennessee (5-3) on Saturday and host Virginia Tech on Dec. 7. Ohio State travels to Michigan (7-2) on Nov. 23.
Bowling Green faces a test this week at Northern Illinois, but even if the Falcons win the rest of their games they cannot make the BCS championship game because their affiliation with the mid-level Mid-American Conference and their relatively weak standing in all four components of the BCS ratings.
The string of upsets started at Notre Dame as national championship hopes for the Irish may have been dashed with a 14-7 loss to Boston College. Wearing green jerseys for the first time since 1985 -- and for perhaps the last time -- Notre Dame's offense committed five turnovers, including one that resulted in a 71-yard touchdown return by Josh Ott (Good Counsel) for the Eagles.
"There's still hope for us," wide receiver Arnaz Battle said regarding the ninth-ranked Irish's chances for a national championship. "Before we had destiny in our hands, but now it's in other teams' hands. We need several teams to lose here and there."
North Carolina State lost to Georgia Tech, 24-17, and Virginia Tech fell to Pittsburgh, 28-21, as both teams lost second-half leads at home. The Wolfpack led 17-9 before Georgia Tech scored 15 points to close the game; the Hokies led 21-7 before Pittsburgh scored 21 straight.
Virginia Tech, which dropped to No. 8 in the AP poll, played most of the game without sophomore tailback Kevin Jones, who pulled his left hamstring late in the first quarter and did not return. The injury left the Hokies without half of its talented tailback tandem as senior Lee Suggs carried the load the rest of the way. Pittsburgh's Brandon Miree scored the winning touchdown on a 53-yard run with 4 minutes 11 seconds remaining.
"It's real disappointing," Suggs said. "We had plans of going to the national championship, stuff like that. To lose at home, it's just real disappointing."
Finally, the night ended with Georgia losing to Florida, 20-13, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Bulldogs missed two field goals and their last, best opportunity was squandered when wide receiver Terrence Edwards dropped a pass at the Florida 35 with two minutes left.
The Gators beat the Bulldogs for the 12th time in 13 games and perhaps two of the biggest plays made by Florida quarterback Rex Grossman were touchdown-saving tackles after a pair of Gators turnovers.
While the upsets unfolded, ACC Commissioner John Swofford sat at home in front of the television, chuckling at the results as he flipped from game to game. Last season, as the supervisor of the BCS, Swofford endured many questions about the system and whether it worked -- questions that have been repeated to this season's BCS overseer, Big East Conference Commissioner Mike Tranghese.
"One thing people tend to forget is the BCS formula is put together to work at the end of the year, when all the games have been played," Swofford said. "Until that point, it's a work in progress.
"Who knows what we'll see the rest of this year. It's hard for me to imagine it being as wild as last year. But after [Saturday's results], maybe it will be."
One other team that had a good weekend was Texas, which escaped with a 27-24 victory over Nebraska and is moving into position for a possible berth in the Fiesta Bowl. The Longhorns were fortunate not to go to overtime on Saturday after a punt return put Nebraska in place for a game-tying field goal. Some questionable strategy by Coach Frank Solich -- and poor execution -- led to a game-clinching interception and the Cornhuskers' second loss at home since Oct. 31, 1991.
Texas moved up to No. 4 in both polls and is in the best possible position for a team that no longer is undefeated. By winning their three remaining games, the Longhorns would be in position to move up should two of the top three falter. Potential scenarios include Oklahoma losing and Texas advancing to the Fiesta Bowl without playing in the Big 12 title game.
While all the focus is on the BCS, Hawaii became the first team to cement its postseason plans. After beating San Jose State, 40-31, on Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory, the Warriors (7-2) accepted a bid to the inaugural Hawaii Bowl against a Conference USA opponent on Dec. 25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.