Yesterday's Winners

As the list of the unbeatens dwindled, Alabama continued to be perfect, even by the narrowest of margins. The Crimson Tide was off its game in its first contest since thrashing Florida two weeks ago. It also didn't help that some might have been looking ahead to next week's meeting with Tennessee. In any event, with Notre Dame and Penn State both losing, Alabama is fast becoming college football's surprise of the year and is the best of the old-school programs. . . . One of the biggest winners of the day was USC Coach Pete Carroll, and not just because his team continued on its quest for a third straight national title. Carroll turned down the option of having access to replay in yesterday's game. He is fortunate no controversial call went against his team, but it would have been nice for the officials to have had a chance to give Matt Leinart's fumble play the critical eye it deserved.

Yesterday's Losers

In a sense, every team not named USC lost yesterday. Considering the rest of the Trojans' schedule, this was their best chance to lose. Notre Dame caused quarterback Matt Leinart to make mistakes, it dominated time of possession and also took advantage of USC penalties. In fact, the 31 points were the most scored against USC during its 28-game win streak. As hard as it is to believe, the team that could give the Trojans some trouble -- the operative word being "some" -- is Fresno State, which plays USC at an ideal time. The Bulldogs storm into the Coliseum on Nov. 19, a week after USC plays California and two weeks before the Trojans host UCLA. . . . Penn State was the one unbeaten team that did not face another school with an unblemished record. Alas, the Nittany Lions' dreams of running the table fell one second short.

Spinning Ahead

The Heisman Trophy race took a distinct turn yesterday, as Texas quarterback Vince Young emerged as a favorite along with Southern Cal's Reggie Bush. Young threw just four incomplete passes and Bush scored three rushing touchdowns. Bush also gave a little push to his quarterback as Matt Leinart scored the winning touchdown with three seconds remaining against Notre Dame. . . . Speaking of Texas, the Longhorns dominated Colorado in what some thought would be a close game. The problem is that the six computer polls that are used in the BCS formula don't love the Longhorns. The BCS rankings are released for the first time Monday, and if the Longhorns are not second, they may never be, even if they continue to dominate.

VINCE

YOUNG