Matt Barkley was under pressure from the Cardinal defense all night long. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Good
Stanford:The Cardinal’s upset of #2 USC is notable in so many ways. Not only did Stepfan Taylor prove that he is one of the most underrated players in the nation, but the Stanford defense was relentless all night long. They sacked Heisman ‘front-runner’ Matt Barkley 5 times, forced him to throw 2 INTs and kept the Trojan offense stymied throughout the 2nd half, which allowed the Cardinal to come from behind. As a crowd sign said ‘Luck had nothing to do with it’.

Notre Dame: Though the Spartans were favored, there might not have been many who though the Irish would win in such dominating fashion. They shut down Le’Veon Bell and held MSU to just a field goal. Irish QB Everett Golson threw for a TD and ran for one as well in a much needed win after barely surviving Purdue last week.

The Bad
Big Ten: Technically the B1G went 10-2 this week, but Michigan, Purdue, Illinois, Nebraska and Iowa beat ‘cupcake teams, Minnesota barely held on against Western Michigan, Cal almost upset Ohio State and Wisconsin only beat Utah State because USU’s kicker shanked the potential game winning FG. Northwestern did beat BC, but Sparty’s loss to ND adds a blemish to what was considered the conference’s top team and leaves a void at the top.

Ole Miss: How bad was their loss to Texas? Not only did they get beat 66-31 but their defense got bowled over, giving up 600+ yards and even made Longhorn QB David Ash look Heisman-esque. The only bright spot was putting up 31 points against the vaunted Texas defense. Then again, the 66 points they allowed were the most the team has allowed since 1917.

The Ugly
Virginia Tech: Pitt lost it’s first two games in bad fashion then comes in and upsets VT? The Hokies should have beat them in a convincing way, but instead played very poorly and showed they might be overrated. They allowed the Panthers to jump out ahead early and could never get anywhere close to a comeback. It was a sloppy effort from an elite team that suddenly looks vulnerable in the ACC title chase.

USC: Maybe so many people shouldn’t have been quick to anoint Barkley and the Trojans as the nation’s top team. Their O-line couldn’t hold up against Stanford’s unforgiving front seven. Even with star receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, Barkley didn’t perform that well. The defense even allowed a first year starting QB to have a pretty good game. The loss most likely ended USC’s national title hopes and dealt a major blow to Barkley’s Heisman chances.

Awards
The ‘Charlie Weis Ate My Cheeseburger’ Award for Defense: Alabama. Always a contender for this award each week, the Tide nonetheless dominated a Tyler Wilson-less Arkansas team. They shut out the Razorbacks and only allowed paltry amounts of offensive yards, not to mention forcing 5 turnovers. 

The ‘Surely You Must Be Joking? No I’m Not And Stop Calling Me Shirley’ Offensive Performance Of The Week: Chris Thompson, Florida State. 197 yards rushing is pretty impressive by itself, but Thompson took it to another level by gaining that many yards on only 9 carries. That included 2 TD rushes of 74 and 80 yards and accounted for over half of the Noles’ nearly 400 yards on the ground.

The ‘These Are Not The Droids You’re Looking For’ Mystery Of The Week: What’s the deal with Arkansas? Yes they were without star QB Tyler Wilson, but you’d think they would put up more of a fight against Bama. Instead the Razorbacks were exposed as a lower tier SEC team without Wilson. with no word yet on whether he’ll play next week, the future looks bleak for a Razorback team that had sky high aspirations.