The Mad Hatter had his players ready for their huge game against South Carolina. Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP.

The Good
LSU: After getting upset by Florida, Geaux Tigers sure needed this one. It looked like a classic SEC defensive battle in the first half, but the LSU ground game took over in the 2nd and it proved the difference, despite a late push by the Gamecocks. The win is also good because it doesn’t get any easier, with Texas A&M, Bama and Miss State their next 3 games.

Notre Dame: The Cardinal made it tough, taking a 10-3 lead at half, but the Irish persevered and came out on the winning end. The defense, which has been the team’s best story, made repeated goal lines stands in OT to seal the 20-13 victory. With the way ND has been playing, you’d think people would start taking them seriously. If they can beat Oklahoma in two weeks, then maybe they will.

The Bad
Michigan State: The slide continues for the Spartans. They’ve gone from losing tight games to big teams to losing a tight game to someone they were favored to beat. Le’Veon Bell turned in a great performance but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Hawkeyes, who triumphed in double OT. With ‘Big Brother’ coming up next week, the team better get its act together.

Auburn: Just when you thought it couldn’t get much worse for Gene Chizik and the Tigers, it did with a loss to a mediocre Ole Miss team. Their only win so far was an OT victory over ULM and the rest of the schedule looks bleak, with Texas A&M, Georgia and Bama still left. At least they have New Mexico State and Alabama A&M, right?

The Ugly
Texas: Returning a blocked PAT the other way early in the 1st was the only good thing that happened for Texas in the Red River Route. It was 36-2 at halftime and 63-21 at the end. The vaunted Texas defense gave up all those points as well as 667 yards, a mind boggling amount. This pretty much ends Texas’ big bowl aspirations, especially with some tough games still on the schedule.

West Virginia: Well that was surprising. The Mountaineer defense put in a typical effort, giving up 49 points and over 600 yards to Texas Tech. However the Geno Smith Machine was consistently stymied by the Red Raider defense and never got in synch in a 49-14 blowout loss. This pretty much ends WVU’s national title hopes and could hurt Smith’s Heisman chances.

The ‘Charlie Weis Ate My Cheeseburger’ Award for Defense: Michigan. Denard did his usual thing on offense, but it was the Wolverine D that smothered Illinois 45-0. The front seven did a good job in limiting the Illini to just over 100 yards rushing, but it was the secondary that was perhaps most surprising. They allowed only 29 yards through the air on 7 completions.

The ‘Surely You Must Be Joking?’ Offensive Performance Of The Week: Seth Doege Texas Tech QB. The defense will get most of the credit for Texas Tech’s upset of West Virginia, but Doege shredded the WVU defense, throwing big pass after big pass to the tune of 499 yards and 6 TDs.

The ‘These Are Not The Droids You’re Looking For’ Mystery Of The Week: Football themed commercials. It’s understandable that companies want to use football themes in the commercials they run on Saturdays and Sundays, but some of them are stretches at best. For example, UPS’ ‘Logistics’ spot with the Flutie Hail Mary just doesn’t make any sense. Yeah there was teamwork on that play, but that’s nothing like delivering a package. At least have a solid connection and don’t just use football to generate more interest in your product.