Any Given Saturday Recap: National Title Race Remains Cluttered

One month into the season, national championship contenders are still available in bulk at Costco. After September non-conference walk-throughs, October is when undefeateds start flying off the shelves like new Jordan’s. This is the time of year when cats get exposed and come crashing down to Earth.

Baylor, Ohio State, Stanford, FSU, Oklahoma and UCLA were the candidates to get knocked off on the first Saturday of the month. Surprisingly, the team that came closest to getting knocked off their perch was the one-loss UGA Bulldogs.

The future is a mystery for the Bulldogs, who are fielding a neophyte defense and lost their second receiver for the season when Justin Scott-Wesley tore his ACL. The Bulldogs will also be without one half of "Gurshall," as Keith Marshall also tore the ACL in his right knee. With Todd Gurley already out, Murray rewrote the SEC record for career passing yards held by former Bulldog signal caller David Greene and completed a 13-play, 75-yard excursion down the field that began with 1:59 remaining. However, with one run he also singlehandedly spearheaded the Bulldogs rushing attack.

Five games into the season, Murray is unscathed, but if he keeps getting being thrust into these thrilling finishes doing the job of four men because of their rash of injuries and 95th ranked defense, UGA might have to get him a respirator.

Speaking of respirators, Baylor’s opponents could use one before they face the "Oregon of the South." Like Oregon, Baylor did their damage by ground rushing for 468 yards and eight touchdowns in a 73-42 win over West Virginia that wasn't even as close as the score indicated.

Northwestern showed Ohio State how to implement a dual-quarterback system. Carlos Hyde showed Northwestern how you’re supposed to ram the ball dow the throat of a defense. After getting his reputation dragged through the media for half of the summer, Hyde was able to drag the Northwestern defense up and down the field as the Buckeyes recovered from a 17-point first half deficit.

Meanwhile, Washington nearly saved the best for last, in a game that ended during the wee hours of Saturday morning on the east coast. A year ago, Washington was the culprit that knocked Stanford upside the head and knocked them out of the national championship race.

A controversial ruling on the field on Washington’s final play ended their bid to unseat Stanford from the national championship conversation for a second time.

The difference this time around was the presence of sophomore quarterback Kevin Hogan, who gave Stanford more than the 13 points they forced against the Washington defense last season.

Play of the Week

Garrett Gilbert’s 484 yard, five touchdown performance doesn’t encapsulate all the reasons why he had one of the best performances in the nation in Week 6. The official stat sheet will stay Gilbert threw for 484 yards, however, it will ignore the two-yard conversion that traveled 50 yards because two point conversions after touchdowns don’t count towards statisitical totals.

The throw sent SMU into overtime where they lost to Rutgers, but the message was clear. Texas could probably use a starter like Gilbert (who replaced Texas' Colt McCoy in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game) against Oklahoma next week instead of David Ash's backup Case McCoy.