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Some weeks, we marvel at upsets. Other weeks are marked by good teams dodging disaster.

This was one of the latter variety: A Survival Saturday.

In the spotlight, Coach Prime, after falling behind 34-7, fell short 48-41 to No. 10 USC, which still has defensive questions but remains unbeaten.

After surrendering 90 points while losing to the Trojans and Oregon, Colorado, which has been a three-touchdown underdog the last two weeks, now sees a less daunting schedule. The Buffs go to Arizona State and play host to Stanford the next two weeks. Both will kick off in—what else?—prime time.

No. 11 Notre Dame, looking like it was on the ropes at No. 17 Duke, punched back big time, pulling out a 21-14 win in the final minute after trailing 14-13. Kudos to the Irish, who are going to face challenges the next two weeks against Louisville and USC.

And heartfelt concern for Duke quarterback Riley Leonard, who went down with a nasty ankle injury in the final seconds. The concern shown by ND quarterback Sam Hartman, who dueled Leonard last year as Wake Forest’s QB, for Leonard after the game was what makes college football so compelling.

In my beloved flyover country, No. 6 Penn State, shockingly tied 10-10 at the half at Northwestern, reverted to form with a 41-13 rout. And tough but offensively challenged Iowa trailed rudderless Michigan State 16-13 in the fourth quarter before rallying for a 26-16 win.

The Hawkeyes needed a 70-yard punt return to avoid a messy loss. But those points apparently count toward the requirement that Iowa average 25 point for inoffensive offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz to keep his job.

That said, if Wisconsin is 1a in the modest competition for Big Ten West supremacy, sputtering Iowa is 1b.

One of the most impressive escape acts, though, came from No. 1 Georgia. Trailing 17-10 at a revved up Auburn, the Dawgs buckled up tight and squeaked out a 27-20 win.

Loyal readers of this space—thank you for your support!—know that I love to needle the Southeastern Conference in general, and its reigning champion, Georgia, in particular this fall for its lightweight schedule.

But Georgia showed its mettle in escaping from Auburn. and never mind that Auburn is not all that good. Give a ton of credit to tight end Brock Bowers. If there was a Heisman Trophy vote today, he might be my guy. Eight catches for 157 yards! Not sure how he kept getting open—although the Tigers were punching above their weight in this emotional contest.

That’s another thing. While I like to find fault with the SEC, it’s more a matter of finding it tiresome that the conference of It Just Means More uses its advantages to dominate college football.

But credit where it’s due: The SEC gave us some terrific football on Saturday.

No. 20 Ole Miss’ 55-49 shootout win over No. 13 LSU was great theater.

I still think the Rebels should have run out the clock and settled for a 50-49 win with a field goal, rather than scoring that quick touchdown that give LSU time to try and rally back.

Judging from the look on his face, Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin agreed. But the Rebels got away with it.

Kentucky’s 33-14 romp past Florida was a loud statement, too. It was a good setup for the Wildcats’ trip to Georgia on Saturday. Not sure the Cats can muzzle the Dawgs. Not sure Kentucky can’t, either.

It is a measure of how far No. 3 Texas has come that its 40-14 stomping of No. 24 Kansas looked routine. The Jayhawks, by the way, are still a very solid squad.

And by the way, these rankings are not mine. They are from the AP. I won’t ridicule them. I was a voter back in the day; it’s a challenging and subjective job.

But here’s the thing: No problem with Georgia being No. 1 based on it being the sport’s two-time defending national champion. But I don’t know that the Dawgs are better than a handful of other teams at this point.

Based on its September body of work, Texas, which has beaten Alabama and Kansas, might be most deserving. No. 2 Michigan, which drilled Nebraska 45-7, hasn’t played anyone of note—and won’t until it sees No. 6 Penn State and No. 4 Ohio State in its final three games.

Oh, and by the way, I’m not buying that three of the nation’s six best teams are in the Big Ten. That won’t last, anyways. Not a big deal. As I said, from voting experience, that might the way to vote. But that will get worked out on the field.

Before it’s all said and done, Ohio State, which has a good win at Notre Dame; No. 5 Florida State, which beat LSU and Clemson, and No. 7 Washington, which has looked dominant, might be in the conversation for No. 1. They certainly are building College Football Playoff credentials.

And if Notre Dame still has only one loss at the end, it will have a strong case for a playoff berth.

What's exciting is that this national championship race has multiple contenders from multiple conferences.

The important thing on a Survival Saturday in September is to. . . survive.