NEW YORK —
A week earlier, the same was said about Alabama — before it was upset at home by Texas A&M, a loss that cleared the way for Oregon to be No. 1 for the first time this season.
Saturday's first shocker came when then-No. 2 Kansas State lost at Baylor after barely putting up a fight.
The Bears (5-5) ran out to a 28-7 lead behind Nick Florence, the quarterback who replaced last year's Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III, and won 52-24. Not only did the Wildcats lose all hopes of playing for a national championship, its much-heralded quarterback, Collin Klein, lost his front-runner status in this year's Heisman chase.
This was all wonderful news for Notre Dame, which was sitting at No. 3, had shut out Wake Forest earlier in the day, and needed only Oregon or Kansas State to lose to have a chance for the national title.
One down, one to go.
While Kansas State was lamenting its lost opportunity in Waco, Texas, over in Eugene, Ore., Stanford was pushing around the top-ranked Ducks as no opponent had this season. The Cardinal (9-2) tied up the score with 1:35 remaining in regulation on a touchdown pass that many Ducks fans likely will be seething over for years.
Tight end Zach Ertz caught Kevin Hogan's pass, juggled it on the way down, landed on an Oregon defender, and rolled out of bounds. Incomplete was the ruling on the field. After video review, the call was overturned. TD Stanford, 14-all.
In overtime, Oregon missed a field goal try, Stanford made one, and the upset was complete: Stanford 17, Oregon 14.
If they listened hard, Stanford players might have heard the Alabama fans yelling and screaming from clear across the country.
Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper tweeted as the dominoes were falling: "I don't think I've ever been this excited before haha."