A South'easter roars over college football

That was simply wacko.

Baylor has a potent offense, ranking second nationally, but also had the worst defense in the country — 120th out of 120 schools. The Bears had a 4-5 record and were only 1-5 in Big 12 play.

What happened was absolutely preposterous — and how can you not at least acknowledge the Sports Illustrated jinx?

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein graced this week's cover with the teaser headline: "27 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BEST PLAYER ON THE NATION'S BEST TEAM."

Best player? Best team?

Klein wears jersey No. 7, but this time it wasn't lucky.

Saturday's loss will not match the agony of 1998, when Kansas State entered the fourth quarter of the Big 12 title game with a double-digit lead over Texas A&M.

UCLA's defeat at Miami earlier in the day meant a Kansas State win would send the Wildcats to the first BCS title game.

Texas A&M, though, rallied to beat Kansas State in St. Louis. Wildcats Coach Bill Snyder, after the game, compared the loss to a death in the family.

Saturday's loss, 14 years later, was more shocking than agonizing.

Baylor simply dominated a game it had no business winning — but did.

Notre Dame's national case had been hurt by suspect wins over inferior competition — namely a three-point win over Purdue and a triple-overtime victory against Pittsburgh.

The Irish, though, didn't need to explain anything after Saturday's emphatic 38-0 win over Wake Forest. They capped a perfect home season and head to Los Angeles next week to face a USC team reeling after its 38-28 loss to UCLA.

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly continued to make his case for his team, at the time not knowing the outcome of Saturday night's games.

He was the only voter in last week's USA Today coaches' poll to cast a first-place vote for the Irish. Now he'll be one of many.

"I voted them No. 1 for a reason, because I think they're the best team in the country," Kelly said after Saturday's win. "And I think they played like that tonight."

The SEC watched the action excitedly as seven of its teams completed an exhibition day against lower-division FCS schools.

Alabama toyed with Western Carolina, Florida took care of Jacksonville State, Texas A&M manhandled Sam Houston State, Kentucky rolled over Samford and Auburn warmed up for the Iron Bowl against Alabama next week with an easy win over Alabama A&M.

South Carolina didn't have it as easy, struggling at home against Wofford before winning. Georgia started slowly but pulled away from Georgia Southern.

The SEC took some credibility hits this week.

"That was an embarrassing slate today," ABC announcer Brent Musburger said of the SEC's Saturday schedule.

But none of that mattered.

For the first time in a long time, the SEC needed help if it wanted to win its seventh straight BCS title.

It got all the help it needed but, if you can believe it, there are still two weeks left.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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