The results from Saturday seemed to be building all season.
USC had been flirting with disaster in its last three games. Disaster finally found the Trojans in Corvallis, Ore. In other Pac-10 news, Washington State earned its sixth win of the season - with more likely on the way.
But it was Texas quarterback Colt McCoy who led this week's top performers with his effort in Lubbock. The redshirt freshman is helping Texas fans forget about Vince Young (well, maybe not) by leading the Longhorns to wins on the road at Texas Tech and Nebraska in consecutive weeks.
Find out who else stood out - and who didn't – in our recap of Week 9.
Rivals.com Week 9 Top Performers
1. Colt McCoy, Texas quarterback The numbers: 21 of 31 passing, 256 yards, four TDs, INT; 10 carries, 68 yards
The result: Texas 35, Texas Tech 31
The redshirt freshman is quickly putting his stamp on the program. In the last two weeks he has led Texas to back-to-back come-from-behind wins over Nebraska and Texas Tech. His two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter Saturday sealed a comeback from a 21-0 first-quarter deficit. He then put the capper on the win with a 33-yard run on third down with 1:30 to play. With 24 touchdown passes this year, he's two shy of Texas' single-season record held by Vince Young and Chris Simms.
2. Sammie Stroughter, Oregon State wide receiver The numbers: Eight receptions, 127 yards; two punt returns, 70 yards, TD
The result: Oregon State 33, USC 31
He wasn't the best receiver in the game, but Stroughter helped jumble the national championship picture - and rescued the Beavers' season in the process. The junior's 70-yard punt return for a touchdown gave Oregon State a 30-10 lead in the third quarter. Over the last month, he's become the favorite target for maligned quarterback Matt Moore with 26 catches for 565 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Branden Ore, Virginia Tech running back The numbers: 37 carries, 203 yards, two TDs
The result: Virginia Tech 24, Clemson 7 on Thursday
Judging by all the pre-game talk about Clemson, Ore seemed like the third-best running back on the field behind James Davis and C.J. Spiller. He ended any of those thoughts with his second consecutive 200-yard, two-touchdown performance. Virginia Tech is used to backs like Cedric Humes and Mike Imoh or Kevin Jones and Lee Suggs sharing the load, but the Hokies have had to lean on Ore alone this year. He has delivered with 939 yards and 11 touchdowns.
4. Alex Brink, Washington State quarterback The numbers: 28 of 38 passing, 405 yards, three TDs, two INTs
The result: Washington State 37, UCLA 15
You might not have noticed Brink last year with Jerome Harrison running for 1,900 yards, but Brink has come into his own over the last week with wins over Oregon and UCLA. In those two games, Brink has completed 78.7 percent of his passes. He was helped out Saturday by five catches, 115 yards and a touchdown from Jason Hill. The Cougars are 6-3 after going 4-7 last year. They have a chance to pad that with three winnable Pac-10 games to end the season.
5. Steve Smith, USC wide receiver The numbers: 11 receptions, 258 yards, two TDs
The result: Oregon State 33, USC 31
Smith was USC's savior earlier this year with 186 yards and two touchdowns against Washington State, but not even a career day against Oregon State could save the Trojans. Smith caught a touchdown pass in the final seven seconds to make the score 33-31, but the Trojans' two-point conversion attempt was deflected at the line.
6. Kellen Lewis, Indiana quarterback The numbers: 15 of 26 passing, 261 yards, five TDs, INT; 14 carries, 75 yards, TD
The result: Indiana 46, Michigan State 21
7. Leon Hall, Michigan cornerback The numbers: Three tackles, tackle for a loss, fumble recovery, interception, broke up two passes
The result: Michigan 17, Northwestern 3
8. Andre Caldwell, Florida wide receiver The numbers: Eight receptions, 88 yards, TD; five carries, 28 yards, TD
The result: Florida 21, Georgia 14
9. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame quarterback The numbers: 18 of 25 passing, 295 yards, three TDs; four carries, 28 yards, TD
The result: Notre Dame 38, Navy 14
10. Chris Nickson, Vanderbilt quarterback The numbers: 14 of 24 passing, 250 yards, two TDs; 15 carries, 156 yards, three TDs
The result: Vanderbilt 45, Duke 28
Week 9 Goats
1. Auburn's offense
Two offensive touchdowns against Ole Miss, zero against Florida, one against Arkansas, one against LSU. Aren't 8-1 teams in the SEC supposed to be more impressive than this?
2. Purdue's offense
After being shut out by Penn State on Saturday, the Boilermakers have managed a field goal over the last two games. Remember when the offense used to be bright spot for this team?
3. The Big 12 North
Missouri and Nebraska fell apart against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, respectively. Kansas (2-3 Big 12) is third in the division with Iowa State, Kansas State and Colorado picking up the rear with two conference wins between them.
Been a while since the Trojans showed up here, but four turnovers on the road to a team that might not make a bowl will do that.
5. Bowling Green
Losing to Temple isn't exactly a highlight for the program.