Some routs just don't follow the rules

There were some huge mismatches over the weekend, but Stanford's victory was a lot closer than it should have been, and Alabama's win was a lot closer than it looked.

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Jaelen Strong, Shayne Skov

Arizona State's Jaelen Strong, right, dives to score a touchdown as he's shoved by Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov during the Cardinal's 42-28 win Saturday. (Stephen Lam / Getty Images / September 21, 2013)

North Texas visited Oklahoma on opening weekend in 2007 and was clobbered, 79-10.

A few days later, sitting in his home office a few blocks from where the wipeout took place, Barry Switzer said North Texas got what it deserved.

"They had no game plan for losing," the Sooners' former coach said.

By that he meant North Texas kept passing and giving the ball back to Oklahoma. The Mean Green threw the ball 38 times and ran only 31.

"When you can't win a game, you need to run the clock," Switzer said. "…Get the game over with, get on the bus and go home."

On Saturday, for the first time since the Associated Press expanded its poll to 25 in 1989, four ranked schools surpassed the 70-point mark in victory.

Ohio State, Louisville, Baylor and Miami routed four carefully selected saplings, 295-14.

Florida A&M and Florida International, although they were leveled by Ohio State and Louisville, did their level best to uphold Switzer's law.

The Rattlers and Golden Panthers combined for only 25 passes in their combined 148-0 defeat.

Louisiana Monroe, though, attempted 46 passes (completing only 18) in a 70-7 loss to Baylor, and Savannah State attempted more passes than Miami (25 to 23) in a 77-7 defeat.

Switzer is right that you always need a game plan for losing — but you also need one for winning.

Stanford turned what should have been a stampede celebration Saturday into a postgame inquisition that completely changed the weekend takeaway narrative.

We offer two final scores for analysis. Stanford defeated Arizona State, 42-28, and Alabama defeated Colorado State, 31-7.

The first game looked as if it were close and the other looked like a laugher.

Actually, it was the opposite.

Stanford led Arizona State, 29-0, at the half. The Cardinal dominated the No. 23 team in the country and could have made a 30-minute case for being the best team in the country, or at least the best team south of Eugene.

Top-ranked Alabama, conversely, was in trouble all Tuscaloosa afternoon. Colorado State trailed only 17-6 in the fourth quarter and was in possession of the ball when replay ruled quarterback Garrett Grayson fumbled on a bang-bang play that pitted a dislodged football against Grayson's knee hitting the ground.

Replay made the right call, but it was very close. Alabama turned the turnover into a quick touchdown and then added another late tack-on score to secure a comfortable outcome.

Alabama, in fact, played poorly. The Crimson Tide rushed for only 66 yards and converted on two of 10 third downs against a fourth-rate Mountain West team.

"Consequently, they stayed in the game and we could never put them away," Alabama Coach Nick Saban said.

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