Many college football fans believe that great teams usually look -- well, fantastic. They win, and they win big, and they make it look simple.
A path to the College Football Playoff is as much about sustaining and surviving as it is about dominating most years.
and even the top teams have a game or two along the way that are just one long, terrible slog.
Saturday was a tough day for playoff aspirations. Ohio State took every punch Penn State threw at it, but it refused to go down.
Florida State held off Duke's defense long enough to break the dam. Alabama and Tennessee sparred. Texas blew a large lead, but held on late.
Oregon was behind early but made a statement in the final minutes.
Washington carried the sour taste of last week's victory over Oregon into the second half against Arizona State.
But recovered late – or, at the very least, waited long enough to see the Sun Devils disintegrate – to remain unblemished.