The Washington Times - October 12, 2008, 09:46AM

A couple weeks ago, the surprises in college football were actually really surprising, and it meant a lot of prediction gone horribly awry.

This week was different.

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Yes, No. 1 Oklahoma lost, but on a neutral field to extremely talented No. 5 Texas.

Yes, No. 3 Missouri lost – and at home no less. But the Tigers did fall to unbeaten Oklahoma State, which seems to have a little ‘07 Kansas in them. The days of underestimating Coach I’m a Man are through.

Yes, No. 4 Louisiana State lost, but the Tigers fell in the Swamp to Florida. The 30-point margin, well, yeah, that’s a surprise.

Yes, No. 13 Vanderbilt lost to Mississippi State. But its Vanderbilt, it was a road game and it was close throughout.

Yes, No. 20 Auburn lost at home to Arkansas. That just peels away the final shred of belief that the Tigers are anything more than Independence Bowl fodder.

Please note the surprises were contained to the nation’s two deepest conferences. The rest of the country gave us Toledo-Michigan and Minnesota-Illinois, as well as a bunch of near-misses.

OK, enough analysis and back to the task at hand. The D1scourse Challenge participant who navigated the weird ways of the SEC and Big 12 with the most savvy was “Karl Rove Eats Babies,” which I still find to be an amusing team name. Whoever it is who is behind that moniker should free to fire off a mailbag question in the next couple days.

There’s also a new overall leader – the always entertaining Lamont4Heisman, whose edge is six points after seven weeks. There are 16 participants within 30 points of the lead at what amounts to the halfway point of the season.

Patrick Stevens