So here are a few things that have become fairly obvious this morning, at least until next Saturday, when a bunch of other things will become obvious:
1. Notre Dame is going to the Outback Bowl! (Or the Great Big Telecommunications Company Bowl. Or the Named After A Military Branch Bowl. Or a Credit Card/Bank/Dot Com Startup Company Bowl. Something like that).
2. Thanks, Ohio State, for pretty much taking the Big Ten out of the running for the football playoff by beating Michigan State. The Big Ten thanks you from the bottom of its second-tier heart.
3. Two locks for the four-team playoff: TCU and Oregon. The Ducks sailed over their last major hurdle, pounding a good Utah team by 24, and TCU handled fellow playoff contender Kansas State. If they win out now, and they should, there's no way they won't be there.
4. Alabama is gonna wind up in this thing, too. The Tide eked out an overtime night win at LSU, and nobody wins night games at LSU. Now they'll get No. 1 Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa. Put your coin on the Tide in that one.
5. 'Bye Auburn. Losing to a previously comatose Texas A&M team removes the Tigers from the mix.
6. At least until the Tigers beat 'Bama in the Iron Bowl, and Ole Miss beats Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, and Nebraska upsets Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game ...
In other words: Tune in next week.