NCAA Football Report (Week 8)

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Finally after NCAA fans have suffered through two weeks of bring blowout games the top 25 saw a shakeup in the top 25. The last two weeks in the NCAA have seen the top teams run over their competition as the top 10 teams remained in the same spots. With a few shifts in positions below the top 10 the NCAA was looking to a boring finish. Fortunately for fans week 8 saw more than enough upsets that have changed the BCS outlook. It all started on Friday when the Syracuse Orange beat the #15 West Virginia Mountaineers. This was a big upset as the unranked Orange beat up on a top 15 team and it set a tone for the rest of the weekend. With the bottom five of the rankings extremely tenuous the last thing a team needs is a loss to be booted off of the top 25. This was the case of #22 Georgia Tech and #23 Illinois who were both beginning to make a run at a top ranking but came up short. Illinois had recently begun to climb up the bottom of the rankings but after a 21-14 loss to Purdue they were left off the rankings and probably will not be back. Meanwhile the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets were a similar story but again a 24-7 loss to the Miami Hurricanes will put them out of reach for any hope at a top ranking. These type of upsets are expected as the bottom five of the rankings are generally one or two loss teams that could loss any week. The teams that are not supposed to lose on any week are the top ten and two of these teams did exactly that in week 8. First the #6 Wisconsin Badgers took on a surging Michigan State team. The Spartans were coming off of a big win against their bitter rivals the Michigan Wolverines and took this momentum into their game against the Badgers who were equipped with a Heisman Hopeful QB and a chance at the BCS National Championship. The game started with a 14 point 1st quarter by the Badgers followed by a 23 point second quarter by the Spartans. The rest of the game was a back and forth affair with the Spartans getting the ball on the last play of the game. Tied 31-31 the Spartans had one shot at the win or go to overtime and they took the shot as Kurt Cousins did his best Doug Flutie impression throwing a hail marry into the endzone for 44-yards. After the ball was batting in the air multiple times Spartan Wide Receiver Keith Nichol came down with it and ended the play falling at the edge of the endzone. The play was originally ruled down at about the 1-inch mark but after review the ball just broke the plain for a TD. The win went to the Spartans as the Badgers were essentially eliminated from contention for the National Championship and put a wrench in the plans for Russell Wilson to win a Heisman. With the loss Wisconsin dropped to 15th and Michigan State began their hopeful climb to 11th. This was a dramatic upset but not the biggest as a team headed straight to the National Championship Game lost their shot. #3 Oklahoma got their first loss from an unranked opponent as they lost to the unranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. Texas Tech had lost twice to ranked teams in the past two weeks and began this week as 4 TD underdogs to the #3 Sooners. Oklahoma was simply waiting for the November 5th game between LSU and Alabama as they would take the #2 spot behind whoever had won and would most likely get the National Championship Berth. The Red Raiders were supposed to be a stepping stone but from the start they would not go away. After finishing the first half with a 24-7 lead the Raiders were looking to continue their performance but the Sooners began to climb back into the game with a 31 point second half. The Raiders continued to extend their lead though and the team that many assumed to see in the National Championship this year will now be playing for a different bowl unless a number of key teams lose. With the loss the Sooners fell to the 9th spot in the top 25 and will need about 6 teams to lose in the rest of the season for them to hope to be back in contention. Meanwhile Oklahoma’s loss was their rival’s gain as Oklahoma State took over the #3 spot which has become the key spot in the rankings. With #2 Alabama and #1 LSU set to face off later in the season the #3 spot will take over the #2 spot and get a berth in the National Championship. Of course Oklahoma State could remain at #3 or any number of teams could take over as Boise State, Clemson, Stanford, Oregon and Kansas State all have a shot at taking a spot in the National Championship Game. With the upsets this week the NCAA is back to its usual unknowns and that makes good football. The rest of the season will be interesting with big games coming up who knows how the rankings will look at the end of the season.


Heisman Watch:

1. Andrew Luck, QB (Stanford)

Another week on top for Andrew Luck as he led the Cardinal to yet another win and moved them up the BCS Rankings. Luck did not have the best numbers against #25 Washington as he threw for 169 yards and 2 TDs but he did have a big role in the win. Luck called the majority of the plays at the line of scrimmage and these calls led to a school record 446 rushing yards. Luck did not move further away from his competition with this performance but the fact that he called the plays will give the Heisman voters something to think about while he continues his march towards the trophy. Next week could be a very big game for Luck as he takes on USC who has the 104th ranked pass defence which could mean a return to the gaudy numbers that Luck has put up so far.

Stats (7 games):

71.8 cmp%

1,888 yds

20 TD


175.2 rtg


2. Trent Richardson, RB (Alabama)

Trent Richardson reaped the benefits of the upset weekend as Russell Wilson and Landry Jones both took hits with their losses. Richardson has been climbing the hopefuls list with a streak of 100-yard games but that ended against the Tennessee Volunteers as they focused on Richardson all game. This did not stop him from scoring though as he ran for 77 yards and 2 TDs against the Volunteers. He is currently ranked second in scoring averaging 13.5 points per game this year and has helped his team to the #2 ranking and will continue to do so until they meet LSU on November 5th for sole possession of first place in the SEC and the BCS. Richardson will need to keep the performances up if he hopes to challenge Luck and Alabama will need to keep winning for him to have a shot.

Stats (8 games):

149 rsh

989 yds

6.6 avg

17 TD


3. Kellen Moore, QB (Boise State)

Kellen Moore has floated around the Heisman for years as he has guided his Broncos to an undefeated record again this year. He leap frogged an Idle Robert Griffin III because he is undefeated, The Baylor Bears have two losses, and has done it with brutal efficiency. Moore did not have an overwhelming win for the Broncos throwing for 281 yards and 3 TDs but the biggest aspect is that he tied Colt McCoy for all time wins at 43. Moore has the ability to pick apart defences with his accuracy and is a great leader on the Broncos team. This has given Moore a little more breathing room from the pack of, now, one loss QBs but a pair of undefeated QBs are staring him down for a spot in the top 3.

Stats (7 games):

76.3 cmp%

2,010 yds

24 TD


180.7 rtg


Notable Challengers

4. Case Keenum, QB (Houston)

72.9 cmp%

2,685 yds

23 TD

184.8 rtg


5. Tajh Boyd, QB (Clemson)

61.9 cmp%

2,379 yds

24 TD


160.1 rtg


BCS Rankings:

1. LSU Tigers (1)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (2)

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4)

4. Boise State Broncos (5)

5. Clemson Tigers (7)

6. Stanford Cardinal (8)

7. Oregon Ducks (10)

8. Kansas State Wildcats (11)

9. Oklahoma Sooners (3)

10. Arkansas Razorbacks (9)

11. Michigan State Spartans (16)

12. Virginia Tech Hokies (12)

13. South Carolina Gamecocks (14)

14. Nebraska Cornhuskers (13)

15. Wisconsin Badgers (6)

16. Texas A&M Aggies (17)

17. Houston Cougars (19)

18. Michigan Wolverines (18)

19. Penn State Nittany Lions (21)

20. Texas Tech Red Raiders (–)

21. Arizona State Sun Devils (–)

22. Georgia Bulldog (–)

23. Auburn Tigers (20)

24. Texas Longhorns (24)

25. West Virginia Mountaineers (15)


Key Scores:

Syracuse Orange 49 – 23 West Virginia Mountaineers #15

– The week started with a bang as the #15 West Virginia Mountaineers were the first team to be upset by an unranked opponent


Texas Tech Red Raiders 41 – 38 Oklahoma Sooners #3

– The #3 team and potential National Championship contender Oklahoma Sooners were unseated by the unranked Texas Tech Red Raiders


#21 Penn State Nittany Lions 34 – 24 Northwestern Wildcats

– Joe Patterno tied an NCAA Division I record with his 408th career win matching Eddie Robinson atop the list


#16 Michigan State Spartans 37 – 31 Wisconsin Badgers #6

– Michigan State continued to be the upset kings after beating Michigan last week and taking out the #6 Badgers this week


Key Matchups Next Week:

#6 Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans (Oct. 29th; 8:00 pm)

– Andrew Luck will continue his Heisman run against an in state rival in USC who are coming off of a win against Notre Dame


#11 Michigan State Spartans vs. #14 Nebraska Cornhuskers (Oct. 29th; 12:00 pm)

– Michigan State is one of the fastest climbing teams and beating the Huskers can only help their bid to enter the BCS conversation


Illinois Fighting Illini vs. #19 Penn State Nittany Lions (Oct. 29th; 3:30 pm)

– Penn State will be looking to give their coach one more win in order to take sole possession of the all-time wins record in Division-I


#9 Oklahoma Sooners vs. #8 Kansas State Wildcats (Oct. 29th; 3:30 pm)

– Oklahoma will be looking to recover from their first loss against another fast rising team in K-State as the Sooners try to climb back into contention

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