NCAA Football Report (Week 12)

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Yet another wild weekend in the NCAA saw the BCS shift yet again leaving very few undefeated teams. The NCAA has gone through a number of these changes over this year making the bowl season even more unpredictable than ever. The season started with Oklahoma on the top but they were leapfrogged by the LSU Tigers who have turned out to be the best team in the NCAA. Oklahoma then lost their first game eliminating them from the title conversation and knocking them down the rankings. In their place came the Alabama Crimson Tide who many considered better than the LSU Tigers. They faced off in the biggest game in the NCAA season where LSU proved to be the better defence in a game that saw no touchdowns and a 9-6 overtime finish. A very boring match for the general fans but a good one for those who like defence saw Alabama get eliminated from title contention, or so maybe thought. They only fell one spot to third place leaving the door open for a chance at a rematch. The BCS does not like rematches though as they like to see new games between teams that are the best in the league and have never played each other. As a result of this Alabama could have been leapfrogged in the rankings this week if any number of teams could win. The main challenger to Alabama’s rematch was the #2 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys who were in line to play for the National Championship if they had won the rest of their games. They would try to take another step this weekend when they took on the unranked Iowa State Cyclones. It would be an easy win for the Cowboys who would then prepare to face Oklahoma that would a game to prove they deserved a title shot. Unfortunately for the Cowboys they may have overlooked the Cyclones who in four overtimes beat the #2 ranked Cowboys. The loss for Oklahoma State has ended their hopes for a National Title shot but opened the door for more teams this weekend. One of these teams was the Oregon Ducks who were ranked #4 in the BCS and had a shot at the National Title game with some luck. They got this luck with the Oklahoma State loss and just needed to win their game in order to get a chance at moving up the rankings. The Ducks would face Pac 10 rivals USC with a shot at a potential move up the rankings and a possible National Championship berth. With so much on the line the Ducks were looking to take advantage but they couldn’t as they lost to the Trojans and lost their #4 ranking. This sent the BCS Rankings into a big mess as this week the rankings are a jumble of one loss teams. The only spot that has remained solid in the past weeks has been the top spot as LSU is clearly the best team in the NCAA and unless they lose in any of their remaining games they will definitely be in the National Championship Game. The rest of the rankings are a complete wash as Alabama has moved up to the #2 spot but the BCS generally does not like rematches making the #3 spot a possible contender for the National Championship. In this spot sits the one loss Arkansas Razorbacks that could be a real title contender but will play LSU next week. Meanwhile the Oklahoma State Cowboys moved to the #4 spot that has not completely ruined their chances. There is still of course the only other undefeated team in the NCAA as the Houston Cougars are ranked #8 and could move up the rankings to play in the National Championship game. The NCAA is a complete mess underneath the #1 spot and they are entering into the most unpredictable weekend of the season. With Rivalry weekend coming up any change could happen with anyone able to win against their bitter rivals. If you are a NCAA fan this is no time to stop watching as it only looks to get more intense as the season comes to a close and comes to the bowl season.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Andrew Luck, QB (Stanford)

Luck remains in the top spot but his grip on the Heisman is now officially over as he has now had a string of mediocre performances. Luck was the favorite all year but after a few less than stellar performances in this unpredictable season he is no longer a lock for the Heisman. Against the archrival Cal Bears Luck could not get much as he threw for 257 yards 2 TDs and 1 INT that saw him lead the Cardinal to a win but not dominate. Luck is no longer the sure Heisman winner and could lose out to any number of players that are playing amazing right now. To stop his slide Luck will need to take advantage of his primetime matchup against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in rivalry week.

Stats (11 games):

70.3 cmp%

2,937 yds

31 TD

8 INT

167.4 rtg

 

2. Trent Richardson, RB (Alabama)

Richardson was not supposed to gain any ground this week as he was expected to have an easy day with little touches to get ready for the Iron Bowl next week. This was not the case as the Tide were challenged by Georgia Southern and need to lean on their star running back again. Richardson again carried the team on his back running for 175 yards and 2 TDs to lead his team to a win in a challenging game. The performance took advantage of Luck’s stumble as Richardson has now become a true challenger for the Heisman. Luck has started to slide and because of this Richardson is now gaining a lot more recognition in the race and now has a good possibility of winning the award. Going a long way towards this award will be his performance in the Iron Bowl as everyone will be watching the classic rivalry of Alabama and Auburn and if Richardson can carry his team again he may just overtake Luck.

Stats (11 games):

236 rsh

1,380 yds

5.8 avg

20 TD

 

3. Case Keenum, QB (Houston)

Leading the only undefeated team not named LSU gets you some respect but leading the top ranked offence in college football gets you even more. Keenum too his Cougars to another win over SMU and continued to lead his team through the air. Throwing for 318 yards and 1 TD seems a little bit of an anomaly but it was just enough to fend off the charging players behind him. Keenum could be in a BCS bowl this year and even the National Championship if he continues to lead the top offence in the league to a complete undefeated season. Keenum may have a chance to add to his amazing numbers next week when he takes on Tulsa who should not be a challenge and could be a stats feast for the QB. He will need to do this as a number of great players are beginning to turn it on late in the season and are challenging the top three for their chance in the Heisman Race.

Stats (11 games):

73.4 cmp%

4,269 yds

38 TD

3 INT

186.9 rtg

 

Notable Challengers:

4. Brandon Weeden, QB (Oklahoma State)

73.0 cmp%

4,111 yds

34 TD

12 INT

162.2 rtg

 

5. Robert Griffin III, QB (Baylor)

72.9 cmp%

3,572 yds

33 TD

5 INT

191.7 rtg

 

BCS Rankings:

1. LSU Tigers (1)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (3)

3. Arkansas Razorbacks (6)

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2)

5. Virginia Tech Hokies (8)

6. Stanford Cardinal (9)

7. Boise State Broncos (10)

8. Houston Cougars (11)

9. Oklahoma Sooners (5)

10. Oregon Ducks (4)

11. Kansas State Wildcats (13)

12. South Carolina Gamecocks (12)

13. Georgia Bulldogs (14)

14. Michigan State Spartans (15)

15. Michigan Wolverines (18)

16. Wisconsin Badgers (17)

17. Clemson Tigers (7)

18. Baylor Bears (22)

19. Penn State Nittany Lions (21)

20. TCU Horned Frogs (19)

21. Nebraska Cornhuskers (16)

22. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (–)

23. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (–)

24. Auburn Tigers (24)

25. Texas Longhorns (23)

 

Key Scores:

Iowa State Cyclones 37 – 31 Oklahoma State Cowboys #2 (4OT)

– Iowa state ended the Cowboys hopes of a National Championship with a surprising win that took 4 overtimes to solve

 

#22 Baylor Bears 45 – 38 Oklahoma Sooners #5

– The Oklahoma Sooners continued to struggle as Robert Griffin III led his Baylor Bears past the former top ranked team

 

USC Trojans 38 – 35 Oregon Ducks #4

– The Ducks had a shot at the national championship spot but could not come through with the win having a last second field goal blocked by the Trojans

 

North Carolina State Wolfpack 37 – 13 Clemson Tigers #7

– Clemson saw their unlikely season end with a loss to the Wolfpack that ended their hopes of a BCS bowl dropping them to the 17th spot in the BCS

 

Rivalry Week Matchups:

#25 Texas Longhorns vs. Texas A&M (Nov. 24th; 8:00 pm)

– Rivalry Week kicks off with the Lonestar Showdown as Texas looks to beat the Aggies in a classic matchup to end their slide in the rankings

 

#1 LSU Tigers vs. #3 Arkansas Razorbacks (Nov. 25th; 2:30 pm)

– Arkansas may be the only true challenge to the National Championship spot but in the Battle for the Golden Boot they will see where they stand against top ranked LSU

 

#14 Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Nov. 26th; 12:00 pm)

– Known as simply “The Game” one of the fiercest rivalries will take place with the Wolverines looking to make a final run at a BCS Bowl

 

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers (Nov. 26th; 3:30 pm)

– The Iron Bowl could be one of the toughest rivalries in the NCAA and Alabama will look to hold on to their #2 ranking for a chance at a National Championship rematch with LSU

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