NCAA Football Report (Week 11)

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There is only one thing constant in the NCAA and that is that there will be upsets and that they cannot be predicted. It seemed this year that there was going to be one constant though as the Alabama Crimson Tide looked unbeatable. After losing one game in 2011 they still made the National Championship and won it all. This year they looked like they would be in the championship again under the leadership of Nick Saban. The Tide had one of the best defences in the league and they would shut down most offences in the NCAA. This year their offence would catch up as AJ McCarron matured more as a QB and began leading an offence that could take some of the pressure off of the great defence. As they went through a fairly weak schedule the Tide looked better every week and became the consensus favorite. It seemed a lock that the Tide would be back in the National Championship Game. The question became who would face them and if that team would even be able to put up a fight. The battle was for the second place spot as a number of teams including Notre Dame, Kansas State, and Oregon Ducks were all in the running. As all three teams continued their seasons the debates raged on about what style of play could actually be able to beat the old school football of the Tide. Would it be the explosive offence of the Kansas State Wildcats led by Heisman hopeful Collin Klein? Would it be one of the most creative offences of Chip Kelly in Oregon? Or would it be the traditional offence and old school defence of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish led by Manti Te’o? All of these questions were swirling as all three teams continued to try to impress the voters and the computers in order to take that #2 spot in the BCS Rankings. As these three teams fought it out to be the team to face Alabama the Tide continued to roll on. They would take on their toughest opponents in week 10 as they took on the LSU Tigers. The Tide would win the game and seemed to be on the road to the National Championship as the rest of their schedule was not the toughest. Then came week 11 when the Tide would take on the Texas A&M Aggies in a game that was simply another win for Alabama. The Tide would not find it that easy though as they would struggle to continue their defensive dominance against the QB known as Johnny Football. Johnny Manziel has had a great year already as he has led the Aggies to a 7-2 record with leadership qualities that nobody would expect from a freshman QB. He showed everybody those skills on Saturday though as he would put the entire country on notice about his ability. Led by Manziel the Aggies were able to pull off the biggest upset of the year as they beat the Alabama Crimson Tide sending the BCS rankings into flux. More than the performance of Manziel, though was the shocking amount of mistakes made by the Crimson Tide. Alabama had always prided themselves on old school football as they depended on defence and the run game. A big part of this type of team is that they are extremely precise and train to play without any mistakes. This game though was the exact opposite as they consistently earned penalties and did not execute the way they were used to. As a result the team strategy fell apart and the Crimson Tide tasted their first defeat. The loss sent shockwaves through the NCAA as they Tide fell from the top of the rankings for the first time since the week 2 AP Poll. With the loss the Crimson Tide still have a shot at the National championship but will need two teams ahead of them to lose. Meanwhile the battle for second place quickly became the battle for first place as Notre Dame, Oregon, and Kansas State will fight for the top spot the rest of the season. With Kansas State and Oregon currently set to face off for the National Championship all eyes will be on both teams while Notre Dame looks to get some help and continue to impress. As the season comes to a close the BCS race just got much more exciting with the biggest upset of the year changing everything in the NCAA.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Collin Klein, QB (Kansas State)
Boosted by the chance to possibly take over the top spot in the BCS Klein took on the TCU Horned Frogs in his most important game so far this year. Klein and the Wildcats did not have the same type of performance that they usually had. Only putting up 23 points against an unranked team is not something that Klein can keep doing. For Klein it was not a typical aerial performance from Klein as he only threw for 145 yards with no TDs and 1 interception. It was not the greatest performance for Klein but his 50 rushing yards and 2 rushing TDs made up a little bit for his lack of passing game. Klein cannot continue to play this way if he hopes to win the Heisman Trophy this year. Next week Klein will take on another unranked team in Baylor and will need to have a great performance if he hopes to stay on top.
Stats (10 Games):
69.7% cmp
2,020 yds (784 rsh yds)
12 TD (19 rsh TD)
3 INT
167.4 rtg

 

2. Manti Te’o, LB (Notre Dame)
Te’o did not have an amazing performance but those in front of him and right behind him had worse days. For that reason Te’o moves back up to the 2nd spot along with the fact that he will lead the Fighting Irish with a realistic chance to play for the National Championship. Te’o and the Irish defence took on another tough challenge in the Holy War as they faced another rival, Boston College. The Irish did not make it too hard on themselves and Te’o was a part of that. He once again led the team in tackles with 9 including 4 solo tackles and added another interception. It was a solid performance by the inspirational Hawaiian but if he is not careful he will lose out on his chance for the Heisman as there are many new faces climbing up the ladder. Next week he will lead the Irish against Wake Forest with another chance to show the voters that he deserves consideration.
Stats (10 Games):
92 tkl
1.5 sck
4 INT
1 Frcv

 

3. Johnny Manziel, QB (Texas A&M)
He has been receiving more and more exposure every week and the kid known as Johnny Football has taken full advantage. This week was his biggest stage when he took on the Alabama Crimson Tide and led his offence to a win. Throwing for 253 yards and two TDs helped the Aggies win and achieve the biggest upset of the year. It was a typical performance from Manziel who did not overwhelm anyone like Collin Klein does but did what he needed to do. He may not have had the amazing numbers this week but he was against what many consider to be the best defence in the NCAA. Manziel now has a chance to make a run at the Heisman and it continues next week against Sam Houston State. If he cannot have some big numbers against this unranked team he will lose all traction gained in Alabama but if he can more people will pay attention and he will move closer to becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
Stats (11 Games):
67.6% cmp
2,780 yds (1,014 rsh yds)
18 TD (15 rsh TD)
6 INT
151.2 rtg

 

4. Kenjon Barner, RB (Oregon)
Stats (10 Games):
199 rsh
1,360 yds
6.8 avg
19 TD

 

5. Braxton Miller, QB (Ohio State)
Stats (10 Games):
56.9% cmp
1,753 yds (1,166 rsh yds)
14 TD (13 rsh TD)
6 INT
140.1 rtg

 

BCS Rankings:
1. Kansas State Wildcats (2)
2. Oregon Ducks (3)
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4)
4. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
5. Georgia Bulldogs (5)
6. Florida Gators (6)
7. LSU Tigers (7)
8. Texas A&M Aggies (15)
9. South Carolina Gamecocks (8)
10. Florida State Seminoles (10)
11. Clemson Tigers (13)
12. Oklahoma Sooners (12)
13. Stanford Cardinal (14)
14. Nebraska Cornhuskers (16)
15. Texas Longhorns (17)
16. Oregon State Beavers (11)
17. UCLA Bruins (18)
18. USC Trojans (19)
19. Louisville Cardinals (9)
20. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (20)
21. Michigan Wolverines (–)
22. Rutgers Scarlett Knights (23)
23. Texas Tech Red Raiders (22)
24. Oklahoma state Cowboys (–)
25. Washington Huskies (–)

 

Key Scores:
Syracuse Orange 45 – 26 Louisville Cardinals #9
– The first undefeated season to fall this week was the Cardinals who were beginning to climb up the rankings but were stopped dead by the Orange and their relentless offensive attack as the Orange set the tone for the rest of the day

 

Michigan Wolverines 38 – 31 Northwestern Wildcats #24 (OT)
– The Wildcats enjoyed a short time in the top 25 but it was just that, short as the Wolverines pushed them to the limit and beat them in overtime as Northwestern would be ut of the top 25 with no hope of climbing back in

 

#15 Texas A&M Aggies 29 – 24 Alabama Crimson Tide #1
– The Upset of the year as the Aggies came out of nowhere to beat the Tide who were hoping for an undefeated season a week after what was supposed to be their toughest competition in LSU as mistakes and penalties ended their perfect season

 

#2 Kansas State Wildcats 23 – 10 TCU Horned Frogs
– The Wildcats did not have their typical performance against an unranked team but they did enough to remain undefeated and take advantage of the Alabama loss to become the new #1 team in the BCS

 

Next Week:
#18 USC Trojans vs. #17 UCLA Bruins (November 17th; 3:05 pm EST)
– The Trojans and the Bruins have a longtime rivalry as they fight it out for bragging rights in Los Angeles as the crosstown rivalry takes place as the Trojans look to make it 6 wins in a row while the Bruins are hoping to break the streak

 

#23 Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. #24 Oklahoma State Cowboys (November 17th; 3:30 pm EST)
– Both teams are looking to hold on to their top 25 rankings but only one will remain in the top 25 in the NCAA and take another step towards a bigger bowl as the Cowboys and Red Raiders are simply looking to rack up wins in the Big 12

 

Sam Houston State Bearkats vs. #9 Texas A&M Aggies (November 17th; 3:30 pm EST)
– The Aggies are riding high after a big win against the Alabama Crimson Tide and they need to be careful not to assume that no other team can beat them as their top ten ranking and the Heisman candidacy ride on how well they perform in this game

 

#13 Stanford Cardinal vs. #2 Oregon Ducks (November 17th; 8:00 pm EST)
– The Ducks need this game if they hope to be taken seriously in the National Championship picture as it will be another chance to show that their offence is good enough to beat ranked teams and even the top team

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