NCAA Football Report (Week 12)

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The NCAA never ceases to surprise as once again the week in football saw a massive shift in the BCS. Last week it was the loss of Alabama forcing the BCS rankings to take the Tide out of the top spot. With the loss the Crimson Tide would drop to fourth place behind the three remaining undefeated teams in the BCS rankings. The Kansas State Wildcats would take over the top spot behind the arm and legs of Heisman candidate Collin Klein. Directly behind them would be the explosive offence of the Oregon Ducks behind Kenjon Barner and the blur himself De’Anthony Thomas. These two teams were set to face off in the National Championship if they could get through the rest of their schedule. Most analysts were not looking to week 12 where both teams would not take on extremely difficult challenges although they could not fall asleep on the game either. Oregon would be facing Pac-12 rivals in the Stanford Cardinal at home in a game that would be tough but not their toughest challenge. The Kansas State Wildcats would be against a decidedly less imposing team as they would face the Baylor Bears a team that was good last year with Robert Griffin but much worse without him in 2012. Both teams were the favorites in their week 12 games yet both teams struggled to match the hype that surrounded them. Oregon could not get past the Cardinal as the two Pac-12 teams could not solve anything in regulation. After OT it was all over with the Cardinal on top beating the Ducks and kicking Oregon out of the National Championship Game. The Wildcats from Kansas City did not fare any better though as they would take a bigger beating against the Baylor Bears. The final score would be 52-24 as the Bears would dismantle K-State and take away their chance to remain #1 in the country. That would end the top two teams’ chances at a National Championship in a week that would change the BCS rankings more than ever. The biggest beneficiary would be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who went into the week ranked in 3rd place and needing to continue winning and hope that one of the top teams would lose if they wanted a chance at a National Championship. They took care of their part as they would win their game easily against Wake Forest with a score of 38-0. The Irish would leave the day happy as the Seniors got their curtain call on Senior day in their last home game of the season. They would get even more happy that night when they realized that both K-State and Oregon would lose their games, opening the door to the #1 spot. The Irish would take the spot in the BCS rankings as they sit at #1 after 12 weeks in the season and only one game left on their schedule. Now the pressure will be on the Irish who will have to beat USC to earn a spot in the National Championship and have to prevent the issues that befell the last two #1 ranked teams. They cannot get ahead of themselves as they need to focus on the most important game of their year and of the past decade. If the Irish can win they will be in their first BCS National Championship Game ever and the chance to win their first National Championship since 1988. They Irish got a big boost from these two losses but the biggest boost comes from the Alabama Crimson Tide who got a second chance at a National Championship berth. A week after losing their first game the Tide were hoping for another chance to be #1 but would need three teams to lose if their hope became real. They got two losses that they needed and are now ranked #2 with a shot at the National Championship if they can win the Iron Bowl against Auburn. Meanwhile the Georgia Bulldogs sit in 3rd place with a chance at a title shot if they can win next week and beat the Tide in the SEC championship game. Florida also has some life in 4th place as they will need more teams to lose if they are to get a shot. It has been a strange two weeks where the #1 teams as not survived and the National Championship has had three different looks. The only question now is whether or not this pattern continues or can Alabama and Notre Dame hold their spots for an old school Championship Game or will the game’s makeup change once again with only a few weeks left in the season.


Heisman Watch:

1. Collin Klein, QB (Kansas State)
It was not an impressive performance by any means as the top QB in the nation finally had a bad game. Klein and the Wildcats could not pull a win out against the Bears as they lost their #1 ranking in the BCS. With 286 yards and two TDs through the air plus 1 TD on the ground Klein was not his usual self. It would be good numbers for most QBs but he has set the bar high and needs to stop these bad performances if he wants to hang on to the top spot. Next week he will take a break on his open date and will have his chance to shine in the last week of the season against Texas. If Klein can play well against Texas he can hold on to the top spot but the off week may hurt him if someone comes out strong next week.
Stats (11 Games):
66.7% cmp (171 rsh)
2,306 yds (787 rsh yds)
14 TD (20 rsh TD)
155.0 rtg


2. Johnny Manziel, QB (Texas A&M)
There has never been a freshman who has played well enough to win the Heisman Trophy but Manziel might be the best shot to break the trend. The kid known as Johnny Football has been great all year and last week his win against Alabama put him into the National spotlight. This week he was being watched closer than ever after becoming the new one to watch. This week he would take on a much less imposing team in Sam Houston State in a game that had to be a big one for Manziel if he hoped to move up. 267 yards passing and three TDs plus 100 yards rushing with 2 TDs is definitely a good game and will help Manziel in his candidacy. Next week Manziel takes on Missouri in another game that he will need to impress if he wants to end the season as the top Heisman hopeful.
Stats (12 Games):
67.7% cmp (172 rsh)
3,047 yds (1,114 rsh yds)
21 TD (17 rsh TD)
155.1 rtg


3. Manti Te’o, LB (Notre Dame)
Te’o lucked out a little bit this week with none of the usual suspects really doing anything to knock him out of the top 3. He has some stiff competition right behind him though and will need to continue being an impact player on one of the best defences in the league. Te’o was not his usual force against the Daemon Deacons of Wake Forest but 6 tackles is a good performance. What helped him even more is that the Fighting Irish defence pitched their first shutout of the season. As the leader of the defence Te’o is the face of the success of the entire team and so he remains at the top spot. Next week Te’o will lead the defence against the USC Trojans in the final game of the season and if he cannot be an impact player in the game he will have no shot at the Heisman.
Stats (11 Games):
98 tkl
1.5 sck
2 Frcv


4. Marqise Lee, WR (USC)
Stats (11 Games):
107 rec
1,605 yds
15.0 avg
14 TD


5. Tajh Boyd, QB (Clemson)
Stats (11 Games):
68.0% cmp (140 rsh)
3,367 yds (466 rsh yds)
33 TD (8 rsh TD)
11 INT
172.7 rtg


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


Key Scores:
#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 38 – 0 Wake Forest Daemon Deacons
– Notre Dame did not know this when they started the game but their big win against Wake Forest on Senior day would be exactly what the Irish would need to takeover the top spot in the NCAA with a legitimate chance at the National Championship


#7 LSU Tigers 41 – 35 Ole Miss Rebels
– The Tigers did not get out of the week without a scare as they had an opportunity to get back to the BCS bowls as they were forced into a shootout against the Rebels in a key SEC matchup for the tigers


Baylor Bears 52 – 24 Kansas State Wildcats #1
– The K-State Wildcats were in perfect position to begin their reign at the top of the NCAA with a brand new #1 ranking but the pressure seemed to get to them as they were blown out by the unranked Bears


#17 Stanford Cardinal 17 – 14 Oregon Ducks #2 (OT)
– The Ducks had an opportunity to take over that #1 spot they have been looking for in the past few years but a key Pac-12 game would see them stumble as they could not hold on against Stanford losing in OT and losing their #2 ranking


Next Week:
#3 Georgia Bulldogs vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (November 24th; 12:00 pm EST)
– The Bulldogs are on their way to the SEC Championship out of the SEC East and if they want that game to be more important they will need to beat the Yellow Jackets in a game affectionately referred to as “Clean, Old Fashioned Hate”


#5 Oregon Ducks vs. #15 Oregon State Beavers (November 24th; 3:00 pm EST)
– The Civil War will not be as important as before week 12 but the state rivalry still means a lot for the Ducks who are hoping for a slightly better ranking and a chance at the Rose Bowl if they can pull off the Pac-12 Championship once again


Auburn Tigers vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (November 24th; 3:30 pm EST)
– The Tide now has a second chance after sitting on the outside of the top two and out of the National Championship Game but now they are two wins away from the chance at a repeat although they will need to start the run against their biggest rivals in the Iron Bowl


#1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. USC Trojans (November 24th; 8:00 pm EST)
– This is it for the Irish they have one more game to prove that they belong in the National Championship and it will be for the Jewelled Shillelagh against their longtime rival in the Trojans who would like nothing more than to end the Irish run

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