NCAA Football Report (Week 5)

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The NCAA Football season so far has been somewhat boring as almost everything that was supposed to happen has. There have been upsets but no upsets that have changed the face of the National Championship picture. The rankings have remained fairly unchanged for the last three weeks and the matchups week to week have not got many people excited. There is still plenty of times for the big games this year as the season moves on and the games get more important but for now it has not been very exciting. There have been some surprises though and they are outside of the top 25 of the rankings. The biggest story out of the past two weeks in the NCAA has been the complete demolition of two the nation’s best programs. The USC Trojans and Texas Longhorns were the teams in at the top of the heap. In 2005 they would play an instant classic for the National Championship when Vince Young would lead the Longhorns past Reggie Bush and the Trojans. They remained teams to watch in the next few years until USC was hit with a massive scandal that would see them fall. In 2010 the Trojans would be found guilty of providing Reggie Bush with payment and gifts while at the university and for that Bush would vacate his Heisman Trophy while the university would lose a number of scholarships along with a bowl ban that ended last year. This would be a big hit to the Trojans as their recruiting would suffer with less scholarships to offer than other teams like the UCLA Bruins or the Cal Golden Bears. The problems would only be increased when longtime coach Pete Carroll would leave the school for another opportunity as a head coach in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks. The Trojans would hire Lane Kiffin to replace Carroll and the Trojans were hoping that they could overcome their punishments to get back to the National Championship. Since Kiffin has taken over the Trojans have had plenty of potential with enough talent to make an impression but they have failed to make good on that potential. The Trojans would get back to bowl games last year but would play in the Sun Bowl and would lose to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. This year the hopes were up again as the Trojans were hoping to get a chance at a BCS berth but a loss to Washington State in Week 2 would see them fall short of those expectations. The Trojans have not looked good in any of their games including the wins they have and the pressure was on to change something and get USC back to winning. The loss to Arizona State this week would be the last straw for the Trojans as they would fire Lane Kiffin almost immediately following the loss and they move on this season as a team that will not play in a big bowl. The Trojans will now go about trying to find a new coach with names like James Franklin (Vanderbilt), Steve Sarkisian (Washington), and Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) have arisen for what seems to be the most desirable job in the NCAA. That job may not be the only one for a major program though as the Texas Longhorns may soon be looking for a new coach. The Longhorns do not have the built-in excuses that the Trojans have as they were not involved in any scandal that resulted in the loss of scholarships or a bowl ban. In fact there is little excuse as to why the Longhorns have fallen out of the top 25 and look like a broken team. The recruiting has been the main reason as Baylor and Texas A&M have started to dominate the Texas base while Mack Brown and the Longhorns are falling behind. The Longhorns have already lost two games this year against BYU and Ole Miss and among personnel changes and a carousel at QB the Longhorns have fallen far from the top 25. The Longhorns may take a page out of the Trojans book as Mack Brown’s job seems more unsecure every week. The Trojans and Longhorns have fallen far from where they used to be and mass changes are needed if they hope to get back there. The Trojans have already started the process firing Lane Kiffin while everyone await the decision on Mack Brown to determine the future of these once great programs.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Tajh Boyd, QB (Clemson)
Boyd continues to get little respect from the voters in the Heisman race but he hasn’t done anything to find is way out of the top spot. The Clemson Tigers have yet to fall under their own curse as they continue to be one of the top teams in the country. The biggest reason for this is that Tajh Boyd has been one of the most stable QBS in the NCAA right now. This week Boyd would lead the Tigers to another win beating Wake Forest with 311 passing yards 69 rushing yards and 4 total TDs. The performance should be enough to get the attention of plenty of the voters this week but for this ranking it just means he is at the top of the heap for another week. There are a lot of challengers to the top spot and Boyd will need to continue his strong year when he leads the Tigers against Syracuse looking to remain undefeated.
Stats (4 Games):
64.0% (49 rsh)
994 yds (159 rsh yds)
9 TD (4 rsh TD)
0 INT

2. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
The Oregon Ducks continue to roll through the rest of the NCAA and put up huge points with one of the best offences in the league. The offence is led by Mariota who has confused defences with his ability to run and pass. The Ducks remain one of the best teams in the NCAA as they are hoping that Mariota can bring them to a National Championship this year. This week the Ducks took another step towards a national championship as they would beat their Pac-12 opponent the Cal Golden Bears. Mariota would once again lead them to a win but he would not be the dominant force he is used to being. Throwing for 114 yards and 2 TDs while running for 33 yards and 1 TD is not the performance he has been known for. He will need to bring back the dominant performances against Colorado next week if he hopes to challenge for the top spot.
Stats (4 Games):
56.1% (21 rsh)
1,003 yds (295 rsh yds)
9 TD (5 rsh TD)
0 INT

3. Johnny Manziel, QB (Texas A&M)
Another great performance for Manziel would bring him even closer to a second Heisman Trophy. Johnny Football would lead the Aggies past the Arkansas Razorbacks in another classic performance. Manziel would throw for 261 yards and 2 TDs while running for 56 yards in the win. The only issue for Manziel is that winning a second Heisman in two years is almost impossible. Granted Manziel has already done the impossible winning as a freshman but trying to do it two years in a row will be even harder. Manziel has what it takes to be the Heisman winner again but he will have to impress even more than he already has. There is no doubt that he has been one of the best player this year and he remains in the top three of the award rankings. Manziel will remain in the top three as long as he keeps performing as he has a bye next week but will look to get back at it against Mississippi in Week 7.
Stats (5 Games):
71.4% (48 rsh)
1,489 yds (314 rsh yds)
14 TD (3 rsh TD)
4 INT

4. Teddy Bridgewater, QB (Louisville)
Stats (4 Games):
71.8%
1,214 yds
14 TD
1 INT

5. Braxton Miller, QB (Ohio State)
Stats (3 Games):
69.4% (40 rsh)
406 yds (165 rsh yds)
6 TD (0 rsh TD)
1 INT

 

AP Top 25:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
2. Oregon Ducks (2)
3. Clemson Tigers (3)
4. Ohio State Buckeyes (4)
5. Stanford Cardinal (5)
6. Georgia Bulldogs (9)
7. Louisville Cardinals (7)
8. Florida State Seminoles (8)
9. Texas A&M Aggies (10)
10. LSU Tigers (6)
11. Oklahoma Sooners (14)
12. UCLA Bruins (13)
13. South Carolina Gamecocks (12)
14. Miami Hurricanes (15)
15. Washington Huskies (16)
16. Northwestern Wildcats (17)
17. Baylor Bears (19)
18. Florida Gators (20)
19. Michigan Wolverines (18)
20. Texas Tech Red Raiders (24)
21. Oklahoma State Cowboys (11)
22. Arizona State Sun Devils (–)
23. Fresno State Bulldogs (25)
24. Ole Miss Rebels (21)
25. Maryland Terrapins (–)

 

Key Scores:
West Virginia Mountaineers 30 – 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys #11
– The Mountaineers would be the architects of the biggest upset of the week as the Cowboys would take the loss and drop far down the rankings while the Mountaineers look to get back in the top 25 after the big win

#12 South Carolina Gamecocks 28 – 25 Central Florida Knights
– The Gamecocks were supposed to be one of the better teams in the league this year but they have struggled to make anything happen and the struggles would continue as they would barely get by Central Florida this week

#9 Georgia Bulldogs 44 – 41 LSU Tigers #6
– It was the biggest game of the week as two top ten teams faced off in an SEC matchup that would see the Bulldogs continue to climb back from their early season loss and move into the conversation for a BCS bowl

Arizona State Sun Devils 52 – 41 USC Trojans
– The Trojans continued their terrible year losing to the favoured Sun Devils and the loss would eventually cost Lane Kiffin his job with the Trojans looking to move on as this season may be out of their control

 

Next Week:
Kansas State Wildcats vs. #21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (Saturday October 5th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Wildcats suffered a tough loss to start the season while the Cowboys just suffered their toughest loss from last week as they hope to hold on to their top 25 ranking by beating the Wildcats who are just hoping to get back to the Top 25

#3 Clemson Tigers vs. Syracuse Orange (Saturday October 5th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Tigers continue their great season with every game giving rise to people wondering when they will finally stumble but the Tigers are hoping to prove everyone wrong and looking to continue to march on as the #3 team in the nation

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. #17 Baylor Bears (Saturday October 5th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Mountaineers were on the good side of the biggest upset of week 5 and they are hoping to continue their upsets this week when they take on the Baylor Bears who are just looking to continue their climb up the Bears

#15 Washington Huskies vs. #5 Stanford Cardinal (Saturday October 5th; 10: 30 pm ET)
– The Huskies are having a solid season as they are now in the top 20 of the rankings and now they take on their toughest test of the season against the Cardinal as they will truly show where they stand in the national picture

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