NCAA Football Report (Week 8)

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It has been said time and time again when talking about the NCAA as the Southeastern Conference has been considered the best conference in the league. Every year it seems that SEC teams are all at the top of the heap when the BCS rankings come out. The Alabama Crimson Tide have been the class of the conference and the NCAA over the last four years winning three National Championships in the last four years. Despite all of the success for the conference a disturbing trend is beginning to surface for the conference. Their dominant streak is far from over but there may be an end around the corner. The Pac-12 and ACC are only getting better now and are among the top ranked teams in the NCAA. They have been playing good football as of late but one of the biggest reasons these conferences find themselves among the best in the league is that the SEC is beginning to cannibalize itself. The teams in the SEC are all very good but because they are all very good every game they play in the conference is a potential loss for the team. With little separation among the teams in the conference there are very few teams that can last a full season without one loss. Week 8 in the trend was on full display as by the end of the week only two teams would walk away with an undefeated record while one other team was left with one loss on their record. Every other team in the conference would see at least two losses by the end of the week and it would show the fact that the conference was doing plenty of damage to themselves. The week was full of big SEC games with a lot of upsets that created a strong possibility of a team with 2 losses winning the East or the West. The East was the part of the conference that took most of the pounding during the week when some of the top teams would take a loss that would create a more interesting race to the finals. The Missouri Tigers would be the only team to stay undefeated after week 8 but they will have a tough road ahead to stay that way. The tigers would beat the Florida Gators handing the SEC East team their third loss and their second conference loss of the season. Meanwhile the South Carolina Gamecock would lose their second game of the season against the Tennessee Volunteers in one of many shocking results in during the week. The team that many believed had the best shot of winning the east would also take a loss in one of the most shocking results of the week. The Georgia Bulldogs had plenty of injuries heading into their game against the Vanderbilt Commodores but they were still favorites to win the game. So when the Commodore pulled out the win in a close game shockwaves were sent throughout the East. Meanwhile in the West the usual challengers to the Alabama Crown the LSU Tigers would take their second loss of the season dropping out of the second place spot. Johnny Football and the Texas A&M Aggies would also take their second loss of the season to the only team in the West with one loss the Auburn Tigers. The SEC is a great conference but they continue to beat themselves up and that will result in many of the SEC teams out of the BCS bowl games. With only Missouri and Alabama staying undefeated they seem to be on their way to a matchup for the SEC championship unless they take a loss in the remaining weeks of the season. As the SEC continues to hurt themselves the Pac-12 and the ACC takes full advantage with the Oregon Ducks and Florida State Seminoles sitting among the top three in the country and hoping that an Alabama loss will put both of them into the National Championship game to end the reign of the SEC. Although the SEC is still the best conference in the league the trend is beginning to show that their reign might be coming to an end soon.


Heisman Watch:

1. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
The Oregon Ducks continue to roll through everyone that they play and Marcus Mariota continues to build a great resume this year. Mariota would have another great game while those around him would struggle in an important week for the Heisman race. As a number of teams took their first losses in the season the Ducks would remain among the top three in the country. Against Washington State the Ducks would be back to their big scoring ways when they put up 62 points in their win. Mariota would once again be the linchpin for the offence as he would pass for 327 yards and 2 TDs while rushing for 67 yards and a TD. Mariota has put together a great season and he continues to lead the team to big wins as the Ducks stay in the National Championship conversation. He will look to do the same against his toughest test yet when the Ducks take on Pac-12 rival UCLA in a game that could give Mariota a better hold on the Heisman Trophy.
Stats (7 Games):
62.4% (49 rsh)
2,051 yds (493 rsh yds)
19 TD (9 rsh TD)

2. Johnny Manziel, QB (Texas A&M)
The Aggies would not get the win in their game against the Auburn Tigers as their championship hopes began to slip away but that would hurt Manziel. Instead the performance that Manziel would put on would make his Heisman campaign even more realistic. Manziel would throw for 454 yards and 4 TDs while running for 67 yards and a TD. As good as the stats were for Manziel it was the way he did it that would build his legend even more. After an awkward fall on his throwing shoulder in the second half Manziel would return to the field and would help the Aggies to a number of leads before the Tigers would come back to finally win the game. Manziel’s performance along with the disappointing performance by Tajh Boyd would put Manziel into the top for the Heisman Trophy. Now the Aggies will move on to face the Vanderbilt Commodores where Manziel will once again look to make an impression. If Manziel can keep his steady pace this season he may just be able to challenge to be the first back to back winner of the Heisman.
Stats (7 Games):
73.3% (85 rsh)
2,289 yds (486 rsh yds)
18 TD (6 rsh TD)

3. Jameis Winston, QB (Florida State)
It was the most important game of the season for the Seminoles and the Tigers but more than that it was a matchup of two potential Heisman candidates. When the Florida State Seminoles took on the Clemson Tigers National Championship, Conference titles, and much more were on the line. It would also be a chance for Jameis Winston to breakout onto the Heisman scene when he took on a Heisman favorite in Tajh Boyd. Winston would come out on top in the battle as he would throw for 444 yards and three TDs while rushing for one TD. His performance would put him into the running for the Heisman after staying on the outside of the top three for the season. It was a great game for the freshman and in front of a national audience that would turn everyone’s attention to his Heisman campaign. Now it will get even tougher as the focus is on him with any mistake causing him to fall out of the top of the Heisman race. Against NC State Winston will need to have a great performance if he hopes to stay among the top three.
Stats (6 Games):
71.3% (43 rsh)
1,885 yds (137 rsh yds)
20 TD (3 rsh TD)

4. Tajh Boyd, QB (Clemson)
Stats (7 Games):
63.1% (80 rsh)
1,939 yds (195 rsh yds)
16 TD (5 rsh TD)

5. Teddy Bridgewater, QB (Louisville)
Stats (7 Games):
2,213 yds
20 TD


BCS Rankings:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Florida State Seminoles
3. Oregon Ducks
4. Ohio State Buckeyes
5. Missouri Tigers
6. Stanford Cardinal
7. Miami Hurricanes
8. Baylor Bears
9. Clemson Tigers
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders
11. Auburn Tigers
12. UCLA Bruins
13. LSU Tigers
14. Virginia Tech Hokies
15. Oklahoma Sooners
16. Texas A&M Aggies
17. Fresno State Bulldogs
18. Northern Illinois Huskies
19. Oklahoma State Cowboys
20. Louisville Cardinals
21. South Carolina Gamecocks
22. Michigan Wolverines
23. UCF Knights
24. Nebraska Cornhuskers
25. Oregon State Beavers


Key Scores:
UCF Knights 38 – 35 Louisville Cardinals #8
– Teddy Bridgewater is clearly one of the best QBs in the league and a top prospect for the NFL but he could not help the Cardinals to a win in this game as the Knights would surprise everyone but outdueling Bridgewater and the Cards

#24 Auburn Tigers 45 – 41 Texas A&M Aggies #7

– The Aggies would hold their breath when Johnny Manziel went down in the second half but he would return to try to keep the Aggies ahead and although he would put them ahead multiple times the Tigers would take the win in the end

Vanderbilt Commodores 31 – 27 Georgia Bulldogs #15
– The Bulldogs were hoping that they could get by the Commodores to give their star players more time to recover from injuries but the Commodores would not let that happen as they would take the win in one of the best games of the week

#5 Florida State Seminoles 51 – 14 Clemson Tigers #3
– It was one of the most important games of the week as the Clemson Tigers would get their biggest test of the season and would fail the test when the Florida State Seminoles, led by freshman Jameis Winston, would put up 51 points and take the #3 spot in the NCAA


Next Week:
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. #16 Texas A&M Aggies (Saturday October 26th; 12:21 pm ET)
– The Commodores are coming off of a big win against the Georgia Bulldogs in week 8 while the Aggies are coming off of a big second loss in the season with the Aggies looking to recover and keep their hopes alive for the SEC championship

#21 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. #5 Missouri Tigers (Saturday October 26th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Tigers are one of the only teams that remains undefeated in the SEC and they will look to continue that trend when they take on the Gamecocks who are trying to recover from their second loss of the season

#12 UCLA Bruins vs. #3 Oregon Ducks (Saturday October 26th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Oregon Ducks are beginning to get into their tougher schedule when they take on the UCLA Bruins in a big Pac-12 game that could go a long way to winning the conference and solidifying their spot as the #2 team in the NCAA

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (Saturday October 26th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Big Ten rivalry continues as the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes face off once again as two legendary programs look to take a win with the Buckeyes trying to stay at the top of the rankings and the Lions trying to play spoilers

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