NCAA Football Report (Week 11)

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The 11th week of the NCAA season would make some big waves in the season as top teams would have their biggest games of the season. Two of the top three teams in the BCS would have games against teams that have proven to be the thorns in their side. In two big conference games the Oregon Ducks and Alabama Crimson Tide would take on teams that could change their seasons. For the Ducks it was the Stanford Cardinal while the Tide would take on the LSU Tigers who have shown to be the thorns in the side for the Ducks and the Tide. These matchups have also become two of the biggest modern-day rivalries in the NCAA. Rivalry week is only a few weeks away for College football but both of these matchups will not be on the docket as rivalry week is for those traditional rivalries in the NCAA. Rivalries in college football are built off of the long histories of two teams that are usually very close in terms of geography. As these old rivalries will never go away for these teams with fans of both teams growing up to hate the other team there is enough room for the new age of rivalries to emerge. These rivalries may not have the lasting power of their historical brothers but for right now they are some of the most intriguing rivalries in the sport. These rivalries are usually in the same conference and involve the top teams of the era that face off in important games. These rivalries may fizzle out before there is enough history to become the serious rivalries that they have against other teams but they are still extremely important. The Ducks-Cardinal and Tigers-Tide rivalries are two of the best modern era rivalries as they have been some of the most important and league changing games over the past few years. The Oregon Ducks have been ranked among the best teams in the NCAA multiple times over the last few years but until they can beat the Cardinal each year they are far from locks to make the National Championship. The same situation would arise again as the Ducks were looking to make a case to hang around the top two teams in the NCAA to earn a spot in the National Championship. The Cardinal would not have much of a chance at the National Championship but were still ranked in the top 5 and hoping for a BCS Bowl berth. Both needed the win to help them in the Pac-12 standings and the BCS Rankings. The Cardinal would get the win as they would show the weakness of the Ducks playing against power football. The old school Stanford running offence would take the win over the new school highflying offence of the Ducks and would take the latest win in the Pac-12 rivalry that would only add another big chapter to the game. For the Tide and the Tigers the rivalry has developed thanks to the SEC and the conference’s reputation as the best in the NCAA. With the SEC producing great teams the Tide and the Tigers would continually battle for the SEC title and in turn the #1 spot in the BCS rankings. This year the Crimson Tide would sit in the #1 spot with no team ever really challenging them all year and the Tigers were looking to pull off the upset. The Tigers are not the same team they were a few years ago and the rivalry has already started to decline but this game could have served as a revival if the Tigers knocked off the top team in the country. The Tide would meet the Tigers in their last true test of the season and would take the win after a close start to the game. The win would essentially punch the ticket for the Tide to move into the National Championship game again this year with the only remotely interesting game left in their schedule coming in rivalry week with the Iron Bowl. The new age rivalries would highlight a week that would go a long way in determining the National Championship. The Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles would both win and are on a collision course for the National Championship with rivalry week the only thing standing in the way of either earning a spot in the championship game. For the Ducks it was another bad week in Stanford as their title hopes faded away with one big loss that would make the BCS picture clearer.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Jameis Winston, QB (Florida State)
The Oregon Ducks losing would be the best thing to happen for the Florida State Seminoles and their freshman QB. The loss would mean that the Seminoles could be headed to the National Championship this year and it would leave an opening at the top of the Heisman Race. The week 11 game for the Seminoles would not be as important as they would easily take care of the Wake Forest Daemon Deacons 59-3 and for Winston that wasn’t too great as he would not see the field too much. A 159 yard 2 TD game is pedestrian for the freshman but he will still takeover the top spot as the leader of the #2 team in the BCS. He will have to work to get it though as there are others waiting for him to falter and a big performance at Syracuse will help him to solidify his spot.
Stats (9 Games):
69.2% (53 rsh)
2,661 yds (157 rsh yds)
26 TD (3 rsh TD)
7 INT

2. Johnny Manziel, QB (Texas A&M)
You can make a very easy argument for Manziel to be at the top of the Heisman race as he is the one player who has not really had a bad game this year. The biggest aspect against him though is the fact that Manziel has already won this award and there are not many voters willing to give the trophy to a player again. Winston will leap-frog him this week but it is not because of Manziel who had another dominant performance. 446 yards and 5 TDs would lead the Aggies over the Mississippi State bulldogs and add more stats to the great numbers by Manziel. The only thing he needs to do now is continue playing like he has and hope that other players trip up leaving no choice than to make him the only person to win the Heisman two years in a row.
Stats (10 Games):
73.0% (110 rsh)
3,313 yds (611 rsh yds)
31 TD (8 rsh TD)
11 INT

3. Bryce Petty, QB (Baylor)
One of the late season risers took another big step towards throwing his name into the ring as one of the best players in the NCAA. Bryce Petty has had to fill some big shoes when Robert Griffin left to the NFL and this season he has come into his own as a leader. He would enjoy the spot left by Mariota and will enter the top three this week after helping the Baylor Bears to a big win over Oklahoma. With 204 yards and 3 TDs through the air added to 45 yards and 2 TDs on the ground to take the win and move his Bears into the BCS Bowl picture. Petty has a long way to go but if he can continue his performance and a few players falter he might find himself coming out of nowhere to win the Heisman. Most importantly he has to continue his strong performances especially next week when he leads the Bears against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Stats (8 Games):
66.8% (44 rsh)
2,657 yds (118 rsh yds)
21 TD (8 rsh TD)
1 INT

4. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
Stats (9 Games):
62.3% (62 rsh)
2,531 yds (495 rsh yds)
22 TD (9 rsh TD)
0 INT

5. AJ McCarron, QB (Alabama)
Stats (9 Games):
69.4%
2,041 yds
19 TD
3 INT

 

BCS Rankings:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
2. Florida State Seminoles (2)
3. Ohio State Buckeyes (4)
4. Stanford Cardinal (5)
5. Baylor Bears (6)
6. Oregon Ducks (3)
7. Auburn Tigers (9)
8. Clemson Tigers (7)
9. Missouri Tigers (8)
10. South Carolina Gamecocks (12)
11. Texas A&M Aggies (15)
12. Oklahoma State Cowboys (14)
13. UCLA Bruins (13)
14. Fresno State Bulldogs (16)
15. NIU Huskies (18)
16. Michigan State Spartans (17)
17. UCF Knights (21)
18. Oklahoma Sooners (10)
19. Arizona State Wildcats (22)
20. Louisville Cardinals (20)
21. LSU Tigers (13)
22. Wisconsin Badgers (24)
23. Miami Hurricanes (11)
24. Texas Longhorns (–)
25. Georgia Bulldogs (–)

 

Key Scores:
#5 Stanford Cardinal 26 – 20 Oregon Ducks #3
– The week would start with some very big games including the Pac-12 rivalry between the Ducks and the Cardinal with the Cardinal coming out on top thanks to their punishing running game and stifling defence

#6 Baylor Bears 41 – 12 Oklahoma Sooners #10
– The Bears would meet their first big test of the season as they would take on the Sooners who have continue to hang in the BCS picture but would take the loss and help the Bears into the BCS Bowl picture

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide 38 – 17 LSU Tigers #13
– The rivalry has not been as good as it used to be as the Tigers have fallen off and the Tide have only become more dominant but there was still a glimmer of hope for LSU fans that they could end the Alabama run and it almost came true until the Tide came alive in the 4th quarter

Pittsburgh Panthers 28 – 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish #23
– The Fighting Irish only needed to get to the top 14 in the BCS rankings to earn a BCS Bowl berth and they were headed that way but a loss to the Panthers will end their hopes essentially eliminating the Irish from the BCS Bowl picture

 

Next Week:
Syracuse Orange vs. #2 Florida State Seminoles (Saturday November 16th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Seminoles would get some good fortune in week 11 as they would no longer see the Ducks challenging their National Championship berth but they need to come out and beat Syracuse if they hope to stay in that position

Utah Utes vs. #6 Oregon Ducks (Saturday November 16th; 4:00 pm ET)
– The Ducks are recovering from a big loss but their BCS Bowl hopes are not done as they will need to run the table in a big way to get a BCS Bowl berth and it all starts against the Utes that they will need to put up a lot of points against if they hope to climb back up the rankings

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. #5 Baylor Bears (Saturday November 16th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Bears are making the rise as they continue to climb up the rankings in the BCS Buster position that the Red Raiders used to be as they will need to beat the Red Raiders if they hope to continue their BCS Bowl hopes

#4 Stanford Cardinal vs. USC Trojans (Saturday November 16th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Cardinal are coming off of a big win against the Oregon Ducks and are now looking to make a real run at the National Championship but after a big win they will need refocus and not allow the Trojans to surprise them and end their hopes

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