NCAA Football Report (Week 15)

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Championship week would once again clear plenty of things up for the NCAA as it was the last chance teams would have to show that they belong in the Top 25. Many teams would see their last games just hoping to make a big enough impression to earn a bowl bid. It was the last chance for teams to show that they can put on a great show in a bowl and some teams would accomplish this while other teams fell short. Then there was the teams sitting among the top ten of the BCS rankings who all were looking at a few big games that would change the face of the BCS. The Big Ten, SEC, and ACC championship games would become much more important than just simply a conference championship. All three would have BCS implications that could have gone a long way to determining the National Championship game. The Florida State Seminoles and Ohio State Buckeyes went into the championship week sitting #1 and #2 in the BCS and looking for one more win to earn a spot in the National Championship. They would both be in their respective championship games playing essentially for a National Championship berth. Then there were the Auburn Tigers and the Missouri Tigers who had made their way to the SEC Championship Game. The SEC Championship game has acted as an almost defacto semi-final for the National Championship for the last 7 years. Every SEC champion in the last seven years has made their way to the National Championship game. Not only had the SEC champion made the National Championship but they had also won the last 7 National Championships. This was ammo for many diehard SEC supporters who believed that despite what happened in the ACC and Big Ten Championships the winner of the SEC should hop over one of the to top teams to earn a spot in the BCS title game. This would be highly unlikely of course as Ohio State and Florida State were both undefeated heading into championship week while Missouri and Auburn had one loss each. However unlikely this would be there was still a chance for either of the SEC teams to make it into the Championship game as a loss by either Florida State or Ohio State would see the winner of the SEC game likely in the BCS title game. Then again there was another SEC team that would not play this week that was hoping for a few losses as Alabama could have worked their way back to the top 2 in the rankings and earn a title berth. If either Ohio State or Florida State lost their game and Auburn lost the SEC championship the 4th place Tide may have had an argument to being put in the National Championship game. Three games this week would determine everything after teams had played 14 weeks and done everything they could to earn their rankings it would all come down to three games in the last week of the season. First would come the SEC game that would decide the team that many considered to be a National Championship team. The It was an shoot-out in Atlanta as Missouri kept pace with the high-flying Auburn team coming off of a win against the Crimson Tide. In the end it was the Auburn Tigers who would end the game on top and did everything they could to make their way to the National Championship. Then came the two biggest games as Auburn would become fans of the Duke Blue Devils and the Michigan State Spartans. The ACC Championship would not seem to be the biggest test as the Duke Blue Devils were not seen as much of a challenge to Jameis Winston and the Seminoles. That sentiment proved to be true as the Seminoles started slow but would speed up and dominate the Blue Devils to win the ACC and remain the #1 team in the BCS. So it came down to the Big Ten championship where the Michigan State Spartans would look to upset the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes. They would do just that when they would get past Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes to take the Big Ten title. The Spartan win would change everything as the Auburn Tigers would see their door open for a chance at the National Title. The rankings would come out and the Tigers would get their shot as they would move up to #2 right behind the Florida State Seminoles and would earn a spot in the National Title game. It was a great week of football for the NCAA and it would determine everything as the Army-Navy game is the only thing left before the Bowl season begins with the National Championship between Auburn and Florida State ending it all in January.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Jameis Winston, QB (Florida State)
Winston is now set to become the second freshman in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy as he has finished his season out as a champion. The Seminoles would have another great week as Winston would help them to the ACC championship and the #1 spot in the BCS rankings. With the #1 spot and a conference championship there doesn’t seem to be a lot of argument against Winston as the next Heisman trophy winner. With a shaky start to the ACC Championship it seemed as though Winston may be playing himself out of the trophy but he would recover. Throwing for 330 yards and 3 TDs and running for another has given Winston the last push he needed as it seems almost a sure thing for him to win the Heisman this year with the rest of the potentials just happy to be invited to the party.
Stats (13 Games):
67.9% cmp (77 rsh)
3,820 yds (193 rsh yds)
38 TD (4 rsh TD)
10 INT

2. Andre Williams, RB (Boston College)
Andre Williams was one of the best running backs in the NCAA this season and he did everything he could to challenge for the Heisman. It does not seem to be enough though as the BC running back would not have the extra week to make an impression. Instead he would have to do all of his work throughout the season and with a few players not being able to keep up he will sneak onto the invite list for the party. Still he will not be able to win as Winston will take the trophy but being one of the top players will be good. The senior running back will take this invite into the NFL draft this year and will look to be one of the top running backs taken. It has been a tough year for the running backs in the hunt for the Heisman but in the end there will be at least one incited to New York representing the running game.
Stats (12 Games):
329 rsh
2,102 yds
6.4 avg
17 TD

3. Jordan Lynch, QB (NIU)
Lynch was having a great year and had just been able to climb into the conversation for the Heisman. Then he would take on Bowling Green in the MAC Championship and would end his Heisman run. He would do a good job of trying to get another MAC Championship for the Huskies but it was not his usual performance. Throwing for 219 yards and 1 TD while also running for 126 yards and 2 TDs would be a good showing but not a usual one for Lynch. It was a rare showing for Lynch and for it he would lose ground on his Heisman hunt falling away from Winston. He might have been the only person to argue against Winston but now he will likely get and invite and that is all as the loss has ruined Lynch’s Heisman hopes.
Stats (13 Games):
63.1% cmp (274 rsh)
2,676 yds (1,881 rsh yds)
23 TD (22 rsh TD)
7 INT

4. AJ McCarron, QB (Alabama)
Stats (12 Games):
67.6% cmp
2,676 yds
26 TD
5 INT

5. Braxton Miller, QB (Ohio State)
Stats (12 Games):
63.2% cmp (153 rsh)
1,860 yds (1,033 rsh yds)
22 TD (10 rsh TD)
5 INT

 

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

 

Championship Week

MAC Championship:
Bowling Green Falcons 47 – 27 NIU Huskies #14
– The Huskies seemed on their way to another MAC Championship as they were easily the strongest team in the conference but nobody told Bowling Green as they would put up 47 points and limit Jordan Lynch to take the MAC Championship

SEC Championship:
#3 Auburn Tigers 59 – 42 Missouri Tigers #5
– It was very uncharacteristic championship for the SEC that has seen defensive power after defensive power take home the title but Auburn and Missouri would bring the offence breaking records for points scored with Auburn coming out on top with 14 points in the fourth quarter

Pac-12 Championship:
#7 Stanford Cardinal 38 – 14 Arizona State Sun Devils #11
– Stanford had an up and down season as they seemed to be the best team but would lose twice this year that wouldn’t stop them from earning a berth in the Rose Bowl though as they would get past the Sun Devils to earn a chance at back to back Rose Bowl wins

ACC Championship:
#1 Florida State Seminoles 45 – 7 Duke Blue Devils #20
– The Seminoles had plenty at stake in the ACC championship and they were expected to easily get past the Blue Devils and after a slow start the Seminoles would come back and win the ACC championship to earn a berth in the National Championship

Big Ten Championship:
#10 Michigan State Spartans 34 – 24 Ohio State Buckeyes #2
– The Ohio state Buckeyes would enter the Big Ten Championship game riding a 24 game winning streak and looking to get a chance at the National Championship but they would come up short against a very good Michigan State team who will now make an appearance in the Rose Bowl

Mountain West Championship:
#23 Fresno State Bulldogs 24 – 17 Utah State Aggies
– The Bulldogs would start slow as they looked to remain in the top 25 in the BCS and win their conference championship but they would recover nicely and win the Mountain West conference to remain in the BCS rankings

 

Next Week:
Army Black Knights vs. Navy Midshipmen (Saturday December 14th; 3:00 pm ET)
– The tradition continues as the Army-Navy game signifies the end of the regular season and the beginning of the bowl season with the Midshipmen and Black Knights fight it out as the Midshipmen hope to retain the Commander in Chief’s Trophy

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