NCAA Football Report (Week 2)

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The landscape of college football is changing and much like in Week 1 of the NCAA season the changes were expressed in a big way. In the first week of the season changes to schedules were shown with many teams looking to make an impression in their first game of the season. Instead of the walk through games that are usually in the first week there were big matchups for many teams. In Week 2 another schedule change was shown and for some it is a serious issue in the league. Notre Dame and Michigan would play their last game against each other for the foreseeable future to end one of the best rivalries in College football. Although both programs had only faced off 42 times and only regularly faced off since 2002 the rivalry between the two programs has been one of the best. Rarely is a game all that boring and more often than not it means a lot for either team. These two teams face off regularly and have built a hate amongst the players and the programs that makes great rivalries. Yet the 2014 version of the game would be the last between these two for the foreseeable future as the game is not on either team’s schedule in the coming years. The end of the rivalry has everything to do with conference adjustments in the NCAA. For Michigan the game outside of their conference becomes harder to schedule when they will be required to play 9 games in the Big Ten conference leaving less room for other teams. For Notre Dame the move of the school into the ACC conference has given the football team five ACC games every year. Although Notre Dame football is not technically in the conference they now must take five weeks of their schedule to put ACC opponents leaving less room for other opponents. Along with the new schedule the fact is that Michigan is not what they used to be and although they will likely return to greatness Notre Dame, like many other teams, must try to load their schedule with ranked opponents to help their ranking. Both teams also have other rivalries that are much more important to the school and the history of the football programs with Notre Dame looking at their USC game every year and Michigan looking forward to their Ohio State game every year. The end of the rivalry is just a sign of the times in the NCAA as every team looks to make their lives somewhat easier. It is not necessarily that they are looking for easier opponents, in fact more often than not it is the exact opposite of that. Instead programs are trying to find the best place to get them to the top of the rankings. For some teams staying in a smaller conference will mean they get to win the conference title every year but not get recognition nationally. Conferences like the C-USA or Mountain West conferences have dominant teams that are on the national stage but will rarely ever make it to the top of the rankings. So teams look to move into other conferences where they will face teams that can put them on the map. That competition may not help them win a lot initially but it does mean that the team becomes well-known. With more people knowing about the school the better the recruits are and eventually the better the program gets. It is becoming a constant in the NCAA as teams are constantly looking to face better opponents as they try to get to the top of the rankings. As teams continue to do this there will be some casualties and those will be the classic rivalries between schools. Teams will need to ignore these great rivalries in favour of putting them on national stage and helping them reach the NCAA playoff.


Heisman Watch
1. Todd Gurley, RB (Georgia)

Despite the Georgia Bulldogs staying pat this week everyone is still talking about the performance of Todd Gurley. He continues to be the talk of the league after carrying the Bulldogs to their first win of the season. He will need to do the same in his next game when Georgia opens their SEC schedule against the South Carolina Gamecocks. With the way that the Gamecocks are playing lately this game as the potential to be a big one for Gurley who will try to stay at the top of the Heisman race.
Stats (1 Game):
15 att
198 yds
13.2 avg
3 TD

2. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
It was a signature win for the Ducks as they took on a top ranked team for the first time in the season. The game was of utmost importance for the Ducks if they wanted to stay in the playoff hunt and thanks to Mariota they did just that. With 318 yards passing and 3 touchdowns Mariota helped the Ducks to the win and a move up the rankings. The Ducks continue to be one of the best teams in the league and with their now #2 ranking are sure to only get more attention.
Stats (2 Games):
64.6% cmp (15 att)
585 yards (85 yds)
6 TD (1 rsh TD)
208.2 rtg

3. Jameis Winston, QB (Florida State)
His first week was not what he had wanted to begin his Heisman campaign but Jameis Winston recovered well in Week 2. Against a much lesser opponent in Citadel Winston led the Seminoles to their second win of the season. With 256 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game Winston was clearly the reason they won the game but still it was not the dominant performance that many expected from him as his attempt to repeat as a champion may just be falling short if he cannot get back to his great performances of the past.
Stats (2 Games):
70.1% cmp (7 att)
626 yds (11 rsh yds)
3 TD (1 rsh TD)
157.4 rtg

4. Kenny Hill, QB (Texas A&M)
Stats (2 Games):
70.9% cmp
794 yds
7 TD
175.3 rtg

5. Ameer Abdullah, RB (Nebraska)
Stats (2 Games):
38 att (4 rec)
286 yds (105 yds)
7.5 avg (26.3 rec avg)
2 TD (1 rec TD)


AP Top 25:
1. Florida State Seminoles (1)
2. Oregon Ducks (3)
3. Alabama Crimson Tide (2)
4. Oklahoma Sooners (4)
5. Auburn Tigers (6)
6. Georgia Bulldogs (12)
7. Texas A&M Aggies (9)
8. Baylor Bears (10)
9. USC Trojans (14)
10. LSU Tigers (12)
11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (16)
12. UCLA Bruins (11)
13. Michigan State Spartans (7)
14. Ole Miss Rebels (15)
15. Stanford Cardinal (13)
16. Arizona State Sun Devils (17)
17. Virginia Tech Hokies (–)
18. Wisconsin Badgers (18)
19. Kansas State Wildcats (20)
20. Missouri Tigers (24)
21. Louisville Cardinals (25)
22. Ohio State Buckeyes (8)
23. Clemson Tigers (23)
24. South Carolina Gamecocks (21)
25. BYU Cougars (–)


Key Scores:
#14 USC Trojans 13 – 10 Stanford Cardinal #13
– The California rivalry has always been a good one but it was only made better with the fact that both teams were waiting for their chance to stay among the top 20 with the rebuilt Trojans coming out on top of the Cardinal

Virginia Tech Hokies 35 – 21 Ohio State Buckeyes #8
– The Buckeyes were dealt a major blow before the season when their starting QB and Heisman favourite Braxton Miller went down and they showed the type of blow they suffered in Week 2 when they fell to the Hokies

#3 Oregon Ducks 46 – 27 Michigan State Spartans #7
– It was the first matchup between top 10 teams of the season and for both teams a win was a chance to move closer to the playoffs and this time it was the offence of the Ducks that made the impression taking the win and moving up to #2 in the rankings

#16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 37 – 0 Michigan Wolverines
– Both the Wolverines and the Irish looked great in Week 1 but their games did not match the talent of this rivalry and for the Irish it was a statement game shutting out the Wolverines for the first and possibly last time ever


Next Week:
#6 Georgia Bulldogs vs.  #24 South Carolina Gamecocks (Saturday September 13th; 3:30 pm ET)
– This matchup was supposed to be one that meant big things for both teams but their seasons have gone a little different than many expected as the Bulldogs looked like a top team in their first game while the Gamecocks seem to be falling fast

Purdue Boilermakers vs. #11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Saturday September 13th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Purdue “Spoilermakers” look to be at it again as the unranked team looks to unseat another top ranked team in their in-state rivals the Notre Dame Fighting Irish who will try to continue their climb up the rankings in impressive fashion

#9 USC Trojans vs. Boston College Eagles (Saturday September 13th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Trojans are on their way up the rankings under Steve Sarkisian with a new attitude and new explosive offence as they hope to establish themselves as a top program once again while they travel to the East Coast to take on the Eagles

Texas Longhorns vs. #4 Oklahoma Sooners (Saturday September 13th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Longhorns are trying to follow the path of the Trojans in bringing respect back to their program and a win against a top 4 team will do that despite their 11 record heading into Week 3 of the season

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