NCAA Football Report (Week 7)

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It has been a strange few weeks in College football with teams continuing to change positions in the rankings. Last week was the beginning of everything when in one week the rankings took on a completely new look. It was the first time that four of the top five teams in the nation lost in the same week. That created plenty of opportunity for other teams to shift into the playoff picture while the top teams fell and were forced to create a comeback. This week the changes continued as many of the fast-rising teams got another week to prove that they were for real. Two teams took full advantage of that and brought a state into focus more than ever before. Mississippi is in the heart of SEC country and yet they have taken a seat to some of the other states in the conference. Neither of the big two schools from the state have done a whole lot in the SEC and the national stage. Ole Miss and Mississippi State have taken over College Football this year but neither have had a lot of success since this year. Ole Miss is the team carrying the torch for the state over the last century winning three National Titles while State has no national titles and one SEC division title. Yet despite their differences in their history everything has changed this year with both teams making a lot of noise in the season. For Mississippi State it was all about Week 6 when the team took advantage of their opportunity to become one of the best teams in the nation. The Bulldogs took on Texas A&M in a game that was not only a big conference matchup but a matchup between a #12 team and the #6 Aggies. The Bulldogs passed the test with a great offensive performance putting up 48 points and getting the win to move into the top five of the rankings. Then this week they took advantage of another great opportunity when they faced off with the #3 team in the nation in Auburn. Once again the Bulldogs were on the winning side and got a great reward for the win. Mississippi State is now the best team in the country after Week 7, leaping over Florida State in the AP rankings. The Move to first was a big one for the Bulldogs who are having a great season and putting themselves into the national conversation. The ability to skip over Florida State came after the Seminoles have had a season where they have not looked like the top team in the nation but have not had anyone challenge them. With so many teams in the top of the rankings losing there has not been a team to show that they could be better than the Seminoles. That was until the Bulldogs continued their run beating the top teams in the nation and showing that they are the team to challenge the Seminoles for the top spot. As the Bulldogs now sit on top of the rankings their in-state rivals are setting themselves up for a run at the top spot if the Bulldogs should stay at the top of the rankings. Ole Miss took advantage of their opportunity when they beat the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide in Week 6 and took over that spot from the perennial power. After beating Texas A&M the Rebels remain at #3 in the nation putting the two biggest Mississippi schools in the top three and poised for a playoff run. It won’t be easy for either of these teams as there are plenty of big games coming up for both of them. If they can stay in playoff contention throughout the rest of the season it will set up a showdown at the end of the year as these two rivals face off in what could be a divisional championship game and could go a long way to determining who makes the playoffs this year. Mississippi has taken over the national rankings this year and continue to make a run at the playoffs. With plenty of games left though, both Ole Miss and Mississippi State will have to walk carefully through the minefield of the NCAA season where it has already been proven that one week can change everything.
Heisman Watch

1. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
Marcus Mariota is once again at the top of the Heisman race after the indefinite suspension of Todd Gurley has put the running back out of the running until he gets back on the field. In one of the more important games of the year Mariota took control against Oregon’s division rival UCLA and led the team to a win. With 75 yards on the ground and 210 through the air Mariota was the reason for Oregon’s win and he will try to do it again against Washington next week.
Stats (6 Games):
69.7% cmp (49 att)
1,621 yds (290 rsh yds)
17 TD (5 rsh TD)
0 INT
193.7 rtg

2. Melvin Gordon, RB (Wisconsin)
With Gurley out of the picture for the time being Gordon is carrying the running back position and did so in a big way in Week 7. Against Illinois the Wisconsin Badgers’ running back took advantage of a soft defence scoring four times and running for 175 yards in a big day. He continue to rise up the rankings and will take a week off before leading Wisconsin against Maryland in Week 9.
Stats (6 Games):
132 att
1,046 yds
7.9 avg
13 TD

3. Dak Prescott, QB (Mississippi State)
Helping his team to the top of the AP Rankings Prescott has jumped into the race for the Heisman Trophy. The dual-threat quarterback has helped his team rise fast through the rankings and has entered the Heisman talk after helping the Bulldogs to the #1 spot in the rankings. If he can continue to lead the Bulldogs on this great run he may continue to rise up in the Heisman rankings.
Stats (4 Games):
61.5% cmp (106 att)
1,478 yds (576 rsh yds)
14 TD (8 rsh TD)
4 INT
165.6 rtg

4. Bo Wallace, QB (Ole Miss)
Stats (6 Games):
68.5% cmp (50 att)
1,700 yds (89 rsh yds)
15 TD (2 rsh TD)
6 INT
168.1 rtg

5. Everett Golson, QB (Notre Dame)
Stats (6 Games):
62.5% cmp (58 att)
1,683 yds (209 rsh yds)
16 TD (4 rsh TD)
4 INT
148.7 rtg

 

AP Top 25:
1. Mississippi State Bulldogs (3)
2. Florida State Seminoles (1)
3. Ole Miss Rebels (3)
4. Baylor Bears (5)
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6)
6. Auburn Tigers (2)
7. Alabama Crimson Tide (7)
8. Michigan State Spartans (8)
9. Oregon Ducks (12)
10. Georgia Bulldogs (13)
11. Oklahoma Sooners (11)
12. TCU Horned Frogs (9)
13. Ohio State Buckeyes (15)
14. Kansas State Wildcats (17)
15. Oklahoma State Cowboys (16)
16. Arizona Wildcats (10)
17. Arizona State Sun Devils (20)
18. East Carolina Pirates (19)
19. Nebraska Cornhuskers (21)
20. Utah Utes (24)
21. Texas A&M Aggies (14)
22. USC Trojans (–)
23. Stanford Cardinal (25)
24. Clemson Tigers (–)
25. Marshall Thundering Herd (–)

 

Key Scores:
#3 Mississippi State Bulldogs 38 – 23 Auburn Tigers #2
– The Bulldogs continued their run up the rankings beating another SEC powers in the Auburn Tigers as they took full advantage of their second game against a top ranked team and moving into the #1 spot

#3 Ole Miss Rebels 35 – 20 Texas A&M Aggies #14
– The Rebels followed suit to their in state rivals when they solidified their #3 spot in the nation by beating the Aggies who lost their second game in a row that is sure to make it difficult for them to make the playoffs

#5 Baylor Bears 61 – 58 TCU Horned Frogs #9
– Both in the top ten of the rankings the Horned Frogs and Bears faced off in a Texas battle with the Bears taking the win and moving into the top four and into playoff contention while the Frogs fell out of the top 10

#7 Alabama Crimson Tide 14 – 13 Arkansas Razorbacks
– The Tide have been the constant power in the NCAA for years now but after losing last week they seem vulnerable and only barely got by the Razorbacks this week as they continue to bring questions about whether their time is done

Next Week:
#14 Kansas State Wildcats vs. #11 Oklahoma Sooners (Saturday October 18th; 12:00 pm ET)
– The Sooners were sitting in the playoffs to start the season but after their first loss in Week 6 they are trying to continue to climb back into playoff contention and a win in Week 7 helped them get back as they try to continue the trend against the Wildcats

#21 Texas A&M Aggies vs. #7 Alabama Crimson Tide (Saturday October 18th; 3:30 pm ET
– The Aggies and Tide have struggled over the past few weeks and they are falling out of contention for the playoffs but both will look to rebound as the Aggies try to stay in the top 25 and the Tide try to stay in contention

#15 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #12 TCU Horned Frogs (Saturday October 18th; 4:00 pm ET)
– The Horned Frogs and Cowboys are making some noise in the Big 12 and they continue to try to do that same thing against each other as two one-loss teams try to move up the Big 12 standings and up the national rankings

#5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #2 Florida State Seminoles (Saturday October 18th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Seminoles are fighting to get their top ranking back but they will face their toughest test this season when they take on the rising Irish who have had plenty of problems this year but have found ways to win game and are hoping for a signature win against the ‘Noles

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