NCAA Football Report (Week 12)

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The NCAA season continues to wind around towards the playoff as top four teams continue to drop. The #1 team in the nation took their first loss of the season as Mississippi State could not overcome the challenge from Alabama. So for another week the rankings change and the playoff adjusts. It seems like every week another top four teams takes a loss in one of the strangest years in recent memory. It is all only made stranger with the fact that it is all about the top four teams and not the top two teams that make it in. That has made the season a lot more interesting as four teams look to continue their run to the playoff with plenty more weeks to go before the final rankings come out and plenty more opportunity for other teams to make the top four. As the season moves on there are many teams with a chance at making the top four but there are plenty of teams that will sit on the outside looking in. Teams that are not used to be a non-factor in the National Championship race. These teams are all beginning to look at where they went wrong in the season and trying to fix things for next year. They may not be finished their season yet but there hopes of making the playoff are over as they sit too far out of the top of the rankings. Even more are sitting completely out of the rankings with limited amounts of wins this season despite being powerhouses of the past. That is true of the Florida Gators who have had another season to forget. After riling the NCAA for years with Tim Tebow at the helm and under Urban Meyer’s system the Gators have not been able to find their form again. In 2010 the Gators had one of their worst records in their past few years finishing at 8-5. It was the beginning of the downturn for the Gators who finish 2011 with a 7-6 record and last year only reached a 4-8 record in their worst season ever. In between they saw brief success with an 11-1 record in 2011 and a top 5 ranking. Still the Gators are used to winning and being on top almost every year so three out of four years with mediocre records was not the best situation to try to come out of in 2014. After Urban Meyer left in 2010 defensive coordinator Will Muschamp took over the team and oversaw the worst season for the gators in 2013. Coming into 2014 his job was on the line as the three seasons he has been at the helm were not the best that the Gators had seen. Heading into Week 12 the Gators were sitting at a 5-3 record and the rumours about Muschamp losing his job were swirling more and more. He would need to have a good showing in his final three games of the season, games that included South Carolina and Florida State. Then the Gators lost to the Gamecocks and lost in overtime 23-20. Despite the close game it was the last straw for Florida with the school relieving Muschamp of his duties. It was the end of the brief Muschamp era in Florida as he ended his time as a head coach with a 22-15 record. For most schools and even many pro teams that record is good enough to keep your job. That is not true for a team like Florida though as they measure success from their National Championships rather than a regular season record. If they can’t be a part of the national championship picture every year they are not happy and that showed with Muschamp. The pressure to win in Florida and in many other programs is tremendous and if a team can’t compete they look for change fairly quickly. Muschamp was just the latest casualty in the pressure filled NCAA as the Gators moved on after only three years with the hope that a new coach can bring them back to the top of the rankings next year.

 

Heisman Watch

1. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
The Ducks took their final week off of the season in Week 12 as Mariota got an extra week to prepare for the last two games of the season. With Oregon in the playoff Mariota is sure to remain one of the top candidates for the Heisman as long as he carries the Ducks to two wins to end the season. With Colorado and Oregon State left it shouldn’t be hard before the Pac-12 championship as long as they can stay focused on the end goal.
Stats (10 Games):
67.1% cmp (89 att)
2,780 yds (524 rsh yds)
29 TD (8 rsh TD)
2 INT
184.6 rtg

2. Melvin Gordon, RB (Wisconsin)
Breaking an NCAA record is a good way to increase your standing sin the Heisman voting and Gordon did just that. With 408 yards against Nebraska, good enough for the single game record that had been around since 1999. Gordon continues to make a good case for himself as he is making this race much closer than many thought as the season closes out.
Stats (10 Games):
223 att
1,909 yds
8.6 avg
23 TD

3. Amari Cooper, WR (Alabama)
It was a big win for the Tide as they took out the top ranked team in the NCAA and Cooper was a big part of that. With 88 yards on the day and a touchdown Cooper was one of the top receivers again as he continues to try to get some recognition in the Heisman race. With the race seemingly coming down to two main people Cooper remains on the outside as he looks to gain some serious consideration in the last few weeks.
Stats (10 Games):
87 rec
1,303 yds
15.0 avg
11 TD

4. Dak Prescott, QB (Mississippi State)
Stats (10 Games):
60.3% cmp (165 att)
2,521 yds (861 rsh yds)
20 TD (11 rsh TD)
10 INT
150.1 rtg

5. Trevone Boykin, QB (TCU)
Stats (10 Games):
59.3% cmp (122 att)
3,021 yds (548 rsh yds)
24 TD (7 rsh TD)
5 INT
143.0 rtg

 

CFP Rankings:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4)
2. Oregon Ducks (2)
3. Florida State Seminoles (3)
4. Mississippi State Bulldogs (1)
5. TCU Horned Frogs (4)
6. Ohio State Buckeyes (8)
7. Baylor Bears (7)
8. Ole Miss Rebels (10)
9. UCLA Bruins (11)
10. Georgia Bulldogs (15)
11. Michigan State Spartans (12)
12. Kansas State Wildcats (8)
13.  Arizona State Sun Devils (6)
14. Auburn Tigers (9)
15. Arizona Wildcats (14)
16. Wisconsin Badgers (20)
17. Utah Utes (23)
18. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (22)
19. USC Trojans (–)
20. Missouri Tigers (–)
21. Oklahoma Sooners (–)
22. Clemson Tigers (19)
23. Nebraska Cornhuskers (16)
24. Louisville Cardinals (–)
25. Minnesota Golden Gophers (25)
– Last Updated November 18

 

Key Scores:
#5 Alabama Crimson Tide 25 – 20 Mississippi State Bulldogs #1
– It was just another upset in a year of upsets although it was not the biggest underdog story as the top team in the nation was beat for the first time as the Crimson Tide made their case for the playoff by taking out the Bulldogs

#3 Florida State Seminoles 30 – 26 Miami Hurricanes
– The rivalry has been going on for ever and although the Seminoles were heavily favoured in the game, a rivalry game is far from predictable and the ‘Noles figured that out escaping with a win over their in-state rivals

Oregon State Beavers 35 – 27 Arizona State Sun Devils #6
– The Sun Devils were coming off of their biggest win of the season against Notre Dame and they seemed to relax a bit too much against the Beavers who scored 21 points in the second half compared to Arizona State’s 3 to take the win

#15 Georgia Bulldogs 34 – 7 Auburn Tigers #9
– The Bulldogs are trying to make a case for a top 10 ranking and a big bowl as they beat the Tigers who lost their second game in a row while the ‘Dawgs’ continue to win and move up the rankings

 

Next Week:
Yale Bulldogs vs. Harvard Crimson (Saturday November 22nd; 12:30 pm ET)
– Simply known as ‘The Game’ the Yale-Harvard match is one of the oldest rivalries in the NCAA and they continue to fight it out as this time it will be for the Ivy League title as Yale looks to continue their strong season by beating Harvard and winning the title

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #7 Baylor Bears (Saturday November 22nd; 7:30 pm ET)
– Another Big 12 matchup could mean another shootout ads the Bears try to continue their rise up the rankings while the Cowboys look to complete the upset and ruin the Beras chances at a big bowl game

North Carolina Tarheels vs. Duke Blue Devils (Saturday November 22nd; 7:30 pm ET)
-The Blue Devils are having one of their best seasons to date as they continue to stay in the top 25 when they take on their conference rivals in the Tarheels in hopes that they can stay in the rankings

#19 USC Trojans vs. #9 UCLA Bruins (Saturday November 22nd; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Trojans and Bruins face-off in a classic California rivalry as the Bruins try to continue their rise in the rankings while the Trojans look for one last boost in their mediocre season nearing the end of the year

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