NCAA Football Report (Week 13)

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NCAA Football is very proud of their great traditions and the great history that many of their school have. It seems like every week there is another story about another tradition from another school. Whether it is the gator chomp, the sign at Notre Dame, the rock at Clemson, or the T at Tennessee there are plenty of great traditions in college football. The traditions are not limited to certain teams though as Week 13 marked a significant part of the countdown towards the playoff. Week 13 was officially one week away from rivalry week, possibly the greatest week of college football every single year. Unfortunately that is not the only thing Week 13 has become known for. It has also become the newest college football tradition and could become known as practice week. Week 14 in College football is one of the most important weeks of the season for all of the top teams in the rankings. That is the week that they take on their biggest rival and when rankings are thrown out entirely. That is because it doesn’t matter whether the #1 team is taking on an unranked team, in a rivalry game anyone can win. The motivation is so much more in the final week of the season and a loss in that week gives no time for a team to recover meaning it can mean the difference between a playoff game and just another bowl game. So teams try to concentrate on that game as much as possible and for many that means scheduling a game that means absolutely nothing in Week 13. It was started by the SEC who saw themselves being ranked near the top of the rankings in Week 13 with big games coming in Week 14 and a team that could use a bit of a week off. In their minds the idea was simply to take a game against a team outside of the Division-I FBS schools. That way they could give their team a bit of a week off and let some of their key player recover from injuries without a lot at risk. Of course a smaller school could beat one of these FBS schools and surprise everyone but more often than not it is a walk for the bigger school who keeps their starters in for a half before letting the backups take over in a blowout. It is a practice that has become more common throughout the NCAA and has made Week 13 one of the worst in the NCAA calendar. Not every school takes the week off though as many play a rivalry game before the final week or try to load their schedule with as many good teams as possible. That is what all teams should be doing instead of taking a week off for the second time in the year. Usually the top teams play an easy team in Week 1 and schedule another weak team in Week 13. Not to mention added one or two more easy walkthroughs to their schedule. Their excuse? They have a tough conference schedule that should be enough proof of them being a better team. That shouldn’t be the way it is though as teams should have to schedule tough teams from start to finish to prove that they can be ranked among the best in the country. Big schools get the luxury of scheduling these easy teams while smaller schools are forced to run the gauntlet by scheduling the best teams they can outside of conference in the hopes that they can be noticed. That becomes a lot harder when the top teams refuse to prove themselves against ranked teams. Instead they choose to play Western Carolina, Charleston Southern, Georgia State, or Samford. As good as these school might be in the FCS or Division-II they are just simply not able to compete with the budgets and recruiting power of the big FBS teams. With a new system in place it is time to finally make these teams pay for their weak schedules. Yes they have tough conferences but taking weeks off proves nothing about whether or not they belong in the playoff. It may not happen this week but at some point the new CFP voters should start to take the weak out of conference schedules into account. If not for the integrity of the game than simply to prevent a week where there is only three games between ranked teams and only one of them featuring a top 10 team. Heading into rivalry week and eventually bowl season it simply makes no sense for fans to be subjected to a week full of pointless games with almost no repercussions on the rankings.

 

Heisman Watch

1. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
Mariota was once again dominant against Colorado with another 300+ yard game through the air that was only added to by his four touchdowns. The performance was just par for the course for the best quarterback in the league. It will be a little bit tougher next week in the rivalry game against Oregon State but he will still be expected to have a big game to stay on top of the Heisman rankings.
Stats (11 Games):
68.0% cmp (97 att)
3,103 yds (597 rsh yds)
32 TD (9 rsh TD)
2 INT
185.2 rtg

2. Melvin Gordon, RB (Wisconsin)
Gordon’s single game rushing record did not last very long as he held the title for one week before losing it to Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine. Still Gordon made news on the week becoming the first running back to reach 2,000 yards and doing it in the fastest time in NCAA history. He continues to break records and that is making the decision a lot harder for the voters as the season winds down.
Stats (11 Games):
254 att
2,109 yds
8.3 avg
25 TD

3. Trevone Boykin, QB (TCU)
The Horned Frogs were off this week giving Boykin no time to help his case but fortunately he got some help from bad performances of other top contenders. He goes into the last week of the season with the chance to increase his standing in the Heisman race. Next week he takes on Texas with a chance to move closer to the playoff and the Heisman.
Stats (10 Games):
59.3% cmp (122 att)
3,021 yds (548 rsh yds)
24 TD (7 rsh TD)
5 INT
143.0 rtg

5. Dak Prescott, QB (Mississippi State)
Stats (11 Games):
61.4% cmp (171 att)
2,714 yds (891 rsh yds)
23 TD (12 rsh TD)
10 INT
153.5 rtg

5. J.T. Barrett, QB (Ohio State)
Stats (11 Games):
64.8% cmp (156 att)
2,658 yds (849 rsh yds)
33 TD (9 rsh TD)
10 INT
171.4 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:
#3 Florida State 20 – 17 Boston College
– They continue to win but they don’t do it in convincing fashion which is the entire reason the defending champs are not #1 as they barely got by the Eagles thanks to a last-minute field goal in a less than promising performance

Arkansas Razorbacks 30 – 0 Ole Miss Rebels #8
– The Rebels were all the talk of the NCAA world only a few short weeks ago but they have fallen fast and a shutout loss against the Razorbacks, who announced their arrival with the win, will not help them stay in the rankings

#9 UCLA Bruins 38 – 20 USC Trojans #19
– They started the season as the dark horse for the playoff but the Bruins have not had the season they were hoping for although they put themselves in a good position in case of upsets next week after easily winning the Battle of LA

#16 Wisconsin Badgers 26 – 24 Iowa Hawkeyes
– It was supposed to be an easy game before their Week 14 matchup against the Golden Gophers but the Badgers had a rough day just getting by Iowa while Melvin Gordon topped 2,000 yards becoming the fastest to do so in NCAA history

 

Next Week:
#13 Arizona State Sun Devils vs. #15 Arizona Wildcats (Friday November 28th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Duel in the Desert will mean more than it has in recent years as both teams may not have a chance at the playoff but they do have a shot a high-ranking and a good bowl as they take on each other with top rankings on the line

#4 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. #8 Ole Miss Rebels (Saturday November 29th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Egg Bowl was supposed to be the biggest game of the year and the defacto national championship but both teams have taken losses now with the Bulldogs having everything to lose and the Rebels having nothing except making sure their rivals move out of the playoff

#14 Auburn Tigers vs. #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (Saturday November 29th; 7:45 pm ET)
– Not that it was ever a bad rivalry but the Iron Bowl has become one of the most exciting games every year and the Tide are still reeling from the last second return TD from 2013 as they look to stay #1 and get the revenge they have been waiting for

#2 Oregon Ducks vs. Oregon State Beavers (Saturday November 29th; TBD)
– The Ducks are set to finally get a shot at the national title after years of just coming short but they have to get the win in the Civil War to do so in a game that many see as much closer than the rankings indicate

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