NCAA Football Report (Week 6)

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The NCAA is full of great and legendary programs with more amazing traditions and fierce rivalries than one could count.

If the rankings were based off of history and great programs there is no chance that it could narrow it down to 25 teams.

The league only has room for so many great teams and as schools find their way to the top of the rankings it gets tougher and tougher to stay there.

This year two small schools that are looking to start making history are sitting in what could be the playoff spot.

Baylor and TCU are great programs but neither was much of anything on the national stage.

That was until recently when big names brought these teams to the top 25 and new big names have brought them to new heights.

Depending on how the CFP committee sees their seasons one or both could earn a spot in the playoff as long as they continue their great years and avoid any major losses.

These two teams are taking their opportunity to find their spots among the NCAA’s best teams but where there are rising programs there are also falling programs.

This year has seen two teams continuing their fall from the top of the heap to the group of the unranked.

The Texas Longhorns boast one of the biggest fan bases in the NCAA but that fan base has some pretty big standards to meet.

Under Mack Brown the Longhorns were consistently contenders in the BCS National Championship race and for the Big 12 title.

They brought in some electrifying players including Ricky Williams and Vince Young that brought the Longhorns to the top of the heap.

They won six division titles along with two Big 12 Championships and a BCS National Championship under the coach.

Near the end though the program seemed to have issues finding new players to play with Brown. They let Brown go and ever since have never been near the top.

2005 was their peak when Young led the Longhorns to the National Championship in one of the greatest BCS Championship games ever.

Since then it has been a struggle and the Longhorns have found it tough to find their way back.football-sidebar

Charlie strong is trying to get the team back to greatness with little success but some light showed this week.

Strong won his first Red River Rivalry this week when the unranked Longhorns beat the #10 Oklahoma Sooners in what many may consider a shot in the arm for the program.

They are not alone in their collapse this year though as the team they beat in 2005 for the National Championship is also struggling to find an identity.

The USC Trojans were one of the best teams in the Early BCS with Pete Carroll leading the way.

Much like the Longhorns the Trojans saw plenty of great talent including Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, and Reggie Bush.

The Trojans also took the 2004 National Championship in a period where they were rarely out of the top of the rankings.

Then Carroll left for the NFL and saw the program collapse under sanctions levelled for NCAA violations when the team was winning.

Reggie Bush was stripped of his Heisman Trophy and the 2004 championship was vacated with a bowl ban put in place for the program.

As the Trojans ended their bowl ban they looked to Steve Sarkisian to bring his high-powered offence to USC and bring them back to the national stage.

They seemed like they were on the way until this week when Washington beat the Trojans.

Now the Trojans are unranked with their head coach taking a leave of absence and many calling for his job.

USC and Texas will always be linked by the 2005 season as will the Bears and the Horned Frogs will be connected by this year.

It is just a sign of the nature of the NCAA where great programs can fall from grace and unknown programs can rise to the top.

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Key Scores:
Washington Huskies 17 – 12 USC Trojans #17
– The Trojans have lost any little hope they still had to make the playoff this year as they could not get by the unranked Huskies who got some revenge over their former head coach Steve Sarkisian who came under fire after the loss

Texas Longhorns 24 – 17 Oklahoma Sooners #10
– It has been a rough road for the Longhorns who were once the model program in the nation and have been off of the rankings for a number of years but a win in the Red River Rivalry is sure to provide at least some relief for a lost season

#18 Michigan Wolverines 38 – 0 Northwestern Wildcats #13
– The Wolverines just made the rankings a few weeks ago but they are proving that they belong as they not only beat the unbeaten Wildcats but they shut them out in a dominant performance that has plenty of speculation swirling

#15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 41 – 24 Navy Midshipmen
– This game has run every year since 1927 with plenty of history among both teams and although the Irish started slow after their tough loss the week before they began to pick things up in the second half to take the win

Next Week:
#10 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. #9 Texas A&M Aggies (Saturday October 17th; 3:30 pm ET)
– Two of the SEC’s best face-off for another year as the Tide are hoping to avoid their second loss of the season in what surely would end their playoff hopes while the Aggies attempt to stay undefeated against a conference rival

#7 Michigan State Spartans vs. #12 Michigan Wolverines (Saturday October 17th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Wolverines are proving that they might just be for real in their first year under Jim Harbaugh but they will take on a much tougher opponent than anyone else in the great defence of their in-state rival, the Spartans

#8 Florida Gators vs. #6 LSU Tigers (Saturday October 17th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Tigers and the Gators were never supposed to be outside contenders in the playoff but here they are both undefeated heading into the seventh week as the Gators will try to shut down Leonard Fournette and the fast rising Tigers

USC Trojans vs. #14 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Saturday October 17th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Trojans fell completely off of the rankings this week but it won’t stop them from trying to play spoilers to a longshot comeback attempt by the Irish who will try to get another win over their cross-country rivals

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