NCAA Football Report (Week 13)

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The NCAA entered one of the best weeks in College football with rivalry week providing plenty of great matchups at the end of the regular season.

Teams were ready to take on their biggest rivals and that often means that they will take the biggest challenge of their season.

More often than not the ranking of either team doesn’t matter because this is the championship for those lower or unranked teams.

They go all out because if they can’t have a good season they can at least beat the team they hate the most.

This year had plenty of big implications as teams were not only looking to get a win over their rivals but to get a step closer to the playoff.

There were plenty of teams that were far from solidly in the playoff heading into this week as many teams needed a win in rivalry week to ensure their spot for another week.

It was a tense week with a lot on the line but when all the dust settled from the big games there were few top teams worried about their spot.

The best teams won their games and some left no doubt with Michigan State and Oklahoma winning by big margins and Alabama winning convincingly.

The rivalry week provided few questions in the playoff as all of the top teams came out with wins leaving championship week to solve all of the questions about the playoff.

It is sure to be an important week as a few teams will essentially be playing for a playoff spot alongside their conference title.

As important as these games will be the season has ended for a lot more teams and that means some major jobs are about to be up for grabs.

The NCAA doesn’t wait for the season to officially end before they begin searching for new coaches and firing their current coaches.

The regular season is officially over and for teams that means recruiting season is shifted into high gear to get the final members of their recruiting class.

For new coaches it is a time to visit all of their top recruits and ensure that they still belong at their school despite the coaching change.

This year the coaching news was major as there were some major programs seeing some legendary coaches leave or potentially leave.

None were bigger than at LSU where the man known as the “Mad Hatter” seemed to be on his way out.

The Tigers had started the season great and Les Miles was riding high once again at the top of the SEC.

Then they hit the Alabama wall and afterwards began to fall apart losing all of their momentum and ending their playoff hopes and the hopes of the Heisman Trophy.football-sidebar

That collapse led many to believe that Miles was done in LSU and that the time of the man who thrilled fans for the past decade.

Entering rivalry week the rumours became almost fact as many thought that the decision had been made and that their game against Texas A&M would be his last.

After a 19-7 win the players carried him off of the field in what looked like a final goodbye but in the end it was all just rumours as Miles is going to keep his job and will reportedly be back in 2016.

The same couldn’t be said for Mark Richt who has been at the head of the Georgia program since 2001.

After years of less than great finishes, they hadn’t been to the SEC title game since 2011, the Bulldogs are trying to find some new blood.

In some less shocking news the South Carolina Gamecocks are looking for a new coach after legendary coach Steve Spurrier announced his retirement in October.

The USC Trojans were also looking for a new coach after firing Steve Sarkisian earlier in the year, that position was filled by Clay Helton after guiding the team to the Pac-12 Championship as the interim coach.

In one of the more emotional changes though was at Virginia Tech where one of the greatest coaches in college history leaves after 26 seasons.

Frank Beamer announced his retirement earlier in the year and this week was his last game at the helm of the program going out as the 15th winningest coach in NCAA history.

Filling his massive shoes will be Justin Fuente who led the Memphis Tigers in a great year that had many wondering if they were going to make the playoff.

The coaching changes are often not the biggest topics this time of year as championships are coming and with it the final week to prove that teams belong in the CFP.

Still they are major news as some very tenured coaches are leaving their posts bringing in new eras for some legendary programs as these teams head to bowl season and beyond.

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Key Scores:
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide 29 – 13 Auburn Tigers
– The Iron Bowl has been one of the most unpredictable in the last few years but with Derrick Henry running 46 times for 271 yards the Tide were able to overcome a comeback attempt to take the SEC West and a spot in the SEC title game that will determine their playoff fate

#3 Oklahoma Sooners 58 – 23 Oklahoma State Cowboys #11
– The Sooners were a new arrival in the playoff and they went into the defacto Big 12 Conference title game looking to prove they belonged which they did beating the Cowboys and taking the Big 12 title as they wait and see what happens on championship week

#5 Michigan State Spartans 55 – 16 Penn State Nittany Lions
– The Spartans are right on the edge of the playoffs and they are doing everything they can to get in as they sailed past the Lions with a big win as they head to the Big Ten championship game and an almost quarter-final

#9 Stanford Cardinal 38 – 36 Notre Dame Fighting Irish #6
– The Fighting Irish did not impress in Week 12 and found themselves out of the top four but a win at Stanford was going to make the decision a lot more difficult and despite going ahead late in the fourth they allowed the Cardinal to march into field goal range for the game-winner

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