Thursday, October 27, 2011

College Football Week 8 Review

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images)
Kirk Cousins and the Michigan State Spartans knocked off the Wisconsin Badgers
thanks to a hail mary touchdown with no time left on the clock.

This past week in college football, seven teams in the Top 25 lost, five of which were upsets. (3) Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech, (6) Wisconsin lost to (16) Michigan State, (15) West Virginia lost to Syracuse, (20) Auburn lost to (1) LSU, (22) Georgia Tech lost to Miami, (23) Illinois lost to Purdue, and (25) Washington lost to (8) Stanford.

BCS Top 10:
1. LSU Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
4. Boise State Broncos
5. Clemson Tigers
6. Stanford Cardinal
7. Oregon Ducks
8. Kansas State Wildcats
9. Oklahoma Sooners
10. Arkansas Razorbacks

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Stanford Cardinal RB's- The running game for Stanford rushed for 446 yards and five touchdowns in a 65-21 pounding against Washington. With two running backs rushing for over 100 yards and a third with 93, the Stanford running backs made it easy for Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck, who only needed to throw for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
2. Texas Tech QB Seth Doege- Douge threw for 441 yards and four touchdowns, in effort to defeat Oklahoma. Douge helped the Red Raiders jump out to a 41-24 lead, which helped the Raiders later on when Oklahoma scored two late fourth quarter touchdowns.
3. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd- Boyd threw for 359 yards and five touchdowns, helping his Tigers remain undefeated. After beating North Carolina 59-38, Boyd and the Tigers climbed to 5th in the BCS Rankings.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Auburn Tigers- The reigning BCS champions lost again Saturday and are now 5-3. How can a team that was the best team in the country last season, not even be in the top five in their respective division? We know that Auburn lost Cam Newton, but they still have running back Michael Dyer and many other players.
2. Wisconsin Badgers- The Badgers lost their first game of the season to Michigan State. Wisconsin hasn't won in East Lansing since 2002. Quarterback Russell Wilson's Heisman chances don't look very bright after a careless performance vs. the Spartans.
3. Illinois Fighting Illini- After starting the season 6-0, Illinois has lost its last two games and has dropped out of the Top 25. With their next three games being against Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the Illini could be 6-5 entering their last game of the season.

Game of the Week: Wisconsin vs. Michigan State

The College Gameday crew flew out to East Lansing for the Game of the Week. Wisconsin was trying to win it's first game at Michigan State since 2002. The Badgers jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and were in position to add to their lead, when Russell Wilson threw an interception right outside of the red zone. Michigan State wouldn't convert on their next possession, but were able to pin Wisconsin inside their own five yard line, which eventually lead to a safety. The Badgers' next two possessions were a blocked field goal and a blocked punted returned for a touchdown. The second quarter was dominated by Michigan State, who scored 23 unanswered points to take a 23-14 halftime lead. Wisconsin would come all the way back to score two late touchdowns and tie the game up at 31 with just a minute to play. After forcing Michigan State into a third a long, Wisconsin called timeout when the game could have went into overtime. The Spartans converted the first down and with five seconds left had a chance for a final play on the fifty yard line. Cousins bombed up a prayer that was miraculously deflected into the hands of a Spartans wide receiver who then stepped into the endzone to end the game. 37-31 Sparty!

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (8) Kansas State vs. (9) Oklahoma- Can the Sooners respond after a loss to Texas Tech and hand Kansas State their first loss of the season?
2. (11) Michigan State vs. (13) Nebraska- Which Big Ten team will pull through in the first of many battles in Lincoln?
3. (15) Wisconsin vs. Ohio State- Can the Badgers bounce back from an ugly loss to Michigan State and beat the Buckeyes for a second straight year?
4. (22) Georgia vs. Florida- After starting off the season 0-2, Georgia has won five straight games. Is it too late for the Bulldogs to make a late-season push?
5. (19) Penn State vs. Illinois- Can the Fighting Illinois get back on track or will these next three games ruin their season?

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