Tuesday, December 6, 2011

College Football Week 14 Review

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
LaMichael James and the Oregon Ducks defeated UCLA 49-31 to win the Pac-12
Championship Game. James rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

This week marked the last week of the regular season in college football. This week was also championship week, where conferences held their championship games. This week six teams in the Top 25 lost. (5) Virginia Tech lost to (20) Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, (6) Houston lost to (24) Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Championship Game, (10) Oklahoma lost to (3) Oklahoma State, (13) Michigan State lost to (15) Wisconsin in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game, (14) Georgia lost to (1) LSU in the SEC Championship Game, and (22) Texas lost to (17) Baylor. Also, (9) Oregon defeated UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship Game,

New BCS Top 10:
1. LSU Tigers
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
4. Stanford Cowboys
5. Oregon Ducks
6. Arkansas Razorbacks
7. Boise State Broncos
8. Kansas State Wildcats
9. South Carolina Gamecocks
10. Wisconsin Badgers

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Wisconsin RB Montee Ball- Ball rushed for 137 yards and scored four times (3 rush, 1 receiving), helping the Badgers defeat the Michigan State Spartans in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. Ball now has 38 touchdowns on the year, trailing Barry Sanders' record by just one. Ball's final touchdown came in the last three minutes of play, giving Wisconsin a three point lead, and ultimately the win.
2. Baylor QB Robert Griffin III- Griffin had another Heisman worthy game, passing for 320 and two touchdowns, but also rushing for 32 yards and another two touchdowns. Griffin and the Bears easily defeated Texas 48-24, finishing the regular season with a 10-3 record. Griffin is the frontrunner to win the Heisman this year, leading the nation in quarterback rating, as well as throwing for 36 touchdowns and running in nine more.
3. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd- The sophomore quarterback helped lead Clemson over higher ranked Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. Boyd threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns, but also had a rushing touchdown. With the win, Clemson will now play in the Orange Bowl vs. West Virginia

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. BCS System- The BCS System is not a player or team, but it is infamous enough to appear in the Top Three Disappointment a few weeks in a row. The BCS System failed again, putting two teams in the same division, in the same conference, in the National Championship Game. On top of that, it gave Clemson and West Virginia automatic BCS bids over Houston and Boise State. The BCS will have to be renewed in 2013, but something tells me a new system will be created.
2. Houston Cougars- The Cougars had the chance to run the table, play in a BCS bowl game, and help Case Keenum compete for the Heisman, but blew it all when they lost to Southern Mississippi in their last game of the season. Now the Cougars are playing in a mediocre bowl, and Case Keenum is not a Hiesman finalist, despite breaking many NCAA records this season.
3. Oklahoma Sooners- The Sooners were the preseason #1 team this year, but won't even be playing in a BCS bowl game. The Sooners finished with a 9-3 record, including an embarrassing 44-10 loss to Oklahoma State this week.

Game of the Week: Wisconsin vs. Michigan State

The buildup to this game was tremendous. It was the first ever Big Ten Championship Game, against two very deserving teams. Earlier in the season, Wisconsin and Michigan State faced off in one of the most exciting games of the season. This time though, Wisconsin got its revenge, beating Michigan State in the final minutes. Like the first time around, Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead, just to have Michigan State comeback in the second quarter and take over the lead. Both teams would go on to score one touchdown in the third quarter, resulting in a 36-28 lead for Michigan State. Wisconsin would strike first in the fourth quarter, cutting the lead to one, but Michigan State answered back and kicked a field goal to make it a four point game. Wisconsin then began their game winning drive, picking up a few key third and fourth downs, including a scramble by Wilson which resulted in a 36 yard pass to Jeff Duckworth . Just one play later, Ball ran in the game winning touchdown to give Wisconsin a 42-39 lead. Michigan State would have a great chance to tie or win the game, forcing Wisconsin to punt the ball. On the punt though, Michigan State safety Isaiah Lewis ran into Wisconsin punter Brad Nortman, resulting in an automatic first down. With no timeouts left, Wisconsin took a knee and ended the game, winning the first ever Big Ten Championship Game.

Top Five Bowl Games:
1. BCS National Championship Game: LSU vs. Alabama- Hopefully the rematch between the two top teams in the country will be more exciting than their 9-6 game earlier in the season. It will be interesting to see how LSU's defense, led by the Tyrann Mathieu, the Honey Badger, matches up against Trent Richardson and the rest of Alabama's offense.
2. BCS Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Oregon- This showdown should be a high scoring duel between two of the best offenses in the country. Also, two of the best running backs in the country will battle it out as LaMichael James and the Ducks take on Montee Ball and the Badgers. Will Ball break Barry Sanders' record for most touchdowns in a season?
3. BCS Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Stanford- This matchup features two teams that easily could have played in the National Championship this season. Brandon Weeden and the Cowboys will face off against Andrew Luck and Stanford.
4. Cotton Bowl- This bowl isn't a BCS bowl, but it is certainly exciting. Arkansas will battle it out against Kansas State. This year, the Cotton Bowl is the most ingraining non BCS bowl.
5. BCS Sugar Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Michigan- This game features two at large BCS teams who didn't win their respective conferences. Nonetheless, it should be an interesting game to see as David Wilson and the Hokies take on Denard Robinson and the Wolverines.

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