Wednesday, November 7, 2012

College Football Week 10 Review

(AP Photo/Bret Hartman)
Kenjon Barner went beastmode on the Trojans this past weekend in Pasadena.

Sorry for the writing hiatus that took place the last week and a half due to Hurricane Sandy. I missed out on a chance to cover college football and the NFL, in addition to writing my annual NBA season preview. This past week in college football, there were eight teams ranked in the BCS Top 25 who lost over the weekend. Of those eight, five were upset while three fell to higher ranked teams. (15) Mississippi State lost to (16) Texas A&M thanks to a great effort by super freshmen Johnny Manziel; (18) Texas Tech lost their second game in consecutive weeks, this time to (23) Texas; (19) Boise State lost on their blue turf to San Diego State; (21) West Virginia was shocked by TCU and (22) Arizona got bounced by UCLA. As for the BCS Top 25 teams who lost, but were not upset: (5) LSU lost to the top team in the nation, (1) Alabama (17), USC lost a barnburner to (4) Oregon and (24) Oklahoma State lost to Optimus-Klein and (2) Kansas State. In the most recent BCS polls, an incredible five of the top ten teams are members of the SEC conference.

BCS Top 10:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. Kansas State Wildcats
3. Oregon Ducks
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
5. Georgia Bulldogs
6. Florida Gators
7. LSU Tigers
8. South Carolina Gamecocks
9. Louisville Cardinals
10. Florida State Seminoles

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Oregon RB Kenjon Barner- The Oregon speedster rushed for 321 yards and a ridiculous five touchdowns in Oregon's route of USC. Barner helped the Ducks beat their Pac-12 rivals and force USC into giving up the most points in their history.
2. USC WR Marqise Lee- This kid is only a sophomore but he already plays like a pro-bowl receiver in the NFL. Lee caught 12 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns. His yards after catch is fantastic and will surely help USC as they finish out their season strong.
3. Louisville Cardinals QB Teddy Bridgewater- The sophomore gunslinger has led the Cardinals to a Top 10 BCS ranking and complete control atop the Big East conference. Last week, Bridgewater threw for 328 yards and five touchdowns against Temple.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. USC Trojans- The team started off ranked as the top team in the nation but has slipped to the edge of the BCS. Although the offense has been impressive thus far, the defense has been atrocious. The Trojans gave up a team worst 62 points to Oregon last week. Simply not acceptable by USC standards.
2. Boise State Broncos- It's rare when the Broncos lose on their home turf. Boise State has had a quiet season, mostly because of the team's Week 1 loss to Michigan State. The loss last week just further quiets the Broncos from national coverage.
3. Michigan State Spartans- After advancing to the inaugural Big Ten championship last year, Sparty has underperformed this season. Their loss against Nebraska last week puts them at an unimpressive 5-5 this season.

Game of the Week: (4) Oregon vs. (17) USC

While many might have had (1) Alabama vs. (5) LSU as their Game of the Week, I had the Pac-12 showdown as the spotlight game. Because I favor thrilling offensive plays to smash-mouth defensive football, this Oregon vs. USC game immediately captured my attention. Oregon jumped out to an early 14-3 lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to two touchdown passes by freshmen phenom Marcus Mariota. In the second quarter the two teams exchanged back and forth touchdowns, eventually ending the half with a score of 34-24 in favor of the Ducks. Eight touchdowns were scored in total in the first half. In the second half, the two offensive juggernauts continued to score back and forth, as every Kenjon Barner score was negated by either Silas Redd or Marqise Lee. Eight more touchdowns were scored in the second half, but unfortunately for USC, the teams split with four scores each. When the final whistle blew, the Ducks had conquered the Trojans 62-51. As already stated, Barner and Lee finished with incredible boxscores. In addition to those two stars, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota finished with 304 passing yards and four touchdowns, while Matt Barkley finished with 484 yards and five touchdowns.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (1) Alabama vs. (15) Texas A&M- Can Johnny Football be the kryptonite to Alabama's perfect season?
2. (11) Oregon State vs. (14) Stanford- Which Pac-12 team will continue to fight for a spot in the conference's championship game?
3. (7) LSU vs. (21) Mississippi State- Which SEC team will rebound from their loss last week?
4. (24) Northwestern vs. Michigan- With or without Denard Robinson, Michigan will look to get back in the BCS Top 25 with an upset win.
5. (2) Kansas State vs.  TCU- Can TCU upset another team, or is Collin Klein too good for them?

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