Wednesday, November 14, 2012

College Football Week 11 Review

(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Johnny Football and the Aggies knocked off No. 1 Alabama this past weekend.

Move over Alabama, because there's a new No. 1 in town. Following a 29-24 loss to (15) Texas A&M this past weekend, Alabama is no longer the alpha-dog of the BCS. In addition to the Tide's loss last week, four other teams ranked in the BCS Top 25 were upset this week. (9) Louisville was defeated by Syracuse in the Carrrier Dome 45-26, (11) Oregon lost to Pac-12 rival (14) Stanford, (24) Northwestern fell to a Denard Robinson-less Michigan team, and (25) Toledo lost to Ball State. With Ohio State out of the race due to Bowl punishments, that leaves three remaining undefeated teams left in the BCS Top 25. Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame are all fighting for a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

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

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Texas AM QB Johnny Manziel- The freshman phenom, who has had my attention since the first week of the season, was the first quarterback to solve the biggest puzzle in college football: Alabama's defense. Johnny Football helped orchestrate two critical drives early in the first quarter to put the Aggies up 20-0. Despite only scoring nine points throughout the final three quarters, the early lead was enough to give the Tide their first loss in over a year. He finished with 253 pass yards, 93 rush yards and 2 touchdowns.
2. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota- Was last Saturday National Freshmen Day? The Duck's freshman quarterback threw for 377 yards and six touchdowns against Cal in a 59-17 win. His 28:5 touchdown to interception ratio is one of the best in college football and as long as he keeps slinging the ball the way he is, Oregon is likely to return to the BCS NCG.
3. Wisconsin RB Montee Ball- After rushing for 198 yards and three touchdowns against Indiana, Montee Ball is now alone in second place for the most rushing touchdowns in NCAA history. He needs one more touchdown to tie for the record of 78. Ball helped the Badgers defeat Indiana 62-14, making it likely that they return to the Big Ten Championship Game for the second season in a row.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide- It had to happen eventually, right? The Tide got off to a slow start, falling down 20-0 by the end of the first quarter. AJ McCarron tried to rally the troops, but his efforts were not good enough to keep Alabama undefeated.
2. Arkansas Razorbacks & Auburn Tigers- Where have these two teams been? While SEC football is at an all-time best, these two teams took the year (or last two years) off. Both teams suffered rough defeats last week and are under .500.
3. Louisville Cardinals- After starting off the season 9-0, Louisville lost to Syracuse. Not only did the Cardinals lose, but they lost by nearly 20 points to a team that was under .500 going into the game. Their defense, which had been good up until last week, allowed over 500 yards of offense and nearly 50 points. That's got to be a disappointing loss for Louisville.

Game of the Week: (1) Alabama vs. (15) Texas A&M

When the top team goes down, it's got to be the Game of the Week. This game has been mentioned enough in this article so I'll keep this brief. Freshman standout Johnny "Football" Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies knocked off Alabama on their own turf. The last time the Tide lost at home, they fell to Cam Newton and Auburn by one point in the Iron Bowl. Alabama turned the football over three times while the Aggies played turnover-free football. Both teams were fairly efficient on third downs, but what really changed this game was the quick and energetic start by Texas A&M. They weren't rattled by the intimidating environment and just played their style of football.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1.  (2) Oregon vs. (13) Stanford- Hey Nerd Nation, try to stop Oregon's offense. I dare you.
2.  (12) Oklahoma vs. West Virginia- Both teams have fell off the map recently, but the quarterback matchup is still a must watch.
3. Wisconsin vs. Ohio State- The last two years, these two teams have gone on to play fantastic games versus each other. If you follow the Big Ten, you're watching this game over anything else on TV.
4. (17) UCLA vs. (18) USC- There is bad blood between these two Californian rivals. Who will take home bragging rights this year?
5. Utah State vs. Louisiana Tech- This offensive showdown will settle the WAC. Over/Under 100 total points scored?

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