Tuesday, November 20, 2012

College Football Week 12 Recap

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan is making the Andrew Luck
transition process easy for everyone in Palo Alto.

For the first time in five years, both the No. 1 & 2 teams in the country lost in the same weekend. In addition to Kansas State and Oregon both losing, there were two other upsets in the BCS Top 25. (21) Louisiana Tech lost to Utah State 48-41 and (23) Texas Tech lost to (24) Oklahoma State 59-21. (18) USC was the only other team in the BCS Top 25 to lose last week. The Trojans lost to (17) UCLA 38-28. With just one week left in the regular season, Notre Dame and Alabama will need to secure their top rankings if they want to advance to the BCS National Championship Game.

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

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Baylor Bears- Despite a down season compared to last year, the Bears made up for their subpar play  by playing the biggest spoiler role in college football. Baylor has been in many shootouts this season, and finally one went their way. Nick Florence, the NCAA's most efficient passer, helped spark the Bears' offense early in the game. After leading by 10 at the half, Baylor outscored the Wildcats 24-7 in the third quarter to pretty much clinch the victory.
2. Oklahoma QB Landry Jones- Did anyone forget about the Sooners? Well lo and behold, Oklahoma is ranked in the Top 12 and is looking to make a final BCS push. Landry Jones, Oklahoma's experienced quarterback, led the Sooners to victory over West Virginia by throwing for 554 yards and six touchdowns. Jones was able to outshine Geno Smith in the win.
3. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel- Here in the sports blogosphere, we can't get enough of the freshman phenom. Johnny Football has conquered college football as the season has progressed and is poised to lead the Aggies to a BCS Bowl this postseason. Last week against Sam Houston State, Manziel shattered the NCAA record for freshman by throwing for over 3,000 yards and rushing for over 1,000 yards in a single season. In the 47-22 win, Manziel combined for over 350 yards of offense and 5 touchdowns.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. USC Trojans- Even though the top two teams in the nation lost last week, USC is still the most disappointing team. After starting off the year No. 1 with Matt Barkley headlining the Heisman campaign, the Trojans have dropped out of the BCS Top 25 altogether. To make matters worse, Matt Barkley will not play on Saturday, making their showdown vs. Notre Dame even tougher. The Trojans can still avenge a disappointing season with a big win on Saturday, but it looks extremely unlikely.
2. Kansas State Wildcats- The Wildcats blew it, plain and simple. After playing so well through the first 11 weeks of the season, Klein and the gang finally caved in. The Wildcats' first loss of the season was an ugly one. Their defense allowed over 50 points which put the team in a hole. Kansas State can kiss their National Championship hopes goodbye.
3. Oregon Ducks- The NCAA's most likable team finally lost last weekend for the first time all season. Chip Kelly and the offensive juggernaut that is the Oregon Ducks had the chance to be the top team in the nation. All they had to do was beat Stanford at home. Unfortunately for the Ducks, that was too hard of a challenge for them. They had a chance to win the game late and blew it.

Game of the Week: (2) Oregon vs. (13) Stanford

Wouldn't it be cliché to have the Game of the Week feature the No. 1 team once again? I think so. In this matchup, the Oregon Ducks had a chance to prove why they were the best team in the country but failed at doing so. Their potent offense was finally controlled by Stanford's aggressive front seven. Kevin Hogan and Stanford got on the board first following a one-yard run by the freshman quarterback from Virginia just three minutes into the game. After being stopped on their first few drives, the Ducks finally found the endzone with three minutes and change remaining in the first quarter. Freshmen Marcus Mariota found Keanon Lowe for a 28 yard touchdown. After a scoreless second quarter, De'Anthony Thomas, "The Black Mamba", broke open the lead for the Ducks with a six-yard touchdown run. Oregon looked poised to win, but with just over a minute left to play in the fourth quarter, Hogan found tight end Zach Ertz for a 10-yard touchdown. The touchdown was extremely controversial and took several minutes to review. At first, the pass was ruled incomplete but was eventually overturned. Ertz caught the ball while falling backwards. As he fell, he bobbled the ball, but appeared to have regained control as his right shoulder brazed the turf. In overtime, Alejandro Maldonado missed a field goal for the Ducks, which gave the Cardinal a great chance to win the game. Oregon's defense stopped Stanford on first, second, and third down, but on fourth down, Stanford successfully converted a 38 yard field goal to win the game. Senior Stepfan Taylor led the Cardinal with 161 rush yards.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (1) Notre Dame vs. USC- Can the Trojans avenge an unsuccessful season with a big win against one of their long-time rivals?
2. (5) Oregon vs. (15) Oregon State- The Civl War game is always a fun one to watch out in Oregon.
3.(4) Florida vs. (10) Florida State- Will it be the Gators or Seminoles who win the Sunshine State battle?
4. (8) Stanford vs. (17) UCLA- Both smart schools that have great football teams. Who wins?
5. (19) Michigan vs. Ohio State- You are crazy if you do not watch this game.

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