|(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)|
Te'o and the Fighting Irish are headed to the National Championship
Game after knocking of unranked USC 22-13.
Last week wrapped up the college football regular season for most teams in Division I. This upcoming week will feature conference championship games, as well as a few other regular season finales. Although just one team ranked in the top 10 lost, there were plenty of BCS Top 25 teams upset over the weekend. (10) Florida State blew a late lead in the fourth quarter and ended up losing to (4) Florida. (11) Clemson was upset by (12) South Carolina, (15) Oregon State lost the Civil War game to (5) Oregon, (16) Texas fell to unranked TCU last Thursday, and (17) UCLA lost to (8) Stanford but will play again for the Pac 12 Championship Game this upcoming weekend. (18) Rutgers lost to an under .500 Pittsburgh team, (19) Michigan was beaten by their longtime rivals, Ohio State, (20) Louisville lost to Connecticut, (21) Oklahoma State was defeated by (13) Oklahoma in a shootout, (24) Arizona lost to Arizona State, and (25) Washington lost to in-state rival Washington State. Although they will not be playing in any bowls, shout-outs to Penn State and Ohio State are due. Heading into the season, no one thought the Nittany Lions would be over .500, but they ended up winning eight games. As for the Buckeyes, everyone expected them to be pretty good under Urban Meyer, but no one saw them going undefeated. It's great to see these two legendary programs continue to give it their hardest on the field despite off the field issues.
BCS Top 10:
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
3. Georgia Bulldogs
4. Florida Gators
5. Oregon Ducks
6. Kansas State Wildcats
7. LSU Tigers
8. Stanford Cardinal
9. Texas A&M Aggies
10. South Carolina Gamecocks
Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o- Defensive players rarely make it on this list on this blog, but Te'o is an exception. After not crediting him during the season, plenty of credit is overdue. Te'o had another clutch interception to seal Notre Dame's final regular season win. The senior linebacker has overcome extreme adversity and has led the Fighting Irish to their first BCS National Championship Game.
2. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel- The kid simply doesn't stop trying. In his regular season finale, the freshman phenom threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns, but also ran for 67 yards and two more touchdowns. The Aggies are likely headed to the Capital One bowl this postseason but Johnny Football is likely headed to NYC for the Heisman Trophy Presentation.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes- The Buckeyes finished off their season with a perfect 12-0 record. Their bowl game was the Michigan game and they came out tough. Quarterback Braxton Miller ran a dynamic offense and Urban Meyer totally kept Ohio State's football legacy alive. This team will be dangerous, regardless of whether or not they will be playing in bowl games.
Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. The BCS Bowl System- It's great that Notre Dame will get an opportunity to play in the National Championship Game, but to me, the BCS system is flawed. We will never know if either Notre Dame, Alabama, or Georgia is the real best team in the nation without playing Oregon, Kansas State, or Stanford. It's ludicrous that six SEC teams mark up the BCS Top 10 but only two of the teams will be playing in BCS bowls. America wants a playoff system, be it four teams, eight teams, or sixteen teams. Let's see the NCAA do the right thing and create a playoff system that everyone is in favor of.
2. USC Trojans- Covered this last week but I will repeat it again. The Trojans miserably failed this season after starting off the year ranked No. 1. With the regular season over, the Trojans aren't even ranked in the Top 25. Barkley and Kiffin were both bad, to say the least, but the defense was also subpar for USC standards.
3. Auburn Tigers- Two years removed from a national championship, the Tigers lost three times as many games as they won this season. Gene Chizik is out after two poor seasons as a result. A 49-0 blowout in the Iron Bowl against Alabama really shows how far the Tigers slipped this season.
Game of the Week: (1) Notre Dame vs. USC
With Matt Barkley already out, the Trojans entered the game at a major disadvantage. The home field advantage was some help, but everyone knew that Notre Dame would end up on top. Notre Dame got on the scoreboard first and led 10-0 by the end of the first quarter thanks to a field goal and touchdown run by Theo Riddick. Robert Woods caught a touchdown pass from Max Wittek five seconds into the second quarter to cut down the lead. The two teams then exchanged field goals to make it 16-10 heading into the second half. In the second half, no touchdowns were scored but Notre Dame kicked two field goals while the Trojans only made one. The Fighting Irish ended up defeated the Trojans 22-13. Riddick ended the game with 146 rush yards and a touchdown. Silas Redd led the Trojans with 76 rush yards on 12 carries. The Fighting Irish will now wait to see who they play in the BCS NCG.
Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (2) Alabama vs. (3) Georgia- The winner of the SEC Championship Game will advance to the National Championship Game to take on Notre Dame.
2. (8) Stanford vs. (16) UCLA- The Cardinal knocked off the Bruins last week, but who wins this week's rematch in the Pac 12 Championship Game?
3. (6) Kansas State vs. (18) Texas- What will Collin Klein have in store for the Big 12 Championship game?
4. (12) Nebraska vs. Wisconsin- Will Wisconsin make a trip to the Rose Bowl for the third straight year, or will Nebraska win their first ever Big Ten Championship?
5. (13) Florida State vs. Georgia Tech- Who will take home the ACC crown?