November 12, 2012

College Football Week 11 Recap

    The college football season is winding down, but the action is only heating up as conference races are becoming more clear.

    The five bowl-eligible undefeated teams were cut down to just three. #10 Louisville had an ugly loss to Syracuse. The Cardinals were not in much discussion of the national title yet, but the loss derails any hopes of it. A BCS-berth is still in the mix though.

Texas A&  M quarterback Johnny Manziel

    But the biggest upset was #1 Alabama's loss to #15 Texas A& M. The Aggies were under question as to whether they could compete in the nation's best conference. They solidified themselves in the SEC with a win over one of the most dominate teams with the win over Alabama. 

    Aggie's freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel's play has given him national attention, but he has had games similar to this one many times this season. Manziel, who was just a 3-star prospect by and, has taken college football by storm and has a very bright, Heisman-type, future ahead of him.

     With the losses by Alabama and Louisville, it leaves Kansas State, Notre Dame, and Oregon as the only undefeated teams renaming  Ohio State still is 10-0 but is intelligible for the postseason. It would be very interesting to see how the Buckeyes would be viewed with the other three if they were bowl eligible. But as for the other three, there is no clear-cut decision on who the best two are.

    Notre Dame has played the toughest schedule this season, and the only tough game left is vs. USC. The Irish have impressive wins over Michigan State, Michigan, Miami (FL), Stanford, BYU, and Oklahoma. But there are some close wins that could hurt them to Purdue and a 3OT win over Pittsburgh.

    Oregon has the toughest remaining schedule, with games vs Stanford, Oregon State, and Pac-12 South champion. That game will either be vs. UCLA or USC, who play each other this Saturday. Oregon already has a win over USC this year but has not played UCLA. Schedule wise, the Ducks have wins over Arizona, Washington, and USC - quite a few less then Notre Dame. Wins over Stanford and Oregon State, along with a Pac 12 championship win, will close that gap however.

    Kansas State also has tough games coming up vs. Baylor and Texas. The Big 12 has been brutal to teams, and Kansas State has been the only one to avoid a loss. Impressive wins include Miami (FL), Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and TCU. A win over Texas will add to that list.

    In the end, I see all three of these teams winning out. That is where serious problems arise. All have a good case for a spot in the big game. Oregon is the best team in my opinion, and second is Notre Dame. That would create the best-possible title game at this point. A loss to one of these schools will clear up a lot of confusion, and like what we saw happen to #2 Oklahoma State last year, you can't sleep on any of these remaining opponents.

Top 25

1. Oregon 10-0
2. Notre Dame 10-0
3. Kansas State 10-0
4. Ohio State 10-0
5. Georgia 9-1
6. Florida State 9-1
7. Florida 9-1
8. Alabama 9-1
9. Texas A&M 8-2
10. Clemson 9-1
11. LSU 8-2
12. Stanford 8-2
13. South Carolina 8-2
14. Oklahoma 7-2
15. Texas 8-2
16. Nebraska 8-2
17. Louisiana Tech 9-1
18. USC 7-3
19. UCLA 8-2
20. Kent State 9-1
21. Louisville 9-1
22. Oregon State 7-2
23. Kent State 9-1
24. Michigan 7-3
25. Texas Tech 7-3

Next 5 In:

Northern Illinois 9-1
Central Florida 8-2
Cincinnati 7-2
Wisconsin 7-3
Rutgers 8-1

Other Schools to Watch:

Northwestern 7-3
Tulsa 8-2
Boise State 8-2
San Diego State 8-3
Ohio 8-2
Toledo 8-2
Mississippi State 7-3
Utah State 8-2
San Jose State 8-2

What To Watch

Toledo (8-2) @ Northern Illinois (9-1)
Wednesday, 9:00pm ET, ESPN2

Quietly, the MAC is having its best season as a conference in a long time. Toledo and Northern Illinois are two of the top teams in the conference, and they will have a big clash this Wednesday. A win for Northern Illinois clinches the MAC West division and puts them in Detroit for the MAC title game, and they should clinch that with a win over the Rockets.

Northern Illinois 45 Toldeo 37

Rutgers (8-1) @ Cincinnati (7-2)
12:00pm ET, Big East Network/ESPN3

Rutgers does not have a conference loss this year, and that gives them the small edge over Louisville for the Big East championship. But will that hold? This Cincinnati Bearcats squad is one of the most underrated in the country, and they should drop Rutgers.

Cincinnati 31 Rutgers 20

#18 USC (7-3) @ #19 UCLA (8-2)
3:05pm ET, FOX

A loss for USC will ruin all hopes the Trojans have for a BCS-berth, and they desperately need a win here. UCLA has quietly had a very good season, but USC is just too powerfull. They may not have played to their full abilities this season, but they should this week and take down their rival.

USC 48 UCLA 27

#12 Stanford (8-2) @ #1 Oregon (10-0)
8:00pm ET, ABC

The two best teams in the Pac-12 North go at it, and Oregon's explosive offense should give them another win on their way to the title game. Stanford will put up a fight, but this one won't be very close.

Oregon 56 Stanford 39

Other Predictions

Ball State 35 Ohio 26
North Carolina 28 Virginia 19
#4 Ohio State 27 Wisconsin 17
Michigan State 24 Northwestern 20
#6 Florida State 38 Maryland 10
#24 Michigan 28 Iowa 14
#23 Kent State 27 Bowling Green 24
Central Florida 37 Tulsa 35
Mississippi St. 35 Arkansas 28
Washington 42 Colorado 17
Arizona State 37 Washington State 20
Miami (FL) 34 South Florida 21
Georgia Tech 17 Duke 15
#2 Notre Dame 24 Wake Forest 7
#11 LSU 31 Ole Miss 14
#16 Nebraska 37 Minnesota 14
#25 Texas Tech 37 Oklahoma State 31
#10 Clemson 31 NC State 13
Purdue 21 Illinois 14
#17 Louisiana Tech 44 Utah State 40
Missouri 36 Syracuse 34
#14 Oklahoma 34 West Virginia 28
#3 Kansas State 52 Baylor 27
UTEP 24 Southern Miss 14
Arizona 39 Utah 34
BYU 23 San Jose State 20
#22 Oregon State 35 California 27

BCS Bowl Projections:
Projections based on predicted team performance for rest of season.
* = At large selection

Championship: #1 Oregon over #3 Kansas State

Rose: #2 Notre Dame* over #16 Nebraska

Fiesta: #5 Georgia* over #14 Oklahoma*

Sugar: #8 Alabama over #10 Clemson*

Orange: #6 Florida State over #21 Louisville



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