College Football Review – Week 10 | November 5, 2012
With all due respect to Louisville who remained unbeaten after a 45-17 home win versus Temple on Saturday, to stay atop the Big East standings. Their reward will most likely be a trip to the Orange Bowl to face the ACC champions, most likely Florida State.
Yet in November, the contenders set themselves out from the crowd, and for the first College Saturday in the 11th month – it was all about the Top 4 seeds of the most recent BCS standings. #1 Alabama, #2 Kansas State, #3 Notre Dame, #4 Oregon
Two teams were on the road in huge marquee matchups with Alabama visiting LSU in Baton Rouge in a repeat of last year’s National Championship.
In their first true test of the season, the Crimson Tide went about their business and even though QB AJ McCarron was not electric and in spite of being outgained by the Tigers for more than 100 yards, and yet McCarron led the Tide on a game-winning drive in the last two minutes connecting with TJ Yeldon for a 26 yard throw with 51 seconds.
Credit to the #6 ranked Tigers who gave as good as they got and then some to try and shake up the National title picture, remember a win for them would have elevated them into the discussion. Yet the Tide roll on, they did not succumb to the intense hostile Tigers home crowd; Nick Saban was confident in his players and McCarron came up with the goods when the team most needed it.
Whilst it was not convincing, they won the game and remain ahead of Kansas State, who had their own alarm but for other reasons.
The Wildcats of K-State won 44-30 at home to #24 Oklahoma State Cowboys, the free scoring offence led by Heisman favourite Collin Klein had made the score 38-17 with 9.47 remaining in the 3rd quarter when Klein had to sit for the rest of the game with an undisclosed injury, presumably a head injury as his helmet was nowhere near him. Daniel Sams played the remaining 24 minutes of play, yet the Wildcats could only score 6 more points on two Anthony Cantele field goals, as the Cowboys came storming back and nearly overturned the 21 point deficit.
The questions surrounding Klein’s injury will put Wildcats national ambitions on hold unless he can play, as the offence looked less potent with its star at the helm.
Notre Dame somehow won, somehow remained unbeaten in a match that on paper they should have easily won. They required triple overtime to defeat unranked Big East team, Pittsburgh. And the stats show how odd a game it was as the Irish won 29-26 at home. They gained 522 yards to Pitt’s 308, 34 first downs to the Panthers 13, yet it was the three turnovers that proved crucial.
Everett Golson committed one interception, and was pulled by Brian Kelly for misreading reads yet Tommy Rees was equally fallible so Golson got the 1 yard draw play in overtime to win the game. This was the fifth win by less than 7 points and 2nd overtime victory. Good teams find a way to win, they found a way to win but would the Irish offence be able to compete with the side that leapfrogged them to the #3 spot.
That team is the Oregon ‘Mighty’ Ducks who rolled into #17 USC for a huge Pac12 game and beat them 62-51. Yes Matt Barkley and his side scored 51 points at home and lost. The star for Oregon was Kenjon Barner who off 38 carries ran for 321 yards and 5 TDs to throw his hat into the Heisman ring. In a night of records, both teams combined for 1345 total yards (Oregon 730 yards and a combined 68 first downs.
The reason Oregon is so exciting is the dynamic play in the air and the way they run the ball, how do you defend a quarterback like Marcus Moriata who threw for 20-23, 304 yards, 4 TDs – Matt Barkley threw for 484 yards, 5 TDs but 2 INTs.
Oregon are doing what they need to do, when they are on a national stage they are winning and waiting for the Wildcats to mess up. The National championship game should be Alabama versus Oregon as they are the two best College teams. They have showed their mettle this week, and showed a big road win to add to the resume. Admittedly, USC falling down the rankings does not help, yet they still have to play the ranked #14 Stanford and #11 Oregon State in successive weeks, following a blowout over poor California (3-7) next week.
As for Kansas State, next week they visit TCU (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) then at Baylor (4-4, 1-4 Big 12) ending at home to Texas (7-2, 4-4) who are ranked #17 currently. The Baylor game which is the same week as when Oregon host Stanford may see the two teams swap positions that ultimately remain and fixed.
Elsewhere in Week 11; the other two in the Top 4 who remain undefeated Alabama and Notre Dame host and travel respectively Texas A&M and Boston College. Usually the ND-Boston rivalry would be tasty but BC is having a bad season, currently 2-7 (1-5 in the ACC) with their best win at home to Maryland 20-17 on Oct 27th, a team above them in the standing. The Irish should roll on.
Good match to be expected in the Pac12 as #14 Stanford host the highly respected #11 Oregon State Beavers, the winner most likely set to play Oregon in the Pac12 Championship. And how about #16 Nebraska hosting the resilient Penn State in the Big 10.