College Football Review – Week 8 | October 22, 2012 by

The first action after the first BCS rankings led to teams attempting to make a statement.  The marquee match-up was between two teams helmed by Heisman candidates – Kansas State and Collin Klein travelled to West Virginia and the formidable Geno Smith.  Kansas State were sitting at #4 in the rankings versus WVU (5-1, #13).

The anticipation for a shoot-out between two thrilling QBs never materialised as for the second week in a row, Smith was quiet in terms of productivity thowing for only 143 yards in the air and crucially his first two Interceptions of the season.

Klein on the other side of the ball threw for 323 yards, 3TDs and no turnovers.  The Wildcats jumped to a 31-7 half-time lead from which WVU could never recover.  Klein is now favourite for the Heisman and the Wildcats leapfrogged Oregon Ducks from #4 to #3 in the rankings released on Sunday night.

The Ducks – the forgotten team of the BCS this season – took care of business on Thursday night at Arizona State, 43-21.  It seems due to playing on different days and time zones, all of the Ducks ability to run up the score is being forgotten about.  Until they play a major team in their conference they will have to keep winning until people take notice of Chip Kelly’s team.

Alabama had their first real test of their schedule, taking care of Tennessee on the road 44-13 to go to 7-0.  AJ McCarron threw for 4 TDs and 306 yards, helped by T.J. Yeldon who ran for 129 yards and 2 TDs.  The Crimson Tide have scored over 30 points in each of their first seven games – a school record.

Last week, Florida were the surprise #2 ranked side and they hosted #7 South Carolina in a real test of that position.  Those doubts were cast aside as they dismissed Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks 44-11.  Whilst the quarterback Jeff Driskel did not have huge numbers, 11-16, 93 yards he connected for 4 TDs.  The reason for the low yardage was due to a stifling Gators defence that forced numerous turnovers on Conor Shaw meaning the Gators offense had short field position to take advantage of.

The question remains however, can this offense compete with the more balanced sides this year of Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State.  You can imagine those sides going 80 yards to score, can Driskel.  The jury remains out on that one.

Notre Dame are living in purgatory – they are still undefeated, this time beating Brigham Young 17-14 at home, a less than convincing result.  However, the Irish’s season of achievement falls this Saturday when they visit  Oklahoma for their statement game.  To win without injured starting QB Goldson was an important win for the morale of the team, the defence has been magnificent, yet to have Goldson back for Stillwater this week is huge for the Irish.

LSU had a huge road win at Texas A&M (who beat WVU last week) 24-19 to remain #6 in the rankings and have a shot at contending the national championship game.  Unheralded Oregon State easily took care of Utah 21-7 and remain #8.

The rankings read as #1 Alabama, #2 Florida, #3 Kansas State, #4 Oregon, #5 Notre Dame.

These rankings can and will change due to the difficult matches coming up for all of these teams.  Perhaps Week 9 will be the week when the changes come, perhaps at #8 Oklahoma who host #5 Notre Dame, a huge game for both parties.  If the Irish are for real, we will know after this Saturday’s marquee match-up.

Elsewhere there is Oregon hosting Colorado in another expected blowout, the Gators travel to #10 Georgia in another tasty SEC battle, #14 Texas Tech travel to #3 K-State, expect points as Texas Tech narrowly defeated TCU 56-53 in triple overtime.  Top seed Alabama host #11 Mississippi State and the underdog Oregon State Beavers travel to Washington.

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