2012 Bowl Season overview

Posted on December 19, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

2012 Bowl Season overview…

December 19, 2012

And now the best regular season in sports gives way to the worst postseason in sports.   Bowl season is upon us. And it is a mess of unprecedented proportion.

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Mark Richt and the Bulldogs are headed to the Capital One Bowl to face Nebraska. (AP) Yeah, the BCS championship game is awesome. Notre Dame vs. Alabama is a sports fan’s dream. And a sports writer’s dream. And a TV executive’s dream, too. The ratings will be absurd.

The Fiesta Bowl is great, too. If not for the night of Nov. 17, Oregon-Kansas State might have been the national championship game.   But after that? It’s a joke.

Bowl season is always a mess because the bowl system is a ridiculous, unsatisfying conclusion to the college football season. Bad matchups, long layoffs, too many 6-6 teams, coaching turnover and decisions designed to make money, not sense, shortchange the fans.

Three teams in BCS bowls that aren’t ranked in the AP top 15. Take a bow, Northern Illinois (16th), Louisville (22nd) and Wisconsin (unranked). You don’t have to apologize for appearing in marquee bowls like the Orange, Sugar and Rose – but we don’t have to pretend we’re happy you’re there, either.   Who is excited for Florida State-Northern Illinois in the Orange? I mean, other than nobody? NIU must take 17,500 tickets for the game, but its season average attendance is 15,670. Enjoy that vat of red ink you’re diving into, Huskies.

Making that game even more enticing is the fact that NIU coach Dave Doeren left the school faster than Kim Kardashian left Kris Humphries. He went from winning the Mid-American Conference championship game Friday night to being announced as the new coach at North Carolina State Saturday afternoon. He won’t be around for the Orange Bowl, with the Huskies promoting offensive coordinator Rod Carey to head coach.

The Florida-Louisville matchup in the Sugar Bowl might yet feature an interim coach of the Cardinals. Charlie Strong reportedly has interviewed for both the Auburn and Tennessee jobs, although he has denied both reports. Even if he’s still coaching Louisville, his team is far less impressive than some that were kicked to the BCS curb – namely Oklahoma.

Then there’s the mockery that the Big Ten has perpetrated all season, culminating with the 8-5 Badgers showing up in the Rose Bowl.

Are you setting the DVR for East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl? How about canceling all plans with the significant other because you just can’t miss Rice and Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl? Won’t sit down to Christmas Eve dinner until the Hawaii Bowl between SMU and Fresno State is over? Well, we’re with you.   Here are all 35 bowls, ranked from absolute must-see TV to must-see-a-psychiatrist if it’s on your TV:

1. BCS Championship Game (Jan. 7, Miami): Notre Dame (12-0) vs. Alabama (12-1)  We’re not going to lie: There’s a good chance this isn’t a shootout. But this should be a great game between two hard-nosed teams with great defenses, and there’s a heck of a lot of history among the two programs, too.

2. Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 3, Glendale, Ariz.): Oregon (11-1) vs. Kansas State (11-1)  This is a game of old-school football vs. new-school football. Kansas State will try to pound the ball with quarterback Collin Klein while Oregon will use a bunch of different weapons to keep the Wildcats on their toes.

3. Cotton Bowl (Jan. 4, Arlington, Texas): Texas A&M (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2)  It’s not A&M and Texas, but it’s a matchup of former Big 12 rivals. In terms of quarterbacks, one team had a potential Heisman candidate and the other has this year’s probable winner.   ]

4. Chick-fil-A (Dec. 31, Atlanta): LSU (10-2) vs. Clemson (10-2)  These are two teams that could have been in BCS bowls were it not for ill-timed losses. Even though it’s not a BCS bowl, it’s still one of the best games on the docket. Clemson brings the offense while LSU brings the defense. This one should be fun.

5. Sugar Bowl (Jan. 2, New Orleans): Florida (11-1) vs. Louisville (10-2)  This could be a great matchup of agile quarterbacks, but if Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater isn’t healthy, this game could be a blowout.

6. Rose Bowl (Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.): Stanford (11-2) vs. Wisconsin (8-5)  If you’re a traditionalist, this game between the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions is gold. Wisconsin comes in after thrashing Nebraska in the Big Ten championship game, while Stanford has been consistently strong all season.   [Related: Oregon vs. Kansas State in Fiesta Bowl is intriguing]

7. Holiday (Dec. 27, San Diego): UCLA (9-4) vs. Baylor (7-5)  Pac-12 runner-up UCLA should have nice crowd support for this bowl, and it may be a wild game against a Baylor team that ranks first in FBS in total offense and 119th in total defense.

8. Alamo (Dec. 29, San Antonio): Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3)  Oregon State had one of the best turnarounds in the country going from 3-9 to 9-3 and has been one of the most entertaining teams to watch this season. As for Texas, you never know what you’re going to get or who’s going to be quarterbacking it. Still, this could end up being a great, tightly contested game.

9. Capital One (Jan. 1, Orlando): Georgia (11-2) vs. Nebraska (10-3)  This game had the potential to be one of the best of the bowl season, but Nebraska’s lackluster performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship might have ruined it. Georgia expended a lot of energy in the SEC title game against Alabama and despite a fantastic season, has no BCS bowl to show for it. This is a poor substitute.   (US Presswire)

10. Outback (Jan. 1, Tampa): South Carolina (10-2) vs. Michigan (8-4)  Both teams had preseason Heisman Trophy candidates and neither worked out, but both programs remained solid despite adversity. Michigan’s Denard Robinson is one of the more exciting players on the field this bowl season.

11. Orange Bowl (Jan. 1, Miami): Florida State (11-2) vs. Northern Illinois (12-1)  Many don’t think NIU deserved a BCS bowl berth and they’re probably right, but the Huskies might be more motivated to play the game than Florida State. Both teams will be missing a coach in this game — NIU head coach Dave Doeren took the N.C. State job while FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops took the head-coaching job at Kentucky.

12. Gator (Jan. 1, Jacksonville, Fla.): Northwestern (9-3) vs. Mississippi State (8-4)  Northwestern is having an exceptional season while Mississippi State is trying to end on a high note. The Wildcats exceeded expectations and have a chance to win 10 games for the first time since 1995. Mississippi State started 7-0, but won just one game down the stretch.

13. Las Vegas (Dec. 22, Las Vegas): Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5)  Boise State, having narrowly missed out on a BCS bid, is going for a Las Vegas Bowl win for the third straight season against a Washington team that has wins against Stanford and Oregon State.

14. Idaho Potato (Dec. 15, Boise, Idaho): Utah State (10-2) vs. Toledo (9-3)  Utah State is a balanced, solid team that does just about everything well. Its only two losses came at Wisconsin and at BYU by five combined points. USU will face a Toledo team that lost two of its last three but is still potent.

15. Military (Dec. 27, Washington, D.C.): San Jose State (10-2) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)  San Jose State took Stanford to the wire in a three-point loss, a sign of things to come for the Spartans, and they get a tough test against Bowling Green, which ranks in the top 10 nationally in yards allowed and points allowed.

16. GoDaddy.com (Jan. 6. Mobile, Ala.): Kent State (11-2) vs. Arkansas State (9-3)  This is actually a good game if you like offense. Both of these teams can put points on the board early and often, and if you like running backs, Kent State’s Dri Archer is one of the best.

17. Buffalo Wild Wings (Dec. 29, Tempe, Ariz.): TCU (7-5) vs. Michigan State (6-6)  TCU fared well for its first season in the Big 12 while Michigan State was a disappointment. Both of these teams had their worst seasons since 2007 and ’09 respectively.

18. New Mexico (Dec. 15, Albuquerque, N.M.): Nevada (7-5) vs. Arizona (7-5)  The first matchup of the bowl season should be entertaining. Nevada is 105th in total defense in FBS, but that’s still better than Arizona, which is 116th. Points will be plentiful.

19. Poinsettia (Dec. 20, San Diego): BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)  The meeting between a pair of old Mountain West rivals pits a BYU team that rode its strong defense to seven wins against an Aztecs team that won its last seven games.

20. Music City (Dec. 31, Nashville): N.C. State (7-5) vs. Vanderbilt (8-4)  Vanderbilt overachieved while N.C. State underachieved and ultimately fired its coach. A win would give Vandy nine wins for the first time since 1982.

21. Pinstripe (Dec. 29, Bronx, N.Y.): Syracuse (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)  Both of these teams are among the best passing programs in the country and both play little defense. That should make for a high-scoring and highly entertaining game.

22. Liberty (Dec. 31, Memphis): Tulsa (10-3) vs. Iowa State (6-6)  These two teams played in the season opener and Iowa State came away with a 38-23 win. Tulsa should give the Cyclones a better game this time around.

23. Russell Athletic (Dec. 28, Orlando, Fla.): Rutgers (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)  The Scarlet Knights are probably disappointed to land here after blowing a chance for a BCS game in the season finale, and Virginia Tech’s whole season has been a disappointment with just six wins.

24. Kraft Fight Hunger (Dec. 29, San Francisco): Navy (7-4) vs. Arizona State (7-5)  These programs are moving in two different directions. ASU had a rough second half of the season while Navy thrived after a rough start. Arizona State will need the month to prepare for Navy’s option.

25. Independence (Dec. 28, Shreveport, La.): Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) vs. Ohio (8-4)  Lousiana-Monroe, whose upset of Arkansas was a great story early this season, will play in a bowl for the first time in program history. It will face an Ohio team that was ranked for the first time since 1968 at midseason but lost its last three games, all by double digits.

26. Compass (Jan. 5, Birmingham, Ala.): Pittsburgh (6-6) vs. Ole Miss (6-6)  Both of these teams came on late to make a push to get to six wins and both will be eager to finish with a winning season in the first year for both Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.

27. Belk (Dec. 27, Charlotte, N.C.): Duke (6-6) vs. Cincinnati (9-3)  The Blue Devils are back in a bowl for the first time since 1994, but come in on a four-game losing streak and face a Bearcats team that is 12th in the nation in scoring defense.

28. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s (Dec. 21, St. Petersburg, Fla.): Ball State (9-3) vs. UCF (9-4)  Ball State was 3-3 before an overtime win sparked a six-game winning streak, and it will face a UCF team that lost a shot at the C-USA title in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Tulsa on Saturday.

29. Hawaii (Dec. 24, Honolulu): SMU (6-6) vs. Fresno State (9-3)  Coach Tim DeRuyter’s first season with the Bulldogs resulted in a share of the Mountain West title, and Fresno State will go against an SMU team that got a win in its season finale against Tulsa to get eligible.

30. Sun (Dec. 31, El Paso, Texas): USC (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7)  This is not where anyone expected USC to be at the end of the season and playing a team with a losing record is almost insult to injury. USC was supposed to be playing for the national title while Georgia Tech lost in its conference championship game and needed an exemption waiver by the NCAA.

31. Heart of Dallas (Jan. 1, Dallas): Purdue (6-6) vs. Oklahoma State (7-5)  Oklahoma State is unlike any team Purdue has faced this season with its up-tempo style and ability to put points on the board quickly. Purdue will be without its head coach Danny Hope, which might leave the Boilermakers uninspired.

32. Meineke Car Care of Texas (Dec. 28, Houston): Minnesota (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (7-5)  Texas Tech is second in the nation in passing offense, but its defense slipped after a great start to the season. Minnesota fattened up its record before conference play, then got bowl eligible despite going 2-6 in Big Ten play.

33. New Orleans (Dec. 22, New Orleans): East Carolina (8-4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4)  East Carolina won five of its last six games, and will be going against a Louisiana-Lafayette team that beat San Diego State in last year’s New Orleans Bowl on a field goal as time expired.

34. Armed Forces (Dec. 29, Fort Worth, Texas): Rice (6-6) vs. Air Force (6-6)  Air Force knows this bowl well, as it is the Falcons’ fourth appearance in the game in six years, while Rice is in just its third bowl game since 1961. It’s just hard to get too excited for a game between a pair of .500 teams.

35. Little Caesars Pizza (Dec. 26, Detroit): Western Kentucky (7-5) vs. Central Michigan (6-6)  Central Michigan was like the final at-large team to get into the NCAA tournament, with a 6-6 record after a 3-6 start. Western Kentucky was barely in the field, too, losing three straight before a one-point win against North Texas in the finale.

2012-13 College Football Bowl TV Schedule

Note: All times Eastern Time (ET). All games except for the Hyundai Sun Bowl and AT&T Cotton Bowl are also available at WatchESPN.

Gildan New Mexico – Nevada vs. Arizona, University Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico Saturday, December 15, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Famous Idaho Potato – Toledo vs. Utah State, Bronco Stadium, Boise, Idaho, Saturday, December 15, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia – BYU vs. San Diego State, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California, Thursday, December 20, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg – UCF vs. Ball State, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida, Friday, December 21, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

R+L Carriers New Orleans – East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, Saturday, December 22, 12:00 p.m., ESPN

MAACO Las Vegas – Washington vs. Boise State, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, Nevada, Saturday, December 22, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Sheraton Hawaii – Fresno State vs. SMU, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Monday, December 24, 8:00 p.m., ESPN

Little Caesars Pizza – Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan, Wednesday, December 26, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman – San Jose State vs. Bowling Green, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C., Thursday, December 27, 3:00 p.m., ESPN

Belk – Cincinnati vs. Duke, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina, Thursday, December 27, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

Bridgepoint Education Holiday – Baylor vs. UCLA, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California, Thursday, December 27, 9:45 p.m., ESPN

AdvoCare V100 Independence – Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe, Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana, Friday, December 28, 2:00 p.m., ESPN

Russell Athletic – Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech, Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Friday, December 28, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

Meineke Car Care of Texas – Minnesota vs. Texas Tech, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas, Friday, December 28, 9:00 p.m., ESPN

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces – Rice vs. Air Force, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, December 29, 11:45 a.m., ESPN

New Era Pinstripe – West Virginia vs. Syracuse, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, Saturday, December 29, 3:15 p.m., ESPN

Kraft Fight Hunger – Navy vs. Arizona State, AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, Saturday, December 29, 4:00 p.m., ESPN2

Valero Alamo – Texas vs. Oregon State, Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, Saturday, December 29, 6:45 p.m., ESPN

Buffalo Wild Wings – TCU vs. Michigan State, Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona, Saturday, December 29, 10:15 p.m., ESPN

Franklin American Mortgage Music City – North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt, LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee, Monday, December 31, 12:00 p.m., ESPN

Hyundai Sun – USC vs. Georgia Tech, Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas, Monday, December 31, 2:00 p.m., CBS

AutoZone Liberty – Iowa State vs. Tulsa, Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tennessee, Monday, December 31, 3:30 p.m., ESPN

Chick-fil-A – LSU vs. Clemson, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia, Monday, December 31, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

TaxSlayer.com Gator – Mississippi State vs. Northwestern, Everbank Field, Jacksonville, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 12:00 p.m., ESPN2

Heart of Dallas – Purdue vs. Oklahoma State, Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas, Tuesday, January 1, 12:00 p.m., ESPNU

Outback – South Carolina vs. Michigan, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

Capital One – Georgia vs. Nebraska, Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 1:00 p.m., ABC

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio – Wisconsin vs. Stanford, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, Tuesday, January 1, 5:00 p.m., ESPN

Discover Orange – Northern Illinois vs. Florida State, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, Tuesday, January 1, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Allstate Sugar – Louisville vs. Florida, Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, Wednesday, January 2, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta – Oregon vs. Kansas State, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona, Thursday, January 3, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

AT&T Cotton – Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, Friday, January 4, 8:00 p.m., FOX

BBVA Compass – Pittsburgh vs. Ole Miss, Legion Field, Birmingham, Alabama, Saturday, January 5, 1:00 p.m., ESPN

GoDaddy.com – Kent State vs. Arkansas State, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama, Sunday, January 6, 9:00 p.m., ESPN

Discover BCS National Championship – Notre Dame vs. Alabama, Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida, Monday, January 7, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

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2012 NCAA Football – Week 9

Posted on October 29, 2012. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Upset week… or just good football?

October 28, 2012

Week 9 action around the Big Ten -let’s recount all that happens…

INDIANA 31, ILLINOIS 17
This was out NCAA Game of the Week… For our game summary, click here.

MINNESOTA 44, PURDUE 28
Minnesota owned the Boilermakers in the game, scoring 44 straight points from the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the third quarter. Oh, and this was also the Gopher’s first Big Ten win this year.

MICHIGAN STATE 16, WISCONSIN 13 (OT)
With the loss, Wisconsin’s road to the Leaders division spot in the Big Ten title game goes through Indiana, who is the only team who can prevent the Badgers from going to Indianapolis.

NEBRASKA 23, MICHIGAN 9
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was knocked out with a second quarter elbow injury, and Nebraska’s defense took over from there, holding the Wolverines to a season-low 188 total yards, intercepting backup quarterback Russell Bellomy three times and keeping Michigan out of the end zone for the second consecutive week. Nebraska has defeated its two main rivals for the Legends crown in back-to-back weeks with victories over Northwestern and Michigan and now is sitting pretty in first place in their division. During the game, Nebraska celebrated the 50th anniversary of the beginning of its NCAA-record sellout streak, currently at 323 games in a row and counting.

NORTHWESTERN 28, IOWA 17
Northwestern ran for 349 rushing yards on Iowa and was in control throughout the entire game. Iowa looks average and their record would agree as they are 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.

OHIO STATE 35, PENN STATE 23
This game was coined the “IneligiBowl” which went in favor of Ohio State who remains one of six unbeaten teams. Ohio State isn’t allowed to win many things, but Braxton Miller can still win the Heisman and he is definitely one of the favorites. The sophomore rushed for 134 yards and scored three total touchdowns. Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin, who leads the Big Ten in passing, threw for a career-high 327 yards and two touchdowns but threw a costly third-quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown. With the win, Ohio State will most likely now win the Leader Division but will be removed from the Big Ten title game like a bad tattoo.

NOTE: Ohio State has now won three consecutive games at Beaver Stadium for the first time in the history of this rivalry.

In additional games during week 9, four Top Ten teams fell this week and five ranked teams suffered their first losses of the season. Meanwhile, Collin Klein and Manti T’eo boosted their Heisman chances while Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame continued to make their case for a shot in the national title game.   Here are all highlights from a wild week in college football.

#1 ALABAMA 38, #13 MISSISSIPPI STATE 7
If Alabama was already looking ahead to next week’s matchup with LSU, you wouldn’t know it from their play. The Crimson Tide rolled up 38 unanswered points before finally surrendering a touchdown in the game’s final minutes. Once again, the Alabama defense was dominant, holding the Bulldogs to just 256 total yards, forcing three turnovers and holding LaDarius Perkins, the SEC’s leading rusher, to just 38 yards on the ground. Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron, who threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns, has now gone eight straight weeks without throwing an interception.

#2 OREGON 70, COLORADO 14
Colorado came into the game ranked next-to-last in scoring defense, and that stat isn’t likely to improve after the Ducks rolled up a season-high 70 points and 617 yards. Oregon led 56-0 at halftime, and most of the Ducks starters were pulled midway through the second quarter. Oregon running back Kenjon Barner rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns while DeAnthony Thomas added a 73-yard punt return touchdown to go along with 97 rushing yards and a score. Colorado has given up at least 50 points in each of the last three weeks.

#12 GEORGIA 17, #3 FLORIDA 9 – UPSET!!!!
Georgia’s defense had given up 300+ yards in every game and at least 20 in all but one this season. But they picked a great week to turn things around have their best game of the season, holding the Gators to just 266 yards and forcing six turnovers. Freshman running back Todd Gurley ran for 118 yards and a touchdown to provide most of Georgia’s offense against a Florida defense that had another solid game (held the Bulldogs to just 273 yards and intercepted quarterback Aaron Murray three times) but was unable to overcome the Gators’ offensive miscues. This is just the fifth time Georgia has won in their last 23 games against the Gators.

#4 KANSAS STATE 55, #15 TEXAS TECH 24
Collin Klein threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more to keep himself squarely in the Heisman mix and the Wildcats in the national title hunt. The Wildcats got off to a slow start (just 19 yards on their first three drives) against a Texas Tech defense that came into the game ranked seventh in the nation, but exploded to score on eight straight possessions. Red Raider quarterback Seth Doege threw 15 touchdown passes in his previous two games, but was held in check this week, throwing for 331 yards and two touchdowns, but also a pick-six interception. This is Kansas State’s first 8-0 start since 1999.

#5 NOTRE DAME 30, #8 OKLAHOMA 13
Are the Irish forreal? Notre Dame running backs Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick each ran for 74 yards and a touchdown as the Fighting Irish became just the second ranked team to beat a Bob Stoops-coached team in Norman. And while Notre Dame had decent success running the ball, the Fighting Irish defense made sure Oklahoma couldn’t do the same, holding the Sooners to just 15 yards on 24 carries. Linebacker Manti T’eo continued his stellar season with 11 tackles (two for loss), one sack and an interception. After missing last week’s game with a concussion, Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson threw for 177 yards and rushed for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame is the only team in the nation with four wins over Top 25 teams. This was just the second time in their last 35 games that the Sooners were held to 17 or fewer points.

#6 LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY BYE LSU had a very well-timed bye to prepare for next week’s big showdown with #1 Alabama. R&R weekend….

WASHINGTON 20, #7 OREGON STATE 17 – UPSET
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion’s return from an early-season knee injury didn’t go well, as the sophomore threw a career-high four interceptions before being pulled midway through the fourth quarter in favor of backup Cody Vaz. The Beavers outgained Washington 427-293, but Mannion’s interceptions twice ended drives in Washington territory and set up the Huskies’ go-ahead touchdown. Washington is one of the most difficult teams in the country to figure out—they have now beaten two Top Ten opponents, but hey have also lost three games by 30 or more points.

ARIZONA 39, #10 SOUTHERN CAL 36 – UPSET
Arizona quarterback Matt Scott accounted for 469 total yards and four touchdowns, leading the Wildcats back from a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter to upset the Trojans. USC led 28-13 with four minutes left in the third quarter before Arizona rallied to score 26 unanswered points in the next 14 minutes. USC receiver Marqise Lee caught 16 passes for a PAC-12 record 345 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Arizona’s win snaps a four-game losing streak to the Trojans.

#11 FLORIDA STATE 48, DUKE 7
Despite losing star running back Chris Thompson with a knee injury last week, Florida State’s offense showed little sign of slowing down, rolling up 560 yards and 48 points. Seminoles quarterback E.J. Manuel threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns while Thompson’s replacement, sophomore Devonta Freeman rushed for 104 yards and two scores. Florida State’s defense and special teams were equally impressive in the win, holding the ACC’s second-best passing attack to just 129 passing yards, forcing four turnovers and getting a 75-yard punt return touchdown. The Seminoles are now 18-0 all-time versus Duke.

#14 CLEMSON 42, WAKE FOREST 13
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for a school-record 428 yards and five touchdowns, including one to receiver Sammy Watkins, who caught eight passes for a school-record 202 yards. After managing just 16 yards on its first two drives, the Tigers’ offense erupted to find the end zone on its next five possessions, jumping out to a 35-0 lead in the second quarter. The Tigers have now won four in a row in this series.

#16 LOUISVILLE 34, CINCINNATI 31 (OT)
Louisville outgained the Bearcats 524-353 but needed a field goal and an interception in overtime to keep its undefeated season alive. Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 416 and two touchdowns, twice rallying Louisville from 10-point deficits. Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legeaux threw three interceptions, including one that ended the Bearcats’ only possession in overtime. On Louisville’s field goal attempt in overtime, the snap was fumbled. But Cincinnati had called timeout to ice the kicker just before the snap, giving Louisville’s John Wallace another attempt at the 30-yarder that he made for the win.  The win snaps a four-game losing streak for the Cardinals in this series.

#17 SOUTH CAROLINA 38, TENNESSEE 35
South Carolina held off a late Volunteers rally to secure the win, but the Gamecocks may have bigger concerns this week as star running back Marcus Lattimore had to be carted off the field after suffering a gruesome knee injury. Even though coach Steve Spurrier declined on Sunday to discuss specifics of his horrific injury suffered in the second quarter of Saturday’s 38-35 victory over Tennessee, he confirmed the junior running back had a dislocated knee, the same injury incurred by freshman defensive back T.J. Gurley earlier this season.

“The knee sort of pops out of place, a dislocation,” Spurrier said. “They got it back in place pretty quickly, though. Dr. (Jeffrey) Guy said it was back in quickly.”

But Spurrier added it “remains to be seen” how long Lattimore’s rehab from his second major knee injury will take, and didn’t rule out the possibility of his recovery extending into 2014.

“Dr. Guy said there could be a chance (of a 2013 return), but there could be a chance that it could be two years down the road,” Spurrier said. “It could be a full year of recovery. We’ll have to wait and see, that’s what he said. We’ll take it one day at a time and allow the doctors and Marcus and a lot of prayers to do their work.”

Since Lattimore didn’t redshirt as a freshman in 2010, he has two years of eligibility left to play his final season, or he could opt for the NFL.

“It’s going to take a while, obviously, to recover and rehab this,” Spurrier said. “But Marcus has a good attitude today. We saw him and talked with him. He knows what the road ahead is. We’re all hoping and praying he will be back.”

South Carolina rolled up 510 yards of offense en route to their highest scoring game since late September. Quarterback Connor Shaw threw for 356 yards and tallied four total touchdowns for the win.

In the short term, the ball-carrying responsibilities fall to Kenny Miles (149 yards) and Mike Davis (157), while the plans to redshirt Brandon Wilds could be scrapped. Miles, a fifth-year senior, ascends to the No. 1 running back slot for the Arkansas game on Nov. 10 at Williams-Brice Stadium.  The Gamecocks will have to dig deep without Lattimore moving forward.

KENT STATE 35, #18 RUTGERS 23 – UPSET
Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova threw six interceptions that set up 21 Kent State points, ending the Scarlet Knights hopes for an undefeated season. Rutgers came into the game ranked third in the nation in rush defense, but allowed the Golden Flashes to roll up 224 yards on the ground. This is Kent State’s first-ever win over a ranked team (0-22 prior to this weekend) and the victory gives the Golden Flashes their first six-game winning streak since 1940.

#19 STANFORD 24, WASHINGTON STATE 17
Stanford’s defense was the story of this game, holding the Cougars to minus-sixteen yards rushing, sacking quarterback Jeff Tuel ten times and forcing one costly interception that was returned for a fourth-quarter touchdown that put the Cardinal up by two scores. This is the third time this season the Cougars have been held to negative rushing yards. By comparison, the rest of the FBS combined has just five such games. Washington State has lost 19 straight games to ranked teams, a streak dating back to 2006, while Stanford has now won 14 straight road games against unranked foes.

#21 BOISE STATE 45, WYOMING 14
Boise State overcame a slow start and put up 31 unanswered points to move to 7-0 all-time against Wyoming. The Broncos defense was once again dominant, holding the Cowboys to just 270 yards of offense (54 rushing) and returning a third-quarter fumble for a touchdown. Broncos running back D.J. Harper rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Wyoming was playing without head coach Dave Christensen, who was suspended for one game following an obscenity-filled tirade at Air Force coaches after their Oct. 13 game. The Broncos have won 48 straight games in the month of October, a streak dating back to 2001.

#22 TEXAS A&M 63, AUBURN 21
The stats really speak for themselves: at halftime, A&M had outgained the Tigers 464-91. The Aggies had 28 points on the board before Auburn ever made a first down. The Aggies scored on seven of their first eight possessions and jumped out to a 49-7 lead before the starters were pulled early in the third quarter. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel accounted for 350 total yards and four touchdowns in just over two quarters of play. Auburn is off to its first 1-7 start since 1952.

MIAMI (OH) 23, #23 OHIO 20 – UPSET
Ohio’s dreams of busting the BCS came to a dramatic end Saturday, as the Miami (OH) RedHawks took the lead with just 1:24 to go and then sealed the victory when Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton took a sack rather than throwing the ball away with just seconds on the clock. Miami receiver Nick Harwell caught eight passes for 138 yards and a touchdown in the upset win.

#24 LOUISIANA TECH 28, NEW MEXICO STATE 14
Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron threw for 292 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another score to lead the Bulldogs to their first-ever win as a ranked team. Louisiana Tech missed three field goals, but the Lobos were unable to capitalize, turning the ball over three times. This was New Mexico State’s seventh-straight loss.

#25 WEST VIRGINIA BYE
After back-to-back blowout losses, the Mountaineers got a much-needed week off to stop the bleeding and prepare for next week’s contest against fellow Big 12 newcomer TCU.

Our TOP 10

1. Alabama

2. Oregon

3. Kansas State

4. Notre Dame

5. LSU

6. Georgia

7. Florida State

8. Louisville

9. Clemson

10. Florida

Don’t discount… Oregon State, Texas A&M, USC, Boise State, Stanford. For a complete list of the BCS Standings, visit http://www.bcsfootball.org/

Our original, pre-season Top 10 can be found by clicking here.

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