But who deserves the title game?
- LSU - The Ole Miss Admiral Ackbars have given the Bayou Bengals trouble in recent seasons, but that was not the case tonight. Jordan Jefferson is an amazing talent, and the Tigers will need him at his best for Arkansas, Georgia, and potentially the National Championship as their next 3 games.
- Alabama - Well if you didn't like Alabama as my number 2 team last week, there's very little to argue about now. A slow start against 1-AA Georgia Southern, but this was only the 2nd loss of the year for the Eagles. And if you're one to say "yea, but they're division 2..." must I remind you about #2 Michigan vs. Appalachian State a couple years ago?
- Stanford - In my poll Stanford has miraculously jumped right back up to #3 after falling 4 spots last week. They too had a slow start tonight against rival Cal in the Big Game, but I'm gonna assume the Cardinal get it done (28-13 with 5 mins to go in the 3rd quarter).
- Arkansas - This is an interesting team. They had some struggles just a few weeks ago with that scare at Vandy, but suddenly the Hogs are a title contender. How you ask? If Arkansas beats LSU in the Golden Boot rivalry game, that leaves a 3-way tie for the SEC West representative in the Championship game. I assume they follow the same procedure that confused the Big XII South in 2008. In that case, a 3-way tie was decided by the highest seed in the BCS. If Arkansas wins, its assumed that LSU would fall below Alabama. But would Arkansas also jump Bama in the BCS? Let's not count our chickens just yet. Arkansas has looked really good in their last 2 or 3 games, but I still think LSU can run the table.
- Virginia Tech - The Hokies were another ALMOST victim this week after the Thursday night matchup with North Carolina. They too had an outside shot at a legit argument for BCS Title contention. Alas, a narrow victory over a mediocre Tar Heels team was made worse when Clemson played opossum this week against NC State. Would not be a good time for Va Tech to get complacent, just in case there are still a few "upsets" to come.
- Oregon - Oregon sits atop my list of this week's losers. After last week's shellacking of Stanford, there was probably some hangover-effect. The Ducks can score points, but they also give up a lot of points. In case you missed it, USC was ahead 38-14 as the 3rd quarter was coming to a close. Oregon fought back with 3 unanswered touchdowns. The Trojans were still up 3 and driving deep in Ducks' territory late in the 4th quarter. It was easy FG range, and a TD would have sealed it. But a bobbled exchange led to a fumble that Oregon recovered with 3 minutes remaining. The Ducks moved the ball into FG range with under ten seconds left. This is when the icing of the kicker really started. First, the Ducks had a false start while trying to position the ball better for the tying kick. Then they ran one more sneak to the middle of the field and called timeout to bring out Maldonado. Then USC called timeout. Then USC jumped into the neutral zone which put the ball back where this whole mess started. Finally the kicker got his chance, and he hooked it left. As soon as the ball left the ground, Maldonado knew he had failed and turned to run off the field before the refs had even blown their whistles to end the game.
- Boise State - This was a blowout from the start, but a 4th quarter rally by San Diego State made it look closer than it really was. I think Kellen Moore and Doug Martin has already put it on cruise control at that point as the offense looked a little uninspired. Fortunately for Bronco fans, if they win the final two games, they are probably back into a BCS bowl now.
- Houston - Huge win for the Cougars against an SMU squad that typically puts up big points. They were held to just 7 today. Also good for the Houston campus to have one of the greatest - or worst, depending on who you ask - GameDay moments when Lee Corso said "ah, fuck it." YouTube it.
- Oklahoma - I had the pleasure of watching the last 6 minutes of tonight's game, and it was some of the best college football you will ever see. A great back and forth game where Baylor took commanding 2 TD lead early in the 4th quarter. But apparently Oklahoma has their own version of Tim Tebow (his name is Blake Bell) for goal line situations. I'm talking the Tebow stuff from Florida a few years ago, not the awful NFL QB with a "winning" aura in Denver. So Bell finally punched in his 3rd TD with about 6 minutes left in the game. A very brief Baylor possession, and OU marched right down for Bell's 4th TD. Instead of tying the with under a minute to go and play for overtime, Oklahoma decided to go for 2 and the outright victory. Unfortunately, a costly false start backed the try up to the 7 yard line, and Mike Stoops opted to kick the PAT instead. So with only seconds remaining, RG3 led the Bears into OU territory and stood tall to throw the game-winning 35 yard TD just before he was rocked by an Oklahoma defender. The Sooners were even denied a Hail Mary attempt when the squib kickoff was mishandled and recovered by Baylor.
- Oklahoma State - This one started the mayhem as the Friday night battle in Ames against Iowa State went to double OT. This was another one of those games-changing plays were literally slipping through the players' hands. Sadly I can't give you all the highlights as there have been too many "key plays" this weekend to keep them all straight. The biggest was after Oklahoma State started OT2 with the ball. Just a few plays into their possession, a deflected pass was picked by a Cyclone defender. All ISU needed to do was protect the ball and make it an easy field goal for the win. Instead, they plowed right through the Cowboy defense on runs of 4, 15, and the 6-yard winning TD. OK State fans were already saddened by the tragic plane crash and death of women's BB coaches. This loss added even more heavy hearts to Stillwater as any hope for a National Championship is almost certainly dashed.
- South Carolina
- Michigan State
- Kansas State
- Penn State
- West Virginia
- Notre Dame
FYI - Stanford held off Cal to win the Big Game.
Heisman Performances Today:
Montee Ball (RB, WISC) - 224 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 1 rec TD
Kellen Moore (QB, BSU) - 366 pass yards, 4 TDs
RG3 (QB, BAY) - 479 pass yards, 4 TDs, 72 rush yards
Trent Richardson (RB, ALA) - 175 rush yards, 2 TDs