COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP - 11/21/11
Here's a brief look at the highlights of week 12 of the college football season, an amazing week which featured three of the top five teams losing for just the second time in history and the SEC continuing to establish itself as the top league in the nation. The rankings used in this recap are the BCS Standings from prior to the games.
SETTING THE STAGE
#1 LSU 52, Ole Miss 3: While top 10 teams around the country struggle, the Tigers completely dominate Ole Miss, building a 35-3 halftime lead en route to the blowout, as its quarterbacks complete all eight of their passes, four different players run for scores and the defense holds the Rebels to just 194 total yards of offense to set up Friday's showdown with Arkansas.
#6 Arkansas 44, Mississippi State 17: Quarterback Tyler Wilson completes a school-record 32 passes for 365 yards to lead the Razorbacks to their seventh straight victory, setting the stage for a major showdown with top-ranked LSU on Friday in Baton Rouge.
Iowa State 37, #2 Oklahoma State 31 (2OT): On track to go all the way to the national championship game, the Cowboys lose a 17-point lead to get shocked in double overtime as Jeff Woody scores on a four-yard run for the Cyclones before Brandon Weeden gets intercepted - the Cowboys will still meet Oklahoma in a Dec. 3 game to decide the Big 12 Championship.
USC 38, #4 Oregon 35: A sluggish start dooms Oregon as it falls behind 24-7 then the comeback scramble comes up short as USC's Matt Barkley throws for 323 yards and four touchdowns and the Ducks miss a 37-yard field goal in the final minute.
#22 Baylor 45, #5 Oklahoma 38: An amazing performance by Robert Griffin III shocks the Sooners, who knot the game at 38 with 55 seconds to go and Baylor out of timeouts - however, Griffin (21-of-34, 478 yards, 4 TDs) leads the Bears to the game-winning touchdown with 28 seconds to go - it's the Bears first-ever win over Oklahoma and the highest-ranked team defeated by Baylor since 1985.
North Carolina St. 37, #7 Clemson 13: The Wolfpack, still trying to become bowl-eligible, turn in a surprising dominant performance as Mike Glennon throws three touchdown passes and the defense shuts down the Tigers' explosive offense - Clemson is still headed to the ACC title game, but it spoiled any chances of a BCS title game bid.
UAB 34, #20 Southern Miss 31: Looking at a chance of qualifying for a BCS bowl, the Golden Eagles can't hold off the Blazers, who run out nearly half of the fourth quarter before Ty Long boots a 38-yard field goal with 3:04 to go to wrap up their second-ever win over a ranked team.
#14 Georgia 19, Kentucky 10: Despite losing top rusher Isaiah Crowell to injury after only two carries, the Bulldogs notch their ninth straight victory to clinch the SEC East and a spot in the Dec. 3 SEC Championship game in Atlanta.
#15 Michigan State 55, Indiana 3: Kirk Cousins threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns as the Spartans clinched the Big Ten Legends Division and locked up a spot in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.
#19 TCU 34, Colorado State 10: The Horned Frogs clinch at least a share of the Mountain West title as three different players run for touchdowns and Tank Carder returns an interception 69 yards for a touchdown; a win on Dec. 3 against UNLV will allow TCU to close its tenure in the MWC with 25 straight victories and three consecutive league championships.
BIG TEN BATTLING
#17 Wisconsin 28, Illinois 17: With a stiff wind blowing, the Badgers go to their ground game and Montee Ball runs for 224 yards with three touchdowns as Wisconsin puts itself in position to win the Big Ten Leaders Division with a victory over Penn State next weekend.
#18 Michigan 45, #16 Nebraska 17: Denard Robinson throws for two touchdowns and runs for two more while the Wolverine defense holds Nebraska to just 256 yards of total offense.
#21 Penn State 20, Ohio State 14: Stephfon Green runs for two touchdowns and the Nittany Lions' defense holds the Buckeyes scoreless in the second half as Penn State will now play for the Big Ten Leaders Division title on Saturday against Wisconsin.
#10 Boise State 52, San Diego State 35: Kellen Moore completed 28-of-40 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns and the Broncos took advantage of three Aztec turnovers to get back on track in Mountain West play with a blowout victory.
#11 Houston 37, SMU 7: With ESPN's GameDay in attendance, the Cougars' top-ranked offense sputters, but an unheralded defense holds the Mustangs to just 263 yards and no points until 8:33 remains in the game - Case Keenum is below his own lofty standards but still completes 30-of-45 passes for 318 yards, as he continues his assault on the NCAA record book, setting the career mark for completions.
DOWN TO THE WIRE
#8 Virginia Tech 24, North Carolina 21: Two fourth-quarter touchdowns by the Tar Heels make this one very close, by the Hokies and quarterback Logan Thomas hold on to set up a Nov. 26 showdown with state-rival Virginia for the ACC Coastal title - Virginia Tech is the only team in the nation that has won at least10 games in each of the past eight seasons.
#9 Stanford 31, Cal 28: In the 114th edition of the Big Game, Stanford survives a shaky start and a late Golden Bear rally in the rain to avoid being the fifth top-10 team to fall on a wild weekend as star quarterback Andrew Luck (20-of-30, 257 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) may have been out-played statistically by Cal's Zach Maynard (20-of-30, 280 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT).
#13 Kansas State 17, #23 Texas 13: The Longhorn defense turns in a dominating performance allowing just 121 yards, but Kansas State just keeps finding ways to win behind quarterback Collin Klein, who scores his 25th rushing touchdown of the season - two off the Big 12 record set by Ricky Williams.
Virginia 14, #25 Florida State 13: The Seminoles miss a 42-yard field with three seconds left as the Cavaliers win for the first time ever in Tallahassee and remain in the hunt for the ACC Coastal title - they play state-rival Virginia Tech on Nov. 26 for the division championship.
#3 Alabama 45, Georgia Southern 21: Trent Richardson rushes for 175 yards and scores three touchdowns to lead Alabama to a blowout of FCS foe Georgia Southern - though the Eagles score the most points the Crimson Tide has allowed all year.
#12 South Carolina 41, Citadel 20: The Gamecocks, playing FCS foe Citadel, register back-to-back seasons with at least nine victories for the first time in 118 years of football as Connor Shaw threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
#24 Auburn 35, Samford 16: The Tigers survive a scare, but reel off 14 straight points in the fourth quarter as Michael Dyer rushes 30 times for 157 yards and a score
VOTE FOR MANNING STARS
College football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked above) and vote each week for the Manning Award Player of the Week. The top quarterback performances from each week will be posted giving you the chance to vote for what you think was the best effort each week of the college football season.
MANNING AWARD STARS OF THE WEEK
While 31 quarterbacks were on the preseason Manning Award Watch List, and an additional 10 signal-callers were added in the midseason, every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the Manning Award. Here's a look at the best performances of the 12th week of the football season:
Matt Barkley (USC)
26-of-34, 323 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
Barkley leads USC, which is not eligible for postseason play, to a 24-point third-quarter lead over fourth-ranked Oregon and the Trojans hang on for the 38-35 win in their biggest game of the year.
Jared Barnett (Iowa State)
31-of-58, 376 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT)
Barnett, who also leads the Cyclones with 84 rushing yards, directs Iowa State to a shocking upset of second-ranked and undefeated Oklahoma State, 37-31, in double overtime for the Cyclones first win over a Top-Five opponent.
Colby Cameron (Louisiana Tech)
25-of-45, 356 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
Cameron throws for three touchdowns in the final 8:30 of the game as the Bulldogs erase a 17-point deficit to shock fellow WAC-frontrunner Nevada on the road and put in the driver's seat for the conference championship.
Robert Griffin, III (Baylor)
21-of-34, 479 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Griffin sets school records for passing yards and total offense (551) as he leads the Bears to their first-ever win over Oklahoma, throwing for the game-winning touchdown with 28 seconds to go to secure the school's victory over its highest-ranked opponent since 1985.
Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois)
26-of-36, 338 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Harnish, who also rushes for 181 yards to finish with a school-record 519 yards of total offense, drives the Huskies to the tying score with 2:46 to go and the winning score with 8 seconds left, completing a comeback from a 17-point second-half deficit as they defeat Ball State, 41-38.
Denard Robinson (Michigan)
11-of-18, 179 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Robinson, who shows off his dual-threat ability with 84 rushing yards and two scores on the ground, leads the Wolverines to a big win over 16th-ranked Nebraska, 45-17, to keep Michigan in line for a possible BCS bowl bid.
Tyler Tettleton (Ohio)
18-of-27, 194 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Tettleton also rushes for 128 yards and a score as he leads the Bobcats to the game-winning score as time expired in a 29-28 victory over Bowling Green which clinched the MAC East title.
Tyler Wilson (Arkansas)
32-of-43, 368 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT
Wilson completes a school-record 32 passes for 368 yards to lead Arkansas to its seventh straight victory, a 44-17 blowout of SEC West rival Mississippi State.
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(current BCS standings)
#3 Arkansas at #1 LSU (Friday): The SEC seems to bring out huge games week-after-week and this Friday's meeting between the Tigers and the Razorbacks will be the highest match-up of ranked teams in Tiger Stadium since the legendary 1959 Halloween game between No. 1 LSU and No. 3 Ole Miss.
Pittsburgh at West Virginia (Friday): While neither team is ranked, this game matches two of the five teams currently tied for first-place in the Big East.
#8 Houston at Tulsa (Friday): The Cougars likely need to go undefeated to earn a BCS bid and this showdown with Tulsa will be quite the challenge as the Golden Hurricane matches Houston's perfect 7-0 record in Conference USA play.
#2 Alabama at #24 Auburn: The Crimson Tide is in line for its second national championship game appearance in three years, but nothing would please the War Eagle fans more than if Auburn could spoil the big Alabama plans.
#17 Clemson at #12 South Carolina: Another fierce in-state rivalry, the Tigers have clinched a spot in the ACC Championship game while the Gamecocks are playing for state pride.
Ohio State at #15 Michigan: Come Saturday, it will be 2,925 days since Michigan beat Ohio State, but this time the Wolverines will be favored as they try to make a bid for a BCS at-large berth.
#5 Virginia Tech at Virginia: Despite holding the highest-ranking in the ACC, the Hokies haven't even clinched a spot in the league championship game - they need to go on the road and defeat their state rivals, who have posted a surprising 8-3 mark this season.
#19 Penn State at #16 Wisconsin: The off-field turnoil at Penn State spilled onto the field with the firing of Joe Paterno, but the Nittany Lions can still win the Big Ten - the winner of this game will battle Michigan State in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game.
#13 Georgia at #23 Georgia Tech: Yet another set of nationally-ranked state foes squaring off, Georgia can still earn a Sugar Bowl bid by winning the SEC Championship game, while the Yellow Jackets have bounced in-and-out of the rankings all season.
#22 Notre Dame at #6 Stanford: The Cardinal was blown out by Oregon two weeks ago and had a tight-win over unranked Cal on Saturday, yet they still can climb back into the national title picture with a lot of help - however, there is no chance if they can't upend the Fighting Irish in their annual showdown.
Bowl PredictionsYOUTUBE PICK OF THE WEEK