College Football Recap, November 18 park
Here's a brief look at the results of the Top 25 from this past weekend. The rankings used in this recap are the College Football Playoff (CFP) standings entering the games. The updated rankings will be announced by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee this evening at 6:30 p.m. (Central). The top four teams in the final rankings will meet in the first-ever College Football Playoff with No. 1 playing No. 4 and No. 2 playing No. 3. The two semifinal games for this year will be the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Rose Bowl.
With the No. 1 team losing and other teams struggling with unranked opponents, there could be big changes in the top four this week. These teams are some of the potential candidates to be among the top four.
#5 Alabama 25, #1 Mississippi State 20: After building a 19-0 advantage, the Crimson Tide turns to defense to hold off a rallying Bulldog squad as Bama forces three interceptions, including a backbreaker by Landon Collins with 5:01 remaining in the game, to make its case to climb as high as the No. 1 spot in the nation.
#2 Florida State 30, Miami, Fla. 26: The Seminoles are following the "Survive and Advance" philosophy, as they overcome a 16-0 deficit, their third time this year overcoming a deficit of 15 or more points, to remain undefeated behind a pair of touchdown runs from Dalvin Cook and Jameis Winston's fifth 300-yard passing game of the year.
#3 Oregon: The Ducks had a bye this week as they prepare to host 2-8 Colorado on Saturday.
#4 TCU 34, Kansas 30: Trailing 27-17 in the third quarter against the Jayhawks, who have just one Big 12 win on the year, the Horned Frogs rally, getting a key 69-yard punt return touchdown from Cameron Echols-Luper, and holding on down the stretch to remain in the mix for the Big 12 Championship.
WHO'S MAKING A MOVE?
Whether due to key victories or losses above them in the rankings, the following schools could be making noticeable jumps in this week's rankings.
#7 Baylor: The Bears had a bye this week and hope to move up based on the results by teams ahead of them in standings.
#8 Ohio State 31, #25 Minnesota 24: J.T. Barrett turns in another very impressive performance, passing for 200 yards and running for 189, including an 86-yard touchdown run, as the Buckeyes win a back-and-forth battle with the Golden Gophers to remain on track for a Big Ten title game appearance.
#12 Michigan State 37, Maryland 15: The Spartans rebound successfully from last week's loss to Ohio State as their defense allows just six rushing yards and tallies three interceptions on the road.
#22 Georgia Tech 28, #19 Clemson 6: The Yellow Jackets put themselves in prime position for a potential Orange Bowl bid by knocking off the Tigers in a key ACC showdown – Georgia Tech takes charge of the game with a 62-yard interception return touchdown by Chris Milton; it also had an early touchdown on an 85-yard interception return by Jamal Gordon.
This category includes just one team, or more accurately, one individual, after one of the more memorable performances in recent years.
#20 Wisconsin 59, #16 Nebraska 24: Melvin Gordon has 25 carries for an FBS-record 408 rushing yards, including three touchdowns – he reaches the record numbers in just three quarters of action as the Badgers roll in a key Big Ten game. Gordon's stats included six runs of 35 yards or more – Nebraska had allowed only three such runs all year.
Schools that slipped by to keep themselves in the rankings for another week.
#14 Arizona 27, Washington 26: Casey Skowron boots a 47-yard field goal as time expired to make up for a final-minute miss against USC which resulted in a Wildcat loss; Arizona remains in the mix for a Pac-12 South title and a slot in the conference's championship game.
#23 Utah 20, Stanford 17: The Utes may have more experience in close games than any school this year as they have now played six games decided by less than a touchdown, including three overtime games; the experience pays off against Stanford as Travis Wilson connects on a three-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime to clinch the victory.
With 10 teams in the Top 25 losing this week, there will be a lot of teams sliding down in this week's rankings.
Oregon State 35, #6 Arizona State 27: A 67-yard touchdown pass from Sean Mannion to Jordan Villamin gives the Beavers a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, then with 1:38 to go, Michael Doctor returns an interception 35 yards for a score to clinch the upset victory over the Sun Devils, who had been one of the faster-rising teams in the CFP Rankings.
#15 Georgia 34, #9 Auburn 7: An up-and-down season continues for the Bulldogs as Todd Gurley makes his return from suspension and teams with Nick Chubb for 282 rushing yards as Georgia sends Auburn to its second straight loss – the roller coaster ride isn't done for the Dawgs however, as they lose Gurley for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Arkansas 17, #17 LSU 0: The Tiger offense continues to struggle as LSU gets shutout for the first time since the 2012 BCS Championship game, compiling just 123 total yards of offense, and the Razorbacks finally snap a 17-game SEC losing streak.
Northwestern 43, #18 Notre Dame 40: The Fighting Irish drop their third game in their last four outings as the Wildcats score 11 points in the final 4:10 of regulation to force overtime when Jack Mitchell, who had booted a 45-yard field goal to knot the game with 19 seconds left, connects on a 41-yarder to win it.
Virginia Tech 17, #21 Duke 16: The Hokies capitalize as the Blue Devils turn the ball over three times and miss a pair of field goals resulting in a loss that could drop them from the rankings; however, Duke will still make the ACC Championship game if it wins its final two games (Georgia Tech goes otherwise).
Missouri 34, #24 Texas A&M 27: Russell Hansbrough runs for 199 yards, including touchdowns of 49 and 45 yards, and the Mizzou defense stuffs A&M on a 4th-and-1 at the 2-yard line to send the Aggies to their fourth loss in their last six games.
SUGAR BOWL SPOTLIGHT EVENT
In addition to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, the bowl is involved with nearly 50 other events throughout the year. Each week, we will spotlight one event in the weekly recap. This week’s spotlight event is the Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA Swimming Championships, which will be held this Wednesday-Saturday at the SPAR Aquatic Center in Sulphur, La.
Each week the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Picks of the Week, including impressive off-field performances, great games, illuminating features and top highlights. This week's clips include an amazing play by Nigel King from Kansas who tips a pass to himself and runs 78 yards for a touchdown; another tipped ball, this one collected by Karlos Williams from Florida State for a critical touchdown; and a bizarre finish in Division 3 Cortland's win over Ithaca as the Red Dragons turned a botched snap on a field goal into a game-winning touchdown.
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 1, 2015
FoxSports.com (Stewart Mandel): Alabama vs. Baylor (replaces Florida State vs. TCU)
Bleacher Report: Alabama vs. Baylor (replaces Florida State vs. TCU)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Alabama vs. Ohio State (replaces Florida State vs. Baylor)
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons): Alabama vs. TCU (Alabama replaces Florida State)
Phil Steele: Alabama vs. Baylor (Alabama replaces Florida State)
Yahoo! Sports (Pat Forde): Alabama vs. Mississippi State (Alabama replaces Baylor)
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Alabama vs. Baylor
WIN TWO TICKETS!
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will be giving away two free tickets to the 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl, which will also serve as one of the first College Football Playoff Semifinals in history, in early December. Fans can sign up at the official website of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. One lucky winner will be chosen to receive two free tickets to the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl to be played on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Prize includes two tickets to the game only. Parking, accommodations and any other expenses related to the game are the responsibility of the winner. Contest will continue until Thursday, Dec. 11 when a winner will be selected and contacted by an Allstate Sugar Bowl representative.
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 Quarterback 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 30 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the honor. Here's a look at some of this week's top quarterback performances (follow the Facebook link above to vote):
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
Cody Kessler, USC
Kale Pearson, Air Force
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Tyrone Swoops, Texas
Zach Terrell, Western Michigan
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(Rankings are from this week's CFP Rankings, all times Central)
North Carolina at Duke (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., ESPN): Duke has a chance to take a step closer to its second straight ACC Coastal title (with only rebuilding Wake Forest remaining) in a Tobacco Road battle against the Tar Heels, who have won three of their last four games and would enjoy nothing more than spoiling their rivals postseason plans.
Indiana at #6 Ohio State (Saturday, 11 a.m., BTN): Ohio State can clinch the Big Ten East title with a victory as the Buckeyes continue their impressive rise since redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett has gone from quarterback afterthought to Heisman Trophy candidate since a preseason injury to star Braxton Miller.
Rutgers at #11 Michigan State (Saturday, 11 a.m., BTN): Despite their loss to Ohio State two weeks ago, the Spartans still have plenty to play for; with a win over Rutgers (bowl-eligible in its first Big Ten season) and in their finale at Penn State, Michigan State could be a strong candidate for an Orange Bowl bid.
#8 Ole Miss at Arkansas (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., CBS): Losses in their last two SEC games put a damper on the midseason excitement around Rebel football, but with Arkansas on tap and Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, Ole Miss could have a memorable finish while climbing into an elite bowl game.
#15 Arizona at #17 Utah (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., ESPN): This week's only game between AP ranked teams could bring a bit more clarity to the Pac-12 South logjam, which includes five teams still in the mix to win the divisional title.
#16 Wisconsin at Iowa (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2): The Badgers, winners of five straight, can take another step towards the Big Ten West title with a win over the Hawkeyes. However, the real reason to watch this game is star running back Melvin Gordon, who set an FBS record with 408 rushing yards on Saturday – Gordon, a 6-1, 213-pound junior, leads the nation in rushing yards (1,909) and scoring (15.0 points per game). Iowa ranks 46th in the country in rushing defense.
Boston College at #3 Florida State (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., ESPN2): In last year's dominant national championship season, the Seminoles trailed for a total of 11 minutes all season; on Saturday, they trailed Miami for 49 minutes before recovering. In fact, on the year, Florida State has trailed in seven of its last eight games, including three deficits of 15 or more points; despite the challenges, they remain undefeated, extending their school record winning streak to 26 games.
Oklahoma State at #7 Baylor (Saturday, 6:30 p.m., FOX): If Baylor closes the year with wins over Oklahoma State and Kansas State, the Bears will be guaranteed at least a share of the Big 12 title; if they can impress the CFP Selection Committee sufficiently, that could translate into a bid to the first-ever College Football Playoff.
Vanderbilt at #4 Mississippi State (Saturday, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network): The Bulldogs need to avoid a double-trap this week; not only do they need to recover quickly from the tough loss at Alabama on Saturday, but they can't look ahead to their Nov. 22 Egg Bowl showdown with Ole Miss – Vandy, meanwhile, is looking for its first SEC victory of the year.
#19 USC at #9 UCLA (Saturday, 7 p.m., ABC): The longtime Los Angeles rivalry will feature a favored Bruin team, which has recovered from two midseason losses to win four in a row and climb back into the playoff picture; USC, meanwhile, has also only lost two Pac-12 games (by a total of seven points) and is hoping to make its way to the Pac-12 Championship game.