November 28 College Football Update


November 28 College Football Update park

Here's a brief look back at a weekend of college football action, which included the conference championship match-ups being finalized – the SEC title game will feature Alabama and Florida and the Big 12, which won't have an official championship game until next season, still has a championship showdown as the winner of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State's annual rivalry game will win the league title. The rankings used in this recap are the CFP rankings entering the games. The Allstate Sugar Bowl will feature the top-ranked teams from the Big 12 and the SEC that do not make the College Football Playoff Semifinals.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Match-Up

This year's Allstate Sugar Bowl will feature the champions of the Big 12 and the SEC unless one or both are selected for the College Football Playoff. In that case, the top non-playoff teams from those leagues will square off in New Orleans. This match-up will continue for seven of the next 10 years. In the other three seasons (2017, 2020 and 2023), the Allstate Sugar Bowl will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal.

Key Games from the SEC

LSU 54, Texas A&M 39: The Tigers have a 200-yard rusher and a 300-yard passer for the first time in history as Derrius Guice runs for a school-record 285 yards with four touchdowns and Danny Etling throws for 324 yards and two more scores as LSU improves to 5-2 under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, who is announced as the school's new head coach on Saturday.

No. 1 Alabama 30, No. 13 Auburn 12: Jalen Hurts passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns while running for another score and the Crimson Tide defense holds the league's top rushing offense to just 66 rushing yards (182 yards total) while not allowing a touchdown for the fourth straight game (and the seventh time this season). The win caps Alabama's 17th perfect regular season.

Vanderbilt 45, No. 17 Tennessee 34: Kyle Shurmur throws for a career-high 416 yards and two touchdowns and Ralph Webb runs for 114 yards and two scores as the Commodores score 21 unanswered points to close the game and gain bowl eligibility.

No. 14 Florida State 31, No. 15 Florida 13: Dalvin Cook (153 yards) posts his third straight 100-yard game and breaks the Seminole record for rushing touchdowns (45) while the defense tallies six sacks and allows just 207 yards of offense.

Key Games from the Big 12

TCU 31, Texas 9: The Horned Frogs scored 21 unanswered points to close the game as Kenny Hill runs for his second score of the game and Trevorris Johnson runs for two scores, including a 70-yard burst to clinch the victory midway through the fourth quarter, to send the Longhorns to their seventh loss of the season. In the aftermath, Texas head coach Charlie Strong is fired after three seasons in Austin.

No. 18 West Virginia 49, Iowa State 19: Skyler Howard throws for 330 yards and matches his career-best with five touchdown passes and true freshman Martell Pettaway makes his debut in the backfield, running for 181 yards.

Other SEC Results

Missouri 28, Arkansas 24: Trailing 24-7 at halftime, the Tigers deliver a welcome 40th-birthday present to head coach Barry Odom, scoring 21 unanswered points as Drew Lock passes for 268 yards.

Georgia Tech 28, Georgia 27: The Bulldogs appear to be in control with a 27-14 advantage entering the fourth quarter, but Dedrick Mills scores on a five-yard run for the Yellow Jackets with 6:28 to go, then Lance Austin snares an interception on a tipped ball at the 3:39 mark to set up Qua Sercy's touchdown on a broken-play six-yard run with 30 seconds to go to steal the victory.

Kentucky 41, No. 11 Louisville 38: Another impressive performance from Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson (281 passing yards, 171 rushing yards, 4 total TDs, 4 turnovers) was marred by a critical fumble at the Kentucky 10 with 1:45 to go in a tie game. Wildcat quarterback Stephen Johnson (338 passing yards, 83 rushing yards, 3 TDs) then drove his team into position for Austin MacGinnis to boot a game-winning 47-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining for the upset victory.

Mississippi State 55, Ole Miss 20: Nick Fitzgerald runs for a school-record 258 yards and two touchdowns while also throwing for three more touchdowns, Aeris Williams rushes for 191 yards and two scores and the Bulldogs outscore their rivals 28-0 in the second half to wrap up the Egg Bowl victory.

No. 4 Clemson 59, South Carolina 7: Deshaun Watson matches his career-high with six touchdown passes, including three to Mike Williams, and the Tiger defense allows just 218 yards (62 in the first half) as they post their largest margin of victory in the rivalry since 1900.

Other Big 12 Results

Texas Tech 54, Baylor 35: Patrick Mahomes throws for 586 yards and matches his career-best with six touchdown connections as he becomes just the third FBS player with multiple 5,000-yard passing seasons.

Kansas State 34, Kansas 19: Alex Barnes runs for 103 yards and a touchdown, Winston Dimel tallies two more rushing scores and the Wildcats hold off their rivals for 77-year old head coach Bill Snyder's 200th career victory.

Other Key Games

No. 2 Ohio State 30, No. 3 Michigan 27: After falling behind 17-7, Ohio State pulls within three on a Mike Weber TD run late in the third quarter and then knots the game when Tyler Durbin booted a 23-yard field goal with one second remaining. The Buckeyes capture this double-overtime classic when Curtis Samuel breaks free for a 15-yard TD run in the second overtime period – the winning play was set up by a controversial one-yard run by quarterback J.T. Barrett on a fourth-and-one from the 16-yard line.

No. 5 Washington 45, No. 23 Washington State 17: The Huskies jump out fast, scoring 28 first-quarter points, including three TD strikes from quarterback Tom Browning (21-of-29, 292 yards), and the defense forces four turnovers to lock up a slot in the Pac-12 Championship game on Friday.

No. 9 Colorado 27, No. 22 Utah 22: The Buffaloes secure the Pac-12 South title behind a tremendous defensive effort which features 10 pass break-ups, eight tackles for loss, four takeaways, three sacks and two fourth-down stops.


Bowl Projections

Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 2, 2017
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Oklahoma vs. Auburn (Auburn replaces Texas A&M)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Oklahoma vs. Auburn (Auburn replaces Tennessee)
College Football News (Pete Fiutak): Oklahoma vs. Auburn (Auburn replaces Florida)
Sporting News (Bill Bender): Oklahoma vs. Auburn (Auburn replaces Texas A&M) (Colin Becht): Auburn vs. Oklahoma (Auburn replaces Tennessee)
Athlon (Steve Lassan): Auburn vs. Oklahoma (Auburn replaces Tennessee)
Fox Sports (Stewart Mandel): Auburn vs. Oklahoma (Auburn replaces Tennessee) (Mark Schlabach): Auburn vs. Oklahoma (Auburn replaces Tennessee) (Brett McMurphy): Auburn vs. Oklahoma State (Auburn replaces Tennessee)
USA Today (Erick Smith): Oklahoma vs. Auburn (Auburn replaces Tennessee)

Ten Names to Know

This week's 10 Names to Know are 10 schools that are unexpected (some more than others) champions:

1) Colorado – The Buffaloes had lost 40 of their 45 Pac-12 games since joining the league in 2011, including posting a 1-8 league mark last season; this year, they posted an 8-1 record to earn a slot in the Pac-12 title game against Washington on Friday.

2) Florida – The Gators have battled significant injuries all season long and they played without nine starters against LSU but still managed to pick up their sixth SEC victory of the season to earn their second straight trip to the SEC title game.

3) Navy – The Midshipmen had high hopes for new starting quarterback Tago Smith, but he was injured in the season-opener forcing Navy to turn to senior Will Worth, who had been the team's third-string quarterback as a sophomore and junior. Worth has been near-flawless directing the challenging triple-option offense with 1,259 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns as well as 1,074 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns to lead the Midshipmen to the American Championship game on Saturday.

4) Ohio – While most MAC talk this year has been about the dominant season of Western Michigan, the Bobcats have stayed under the radar with a quarterback who has thrown just nine touchdowns, a leading rusher who has just four touchdowns and a top receiver with four touchdowns. Despite the lack of star power, Ohio posted a 6-2 record to win the MAC East title.

5) Oklahoma/Oklahoma State – Four weeks into the season, the state rivals were a combined 4-4 with just two wins over Power Five opponents. Since then, the schools have combined for a 14-0 record to set up their season-ending showdown in the annual Bedlam game as a de facto Big 12 Championship game.

6) Penn State – The Nittany Lions lost two of their first four games to put head coach James Franklin on the hot seat; instead they won eight straight games, including a key victory over Ohio State to capture the Big Ten East Division title.

7) Temple – The Owls were expected to be a top competitor for the American Athletic Conference title this year, but the unique aspect of their quest for the league championship is that it would be their first conference title since winning the 1967 Mid-American Conference championship.

8) Virginia Tech – In the ACC's preseason media poll, three of 191 media members tabbed the Hokies to capture the Coastal Division title, but first-year head coach Justin Fuente directed his team to a 6-2 league mark including wins over divisional favorites North Carolina and Miami.

9) Western Michigan – The 14th-ranked and undefeated Broncos have been the overwhelming favorite in the MAC since the preseason, but just three years ago, they posted a 1-11 record in head coach P.J. Fleck's first season. That was followed by back-to-back 8-5 records in 2014 and 2015 to set up this year's dominant run.

10) Wyoming – The Cowboys were picked last in the Mountain West Mountain Division preseason poll; they received 31 points while fifth place New Mexico received 74 points. In addition to Wyoming winning the division, New Mexico finished in third place. The Cowboys play San Diego State for the MW Championship on Saturday.

Sugar Bowl Spotlight Event

In addition to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, the bowl is involved with over 60 other events throughout the year. Each week, we will spotlight one event in the weekly recap. This week's spotlight event is the LHSAA/Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Championships, which will be contested over the next two weekends at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This Friday (December 2) will feature the Select Championships with Southern Lab vs. Ascension Catholic (Division IV, 10 a.m.), St. Charles Catholic vs. Riverside (Division III, 1:30 p.m.), Parkview Baptist vs. St. Thomas More (Division II, 5 p.m.) and Evangel Christian vs. Scotlandville (Division I, 8:30 p.m.). The non-select championship games will be played on Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10.

Vote for Manning Stars

College football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked below) 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 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):

Riley Ferguson, Memphis (30-of-45, 409 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 89.8)
Ferguson tallies his first career 400-yard game and connects on a 10-yard touchdown with 19 seconds to go to lift the Tigers to a 48-44 upset of No. 20 Houston.

Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (8-of-17, 109 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 99.5)
Fitzgerald rushes for a school-record 258 yards and two touchdowns as he leads the Bulldogs to a 55-20 SEC road win over archrival Ole Miss.

Skyler Howard, West Virginia (12-of-21, 330 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 92.9)
Howard has his fourth 300-yard game of the season and matches his career-best in passing TDs as he leads the Mountaineers to a 49-19 Big 12 road victory over Iowa State.

Stephen Johnson, Kentucky (16-of-27, 338 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 98.0)
Johnson, who also rushes for a career-high 83 yards, registers his career-best in passing yards and touchdowns, including a 75-yard score, as he leads the Wildcats to a 41-38 upset victory over No. 11 Louisville on the road.

Pat Mahomes II, Texas Tech (30-of-46, 586 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 94.9)
Mahomes notches his fourth 500-yard game of the year while matching his career-high in passing touchdowns in a 54-35 Big 12 victory over Baylor.

Trace McSorley, Penn State (17-of-23, 376 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 89.8)
McSorley tallies career-highs in passing yards and touchdowns as he leads the Nittany Lions to a 45-12 road victory over Michigan State to clinch the Big Ten East title.

Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt (21-of-34, 416 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 91.8)
Shurmur shatters his career-high for passing yards while leading the Commodores to 21 unanswered points to close a 45-34 SEC win over No. 17 Tennessee to make his team bowl eligible.

Deshaun Watson, Clemson (26-of-32, 347 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 95.4)
Watson matches his career-best for touchdown passes as he leads the Tigers a 56-7 win over archrival South Carolina, their largest margin of victory against the Gamecocks since 1900.

Top Upcoming Games

(Rankings are from this week's AP Poll, all times Central, check local listings to confirm tv schedule)

No. 13 Western Michigan vs. Ohio (MAC Championship, Detroit, Friday, 6 p.m., ESPN2): With a victory, Western Michigan is expected to wrap up a Cotton Bowl bid by virtue of the being the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion though Ohio has won four of its last five games and could play the spoiler role.

No. 9 Colorado vs. No. 4 Washington (Pac-12 Championship, Santa Clara, Friday, 8 p.m., FOX): Upstart Colorado has captured its first division title since 2005 (Big 12 North) and is 10-2 for the first time since 2001, but Washington has been dominant throughout the season losing just one game (to USC) as it continues its quest for a College Football Playoff bid.

Temple at No. 20 Navy (AAC Championship, Annapolis, Saturday, 11 a.m., ABC): Temple will be looking for its first conference title since 1967 but it won't be easy as the vaunted triple-option attack of the Midshipmen has keyed a 15-game winning streak at its home field where the game will be played due to Navy's superior conference record.

Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky (C-USA Championship, Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN): A rematch of the highest-scoring game in Conference USA this year as Louisiana Tech edged the Hilltoppers 55-52 behind a 454-yard game from quarterback Ryan Higgins as well as a huge game from New Orleans product Carlos Henderson, who caught eight passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns.

No. 11 Oklahoma State at No. 7 Oklahoma (Saturday, 11:30 a.m., FOX): Two of the more potent offenses in the country come head to head as the Sooners are averaging 45.3 points per game while the Cowboys have 40.4 points per game. Both schools are also red hot as Oklahoma has won eight straight, including its last four by an average of 28.0 points per game, and Oklahoma State has won seven straight.

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 15 Florida (SEC Championship, Atlanta, Saturday, 3 p.m., CBS): The Crimson Tide (11 appearances) and the Gators (12 appearances) have combined to make 23 trips to the SEC Championship game; all other SEC schools have made 27 appearances. This will also mark the 10th time the two schools have played each other with Florida holding a 5-4 edge in the championship series.

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 19 Virginia Tech (ACC Championship, Orlando, Saturday, 7 p.m., ABC): Since facing multiple closer-than-expected games early and then losing to Pitt on Nov. 12, Clemson has dominated its last two opponents, crushing Wake Forest 35-13 and rolling over South Carolina 56-7. Virginia Tech, which also lost on Nov. 12 (to Georgia Tech), clinched its division with a 52-10 blowout of rival Virginia.

No. 6 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Penn State (Big Ten Championship, Indianapolis, Saturday, 7 p.m., FOX): One of the key questions for the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will be how it handles the Big Ten Champion. Ohio State is 11-1 and likely to be ranked No. 2 in this week's rankings. If Penn State wins the title game, the Nittany Lions will have not only a league championship, but also a win over the Buckeyes – would both make the CFP? A Wisconsin win is less likely to send the Badgers to the CFP as they lost their regular-season meeting with Ohio State.

Extra Yard for Teachers

The official philanthropic initiative of the College Football Playoff is Extra Yard for Teachers. The program, supported through the College Football Playoff Foundation, honors and supports teachers nationally and in the communities that host the College Football Playoff National Championship and Playoff Semifinals. Click the below graphic to find out more or to make a contribution.