The Week in Review

Here's a brief look at the highlights of the eighth week of the college football season, a week which featured the number one team falling for the third straight week as well as a big-time SEC showdown. The rankings used in this recap are the BCS Standings from prior to the games.

#11 Missouri 36, #1 Oklahoma 27:
The Sooners had been a perfect 7-0 against Missouri under Bob Stoops, but the curse of the #1 ranking takes down Oklahoma as does a stout Missouri defense which had a pair of interceptions and held the Sooners to just 101 yards in the second half.

#4 Auburn 24, #6 LSU 17: Auburn puts on a shocking rushing performance (441 yards) against LSU's stout run defense as Cam Newton firmly puts himself in the driver's seat for the Heisman and a host of other national honors with a career-best 216 rushing yards and two TDs.

#13 Wisconsin 31, #15 Iowa 30:
In a sensational back-and-forth battle with nine lead changes, Wisconsin's Montee Ball hammers through the Iowa defense for a tough eight-yard TD run with 1:14 to go and the Hawkeyes see time run out on a last-minute comeback attempt.

#16 Nebraska 51, #14 Oklahoma State 41: Nebraska gets back on track after its loss to Texas by riding freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez to its first road win over a Top-20 opponent since 1997. Martinez throws for a career-best 323 yards against the No. 113th-ranked pass defense in the country.

Iowa State 28, #19 Texas 21:
After a huge victory at Nebraska lifted the Longhorns back into the rankings, Iowa State forces four turnovers and Alexander Robinson rushes for 120 yards and two scores to send Texas to its second-straight home loss.

Syracuse 19, #20 West Virginia 14: Head coach Doug Marrone continues to direct the Orange return to the national picture as they take advantage of three interceptions to snap an eight-game losing streak to the Mountaineers – who were the only Big East team in the BCS Standings.

#8 Alabama 41, Tennessee 10:
After losing to fall out of the No. 1 spot two weeks ago, the Crimson Tide is still proving to be very dangerous as they pile up 536 yards of total offense, including 210 on the ground.

#10 Ohio State 49, Purdue 0: After falling from the No. 1 ranking last week, the Buckeyes' defense dominates, holding the Boilermakers to a total of 115 yards, while the offense also clicks behind Terrelle Pryor's three TD passes.

#18 Arizona 44, Washington 14: Arizona lost standout quarterback Nick Foles to injury, but they don't miss a beat as backup Matt Scott throws for 233 yards and a pair of TDs.

#21 South Carolina 21, Vanderbilt 7: The Gamecocks avoid a second-straight loss by turning to their third-string running back to hold off Vanderbilt – Brian Maddox rushes for a career-high 146 yards in place of injured freshman star Marcus Lattimore.  

#23 Arkansas 37, Ole Miss 24: The Razorbacks were chewed up by Auburn last week, but they get back on track against Ole Miss as Knile Davis rushes for 177 yards and three touchdowns.

#25 Virginia Tech 44, Duke 7: After two losses to open, the Hokies seem to be in perpetual recovery mode; they win their sixth straight against struggling Duke, which has lost six straight.

#7 Michigan State 35, Northwestern 27:
The Spartans continue their outstanding season, this time falling behind 17-0 before taking the lead for the first time with 2:10 to go on a Kirk Cousins' TD pass.

#2 Oregon 60, UCLA 13:
The high-octane Ducks piled up 582 yards while holding the Bruins to just 290 as they avoided becoming the third-straight AP #1 team to lose.

#5 TCU 38, Air Force 7: TCU won its first three MWC games by a combined 100 points, so this game was actually close for the Frogs, who gave up a touchdown for the first time in October. Running back Ed Wesley rushed for a career-best 209 yards.

#9 Utah 59, Colorado State 6: The Utes crush Colorado State behind a strong effort from sophomore Jordan Wynn (23-of-29, 321 yards) as they run their record to 7-0 for the third time in the last seven years.

Baylor 47, #22 Kansas State 42:
Baylor piles up a school-record 683 yards of total offense to upend Kansas State and become bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. Robert Griffin threw for a career-best 404 yards and Jay Finley rushed for a school-record 250 yards for the Bears.

#12 Stanford 38, Washington State 28: The Cardinal didn't put on the best performance, but they did hold off the Cougars to become bowl eligible for the second straight year, the first time that has happened since 1995-96 – the 6-1 start is Stanford's best since Jim Plunkett led the school to the Rose Bowl in 1970.

#24 Mississippi State 29, UAB 24: After their big win over Florida last week, the Bulldogs need to come from behind in the fourth quarter to upend UAB, but they do win, earning bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007.

Temple 42, Buffalo 0: The Owls improve to 6-2 becoming bowl eligible for the second straight year – their last bowl before 2009 came in 1979 and they have never made back-to-back bowl games.

INTO THE RANKINGS (with updated rankings)
#22 Miami 33, North Carolina 10:
Trailing 10-3, the Hurricanes piled up the game's last 30 points led by quarterback Jacory Harris (3 TDs) and running back Damien Berry (fourth straight 100-yard game) to jump back into the rankings.

#24 Nevada: The Wolf Pack jumps back into the rankings despite having a bye week.

#25 Baylor 47, Kansas State 42: See above.






This Week's Key Games

(BCS Rankings)
#16 Florida State at N.C. State (Thursday):
Florida State is looking like the team to beat in the always-competitive ACC and while N.C. State has stumbled of late, quarterback Russell Wilson makes them a threat in every game.

#5 Michigan State at #18 Iowa: Michigan State is making a bid for the best season in school history, but Iowa will still be very difficult in Iowa City; the Hawkeyes' two losses have been by a total of eight points to Top-15 teams.

#6 Missouri at #14 Nebraska: Missouri is 7-0 for the first time since 1960 behind a much-improved defense as well as a solid offense, but Nebraska will be looking to avoid a second home loss.

#1 Auburn at Ole Miss: The Rebels have struggled as expected this year, but No. 1 teams have lost in each of the last three weeks so Auburn and Cam Newton hope to break the latest college football curse.

Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville): It's hard to believe that these two teams have a combined seven losses at this point in the season, but with the hard-to-figure SEC East, both can still win the division.

#8 Utah at Air Force: Every game becomes crucial for the Utes, who look to remain undefeated; Air Force's option attack is daunting, but TCU, the other MWC undefeated team, held them to just seven points last weekend.

Michigan at Penn State: Michigan was one of the most-talked about teams earlier this year, but back-to-back losses to ranked teams have quieted the pundits; next up is Penn State, which is battling injuries as it has lost two of its last three.

#2 Oregon at USC: The Ducks have been crushing all foes and are ranked No. 1 in the AP and Coaches' Polls, but this is the game of the year for USC, which is ineligible for postseason play.

Kentucky at #21 Mississippi State: The Bulldogs and second-year coach Dan Mullen have won five straight to become bowl eligible; will they let up against the Wildcats?

#25 Baylor at Texas: Just as everyone expected, the ranked Baylor Bears take on the unranked Texas Longhorns…or maybe not as expected. Baylor is ranked for the first time since 1993; the last time the Bears and Longhorns played with Baylor ranked and Texas not was in 1986.


Manning Stars of the Week

From the players currently on the Watch List for the Manning Award, here are some of the standout stars from week eight:

Zach Collaros, Cincinnati
(30-of-53, 463 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
Despite falling to USF, Collaros put up big numbers as he tried to pass the Bearcats to a comeback victory.

Ricky Dobbs, Navy
(2-of-2, 71 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT)
Option star Dobbs leads the Midshipmen to yet another win over Notre Dame, adding 90 rushing yards and three scores on the ground in a 35-17 triumph.

Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
(30-of-42, 308 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT)
Gabbert is key in Missouri's upset of the No. 1 team in the nation as he completes eight of his nine fourth-quarter passes for 95 yards.

Robert Griffin, III, Baylor
(26-of-38, 404 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT)
Griffin has a huge day as he leads the Bears to a 47-42 win over Kansas State to lift Baylor to bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994.

Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
(13-of-17, 280 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Taylor continues to lead the Hokie resurgence as Virginia Tech crushes Duke, 44-7.


Manning Players to Watch

While 33 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, additional players will be added on Monday. Here's a look at the best performances from players making a bid to be added.

Alex Carder, Western Michigan
(17-of-24, 372 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT)
Carder piles up big numbers in leading the Broncos to a 56-10 MAC victory over Akron.

Kawaun Jakes, Western Kentucky
(18-of-22, 262 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT)
Jakes also rushes for a pair of touchdowns as the Hilltoppers crush Louisiana-Lafayette, 54-21, to end the nation's longest losing streak (26 games).

Taylor Martinez, Nebraska
(22-of-35, 323 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT)
Martinez gets back on track, also adding 111 rushing yards in a key Big 12 victory on the road, 51-41 over 14th-ranked and previously undefeated Oklahoma State.

Cameron Newton, Auburn
(10-of-16, 86 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT)
Newton has a career-best 217 rushing yards and two scores as he sets the SEC season rushing record for QBs (in just his eighth game) in a 24-17 win over previously undefeated No. 6 LSU.

Darron Thomas, Oregon
(22-of-31, 308 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Thomas, who added 48 rushing yards, completed his first 11 passes to both set the tone and open the running lanes for the Ducks' talented backs; he finished with a career-high 308 yards.

Sugar Bowl Bowl Projections

ESPN (Schlabach): Alabama vs. Wisconsin (Wisconsin replaces Iowa)
ESPN (Adelson): Alabama vs. TCU (no changes)
CBS Sports: Auburn vs. Wisconsin (both teams change as Alabama and Michigan State are replaced)
College Football News: Auburn vs. Utah (Auburn replaces Alabama)
SI.com (Mandel): Auburn vs. Wisconsin (Wisconsin replaces Michigan State)
AOL Fanhouse (McMurphy): Auburn vs. Ohio State (Auburn replaces LSU)