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2009 NCAA College Football Top 25: Top 25 After Week #13

Championship Week is now set! Here are the official conference title match ups:

-SEC Championship : Alabama vs. Florida ( Atlanta)

-ACC Championship : Georgia Tech vs. Clemson ( Tampa Bay)

-Big XI Championship : Texas vs. Nebraska ( Dallas)

-MAC Championship : Ohio vs. Central Michigan ( Detroit)

-Conference USA Championship : Houston at East Carolina ( Greenville)

There are also two unofficial conference championship games that will decide the winners of each respective league:

-Pac Ten Championship : Oregon State at Oregon

-Big East Championship : Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

SIX THINGS WE LEARNED THIS WEEK

  • Toby Gerhart Should Win The Heisman Trophy

Here’s how excellent Stanford’s tailback has been this year: Gerhart leads the country in carries (311), rushing yards (1736) AND rushing touchdowns (26)! The Trucking Tree has ran for over 100 yards ten times this year and broken the 200 yard barrier thrice! The only reason that Gerhart isn’t the consensus front-runner at this point is the Pac Ten’s subpar television contract, which has prevented Stanford’s star from playing in the national spotlight every week. Statistically speaking, no one in the country has been more dominant on a more consistent basis than Toby Gerhart and if I voted for the Heisman Trophy, his name would be at the top of the list.

  • Oklahoma State Should Just Forfeit To Oklahoma In 2010

When you’re 9-2 and ranked in the top 15 in the country and your archrival is 6-5 and absolutely decimated by injury, you should win the game. In the sad case of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, they might never get a better chance to knock off their hated rivals from Norman than they did this weekend. Literally everything had gone wrong for the Sooners, from injury to bad luck, AND they were coming off of a blowout loss against Texas Tech! Yet somehow Oklahoma State struggled to convert a single 3 rd down and Oklahoma blew them out 27-0!

In short, the Cowboys blew a golden opportunity, perhaps their best opportunity ever, to beat the Sooners in a rare year that featured a juxtaposition of both teams’ normal standings. If they couldn’t win under these conditions then they might as well forfeit next year’s game when the Sooners should be back to their usual dominant selves.

  • Cincinnati Can’t Play Defense

This just in: Cincinnati allowed 36 points to the 9th place team in the Big Ten, a team that came into the game averaging a mighty 20.2 points per game! That’s right, Cincinnati couldn’t stop 3-7 Illinois’ offense. Let’s play the comparison game here: Illinois scored 17 points on 10-2 Penn State. Illinois scored 16 points on 8-4 Northwestern. Illinois scored 9 points on 8-4 Missouri and Illinois was shut out by 10-2 Ohio State!

Since Cincinnati fans have a serious Napoleon complex when it comes to the Buckeyes, that last number has to really get under their skin. However, it wasn’t just a one week fluke: Cincinnati’s last three games have resulted in opponents scoring an average of 34 points per game! That’s a pretty serious problem going into this week’s showdown against Pittsburgh, whose excellent defense isn’t going to allow the Bearcats to run all over the field like they did against Illinois.

This is also one of the biggest reasons why I’ve been touting Pitt as the Big East Champion for nearly a month now: They have the best defense (by far) in the Big East and are best suited to stop Cincinnati’s explosive offense. Expect the Bearcats’ inability to slow down opponents to cost them consecutive conference titles this Saturday.

  • Boise State Should Earn A BCS At-Large Bid

I never thought I would say this: Boise State deserves a BCS at-large bid. While I have no problem with rewarding the little guy with an automatic berth if they go undefeated every year, normally I would have a major issue with TWO such teams running through relatively weak schedules and earning a spot in one of the biggest bowl games.

However, the rest of the country has dropped the ball this year. There are ZERO teams in the country this year with a single loss! Had this been like last year when there was a gaggle of 11-1 teams, I wouldn’t be singing the same tune but a 13-0 Boise State team deserves a chance over a three loss BCS at-large. Now, let me go wash my hands because I feel dirty endorsing Boise’s strategy of ‘One Real Opponent Per Year’…….

  • The ACC Is Still An Average BCS League (At Best)

I said a few weeks ago that this year’s ACC Championship Game might be the best that the conference has had to offer since the divisional format was instituted. Georgia Tech and Clemson were both ranked and playing extremely good football. In theory, both could be in the top 15 when the game took place.

Check that. Georgia Tech and Clemson both lost to 6-5 in-state SEC opponents this week! How embarrassing is it that the two most inconsistent teams in the SEC ended up beating the ACC’s two BEST? I have two words for the conference: Black Eye.

Thus, I need to re-evaluate the ACC’s standing. The conference is only going to boast seven bowl-eligible teams this year, worst among the 12 team BCS leagues. Their two division champions were beaten the week before the conference championship game by two average (and let’s call a spade a spade here: Georgia and South Carolina have been pretty terrible at times this year) teams that were coming off of losses!

Outside of the notable exceptions of Miami and Virginia Tech, it was an ugly weekend for the conference. North Carolina lost to middling NC State, Florida State was beaten by four touchdowns by their archrivals from Gainesville and Boston College barely survived 2-9 Maryland, a week after barely edging 3-8 Virginia! The league has now gone five years without a legitimate contender for the National Title and most of the league has been downright average, at best. I’m afraid that the ACC still has a very long way to go to be truly considered a power league.

  • The SEC Championship Is The Biggest Regular Season Game Since 2006

That’s right, the most-hyped showdown since the 2006 Ohio State-Michigan game is finally here. While this game probably won’t be the same spectacle that was seen in Columbus just a day after Bo Schembechler’s passing, it is quite fair to expect that this game will be every bit as important in this year’s title chase and just as exciting on the field.

Much like that Big Ten Classic, a spot in the National Championship is on the line. Furthering the similarities between the showdowns, this game should also have a major factor in deciding the Heisman Trophy. Remember, Troy Smith’s four touchdown showing against the Wolverines sealed his candidacy with a bang and he won the 2006 award. Both Mark Ingram and Tim Tebow could jump to the top of the voters’ line with a major showing.

Finally, this game is rapidly becoming a major rivalry showdown: For the second consecutive year, these two teams meet at the end of the year to decide the SEC’s fate. Furthermore, this is the first late season showdown between #1 and #2 in four years, taking an already-charged atmosphere to another level.

This is the type of game that every college football fan wants to see and every player wants to play in. The stakes are clear: A conference title and a chance to play for the National Championship. The only question is: Who wants it more?



BOWL PROJECTIONS

At this point, the projections are transitioning from ‘educated guesses’ to ‘virtual locks’ on a number of fronts. For example, the bowl pecking order in some leagues is already set and the selections are mere formalities.

However, there is a lot of intrigue remaining. I’ve been skeptical of the possibility of the BCS bowls selecting TWO non-BCS schools for the first time in history but after this week I think that there are only two realistic scenarios where Boise State and TCU don’t both earn a berth in the big money games.

The first scenario would be a Nebraska upset in the Big XII Title Game. That would give the Cornhuskers the Big XII’s automatic berth in the Fiesta Bowl, leaving Texas as the ultimate at-large team. That would also eliminate Boise State (the lower ranked of the two non-automatic qualifiers) because no bowl will take the Broncos over the Longhorns.

The second scenario is a little more unlikely but is still a definite possibility. With the dearth of one loss teams across the country, there doesn’t seem to be a likely challenger for the last at-large spot. However, a few upsets could propel a traditional top drawing team like USC into the top 14, making them eligible for selection. While it would seem extremely unfair to take a three loss team over an undefeated team (and that’s coming from a writer who is still far from sold on Boise State), one of the major bowls could decide that the backlash that it would surely receive from selecting USC would be offset by the ticket sales, television ratings and prestige that come along with a traditional power. I’m not saying that this is going to happen, but it wouldn’t shock me at all if it did: Remember that the BCS bowls are out to make money, lots of money, first and foremost………

Whether you’re interested in the reasoning for my projections, are simply curious where your favorite team is going to end up in the postseason or just need a good laugh at Notre Dame’s projected landing in a cold-weather bowl, then check out all 34 bowl projections!

BCS Championship: Alabama versus Texas

Rose Bowl : Ohio State versus Oregon

Sugar Bowl : Florida versus Boise State

Fiesta Bowl : Texas Christian versus Iowa

Orange Bowl : Georgia Tech versus Pittsburgh

 

THE FINAL RANT: The Headlines Should Go To The Players!

Many fans were already asleep when one of the country’s most hate-filled rivalries was winding down in Los Angeles. USC had jumped ahead of UCLA and had the ball back with a 21-7 lead and very little time left on the clock. On first down, USC took a knee, trying to run out the clock and end a really great rivalry game that had been up for grabs since the opening kickoff.

However, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel didn’t want to let the game end with USC kneeling the football and called a timeout. His rationale was understandable if misguided: He wanted to make the point that his team would fight to the end but there was zero chance that his team could get back into the game trailing by two touchdowns because he might have had five seconds on the clock if he had used all of his timeouts.

This left USC coach Pete Carroll with two choices: The first choice (which he didn’t take) was to run the ball and try to run out the clock and end the game quietly. The second choice (which he chose) was to run play-action and throw the ball deep as a giant ‘Eff You’ to his rival.

First of all, Pete, You’re the kettle calling the pot black after asking Jim Harbaugh ‘What’s your deal?’ after he ran the score up against you three weeks ago. Throwing deep against UCLA looked like a bully getting his swagger back after getting stood up to for the first time. Then again, Pete Carroll has never had an argument when he’s been accused of running up the score.

However, this is different in a few regards: USC and UCLA absolutely hate each other. This isn’t a rivalry built on respect like the USC-Notre Dame showdown. If I was a USC fan, I would have LOVED the decision to throw deep. The many USC fans I know, to a man, absolutely approved of Carroll’s play calling. Thus, I can laugh a little bit about the decision to throw the bomb so long as everyone is willing to admit that Carroll was happily sticking it to his rival.

On the other side of the field, UCLA wasn’t happy about the deep pass but after Neuheisel called timeout I can’t really blame Carroll for continuing to play the game. You want the ball back, Rick? Come and get it.

However, my first complaint with the entire sequence had NOTHING to do with the actions on the field; it was Pete Carroll’s reaction. Carroll jumped around like a man who had just won a $100 million lottery drawing and I have no doubt that his unabashed celebration after his figurative middle finger of a play call looked exactly like an actual middle finger to everyone on the UCLA sideline.

So was anyone really surprised that when USC’s celebration began to spill towards midfield that UCLA’s players began to move their way across the field in challenge? Look, I know that Carroll has built his program on emotion and USC’s M.O. is to stay enthused but this took it too far.

The coaches on BOTH SIDES didn’t do nearly a good enough job containing their players on their sidelines and because of it there was very nearly a repeat of the ugly Clemson-South Carolina brawl from a few years ago. For that, I place the blame at Pete Carroll and Rick Neuheisel’s feet. There have been plenty of similar ‘F You’ calls throughout college football during the season and none came as close to causing an outright brawl as this one did.

Furthermore, the headlines after a really hard-fought football game didn’t focus on the players on both sides who played their hearts out. Instead, it focused on the petty war of words between the two head coaches. And that’s the real shame to me: No one is talking about how brutal of a game was played at the Coliseum and no one is giving the players on both sides that played so hard any credit. In the end, that is my biggest issue with the actions on both sides as the Battle of Los Angeles wore down.

The headlines should go to the players, not the coaches.



THE TOP 25

These rankings reflect the entire resume of a team during the season. Thus, I’m not putting together a power ranking based on teams matching up on a proverbial neutral field and settling things. In fact, I’m doing quite the opposite: I’m trying to reward achievement throughout the season against quality competition.

That stance should encapsulate the philosophy behind my top 25. Without further ado, here are the newest top 25 rankings……..

 

THE NATIONAL TITLE SHORT LIST

#1)Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0, #1 Last Week)

Week 13 Result: 26-21 Victory at Auburn

Alabama showed something new this weekend: The ability to come back from a major deficit. After Auburn jumped out to a 14-0 lead, Alabama’s defense stabilized and their offense powered all the way back to a last minute touchdown drive to break the Tigers’ hearts. After watching the Tide offense roar back largely without the services of tailback Mark Ingram, I’m even more confident in their ability to win the SEC championship this weekend.

Week 14: SEC CHAMPIONSHIP vs. Florida in Atlanta, 3:00 PM EST

 

#2)Florida Gators (12-0, #2)

Week 13 Result: 6 Victory at Home versus Florida State

Tim Tebow’s career at the Swamp was set to finish in storybook style. The Gators had driven down the field late in the game on what everyone knew was Tebow’s final drive and it was 1 st and goal. The announcers noticed Tebow lobbying for a play and everyone knew what was coming: Jump Pass. Unfortunately, Florida State knew it as well and Tebow’s intended target was blatantly tackled before the ball could get there! However, Tebow was not to be denied: He simply ran the ball in on the next play to end his career in the Swamp with a touchdown. The Gators appear to be coming around on offense at precisely the right moment and they’re going to give Alabama everything they can handle (and more) this Saturday.

Week 14: SEC CHAMPIONSHIP vs. Alabama in Atlanta, 3:00 PM EST

 

#3)Texas Longhorns (12-0, #3)

Week 13 Result: 49-39 Victory at Texas A&M

So it turns out that Colt McCoy is still one heck of a football player. Texas’ quarterback might have played the most impressive game of any player this season in the Horns’ shootout victory at Texas A&M. McCoy accounted for 5 touchdowns and ran for nearly 200 yards on top of his typically huge passing numbers! Now all that stands in Texas’ way of a shot at the National Title is offensively challenged Nebraska and I don’t think anyone outside of the myriad of Cornhusker partisans is going to expect anything less than a Texas rout.

Week 14: BIG XII CHAMPIONSHIP vs. Nebraska in Dallas, 8:00 PM EST

 

#4)Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0, #4)

Week 13 Result: 49-36 Victory at Home versus Illinois

Cincinnati has some serious issues on defense, folks. No one should question their offense’s ability to move the ball after a season of passing dominance but against a top flight opponent like the Pittsburgh Panthers it will be interesting to see how their defense fares against a dominating running game coupled with a serious passing attack for the first time this season. Can Cincinnati actually finish the season undefeated and win their 2 nd consecutive Big East Championship?

Week 14: At #11 Pittsburgh, Noon EST

 

#5)Texas Christian Horned Frogs (12-0, #5)

Week 13 Result: 51-10 Victory at Home versus New Mexico

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the official 2009 BCS buster: The Texas Chrisitan Horned Frogs! TCU has sealed up the automatic bid that is afforded to an unbeaten non-BCS conference team and I wouldn’t be shocked if we see another Mountain West – SEC Sugar Bowl this year. With so much sustained success, you have to wonder where head coach Gary Patterson is on some of the major schools’ radar: In my opinion, his defensive virtuosity should at least get him an interview with Notre Dame when Weis’ dismissal is announced.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

THE BEST OF THE REST

#6)Boise State Broncos (12-0, #13)

Week 13 Result: 44-33 Victory at Home versus Nevada

Wait, what is this? Another BCS buster? As I mentioned before, I really think Boise State is going to end up with a BCS slot but this time they’ll make history as the first at-large non-BCS team to earn such honors. The Broncos’ 44-33 victory over Nevada was impressive as the Wolfpack has been one of the country’s most dominant offensive teams since September ended. However, I really want to see how Boise State matches up against a top ten team on a neutral field and it looks like we’ll get our chance this January.

Week 14: Home versus New Mexico State, 3:00 PM EST

 

#7)Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2, #8)

Week 13 Result: Off Week

There isn’t much to add to the Buckeyes’ resume at this point: They’re an excellent defensive team which has reeled off five consecutive 200 yard games on the ground en route to the Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl berth. Expect all eyes in Columbus to be glued to the television this Thursday for the Oregon-Oregon State clash.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

#8)Oregon Ducks (9-2, #9)

Week 13 Result: Off Week

Speaking of the Ducks, they’re in position to jump the Buckeyes into 7 th pace and earn the Pac Ten Championship with a win against their archrivals in the Civil War. This has been one of the most even rivalry games in the country during the last decade and I think a lot of people are underestimating the plucky Beavers. Can Oregon win the Civil War?

Week 14: Thursday, Home versus #16 Oregon State, 9:00 PM EST

 

#9) Iowa Hawkeyes (10-2, #10)

Week 13 Result: Off Week

Much like the Buckeyes, there isn’t much more to say about Iowa: They’re 10-2 thanks to a great defense and an opportunistic offense. In all reality, the Hawkeyes really could be 11-1 had their starting quarterback not gone down to injury. Every year, there is usually a team or two that appears to overachieve due to mental toughness and grit and the Hawkeyes are this year’s version. Expect to see them in a BCS bowl this January.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

#10) Pitt Panthers (9-2, #7)

Week 13 Result: 19-16 Loss at West Virginia

Pitt lost an absolute heartbreaker to archrival West Virginia on a last second field goal. The Panthers made a big charge to the tie it late after trailing for most of the game but it just wasn’t enough to leave Morgantown with a win. However, like I said in last week’s column, the Backyard Brawl was really meaningless when it came to Pitt’s Big East title hopes because the winner of this weekend’s game with Cincinnati still earns the conference title and the automatic BCS berth that comes along with it. Safe to say, there is still a lot to play for and I expect the Panthers to grasp the moment on home field this weekend.

Week 14: Home versus #4 Cincinnati, Noon EST

 

#11) Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2, #11)

Week 13 Result: Off Week

Unlike the other two Big Ten teams who have already been listed, I have something new to say about Penn State, specifically to their fans: What in the heck makes you think you deserve a BCS bowl bid? I’ve received multiple emails from PSU fans claiming that they’re going to be chosen over Iowa for the Fiesta Bowl instead of ending up (as I have projected) in the Capital One Bowl. Really, Penn State is going to jump the same Iowa team that won in Happy Valley this year? Are we talking about the same Penn State team that lost both games that it played against elite opponents? When you schedule no one out of conference and lose your only two big games of the year, you’re lucky to even get the chance at the Capital One Bowl. Enjoy your New Year in Orlando, JoePa.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

#12) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets(10-2, #14)

Week 13 Result: 30-24 Loss at Home versus Georgia

There’s not a lot to say positive about Georgia Tech after their home loss to Georgia. Their offense had a lot of trouble moving the football and was forced to throw more than any other game this season. Their defense was ripped for over 300 yards on the ground by a Georgia team that outright refused to try to pass the ball. Finally, their coach’s reaction after the game which seemed to downplay the rivalry as just another game was a tough pill to swallow. Tech needs to move on and move on quickly from this debacle because their biggest goal of the season is still on the table: An ACC Championship and an Orange Bowl berth.

Week 14: ACC Championship versus Clemson, 8:00 PM EST

 

#13) Virginia Tech Hokies (9-3, #17)

Week 13 Result: 42-13 Victory at Virginia

With a blowout victory at Virginia, the Hokies finished up another solid regular season and will head into the bowl games with a chance at another ten win season. The Tech offense exploded in the second half and I had to give a lot of credit to this young team’s running game. The Hokies’ drive for ten wins will culminate in a pretty nice bowl game (probably the Chik-Fil-A Bowl) and Frank Beamer has to be excited at his team’s prospects in 2010.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

#14) Miami Hurricanes (9-3, #19)

Week 13 Result: 31-10 Victory at South Florida

The Hurricanes absolutely dominated South Florida in every aspect of the game, ending any discussion that might be brewing about the Bulls usurping their spot among the top two programs in the state of Florida. Miami has had a great season, especially considering how young this team is, and the Hurricanes will have a chance to win ten games for the first time under Randy Shannon.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

#15) Southern California Trojans (8-3, #21)

Week 13 Result: 28-7 Victory at Home versus UCLA

As I said above, the Trojans’ victory against UCLA was a major struggle. That wasn’t shocking considering how bad both teams have been on offense in November, but I think the players deserve their due here: USC’s defense was dominant and their offense began to come around in the second half. For all of their ‘struggles’, USC has still only lost three games and could make a ten win season a real possibility with a victory against Arizona this Saturday.

Week 14: Home versus Arizona, 3:30 PM EST

 

#16) Oregon State Beavers (8-3, #14)

Week 13 Result: Off Week

After last season’s run for the roses fell short at the hands of the Oregon Ducks, many Beaver fans probably wondered if they would see another chance at a January trip to Pasadena in the next decade. After all, schools like Oregon State aren’t perennial BCS contenders and they don’t get many chances like last year’s. Well, the Beavers can erase all memory of last season’s resounding shocker by defeating the archrival Ducks this Thursday because the Pac Ten Championship and the Rose Bowl are on the line in Eugene. Don’t count this team out: Their offense is explosive and their defense is underrated. I would not be surprised one bit if Oregon State wins this game.

Week 14:Thursday, At #8 Oregon, 9:00 PM EST

 

#17) Louisiana State Tigers (9-3, #23)

Week 13 Result: 33-30 Overtime Victory at Home versus Arkansas

The Tigers should expect to be sued soon for copyright infringement because they’ve walked the line of disaster like Johnny Cash en route nine wins this year. Arkansas had the Tigers down and out after a late touchdown gave them the lead but LSU managed to kick a tying field goal and escape in overtime. Les Miles’ team still has some big issues, especially on offense, and I’m more than a little surprised that they’ve managed nine wins this year. However, if the Mad Hatter can lead the Tigers to a ten win season, it will have been a good year on the Bayou.

Week 14:Regular Season Complete

 

#18) California Golden Bears (8-3, #16)

Week 13 Result: Off Week

After watching Cal get blown out in consecutive games early this year, I would never have expected to see the Golden Bears enter December with a legitimate shot at a ten win season. What’s been even more impressive is that Cal has knocked off two of the hottest teams in the country, Arizona and Stanford, during their comeback stretch. While the blowout losses prevented this season from being great, Cal is still a very good football team.

Week 14: At Washington, 6:30 PM EST

 

#19) Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3, #24)

Week 13 Result: 28-20 Victory at Colorado

Bo Pelini has to be the most popular man in the state of Nebraska: He’s won eighteen games in his first two years in charge of the Huskers and his team is playing for the Big XII Championship despite featuring an anemic offense. Nebraska is simply dominant on the defensive line and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them keep the game close for a half against Texas on Saturday. However, even if Nebraska loses like everyone expects, Pelini clearly has his team heading in the right direction.

Week 14:Big XII Championship Game versus Texas in Dallas, 8:00 PM EST

 

#20) Wisconsin Badgers (8-3, #22)

Week 13 Result: Off Week

The Badgers have a pretty sweet deal: Since they close out the season this week at Hawai’i after enjoying an off week, they’ve pretty much ensured themselves of not one but two bowl trips! After all, any trip to the Islands beats most actual postseason destinations! However, the Badgers had better be careful: Hawai’i needs just one win to earn bowl eligibility and last year’s final visitor to the Islands (Big East Champ Cincinnati) needed a big comeback to fly home with a win.

Week 14: At Hawai’i , 11:00 PM EST

 

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#21) Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3, #12)

Week 13 Result: 27-0 Loss at Oklahoma

For all of the success that the Cowboys have had this season, they still haven’t managed to get over the hump and beat either Oklahoma or Texas. The former is especially galling considering how poor of year it has been for the Sooners and the Cowboys are never going to be taken seriously as a conference power until they beat one of the Big XII South’s traditional titans. However, the Cowboys could still win ten games this year and wipe some of the sour taste out of their mouths with a bowl win, likely the Cotton or Holiday.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

#22) Stanford Cardinal (8-4, #24)

Week 13 Result: 45-38 Victory at Home versus Notre Dame

Stanford is the only four loss team to grace my top 25 but I don’t think anyone in the country would argue with the assertion that the Cardinal is the best four loss team in the land. Their tailback should be the Heisman frontrunner and their offense is one of the best in the country. They’re clearly a team on the rise and will go bowling for the first time in Jim Harbaugh’s three years on the Farm. Put it this way: I wouldn’t want to play these guys in a bowl game.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

#23)West Virginia Mountaineers (8-3, Not Ranked)

Week 13 Result: 19-16 Victory at Home versus #7 Pittsburgh

West Virginia just took a somewhat forgettable down year and turned it into a great season by defeating their archrivals. Yes, the Mountaineers haven’t been as explosive as expected on offense this year but they’re a victory at Rutgers away from going into the postseason with the chance to win ten games! All in all, that’s a pretty good showing in Morgantown in the first year A.P.W. (After Pat White).

Week 14: At Rutgers,Noon EST

 

#24) Houston Cougars (10-2, NR)

Week 13 Result: 73-14 Victory at Home versus Rice

Houston put up 73 points on rival Rice. Let it sink in. 73 points: That’s TEN touchdowns! Suddenly, Pete Carroll’s late pass against UCLA looks like a handoff up the middle! Houston has an incredibly dominant offense (most of their points came in the first half) and they’re now the C-USA West champions. The only downside for the Cougs at this point is that they have to play at East Carolina for the C-USA title thanks to the Pirates’ superior conference record, but Houston has to be favored heading into this contest. After all, who wants to pick against a team that just scored ten touchdowns?

Week 14: C-USA Championship Game at East Carolina, Noon EST

 

#25) BYU Cougars (10-2, NR)

Week 13 Result: 26-23 Overtime Victory versus Utah

And the Holy War was won by the Fightin’ Mormons of BYU. The Cougars and Utes played a spectacular game that featured a big Utah comeback to force overtime. Even more interesting, BYU quarterback Max Hall had a pretty rough day throwing the football but his team still emerged victorious and the Cougars have now won ten games for the 3 rd time in four years. Expect BYU to end up in the Poinsettia Bowl this year instead of the Las Vegas Bowl because they’ve been to Sin City numerous times in recent years and bowl organizers and school officials would like to see a different postseason destination.

Week 14: Regular Season Complete

 

 

TEN MORE TO KEEP AN EYE ON

  • Clemson Tigers
  • North Carolina Tar Heels
  • Central Michigan Chippewas
  • Boston College Eagles
  • Northwestern Wildcats
  • Arizona Wildcats
  • Utah Utes
  • Missouri Tigers
  • Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  • Ole Miss Rebels

 

By Matt Baxendell
CollegeSports-fans.com Staff Writer

 

Matt Baxendell is collegesports-fans.com’s football writer. Keep an eye out all fall for his multiple weekly articles discussing everything college football. If you want to get in touch with him, email him at Matt.Baxendell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @MattBaxendell

 


 


 

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