College Football Wrap-Up – Week 12
The former ranked #1 Mississippi State Bulldogs and their coach Dan Mullen were down 19-6 on-the-road after 3 quarters to #5 Alabama in Tuscaloosa when the Crimson Tide unleased probably “one of the greatest drives in Alabama history, according to Coach Nick Saban. The result was a 25-20 Tide victory as unbeaten Mississippi State suffered its first defeat.
The loss by Mississippi State in major college football’s 12th week confirmed what many had expected, that the Bulldogs would not continue to be unbeaten when faced with better competition. After losing to Alabama, Mississippi State’ strength of schedule was 32nd and Alabama’s was the 2nd toughest in the nation.
Mississippi State needs to seriously regroup as the Bulldogs will have to travel to Ole Miss in their season-ending game. If the Bulldogs hope to be 1 of the 4 teams in the playoff for the national championship, they will have to win out or another loss will put them out for good.
A really long list of other ranked teams in this order did not do so hot Saturday:
The 5-5 unranked Oregon State Beavers upset #5 Arizona State, 35-27, leaving Todd Graham’s Sun Devils with an 8-2 mark.
A 3-7 Kansas team gave #4 TCU all it could handle before winning 34-30, and looking really bad in the process.
The 6-5 Washington Huskies fumbled and bumbled their way to an almost victory against #14 Arizona before the Wildcats won 27-26 on a last second field goal. Husky quarterback Cyler Miles looks like a mistake ready to happen, seems brittle and afraid of his own shadow, otherwise, Washington wins this one.
A 4-6 Northwestern team needed overtime but still upset #18 Notre Dame 43-40. The Irish, now 7-3, have been giving up more points this season than layaways at Wal-Mart, and it finally caught up to them, again.
Arkansas, a pesky 5-5 and unpredictable, shut out #17 LSU 17 to zip as Les Miles Tigers just can’t make up their mind whether to win or lose—they are capable and incapable at the same time. Some call this talent not showing up.
An 8-2 Missouri team stung #24 Texas A&M 34-27, giving the Aggies their 4th loss.
Miami at home in Florida led 23-17 after 3 quarters but gave up 13 last quarter points to the #1 Florida State Seminoles and lost 30-26 as the Seminoles remained unbeaten at 10-0.
It took #23 Utah two overtimes to get past a 5-5 Stanford team, 20-17. So, just how good is Utah? Look at the handwriting on the scoreboard.
Another 5-5 team, Virginia Tech, upset #21 Duke 17-16, giving the Blue Devils their 2nd loss at 8-2.
Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes had their hands full in beating #25 Minnesota 31-24, and it looked like a 7-point victory.
So, who actually got something done this week?
Well, unbeaten Marshall (10-0) steamrolled Rice 41-14, and because of its mid-major status, will not even sniff a shot at being in the 4-team national playoffs.
#15 Georgia (8-2) tutored #9 Auburn 34-7, Georgia Tech (9-2) made #19 Clemson a believer 28-6, and #12 Michigan State beat Maryland, 37-15.
The best victory of the weekend belonged to the #20 Wisconsin Badgers and their new NCAA record-setting tailback, Melvin Gordon, soon to be known as Flash Gordon.
Gordon (Melvin, not Flash) fumbled twice and #16 Nebraska led 17-3 in the 2nd quarter before Gordon unleashed a 62-yard touchdown run, and Wisconsin scored 56 straight points as Gordon rushed for 408 total yards on 25 carries, averaging 16+ yards per carry and breaking TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson’s 14-year-old record of 406 yards. Both Wisconsin and Nebraska are now 8-2.
In other games of note, 4 unranked teams now have 8 victories:
Northern Illinois nipped Toledo 27-24 to go to 8-2, Air Force needed overtime to best Nevada 45-38 to go to 8-2, Boise State scored 3 touchdowns in the last quarter to whip San Diego State 38-29 to go to 8-2, and Utah State beat New Mexico 28-21 to go to 8-3.
For the record, #4 Oregon, #6 Baylor, #10 Ole Miss (Mississippi), #13 Kansas State, #15 UCLA and #25 Colorado State were all had a bye week.