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I’m still in shock, folks. Alabama actually lost this weekend. Texas A&M, led by Johnny “Football” Manziel, went into Tuscaloosa, Ala. and walked away with a 29-24 victory. It’s hard to believe that the biggest upset of the year came from a team who was ranked #14 in my poll last week. The reason for this is the best team we’ve seen since the 2001 Miami Hurricanes (you read that correctly), was the favorite that ended up on the losing end. While I could talk for hours about that upset, just like the season it is time to move on. With that, let’s take a look at the Heisman Trophy rankings heading into week twelve.
1. Collin Klein, Kansas State Quarterback
Klein looked great again as the Wildcats chalked up win number ten. The senior had two rushing touchdowns en route to the 23-10 victory. Klein has just two games left against Baylor and Texas for this signal caller to hold on to the lead.
2. Kenjon Barner, Oregon Running Back
Surprisingly, Barner didn’t find the end zone this weekend in Oregon’s 59-17 victory over Cal. Barner still has a chance to surpass Klein for number one and the Heisman trophy but it’s the K-State Quarterback’s to lose.
3. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Quarterback
Manziel is one of many great freshman Quarterbacks in the nation this year, but he outshines them all. Johnny Football pulled off the biggest upset in years Saturday and has A&M looking to make a BCS bowl game appearance.
4. Braxton Miller, Ohio State Quarterback
While the Buckeyes finally had a week off, Miller is still on this list at number four. Without the exceptional play of No. 5, Ohio State probably wouldn’t be 10-0. With just Wisconsin and Michigan left, the Buckeyes could definitely go 12-0 and send Miller to New York.
5. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame Linebacker
I’d say Te’o is probably a lock to go the trophy presentation in New York. The best defensive player in the country has lived up to that title all year and has his team just outside a national championship game berth.
We almost saw something this weekend that we hadn’t seen since the first week of the season, a weekend in which Kansas State, Missouri and Kansas all won. While the Wildcats controlled TCU, Missouri needed four overtimes to gain a comeback road win at Tennessee to get to 5-5 on the year. The Tigers need to win one of their two remaining games to make it to a bowl and the team should be able to do that. Kansas took Texas Tech to overtime before falling to the Red Raiders, 41-34. Kansas is now 1-9 on the year and 0-7 in Big XII play.
It was a pretty good weekend for the local trio, but college football had a huge shakeup from some of the results Saturday. Let’s see how the games affected my poll.
1. Oregon, 10-0
The Ducks claim number one in my poll despite being the number two in the BCS. Led by Marcus Mariota and Barner, the Ducks have far and away the best offense in college football and look set for a Pac-12 title and a national championship game appearance.
2. Kansas State, 10-0
The Wildcats just keep winning, but would you expect anything else from Bill Snyder? At the beginning of the year I definitely didn’t think K-State would be in line to play for a national title with two games to play. How ’bout that?
3. Notre Dame, 10-0
The Fighting Irish are going to need some help either from a Oregon/Kansas State loss or a boost in the polls to get into the national championship game. Te’o and company are deserving, but will they get it?
4. Alabama, 9-1
Did you really think they’d fall any farther? Don’t count them out yet, they could play their way back into the BCS National Championship by winning out and getting some help from teams like USC and Texas.
5. Georgia, 9-1
The Bulldogs can either secure a spot in a BCS game by beating Alabama in the SEC Championship or by gaining an at-large bid. With A&M catching momentum, the Bulldogs might want to go with the former.
6. Florida, 9-1
Florida didn’t look impressive at all against Louisiana-Lafayette, winning on a blocked punt return with two seconds left; however, the Gators can still play their way into a BCS game as an at-large selection if they continue to win.
7. Texas A&M, 8-2
The Aggies are yet another team I didn’t think I’d see ranked where they are. With Johnny Manziel at the reigns, this team will be able to play with anyone while he’s the Quarterback.
8. Florida State, 9-1
The ‘Noles just keep winning. Jimbo Fisher’s got to be kicking himself for that one point loss at NC State (but the BCS isn’t). Florida State controls their own destiny for a conference title but the rivalry match-up with Florida will be tough as always.
9. LSU, 8-2
The Tigers are looking like they’ll be one of many odd men out of a BCS at-large bid from the BCS. While they are still a very good football team, we’ll probably see the Tigers in the Cotton, Capital One or Outback Bowls.
10. Clemson, 9-1
The Tigers have been putting themselves in position to gain an at-large BCS bid throughout the year; however, those hopes could take a huge hit if they fall to South Carolina in two weeks.
11. South Carolina, 8-2
Here’s your other Palmetto State football team. The Gamecocks have been hit with plenty of injuries, most notably Marcus Lattimore, but remain high in the polls. The last two weeks will show if they can keep that up.
12. Oklahoma, 7-2
Bob Stoops and the Sooners are definitely a candidate for the Fiesta Bowl or another BCS game, but OU can’t afford any more losses if they want to get there. Oklahoma State and the two newcomers, West Virginia and TCU, remain for the Sooners.
13. Stanford, 8-2
The Cardinal got a nice win against Oregon State this weekend and still control their own fate in the Pac-12. It’s not likely, but if they can take down Oregon in Eugene, Stanford will probably take the North. The problem is that probably won’t happen.
14. Nebraska, 8-2
The Huskers looks to be the beneficiary to the Ohio State bowl ban. Although the Buckeyes are 10-0, Nebraska won’t have to meet them in the conference title game thanks to the post-season ban. Get your Rose Bowl tickets ready Husker fans.
15. Texas, 8-2
After two straight losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma, Texas has rolled off four straight wins and is in position to get themselves into a good bowl game. The Longhorns finish up with TCU and Kansas State.
16. Oregon State, 7-2
After a 6-0 start, the Beavers have dropped two out of three and are sliding in the polls. While many college football viewers have seen this coming for weeks, I’m a bit surprised at who Oregon State has fallen to.
17. UCLA, 8-2
I told you guys to jump on the Bruin bandwagon early. While he’s no Manziel or Mariota, Brett Hundley is another stellar Freshman Quarterback with 30 total touchdowns on the year. Watch out for the Bruins to still take the Pac-12 South (for a second consecutive year).
18. Louisville, 9-1
While the undefeated season would have been great for the school, the loss to Syracuse didn’t really change a whole lot for the Cardinals. While it took the pressure off going undefeated, Louisville will still win the Big East if they defeat UCONN and Rutgers.
19. Louisiana Tech, 9-1
The top non-AQ team in the polls yet again: the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Tech won again, defeating Texas State 62-55. With just Utah State and San Jose State left, the Bulldogs should take down number two and three in the WAC en route to a conference title.
20. Texas Tech, 7-3
It was anything but pretty, but the Red Raiders took down Kansas 41-34 in overtime. While Seth Deoge left the game, Tommy Tubberville’s squad still managed to get their seventh win of the year.
21. USC, 7-3
The Trojans are playing for the Rose Bowl at this point. They can still take the South division and with an upset over Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game, USC could be Pasadena bound. I still don’t see it, though.
22. Rutgers, 8-1
The Scarlet Knights are yet another team who control their own fate. Currently 8-1, Rutgers has Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Louisville left in the way of a Big East Championship. The Knights are a mere loss to Kent State away from being undefeated.
23. Michigan, 7-3
The Wolverines have quietly gotten themselves to 5-1 in the conference and if they win out and Nebraska falls, could play in the conference title game. The only problem is they will probably lose at Ohio State.
24. Oklahoma State, 6-3
The Cowboys looked very good against West Virginia in a 55-34 win on Saturday, but then again, who doesn’t look good against the Mountaineers anymore?
25. Kent State, 9-1
The team that got blown out by Kentucky actually beat Rutgers by double digits a few weeks ago. This team is Kent State. With games against Bowling Green and Ohio left, the Golden Flashes are just two wins away from a conference title game appearance.
You have no idea how happy I am that I got to put “Golden Flashes” in one of my blogs this year. But in all seriousness, this weekend showed us that anything can happen any given Saturday in college football. It was an exciting week, and there’s sure to be plenty more of them.