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In The Books: Week Twelve

Taylor Martinez and Nebraska look ready for the B1G Championship Game

This was the weekend we’ve been waiting for in college football. The top two teams in the country went down, a seismic shift happened in the polls and just one week after losing to Texas A&M, Alabama is back in place to play for a national championship.

It was a crazy weekend to say the least. Shortly after Baylor demolished Kansas State 52-24, Stanford came back to upset Oregon in Eugene, 17-14 in overtime. After just a week atop the polls, Kansas State saw their title hopes vanish and Oregon doesn’t even control its own fate for a conference championship. With the losses of number one and two, my poll sees its third fourth number one team this year…but we’ll get to that later. For now, here’s this week’s Heisman Trophy rankings.

1. Collin Klein, Kansas State Quarterback
One bad game doesn’t move Klein down the board
2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Quarterback
Could we see a first-time Freshman winner?
3. Kenjon Barner, Oregon Running Back
Far and away college football’s best RB
4. Manti Te’o, Notre Dame Linebacker
Best player on the new #1 team
5. Braxton Miller, Ohio State Quarterback
Not bowl eligible, but one of two unbeatens

Just off the mark…
6. Marquise Lee, USC Wide Receiver
7. Marcus Mariota, Oregon Quarterback
8. Tajh Boyd, Clemson Quarterback

While the Heisman race changed a tad, the top five players remained in the top five. Although I believe Klein has proven himself this year as college football’s best player, a lot of voters are swayed by even just one good week. If that’s the case, Klein’s stock could have taken a hit. Now that we’ve seen the updated Heisman rankings, let’s take a look at my top 25 for Week 13.

1. Notre Dame, 11-0
2. Alabama, 10-1
3. Georgia, 10-1
4. Florida, 10-1
5. Oregon, 10-1
6. Texas A&M, 9-2
7. Kansas State, 10-1
8. Florida State, 10-1
9. Stanford, 9-2
10. LSU, 9-2
11. Clemson, 10-1
12. South Carolina, 9-2
13. Oklahoma, 8-2
14. UCLA, 9-2
15. Nebraska, 9-2
16. Texas, 8-2
17. Oregon State, 8-2
18. Louisville, 9-1
19. Rutgers, 9-1
20. Michigan, 8-3
21. Oklahoma State, 7-3
22. Mississippi State, 8-3
23. Kent State, 10-1
24. Boise State, 9-2
25. Northern Illinois, 10-1

Due to the short school week, I’ll go ahead and do a shortened version of Weekend Watch and give you all the games to look out for this weekend. Being rivalry weekend in college football, there will be plenty of good action starting on Thursday and going all the way up to Saturday night. You know how it goes; come rivalry time, throw out all the records. That may hold true in some match-ups (like South Carolina-Clemson, Florida-Florida State and Bedlam), but some others (Georgia Tech-Georgia and the Iron Bowl) are just about locks. Let’s take a look.

Thursday:
TCU @ #16 Texas, 6:30, ESPN
TCU takes A&M’s spot in traditional Thanksgiving game
Saturday:
Georgia Tech @ #3 Georgia, 11:00, ESPN
Last game before date with Alabama in SEC Title game for the ‘Dawgs
#20 Michigan @ Ohio State, 11:00, ABC
Ohio State looks to go 12-0 in bowl-ban season
#5 Oregon @ #17 Oregon State, 2:00
Ducks can still win the North with a win and some help
Auburn @ #2 Alabama, 2:30, CBS
Will probably be the game that sends Gene Chizik packing
#4 Florida @ #8 Florida State, 2:30, ABC
Much bigger for Gators who are looking for an at-large BCS bid
#21 Oklahoma State @ #13 Oklahoma, 2:30, ESPN
Sooners still have a shot at the conference thanks to Baylor’s win over KSU
#9 Stanford @#14 UCLA, 5:30, FOX
Bruins already locked up South, Stanford need a win for North
#12 South Carolina @ #11 Clemson, 6:00, ESPN
Bragging rights and another possible BCS at-large bid on the line
#1 Notre Dame @ USC, 7:00, ABC
Irish are just one win away from the National Championship Game

It’s amazing how much things can change in one season. The preseason polls had USC as the unanimous number one team in the nation and had Notre Dame unranked. Here we are in Week 13 and the tables have turned. Notre Dame is actually one win away from heading to Miami to play in the National Championship. Take that in for a second. Quite arguable the most prestigious program in the nation could win their first national championship in 24 years.

We’ll have a better idea who will be heading to what bowl game after this weekend, but we won’t know anything for sure until the BCS selection show on Sunday Dec. 2. So until then, sit back and let’s see if college football has any more madness left in it.

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