Articles By Steven Lassan
Saturday's 41-35 win over Ole Miss was a huge victory for LSU. The Tigers kept their slim SEC title hopes alive but most importantly, remain in the mix for a spot in a BCS bowl.
The LSU-Ole Miss game was a crazy back and forth affair, so it was no surprise Les Miles was quite animated after the game.
In other words...it's vintage Les Miles.
Lost in the struggles of Maryland's offense and quarterback injuries this year has been the play of receiver Stefon Diggs. The true freshman has been a dynamic playmaker and could be a first-team All-ACC selection by the end of 2013.
Diggs continued his solid freshman campaign with a ridiculous one-handed catch against Florida State. The true freshman knew a big hit was coming from the Florida State defender, yet hung on for the reception.
Utah came up short in its Saturday night matchup against Arizona, losing 34-24 to drop to 4-7 on the season. However, the Utes left it all on the field, as they used a creative trick play to score an early touchdown.
The Utes lined up for an easy field goal early in the second quarter. But the holder pitched it between his legs to kicker Coleman Petersen, who ran it in for the touchdown.
West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen can be one of the most animated coaches in college football. Of course, this is also the coach who drinks Red Bull like it's water during the week too.
And Holgorsen didn't disappoint during Saturday's game against Oklahoma, as the cameras and audio caught him dropping a f-bomb right before the end of the first half.
Bad officiating has been a problem in the ACC this year, and it appears the refs might have missed another call in Week 12.
Virginia Tech defensive back Kyle Fuller deflected a poorly thrown pass by Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig and appeared to bounce it off his hands just before it hit the ground. Linebacker Alonzo Tweedy caught the deflection for the interception.
However, the refs did not give the interception to Virginia Tech, which took away a prime opportunity around midfield for its offense.
Kent State running back Dri Archer has been one of the nation's top all-purpose players this season and is a key piece in the Golden Flashes' run to the MAC East title.
Archer has showcased his speed and ridiculous moves all season but might have had his best performance on Saturday against Bowling Green.
With the game tied at 17 early in the fourth quarter, Archer took a handoff and darted to the left side and appeared to be tackled around midfield. However, Archer bounced out of the pile and cut it back to the opposite side of the field. After the midfield escape, Archer dodged a few defenders and scored to give Kent State a 24-17 lead.
College football's bowl season is inching closer, and it's never too early to take a look at what the matchups might look like. With 12 weeks of results in the books, it's beginning to get easier to make projections about which teams will be eligible for the postseason.
The post-Week 12 bowl projections are a mixture between how things would look if the season ended today, future schedules, and a dose of the results so far this year. Expect more changes over the next two weeks.
2012-2013 Post-Week 12 College Football Bowl Projections
|New Mexico||Dec. 15||MWC vs. Pac-12||Arizona vs. Nevada|
|Famous Idaho Potato||Dec. 15||MAC vs. WAC||Utah State vs. N. Illinois|
|Poinsettia||Dec. 20||BYU vs. MWC||BYU vs. San Diego State|
|Beef 'O'Brady's||Dec. 21||Big East vs. C-USA||UCF** vs. UL Lafayette*|
|New Orleans||Dec. 22||Sun Belt vs. C-USA||UL Monroe vs. East Carolina|
|Las Vegas||Dec. 22||MWC vs. Pac-12||USC vs. Boise State|
|Hawaii||Dec. 24||C-USA vs. MWC||Fresno State vs. SJSU*|
|Little Caesars||Dec. 26||Big Ten vs. MAC||W. Kentucky* vs. Toledo|
|Military||Dec. 27||ACC vs. Army||Ball State* vs. Arizona State*|
|Belk||Dec. 27||ACC vs. Big East||Duke vs. Cincinnati|
|Holiday||Dec. 27||Big 12 vs. Pac-12||West Virginia vs. UCLA|
|Independence||Dec. 28||ACC vs. SEC||Ohio* vs. La. Tech*|
|Russell Athletic||Dec. 28||ACC vs. Big East||Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers|
|Meineke Car Care||Dec. 28||Big Ten vs. Big 12||Iowa State vs. Minnesota|
|Armed Forces||Dec. 29||C-USA vs. MWC||Rice vs. Air Force|
|Kraft Fight Hunger||Dec. 29||Pac-12 vs. Navy||Navy vs. Washington|
|Pinstripe||Dec. 29||Big East vs. Big 12||Syracuse vs. TCU|
|Alamo||Dec. 29||Big 12 vs. Pac-12||Stanford vs. Okla. State|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||Dec. 29||Big Ten vs. Big 12||Mich. State vs. Texas Tech|
|Music City||Dec. 31||SEC vs. ACC||Vanderbilt vs. Arkansas State*|
|Sun||Dec. 31||ACC vs. Pac-12||Oregon State vs. NC State|
|Liberty||Dec. 31||SEC vs. C-USA||Tulsa vs. Ole Miss|
|Chick-fil-A||Dec. 31||ACC vs. SEC||South Carolina vs. Ga. Tech|
|Heart of Dallas||Jan. 1||Big Ten vs. Big 12||Baylor vs. Purdue|
|TaxSlayer.com Gator||Jan. 1||SEC vs. Big Ten||Northwestern vs. Miss. State|
|Capital One||Jan. 1||SEC vs. Big Ten||Michigan vs. Georgia|
|Outback||Jan. 1||SEC vs. Big Ten||Florida vs. Wisconsin|
|Cotton||Jan. 4||Big 12 vs. SEC||Texas vs. Texas A&M|
|BBVA Compass||Jan. 5||SEC vs. Big East||Troy* vs. Bowling Green*|
|GoDaddy.com||Jan. 6||MAC vs. Sun Belt||MTSU vs. Kent State|
|Rose||Jan. 1||BCS vs. BCS||Nebraska vs. Oregon|
|Orange||Jan. 1||BCS vs. BCS||Florida State vs. Louisville|
|Sugar||Jan. 2||BCS vs. BCS||LSU vs. Oklahoma|
|Fiesta||Jan. 3||BCS vs. BCS||Kansas State vs. Clemson|
|National Title||Jan. 7||BCS vs. BCS||Notre Dame vs. Alabama|
* Indicates an at-large team due to a conference unable to fill bowl slots according to Athlon's projections.
** UCF is appealing a postseason ban and for now, is eligible to compete in the 2012 postseason.
Bold indicates a team has accepted bowl bid.
by Steven Lassan
(published Nov. 18, 2012)
Week 12 isn’t the strongest slate in the 2012 college football season, but the Pac-12 features a couple of matchups that could have national title implications. Thanks to Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M, Oregon ascended to the No. 1 spot in the human polls and ranks No. 2 in the BCS behind Kansas State. If the Ducks win out, there’s no question they will play for the national title in early January.
Although Oregon is a heavy favorite in Saturday’s matchup, Stanford is a team built to give the Ducks problems. If the Cardinal can win in Eugene, they will have an opportunity to clinch the Pac-12 North title with a victory over UCLA on Nov. 24. Despite the departure of Andrew Luck to the NFL, Stanford has remained a factor in the Pac-12 title race, with its only two losses coming by four points against Washington and by seven in overtime against Notre Dame.
Oregon has won nine out of the last 10 meetings in this series. Stanford won 51-42 in 2009 but has lost by at least 20 points in each of the last two matchups.
When the Oregon Ducks have the ball:
Speed versus power. That’s the main battle in this game. Oregon is one of college football’s fastest teams, while Stanford is arguably the Pac-12’s most physical team. The Ducks have scored at least 50 points in each of the last two meetings against the Cardinal, and the 2012 version of Chip Kelly’s offense could be even deadlier than the one Stanford played last season.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has emerged as a Heisman contender this season, throwing for 2,164 yards and 28 touchdowns, while adding 516 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The redshirt freshman has thrown only five interceptions. Mariota was banged up in the win over California but is not expected to be limited in any way against Stanford. Mariota doesn’t have a standout No. 1 receiver, but he’s surrounded by plenty of capable targets, including Josh Huff, Colt Lyerla, Bralon Addison and Keanon Lowe.
Mariota isn’t the only weapon in the backfield for Kelly, as running back Kenjon Barner ranks among the nation’s best with 1,360 yards and 19 touchdowns so far this year. The senior injured his wrist in last week’s win but is not expected to miss any snaps. Sophomore De’Anthony Thomas isn’t going to match Barner’s 20-25 carries a game but is the team’s top breakaway threat on offense.
Stopping Oregon is no easy task. The Ducks have scored at least 30 points in 23 consecutive games and rank first nationally with an average of 54.8 points per contest so far this season. The Cardinal has to find a way to slow down Barner on early downs, while limiting Mariota’s big plays through the air. Not only is stopping Oregon difficult, but Stanford has to find a way to keep up with the Ducks’ quick pace.
Stanford’s rush defense ranks as the best in college football, allowing just 58.6 points per game. The Cardinal also lead the way in sacks per game, averaging 4.2 each week. Linebackers Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas are two of the best in the nation and have to be active around the line of scrimmage in order for Stanford to slow down Oregon’s rushing attack. If the Ducks struggle to get their running game on track, there should be plays to be made in the passing game, especially since the Cardinal ranks 99th nationally against the pass. Although Stanford’s physical approach works well against most of the teams on its schedule, the speed of Oregon will be very difficult to match up against.
When the Stanford Cardinal have the ball:
Replacing Andrew Luck has been no easy task for coach David Shaw. The Cardinal turned to Josh Nunes for the first nine games, and he threw for 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns. However, Nunes was benched in the win over Colorado, and Shaw elevated Kevin Hogan to the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. The freshman responded well in his first start, throwing for 254 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 49 yards on the ground against Oregon State. Hogan’s emergence should give Stanford more balance on offense over the final few games.
The biggest problem for the Cardinal offense is a lack of playmakers at receiver. Tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo are two steady options but there’s not much at receiver to help Hogan. Drew Terrell, Jamal-Rashad Patterson and Ty Montgomery are the team’s top three options and this trio needs to step up this week, especially with a banged up Oregon secondary.
When Stanford has the ball, expect to see a lot of Stepfan Taylor. The senior ranks 22nd nationally with 106.1 yards per game and has to have a big game for the Cardinal to have any shot at a victory. The offensive line isn’t as good as last season’s group, but this unit is physical and can clear plenty of lanes for Taylor and Hogan.
The matchup in the trenches favors Stanford, especially considering the injuries to Oregon’s front seven. The Ducks allowed 236 rushing yards to California last week but expect a couple of contributors to return. Linemen Dion Jordan, Isaac Remington, Ricky Heimuli and Taylor Hart are all nursing injuries but all could play on Saturday. If the Ducks are shorthanded, stopping the run will be a real challenge against Stanford’s physical offense.
Even though the Ducks have some injuries on defense, it’s going to be a tall task for Stanford to win in Eugene. The Cardinal has to control the tempo and keep Oregon’s on the sidelines. If Taylor and Hogan are able to chew up the clock, expect this game to be decided late in the fourth quarter. However, Stanford manages to keep it close for a half, but the Ducks make the right adjustments at halftime and pull away in the final two quarters.
Prediction: Oregon 45, Stanford 27
by Steven Lassan
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Bragging rights in Los Angeles and a spot in the Pac-12 Championship will be on the line when USC and UCLA meet on Saturday afternoon. This season has not gone according to plan for the Trojans, as most expected USC to contend for the national title and for quarterback Matt Barkley to rank among the top Heisman contenders. However, USC has slipped to a 7-3 record and with the Bruins and a date against Notre Dame coming up, a 7-5 final mark isn’t out of the question.
While USC has been a disappointment, UCLA has been one of the top surprises in the Pac-12. Although there was a lot of returning talent, it was uncertain how it would mesh with the new coaching staff. New coach Jim Mora has done a good job of blending the talent with the new schemes on both sides of the ball and has the Bruins poised to make a return trip to the Pac-12 title game.
USC has dominated this series in recent years, as UCLA’s last victory came in 2006 in Pasadena. The Trojans have won 12 out of the last 13 games against the Bruins, including a 50-0 shutout last season.
When the USC Trojans have the ball:
Even though USC quarterback Matt Barkley hasn’t had the year most expected, he has still thrown for 2,972 yards and 33 touchdowns. That’s the positive. The bad news? Barkley has already exceeded his interception total from last year (7) with 13 so far this season. The senior has thrown seven picks over the last three games, which has led some to wonder if he’s pressing too much with the Trojans struggling to reach expectations.
Despite the turnovers and not meeting preseason expectations, the USC passing attack is one of the toughest to stop in college football. Sophomore receiver Marqise Lee has played his way into the Heisman mix over the last few weeks and ranks second nationally with 9.8 receptions per game. Lee has at least 10 receptions in each of his last three games and torched Arizona for 345 yards and two touchdowns. While Lee has thrived, Robert Woods has taken a step back this season. The junior has only 61 receptions and has failed to record at least 100 yards in each of his last three contests. Even though Woods’ numbers have dropped, he remains one of the Pac-12’s top targets. The Trojans also have capable weapons in tight end Xavier Grimble and freshman receiver Nelson Agholor.
UCLA’s secondary has been under fire this year, allowing 266.4 yards per game. Although the Bruins will give up some yards against the pass, this defense can get after the quarterback (averaging 3.7 sacks per game) and has held opponents to just 24.7 points per game.
USC running back Silas Redd did not play in last week’s win over Arizona State but expects to see snaps against UCLA. The junior leads the Trojans with 732 yards and nine touchdowns, while backup Curtis McNeal rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns in Redd’s absence last week. The Bruins are allowing 144.6 yards per game on the ground, but USC has a tendency to rely too much on the pass, which has limited the opportunities for Redd and McNeal this year.
The best way for the Bruins to slow down USC’s offense will be to get pressure on Barkley. Stanford’s 3-4 attack gave the Trojans fits earlier this year, and UCLA should be able to use a similar approach on Saturday.
When the UCLA Bruins have the ball:
The key to UCLA’s improvement on offense in 2012 has been the play of quarterback Brett Hundley. The redshirt freshman is completing 69 percent of his throws and has tossed only nine picks on 329 attempts. In addition to Hundley’s emergence, coordinator Noel Mazzone has been the perfect hire to run the Bruins’ offense. Hundley’s favorite target has been Shaquelle Evans (39 receptions), but Joseph Fauria, Steven Manfro and freshman Jordan Payton have been key players in UCLA’s arsenal.
Although running back Johnathan Franklin has yet to match his back-to-back 100-yard efforts since the first two weeks of the season, the senior has 1,270 yards and eight touchdowns and has 24 receptions for 276 yards and two scores. Franklin has two 100-yard games in his last three contests and ranks sixth nationally with an average of 127 yards per game.
Outside of giving up 426 yards and five touchdowns to Oregon’s rushing attack, USC’s run defense has played well this season. Take out the defensive debacle against the Ducks, and the Trojans have allowed only six rushing scores through nine contests. USC’s defensive line has also been active in getting to the quarterback, recording 37 sacks this year. In UCLA’s two losses this year, Franklin combined to rush for 147 yards. If the Trojans can slow down Franklin and keep him under 100 yards, they should win this game.
Spread offenses have given USC’s defense the most trouble in 2012, and this is another tricky matchup for the Trojans. Hundley isn’t as dynamic of a runner as Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, but he has 272 yards and six touchdowns on 111 carries this season. Combine Hundley’s mobility and Franklin’s big-play ability and USC will have its hands full trying to stop this offense. The Trojans allowed 43 points to Mazzone’s offense last year at Arizona State but should have a better idea of what to expect in 2012.
Expect plenty of points in this matchup. With the Pac-12 South title on the line, both teams will get their best shot from the other squad. Even though USC has been a disappointment this year, this is its last chance to rally and erase some of the bad feelings from 2012. UCLA is clearly on the right track under Jim Mora but will fall just short of making a return trip to the Pac-12 title game.
Prediction: USC 38, UCLA 34
by Steven Lassan
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In any other season, a matchup between the top two teams in the Big Ten’s Leaders Division would draw some national interest. With Ohio State ineligible to win the division title and the conference struggling as a whole, this game has lost some of its appeal.
Urban Meyer’s tenure in Columbus is off to a great start. The Buckeyes are 10-0 for the first time since 2007. And despite a trip to Madison and the huge rivalry game against Michigan on Nov. 24, this team has a good shot at finishing 12-0. Even though Ohio State can’t play in the Big Ten title game, Meyer has done a good job of navigating through this season and keeping the team motivated to play each week.
With Ohio State out of the picture, Wisconsin was a heavy favorite to win the Leaders Division in the preseason. The Badgers started off slow with a 3-2 record but have won four out of their last five games.
Ohio State has won four out of the last five in this series, with Wisconsin’s only victory during that stretch coming in 2010. The Badgers lost last season’s matchup 33-29 in Columbus.
When the Ohio State Buckeyes have the ball:
The Badgers are quietly one of the nation’s best defenses. Wisconsin is allowing just 17.2 points a game, while ranking 15th nationally in yards allowed. The Badgers have not allowed their last five opponents to score more than 16 points a game and only one team has managed more than 27 points this season.
Those numbers will be put to the test against Ohio State’s offense, especially as Wisconsin tries to find a way to slow down Braxton Miller. The sophomore has carried the Buckeyes’ offense this year, recording 2,919 yards and 27 overall scores. Miller is still developing as a passer but is a dangerous runner and will have 15-20 carries on Saturday night.
Although Miller is one of college football’s top quarterbacks, he needs help from his supporting cast. Running back Carlos Hyde has three 100-yard efforts over his last five games and has 11 scores during that stretch. Corey Brown leads the way at receiver, catching 48 passes for 526 yards and two touchdowns. The Buckeyes are looking for more playmakers to step up in the passing game but that figures to come over time, especially with only one senior (Jake Stoneburner) in the two-deep at receiver.
Even though the Buckeyes are finding more help for Miller, the key to beating Ohio State remains stopping the sophomore quarterback. The Badgers have two of the Big Ten’s top linebackers (Mike Taylor, Chris Borland) who will be very active around the line of scrimmage. It’s important for Wisconsin to make Ohio State drive the field, rather than hit on a few big plays for short scoring drives. The Badgers haven’t had many matchups against dual-threat quarterbacks this year, but they allowed 288 total yards against Taylor Martinez and 256 to Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton.
When the Wisconsin Badgers have the ball:
Just as the Badgers appeared to be finding their rhythm in the passing attack, quarterback Joel Stave was lost for the season with a collarbone injury. With Stave sidelined and Danny O’Brien struggling earlier this year, the Wisconsin coaching staff turned to Curt Phillips under center. The senior has battled knee injuries throughout his career but turned in a solid performance against Indiana, throwing for 41 yards and adding 68 on the ground.
With Phillips still getting comfortable under center, expect a run-heavy approach from Wisconsin. The Badgers have a deep collection of running backs, led by Montee Ball. The senior has 1,226 yards and 16 touchdowns this season and will be spelled by James White (7.3 ypc) and Melvin Gordon (8.2 ypc).
Ohio State’s defense has allowed at least 20 or more points in five Big Ten games this season. This unit has struggled to stop the pass (259.7 ypg), but the rush defense has been steady most of the year. Only two opponents have managed more than 150 yards, and Ohio State has held its last two opponents to less than 75 rushing yards. The Buckeyes have struggled to stop teams that run the spread, but Wisconsin should be an easier matchup with its limited passing game.
Expect the Buckeyes to load up against Wisconsin’s rushing attack and force Philips to win this game through the air. The Badgers don’t need to throw it 30 times, but they need to hit on a few passes early on to keep Ohio State from loading up the box against Ball, White and Gordon.
Establishing the rushing attack is crucial to Wisconsin’s chances at winning. The Badgers don’t want to put the game on Curt Phillips’ shoulders, but he has to throw for more than 41 yards this week. If Wisconsin struggles to establish the run, it will be an uphill battle to win on Saturday. The Badgers defense will keep Braxton Miller in check for a half, but the Buckeyes’ offense eventually gets on track, which is just enough to escape Madison with an 11-0 record.
Prediction: Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 20
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With the season winding down, the Week 12 slate in the ACC could bring some much-needed clarity to the conference title game. If Florida State beats Maryland, the Seminoles would clinch the Atlantic Division title. The Coastal Division is still murky, but Duke and Miami would appear to have the inside track. However, Georgia Tech's late-season surge has it in the mix, while there's still uncertainty on whether or not the Hurricanes will be able to play in any postseason game this year.
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Can Virginia keep the momentum going?
The Oct. 27 bye week seems to have rejuvenated Virginia. The offense scored 74 points in its last two games, which is easily the best two-game stretch in 2012. Quarterback Michael Rocco sparked the passing attack last week, throwing for 300 yards and four scores against Miami. The rushing attack has four touchdowns over the last two weeks, which is nearly as many as the team had through the first eight games (6). While the late-season surge has moved Virginia closer to a winning record, it still needs two wins to get bowl eligible. Thursday night’s matchup with North Carolina is the 117th meeting between these two schools and there’s a lot on the line for both teams. The Cavaliers need a win to stay alive for a bowl game, while the Tar Heels can still win the Coastal Division – even though they are ineligible for the postseason. After allowing 40 points to Miami last week, Virginia’s defense will be under fire once again, especially as it tries to stop North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard. If the Cavaliers knock off the Tar Heels, it would setup a showdown with rival Virginia Tech, with the loser staying home for the postseason.
Duke or Georgia Tech: Which defense will make enough plays to win?
With two weeks remaining, it’s anyone’s guess which team will come out on top in the Coastal Division. Duke controls its destiny in the division but needs to beat Georgia Tech this Saturday and Miami next week to play for the ACC Championship. While getting to 6-4 and their first bowl game since 1994 is a great accomplishment for coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils, this team has lost three out of its last four games and has been outscored 104-27 in its last two matchups. Duke’s defense struggled to contain the playmakers Florida State and Clemson had on offense, but Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech is a different type of problem for co-coordinators Jim Knowles and Jim Collins. The Yellow Jackets average 324.4 yards per game on the ground and have scored at least 30 points in four out of their last five games. Georgia Tech’s offense has also found a spark from backup quarterback Vad Lee, who has four rushing scores over the last two contests. Duke has not defeated the Yellow Jackets since 2003. However, the last two matchups have been decided by 10 points or less, including a 38-31 shootout in Durham last year. There’s no question the Blue Devils should be able to score on Georgia Tech’s defense. However, considering the success the Yellow Jackets have had against Duke’s defense the last few years, the defense needs to step up if the Blue Devils want to earn their seventh win and remain in the driver’s seat for the Coastal Division title.
Does NC State’s defense have an answer for Clemson’s offense?
Even though Florida State is expected to handle Maryland and clinch the ACC Atlantic crown on Saturday, there’s still plenty for Clemson to play for against NC State. If the Tigers win their last two games, they should have a good shot at claiming an at-large spot in one of the BCS bowls. Clemson’s offense has been on fire this season, scoring at least 37 points in every ACC game. Quarterback Tajh Boyd ranks second nationally in passing efficiency and has thrown 13 touchdowns over the last three games. With Boyd and receivers Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins hitting on all cylinders, it’s a tough assignment for NC State’s secondary to slow down Clemson’s passing offense. The Wolfpack rank 95th nationally in pass defense but have allowed just 13 passing touchdowns this year. It may seem like a tired cliché but stopping the Tigers’ offense starts in the trenches. NC State is averaging three sacks a game and has to disrupt Boyd’s timing if it wants to have a shot at the upset. The Wolfpack have been a difficult team to figure out this year. With a win over Florida State and a loss to Virginia, Tom O’Brien’s club has been hard to figure out. Can the Wolfpack make it two in a row over Clemson? It’s unlikely, but you just never know what will happen in the ACC.
Will Virginia Tech snap its three-game losing streak?
Even though the Hokies still have a chance to finish 6-6 and make a bowl game, there’s no question this is one of the most disappointing teams in the nation. Virginia Tech was picked by many to finish in the top 15 and was a heavy favorite to win the Coastal. Instead of setting up a rematch against Florida State or Clemson in the ACC Championship, the Hokies need wins over Boston College and Virginia just to get 6-6. Virginia Tech enters Saturday’s contest with a three-game losing streak but has won the last four matchups against the Eagles. While the Hokies have something to play for, Boston College is just trying to salvage any bit of good news from a 2-8 start this year. Even though the Eagles won their last ACC game at home, it’s hard to see Virginia Tech losing in Chestnut Hill. Quarterback Logan Thomas will be a handful for a Boston College defense allowing 228.4 rushing yards per game, while the Hokies’ shouldn’t have much trouble slowing down an Eagles’ offense that is very one-dimensional.
Who will claim bragging rights in South Florida?
Miami steps out of conference for the final time this season, as it hosts USF on Saturday. These two teams have met four times, with the Hurricanes holding a 3-1 edge in the series. There’s been no shortage of intrigue over the last two matchups, especially with both games decided by three points. The Bulls have been one of the Big East’s top disappointments and lost quarterback B.J. Daniels for the season in their last game against Connecticut. Although Miami is still fighting to get bowl eligible and lost last week at Virginia, it still has a chance to play for the ACC title. With Daniels sidelined, redshirt freshman Matt Floyd or junior Bobby Eveld will get the start for USF. However, the bigger concern for the Bulls could be trying to stop a Miami offense that has scored 70 points in its last two games. The Hurricanes are also struggling on defense, but with a USF offense that’s breaking in a new quarterback and lacks a breakaway threat at running back, Miami shouldn’t allow 30 points this week. Even though the Bulls are shorthanded, don't expect Skip Holtz's team to go quietly on Saturday afternoon. While both teams need a victory, there are two underlying storylines to this matchup - bragging rights in South Florida and as usual, the battle for recruits within the state.
Does Maryland have any shot to beat Florida State?
Anything can happen each Saturday during the college football season, but let’s be realistic: Barring a complete collapse by the Seminoles, the Terrapins aren’t going to beat Florida State. With a matchup against in-state rival Florida next week, there’s a chance the Seminoles could be caught peeking ahead. However, Maryland would need a lot of breaks to go its way, which includes finding an offense after scoring just 23 points the last two weeks. Shawn Petty has stepped into a difficult situation at quarterback, so it’s hard to fault the true freshman for the struggles on offense. And his job could be even more difficult on Saturday, especially if receiver Stefon Diggs and running back Wes Brown are out due to injuries once again. If the Terrapins want to keep this one close, the defense will need its best effort of the season. Maryland ranks 16th nationally in total defense and is allowing 24 points a game. If the defense can force a few turnovers and keep the offense within striking range, there’s a chance for the Terrapins to hang around. However, with the firepower on Florida State’s sideline, Maryland will need the perfect effort to score a huge upset.
Wake Forest’s offense vs. Notre Dame’s defense
With two games remaining, Wake Forest still needs one victory to get bowl eligible. Unfortunately for the Demon Deacons, there’s very little room to breathe on the schedule, as they play at Notre Dame this week and take on Vanderbilt on Nov. 24. The Demon Deacons lost 24-17 to the Fighting Irish last year, so this team should have some confidence going into Saturday’s game in South Bend. However, if Wake Forest wants to have any shot at an upset, it has to find a way to spark the offense. The Demon Deacons rank 106th nationally in scoring and 111th in total offense per game, which also ranks near the bottom of the ACC in both categories. Notre Dame has one of college football’s best defenses, and Wake Forest’s patchwork offensive line will be tested by a talented Irish’ front seven. If the Demon Deacons can protect quarterback Tanner Price, he should have some opportunities to connect with go-to receiver Michael Campanaro. Although the passing game needs to click, the rushing attack is important, especially since Wake Forest needs to find a way to slow down the Notre Dame pass rush and keep the defense off balance.
Week 12 ACC Predictions
|Week 12 ACC Games||David Fox||Braden Gall||Steven Lassan||Mitch Light|
|UNC at Virginia||UNC 32-24||UNC 35-21||UNC 34-30||UNC 37-34|
|Florida State at Maryland||FSU 49-7||FSU 45-10||FSU 38-7||FSU 41-0|
|Virginia Tech at Boston College||Va. Tech 21-14||Va. Tech 38-21||Va. Tech 31-13||Va. Tech 23-13|
|USF at Miami||Miami 35-10||Miami 34-24||Miami 30-20||Miami 27-14|
|Duke at Georgia Tech||Ga. Tech 35-31||Ga. Tech 34-28||GT 45-34||GT 44-30|
|NC State at Clemson||Clemson 31-21||Clemson 41-28||Clemson 38-24||Clemson 37-21|
|Wake Forest at Notre Dame||Notre Dame 28-10||Notre Dame 24-10||Notre Dame 34-10||Notre Dame 24-6|
by Steven Lassan
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The 2012 college football season has officially entered the home stretch. With bowl games officially around the corner, there's not much time for teams to get eligible or make up ground in a conference title race.
College Football Week 12 Upset Predictions
David Fox (@DavidFox615): Stanford (+20.5) at Oregon
May as well go big on the upset pick, that’s why I’m going to pick Stanford over Oregon. Injuries piled up last week for the Ducks against Cal, though Oregon expects most of its hobbled defensive linemen and running back Kenjon Barner back. I’m sure Oregon is confident it can win despite the injuries, but it was shocking how quickly and how often players went to the sideline for Oregon against Cal. Of course, no one is fully healthy this time of year. But Stanford is getting stronger, thanks primarily to the emergence of Kevin Hogan as starting quarterback. Making his first road start at Autzen won’t be easy, but he’ll be able to rely on Stepfan Taylor and the nation’s No. 1 rush defense in Eugene.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Ohio State (+3) at Wisconsin
In a light weekend of quality matchups, this game is one of the more intriguing showdowns for Week 12. Ohio State is coming off a much-needed bye week, while Wisconsin clinched a spot in the Big Ten title game with a win over Indiana. The Buckeyes have lost two out of their last three games in Madison and the only victory in that stretch was decided by three points. The off date came at a good time for Ohio State, as quarterback Braxton Miller was banged up from a busy first 10 weeks of the season. The sophomore leads the team with 184 carries and has totaled 2,919 yards and 27 touchdowns. The Buckeyes need a big game from Miller but that won’t be easy against a defense that has not allowed more than 16 points in each of its last five games. Wisconsin’s offense misses Joel Stave at quarterback, but the rushing attack has started to find its groove over the second half of the season. I think this game will be close once again, but as Miller has done throughout 2012, he’ll make one key play that clinches the victory for Ohio State. The Buckeyes’ defense has struggled with teams that can spread the field and throw the ball, but this should be a good matchup for Ohio State, especially considering Wisconsin ranks 108th nationally in passing offense.
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch): Northwestern (+6.5) at Michigan State
Northwestern is 7–3 overall and has had double-digit leads in the second half off all three losses — at Penn State, vs. Nebraska and at Michigan. This team could easily be in thick of the Legends Division race. Michigan State, a preseason top-20 team, has been a big disappointment in 2012. The Spartans are 5–5 overall and tied for last place in the Legends with a 2–4 record. The culprit has been an offense that is averaging only 19.7 points per game. Running back Le’Veon Ball has done his part, averaging 106.5 yards in Big Ten games, but Andrew Maxwell simply hasn’t been good enough at the quarterback position. The stout Spartan defense will pose some problems for Northwestern’s run-based offense, but Michigan State will have trouble scoring enough points to win this game — even at home. Northwestern 24–16
Mark Ross: UCF (+3) over Tulsa
In what could be a preview of the Conference USA title game, the two current division leaders face off in Tulsa. UCF and Tulsa have identical conference (6-0) and overall records (8-2), but in some ways the Knights need this game more than the Golden Hurricane. Tulsa holds a two-game lead in the West over SMU, whom they play next week. Even if the Hurricane lose to the Knights, all they have to do is beat the Mustangs on Nov. 24 to secure their spot in the C-USA Championship Game. On the other hand, UCF is up only one game on East Carolina. Even though the Knights hold the tiebreaker over the Pirates, a road win over the Hurricane would all but ensure them the East crown as a home date with UAB is all that remains after this game. As far as this game goes, both teams like to run the ball, and even though Tulsa leads the conference in both rushing offense and defense, I think it's the Knights' rushing attack, with a helping hand from its defense (No. 1 in C-USA in both total and scoring defense), that is the difference in this one. UCF has faced a little stiffer competition outside of conference play, highlighted by close early-season losses to Ohio State and Missouri, compared to Tulsa (road losses to Iowa State and Arkansas). I also think the Knights are a little more balanced on both sides of the ball than the Hurricane. These two teams may very well end up playing each other again on Dec. 1, but whether that happens or not, I see the Knights winning this round.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): Rutgers (+6.5) at Cincinnati
The Bearcats performed well on offense versus Temple last week, with Brendon Kay getting his first career start after he replaced at interception-laden Munchie Legaux at quarterback. And Cincinnati has the Big East’s leading running attack with George Winn, plus home-field advantage in this game. However, I am going to take the 8-1 Scarlet Knights to play their usual stingy defense and win in the Queen City. Khaseem Greene and company rank fifth nationally in scoring defense (13.4 points per game allowed), and they were able to shut down the UC running attack in last year’s 20-3 victory. Jawan Jamison and the RU offense will have a challenge against the Bearcats defense, but I see Kyle Flood’s team winning a low-scoring affair and staying unbeaten in conference play.
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ACC Week 12 Preview and Predictions
Big East Week 12 Preview and Predictions
Big Ten Week 12 Preview and Predictions
Big 12 Week 12 Preview and Predictions
Pac-12 Week 12 Preview and Predictions
SEC Week 12 Preview and Predictions
The 2012 college fantasy season is winding down but most importantly, Week 12 is all about the playoffs.
Keenan Reynolds, QB-Navy vs Texas St
Reynolds has been red-hot over the past three weeks and faces a Texas State defense allowing 211.7 rushing yards per game.
Jordan Parker, RB-MTSUat South Alabama
After carrying the ball 32 times for 149 yards two weeks ago against Western Kentucky, Parker has proven that he can be a workhorse back. This week, the freshman running back faces a South Alabama defense giving up over 150 rushing yards per game.
Storm Woods, RB-Oregon St vs Cal
After rushing for 94 yards on 15 carries last week against the nation’s No. 1 run defense, Woods is primed to reach the century mark for the first time since Week 5.
Tre Mason, RB-Auburn vs Alabama A&M
Mason is nothing more than a one-week value play, but a matchup against Alabama A&M makes him worth a Week 12 start.
Justin Brown, WR-Oklahoma at West Virginia
We’re expecting Brown to have his biggest game of the season against the nation’s worst pass defense. West Virginia is allowing over 340 yards per game in the air and has allowed 27 touchdown passes.
JD McKissic, WR-Arkansas St at Troy
McKissic will attempt to find the end zone for the first time since week seven against a defense that has given up 22 touchdown passes and is allowing 255.6 passing yards per game.
Jamison Crowder, WR-Duke at Georgia Tech
Expect Crowder to get a lot of looks this Saturday against a defense giving up 256.3 passing yards per game.
David Fales, QB-San Jose St vs BYU
Fales has had a nice five-game stretch, but the competition gets much tougher this week when he takes on the Cougars’ 10th-ranked pass defense.
Jawan Jamison, RB-Rutgers at Cincinnati
On Monday, Jamison was 50-50 to play with an ankle injury. Even if the junior running back can give it a go on Saturday, he’ll be facing a Cincinnati defense that has only allowed 130 rushing yards per game and seven rushing touchdowns through nine games.
Marcus Sales, WR-Syracuse at Missouri
Sales has only caught six passes over the past two games, so we are not going to risk our playoff lives with a cold receiver on the road against a solid SEC defense.
Zac Stacy, RB-Vanderbiltvs Tennessee
Stacy is probable to play this week against Tennessee, but he has only totaled 18 carries over the past three games. Without the guarantee of a 20-plus carry game, fantasy owners would be wise to sit him in the semi-finals.
Tyler Bray, QB-Tennessee at Vanderbilt
Bray has thrown 13 touchdown passes in the past three games, but this week he faces a Vanderbilt defense that has only given up five touchdown passes all season.
by Joe DiSalvo
For Start/Bench advice from Joe DiSalvo, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)
Coaching changes are inevitable at the end of every college football season. With only a few weeks left in the regular season, some coaches still have a chance to save their job. Gene Chizik, Derek Dooley, Jeff Tedford, Frank Spaziani and Danny Hope? File those five names away as coaches who will be packing up their office in a few weeks.
5 College Football Coaches Who Will Be Fired at the End of 2012
Gene Chizik, Auburn
Record at Auburn: 32-18 (4 years)
While Chizik’s overall record isn’t bad, the three seasons outside of a 2010 national championship have been very mediocre. Auburn is just 18-18 outside of 2010 and has struggled to generate an offense since Cam Newton departed for the NFL. Auburn’s SEC record is 15-16 under Chizik’s watch and could be headed for its first winless season in conference play since 1980. While Chizik and his staff have recruited as well as anyone nationally, the talent hasn’t translated into wins. When top talent isn’t producing, it’s a bad sign for the coaching staff when it comes to player development and putting them into the right schemes to succeed. Even though Chizik is only two years removed from a national title, Auburn cannot afford to fall further behind in the SEC, especially with Texas A&M’s arrival and Ole Miss and Mississippi State showing improvement.
Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Record at Tennessee: 15-20 (3 years)
Dooley didn’t inherit a perfect situation at Tennessee, but the program has yet to show marked progress under his watch. The Volunteers had two coaches in the two years prior to Dooley’s arrival, which created some instability on Rocky Top. However, a 15-20 record and a 4-18 mark in SEC play is not enough to get a fourth season at Tennessee. The Volunteers’ struggles within the conference continued in 2012, as they opened 0-6 and need wins against Vanderbilt and Kentucky just to get bowl eligible. Dooley’s decision to hire Sal Sunseri as the defensive coordinator has backfired, as Tennessee ranks 111th nationally in total defense, 110th in points allowed and is registering just 1.3 sacks per game. Although it seems to take two years to implement a 3-4 scheme, it’s never a good idea for a coach on the hot seat to hire a coordinator that can’t provide a quick fix in the first season.
Danny Hope, Purdue
Record at Purdue: 20-27 (4 years)
With Saturday’s win over Iowa, Hope still has a chance to lead Purdue to a bowl game this year. The Boilermakers need wins over Illinois and Indiana to get back to the postseason for the second time in Hope’s tenure. Although Purdue could get back to a bowl, the program has yet to show much progress under Hope’s watch. In four seasons, the Boilermakers are 20-27 overall and just 11-19 in Big Ten play. Even if Purdue makes it to a bowl game this year, a handful of key contributors will finish their eligibility at the end of 2012, which will only make it more difficult to record a winning mark next season.
Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Record at Boston College: 22-27 (4years)
Spaziani was promoted to head coach after Boston College’s messy divorce from Jeff Jagodzinski. The long-time assistant did his best to keep the program on track in the first two years, recording a 15-11 mark and playing in two bowl games. However, the Eagles have been trending in the wrong direction over the last two seasons. Boston College went 4-8 in 2011 and is likely headed for a 2-10 finish in 2012. Spaziani’s overall mark in Chestnut Hill is 22-27, while a 4-10 record the last two seasons in conference play isn’t much better. With a new athletic director in place (Brad Bates), Spaziani’s tenure will be coming to an end at the conclusion of 2012.
Jeff Tedford, California
Record at California: 82-56 (11 years)
Tedford is probably the toughest coach on this list to evaluate. The California native owns the record for the most wins in school history (82) and led the program to eight bowl games during his tenure. However, the Golden Bears have been headed in the wrong direction since an 8-5 season in 2009. Over the last three years, California is just 15-21 and a 3-8 (with one game remaining) mark in 2012 is the worst of Tedford’s career. Although Tedford has done a lot of good things at California, it’s probably time for the program to go in a different direction. With a newly renovated stadium, it’s not going to be easy to find the money to buy out Tedford, which may be enough for the embattled coach to keep his job through 2013.
5 Others in Danger:
David Bailiff, Rice – Bailiff has won four games in each of the last three seasons and still has a chance to make a bowl in 2012. However, his overall mark is 27-44, and the Owls failed to build on the 10-3 season in 2008.
Bobby Hauck, UNLV – Progress has been slow under Hauck’s watch at UNLV. The Rebels are 6-30 during his tenure and even though this team has shown some improvement, finishing 2-11 in 2012 could be enough to spell the end of his time at UNLV.
Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss – Johnson is just in his first season at Southern Miss but has been a total disaster. The Golden Eagles are in the midst of their worst season in school history, recording an 0-10 start after winning Conference USA’s Championship last year.
Mike Price, UTEP – Price’s tenure at UTEP got off to a good start, recording a 16-8 record through the first two seasons. However, the program has failed to build off of that mark and will have its seventh consecutive losing season since Price arrived in 2004.
DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State – Winning in Las Cruces is never easy, but Walker is 10-38 through four seasons and only one loss in 2012 (1-9) was decided by 10 points or less.
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With Louisville's loss to Syracuse, the battle to win the Big East title is a three-team race once again. The Cardinals, Rutgers and Cincinnati are in the mix to win the conference championship, with the Bearcats and Scarlet Knights matching up this Saturday.
Rutgers, Cincinnati or Louisville: Which Team Wins the Big East Title?
Mark Ennis, Manager of Big East Coast Bias (@Mengus22):
I think Louisville wins the title because I think Louisville will win its final two games. If you look at the teams that have really challenged Louisville, they've been teams that work from the spread, no-huddle offense. Offenses that work from pro sets, that run the ball with a fullback and try to pass from play-action, haven't been quite as difficult for Louisville to defend. Rutgers, almost all season, has gotten just enough offense and a ton of help from its defense and special teams to make up for what is lacking. Teams with a solid passing game (like Arkansas, and like Louisville) have moved the ball through the air on that defense. I suspect the game on the final Thursday of the regular season will be a low-scoring game that comes down to avoiding mistakes, and that Louisville will generate just enough offense to win the game and the conference.
David Fox (@DavidFox615):
Louisville remains the team to beat in the Big East, though the Cardinals were not impressive against Syracuse last week. I credit that loss to two things: First, Syracuse, a pretty good team on paper, played a perfect game for the first time all season. Second, Louisville had been flirting with an upset for several weeks now. The Cardinals finally got bit, but the Cardinals are good enough to turn around and finish out the season as Big East champions. The season-ending injury to Senorise Perry is concerning, but this is Teddy Bridgewater’s offense. And given Rutgers’ inability to score in the first half for the last six weeks, I can’t see the Scarlet Knights defeating Cincinnati this week, much less Louisville at the end of the season.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven):
Even though Louisville is coming off a loss to Syracuse, I still think the Cardinals win the Big East. With a matchup against Connecticut at home this Saturday, Louisville will have an opportunity to fix some of the problems in last week’s loss to the Orange. The Rutgers-Cincinnati game is a tossup this weekend, but the conference should be decided in the Louisville-Rutgers game on Nov. 29. The Bearcats’ chances of winning the conference have increased with Syracuse’s upset over the Cardinals, along with Brendon Kay’s insertion into the starting lineup at quarterback. However, even if Cincinnati knocks off Rutgers, I’ll take Louisville to knock off Rutgers in the season finale. The Scarlet Knights have won the last two matchups against Louisville, but I think the edge in that matchup still goes to the team (Cardinals) with a better coach (Charlie Strong) and quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater).
Louisville got its wake-up call last week as Syracuse handed the Cardinals their first loss of the season, dashing any dreams of a undefeated season in the process. However, all is certainly not lost for Charlie Strong's team as they still control their own destiny as it relates to the Big East title and a BCS bowl berth. Rutgers is leading the conference right now with an unblemished 4-0 mark, but the Scarlet Knights still have to go to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh before finishing the regular season by hosting Louisville. While the Bearcats could hand the Knights their first conference defeat this Saturday, I'm looking at the Thursday night primetime season finale in Piscataway, N.J., on Nov. 29 as the deciding factor in the Big East race. Even if Rutgers enters this game 6-0 in the conference, Louisville, behind Big East Player of the Year Teddy Bridgewater, will defeat the Knights on their home field to win the Big East title, not to mention earn a trip to a BCS bowl, by virtue of the Cardinals' head-to-head wins against both Rutgers and Cincinnati. The Cardinals won't finish this season undefeated, but that doesn't mean their 2012 campaign won't be one for the history books.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman):
I’m going to take Khaseem Greene and the Rutgers defense to carry the Scarlet Knights to their first-ever Big East championship. There was the slip up against Kent State (the Golden Flashes are 9-1), but first-year coach Kyle Flood has Rutgers unbeaten in league play with three challenging games to go. The trip to Cincinnati this Saturday will be difficult, as RU’s fifth-rated scoring defense (13.4 ppg) tries to stop George Winn and the league’s leading rushing attack. The Bearcats looked great versus Temple with Brendon Kay replacing Munchie Legaux at quarterback, but the Scarlet Knights dominated this one last year. I’ll take Jawan Jamison and the offense to control the clock and win at UC, and then beat Pittsburgh and Louisville. The Cardinals have an excellent record, but Charlie Strong’s crew has played inconsistently this season. All three teams could take the crown, but Rutgers stingy defense should make the difference.
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With Oregon's win over California, the Ducks moved to 10-0 with at least two games remaining. Oregon hosts Stanford this Saturday and plays at Oregon State the following week. If the Ducks navigate both games unbeaten, they will play in the Pac-12 title game against USC or UCLA.
Will Oregon Finish the 2012 Regular Season Unbeaten?
Coach Terry Donahue, former head coach of UCLA and current voting member of the Legends Poll:
I think Oregon will finish the season unbeaten. Oregon's quarterback, Mariota, is playing as well as any in the country. And I've just never been around a team or seen a team that is as hard to defense and stop with one week's preparation as Oregon is. I think they're the best team in the country.
Kyle Kensing (@Kensing45),SaturdayBlitz.com:
This Oregon football team is the best in Chip Kelly's tenure -- a lofty distinction given each of his previous three teams won the Pac-12. Now that said, this season the conference is at its best all-around during the same span, and Oregon is facing its toughest stretch of 2012. To borrow a line from Scarface, it's no duck walk for Oregon (cue groans) but it will go undefeated.
Stanford is a great team with a style on the opposite end of the spectrum from UO, but the Ducks easily handled the Cardinal the last two seasons -- those were better Stanford teams. Oregon State has vastly exceeded expectations, and the Beavers host the Civil War. Yet as good as OSU's been defending the rush, I don't see it slowing Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas.
That leaves the conference championship and the winner of UCLA-USC coming to Autzen. USC scored 51 points on what is typically a very good Oregon defense, and lost. Last time in Autzen, USC played about as close to a perfect game as it could and would have lost had UO had 50 more seconds. Since the Cal loss, UCLA has made the longest in-season strides of any team in the nation, but the Bruins' style when paired against Oregon becomes a struggle-in-quicksand scenario.
David Fox (@DavidFox615):
Oregon is the best team remaining among the three undefeated teams atop the BCS standings. That said, Oregon stands the best chance of losing before bowl season. Injuries are catching up to the Ducks at just the wrong time with a game against a physical Stanford team coming up. The greatest X-factor in that game, though, may be the play of new Stanford starting quarterback Kevin Hogan. And beyond that game, Oregon will go to Corvallis. Oregon undoubtedly has an edge with four consecutive wins, but crazy things happen in this rivalry.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven):
With Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M, the path to the national title is clear for Oregon. If the Ducks win their final three games, there’s little doubt they will play for the BCS title in early January. However, mounting injuries are a concern for coach Chip Kelly and his team. Oregon has lost a handful of key players on defense, and the front seven was full of backups against California. Making matters worse for the Ducks is a schedule that will only get more difficult over the next few weeks. Stanford’s physical offensive line and front seven on defense will be a difficult matchup for Oregon. And a road date against rival Oregon State won’t be easy, especially since the Beavers could be playing for a BCS bowl. Although the schedule is going to get tougher and the injuries are a concern, I think the Ducks will run the table and finish the regular season unbeaten. Even though the defense may give some points over the next few weeks, there are few offenses that can match Oregon’s high-powered attack.
Provided Oregon avoids a significant injury (Kenjon Barner, Marcus Mariota I'm looking at you), I see no reason why the Ducks won't finish the regular season as the undefeated champions of the Pac-12. There's no doubt they will have to earn it, with games against Stanford, at Oregon State and then presumably either a rematch with USC or meeting with UCLA in the Pac-12 title game remaining, but the Ducks simply have too much offense for any of these teams to overcome in my opinion. Yes, Stanford and Oregon State appear to have much better defenses, at least on paper, then what USC (62 points, 730 yards allowed) and Oregon's other conference victims have put up thus far. However, Oregon's offense looks pretty good on paper too, and it's been even more lethal and dangerous on the field. Whether it's the explosiveness of the Ducks' skill players, their offensive tempo or quick-strike ability, sooner or later, they will put points on the board, as in 54.8 per game. That's nearly 17 more than the next highest-scoring Pac-12 team, which isn't Stanford or Oregon State. The Cardinal and the Beavers may be able to slow down the Ducks, but I don't see either team or the eventual South champion stopping Chip Kelly's squad in their goal of getting to the BCS National Championship Game in Miami Gardens, Fla., in January.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman):
I believe the Ducks will run the table, but it’s not going to be easy battling three solid opponents and mounting injuries. Oregon will be favored against Stanford, Oregon State and the Pac-12 South winner (USC/UCLA), but the attrition on defense is becoming a big concern. The Ducks have lost safeties John Boyett and Avery Patterson for the season, and several other stalwarts like Dion Jordan and Michael Clay have missed time. Obviously if Chip Kelly’s crew keeps scoring at the current level (55.1 points per game in Pac-12 play), no one may be able to keep up with the Ducks. Both the Cardinal and Beavers rank in the top ten in the country in rushing defense, but Oregon torched both of those teams on the ground last season. I see the most dangerous opponent for UO being state-rival OSU but will project the Ducks to go undefeated and play in the BCS Championship game.
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At this point in the season, most fantasy rosters are set and getting prepped for league semi-final matchups. However, we couldn’t ignore some valuable waiver opportunities if you are looking for a little fine-tuning.
Devin Gardner, QB-Michigan
If you are desperate at quarterback and have been left without any insurance behind Denard Robinson, it would be wise to scoop up Gardner, especially since he has a decent Week 12 matchup.
Jordan Parker, RB-Middle Tennessee
We put Parker on this list a few weeks ago when Ben Cunningham suffered a season-ending knee injury. If he is still floating around on waivers, owners would be wise to take advantage of a Week 12 matchup against South Alabama.
Matt Brown, RB-Temple
Montel Harris left last week’s game after a first-half injury against Cincinnati. Brown, who is returning from injury himself, may wind up getting the nod against Army if Harris can’t go this week.
Curtis McNeal, RB-USC
Reportedly, starting running back Silas Redd is battling an ankle injury. If he is not 100% by the weekend, look for Curtis McNeal to get the starting nod for a second straight game.
Tre Mason, RB-Auburn
Mason is nothing more than a one-week value play, but a matchup against Alabama A&M makes him worth a waiver claim.
Justin Brown, WR-Oklahoma
Brown has at least six receptions, 80 yards receiving, and a touchdown in each of his last two games. Those numbers might take a bump this week when the Sooners travel to Morgantown to take on West Virginia.
William Dukes, WR-Florida Atlantic
Dukes has posted at least 75 yards receiving or six receptions in eight of ten games this season. If he can find the end zone in Week 12, Dukes would be worthy of a WR#3 or WR#4 in deeper leagues.
Did you miss last week’s waiver report? See it here.
by Joe DiSalvo, thecffsite.com
Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)
Week 11 of the 2012 college football season is in the books and plenty of coaches saw the temperature on their seat increase by a few degrees. Boston College's Frank Spaziani remains the top spot in the hot seat watch, followed closely by Auburn's Gene Chizik, Tennessee's Derek Dooley and California's Jeff Tedford in the top five.
College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 11 Rankings
1. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week’s Rank: 1
Record at Boston College: 22-27 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-8
The Eagles closed out the non-conference portion of their 2012 schedule with a 21-6 loss to Notre Dame. Despite the 15-point defeat, Boston College never really threatened in this game and the Fighting Irish were in complete control from the opening kick. Spaziani has a handful of young players contributing in key roles, but it’s hard to find any progress from this team in 2012. The Eagles have watched their win total decline in each of the last four years and are headed for a 2-10 finish.
2. Gene Chizik, Auburn
Last Week’s Rank: 2
Record at Auburn: 32-18 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-8
Barring an upset win over Alabama, Auburn will finish SEC play winless for the first time since 1980. The Tigers dropped to 0-7 within the conference on Saturday, losing 38-0 to Georgia. Auburn’s only wins have come against New Mexico State and Louisiana-Monroe this season and should easily defeat Alabama A&M this Saturday. Although Chizik insists he has a plan to turn around Auburn next year, the rumor mill around the program seems to suggest he won’t get the to chance to do so in 2013.
3. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank: 3
Record at Tennessee: 15-20 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 4-6
If there was any doubt Dooley would be fired at the end of the season, the overtime loss to Missouri sealed any shot he had of returning to Knoxville for 2013. The defeat dropped Tennessee to 4-6 and in danger of missing out on a bowl game for the second consecutive season. The Volunteers need to win at Vanderbilt and against Kentucky to get bowl eligible. Since taking over in Knoxville, Dooley is just 4-18 in SEC play and a disappointing 15-20 overall. There’s no doubt Dooley is done, it’s just a matter of when the school decides to make the announcement.
4. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week’s Rank: 4
Record at California: 82-56 (11th season)
2012 Record: 3-8
As expected, the Golden Bears were pounded by Oregon on Saturday. California hung around in the first half, but the Ducks simply had too much firepower on offense and won 59-17. The loss to Oregon closed out the home slate for California this year, as the team finishes its 2012 season at Oregon State on Saturday. With a loss to the Beavers, the Golden Bears would finish 3-9, which would be their worst record since going 1-10 in 2001. Tedford has done a lot of good things at California, but it’s clear the program has gotten stale under his watch the last few seasons.
5. Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss
Last Week’s Rank: 5
Record at Southern Miss: 0-10
2012 Record: 0-10
The miserable first season under Ellis Johnson continued in Week 10, as Southern Miss was pounded 34-6 by SMU. The Golden Eagles are headed to their worst season in school history and even though Johnson is just in his first year, it’s clear the program is headed in the wrong direction. The loss to the Mustangs also clinched the first season of double-digit losses in Southern Miss history. Even though the Golden Eagles lost a handful of key players from last year’s team, going from Conference USA champions to possibly 0-12 is enough to make a coaching change.
6. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank: 6
Record at New Mexico State: 10-38 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-9
The Aggies remained winless in WAC play, dropping a 47-7 game against San Jose State on Saturday. Although New Mexico State showed some promise with a 4-9 mark last year, the program seems to be trending in the wrong direction. And the schedule won’t get any easier next year, as the Aggies will compete as a FBS Independent. Walker inherited a difficult situation, and New Mexico State is not an easy place to develop a winning program. However, the program may want to get a fresh start after this season, especially if the Aggies finish 1-11.
7. Mike Price, UTEP
Last Week’s Rank: 9
Record at UTEP: 47-60 (8 years)
2012 Record: 2-8
The Miners hung tough against UCF, but it wasn’t enough to earn the victory. Looking for a spark on offense, Price inserted redshirt freshman quarterback Blaire Sullivan into the lineup. He threw for only 79 yards but added 74 yards and one touchdown on the ground, which gave UTEP a shot to beat the Knights in the fourth quarter. The Miners finish the season with winnable games against Southern Miss and Rice, but even with two more victories, it’s hard to imagine Price returning to El Paso in 2013.
8. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week’s Rank: 12
Record at UNLV: 6-30 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-9
Inconsistency has plagued UNLV in 2012. The Rebels knocked off New Mexico 35-7 in Week 10, yet were dominated in a 33-11 loss against Colorado State last Saturday. The Rebels are getting better under Hauck but it’s hard for the program to make any long-term progress with losses like the one it had on Saturday. UNLV closes out its 2012 season with winnable matchups against Wyoming and Hawaii, as it looks to record more than two victories in a season for the first time under Hauck.
9. Danny Hope, Purdue
Last Week’s Rank: 8
Record at Purdue: 20-27 (4th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
Saturday’s 27-24 win over Iowa should ease some of the pressure on Hope. The victory keeps Purdue’s slim bowl hopes alive, as it needs to beat Illinois and Indiana in its final two games to get to six victories. Hope is still under plenty of pressure over the next two weeks, especially since the program has yet to show any real progress under his watch. While making back-to-back bowl games would be a good sign, Purdue’s overall record is just 20-27 in his tenure.
10. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank: 14
Record at Colorado: 4-19 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 1-9
Despite the disastrous 2012 season, all signs point to Embree getting another year in Boulder. Whether or not he deserves another season is debatable, especially when you consider the Buffaloes haven’t shown much progress over the last two years. Colorado does have a lot of young players on the depth chart and lost receiver Paul Richardson to a torn ACL in the offseason. However, both sides of the ball rank among the worst in college football, and the team has gotten very little production from its quarterbacks. Embree will likely return for 2013 but expect a staff shakeup at the end of 2012.
11. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank: 10
Record at Buffalo: 8-26 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-7
With back-to-back victories over Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan, Buffalo has its first two-game winning streak since 2009. Although the Bulls have seven losses, they lost to Connecticut, Ohio and Toledo by less than seven points and lost by only 13 to Pittsburgh. With a matchup against UMass this Saturday, Buffalo should have a good shot at getting to four wins, which would be Quinn’s best season. Although the Bulls haven’t gotten back to a bowl game under his watch, the program has had only three seasons of five or more wins since 1997.
12. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week’s Rank: 11
Record at Rice: 27-44 (6th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
The Owls had a bye week on Saturday and return to action this weekend for a home date against SMU. With Rice at 4-6 and SMU at 5-5, this matchup is a crucial one for bowl eligibility. The Owls close the year with a road trip at UTEP, so a win over the Mustangs isn’t an automatic path to a bowl game. Bailiff has recorded at least four victories in each of his last three seasons, so getting to 5-7 or 6-6 would be a step in the right direction. Unless Rice loses its last two games, Bailiff may have done enough to save his job for 2013.
13. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 7
Record at Central Michigan: 10-24 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 4-6
Thanks to wins in two out of his last three games, Enos has dropped outside of the top 10 in the hot seat watch. Saturday’s victory over Eastern Michigan pushed the Chippewas’ record to 4-6, which is the best win total in Enos’ three seasons in Mount Pleasant. The third-year coach could strengthen his case to return for 2013 in the final two games, as Central Michigan hosts Miami (Ohio) and plays at UMass. Considering some conferences are going to have trouble filling out their allotment for bowl games, the Chippewas could sneak into the postseason at 6-6.
14. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Last Week’s Rank: 20
Record at Iowa: 100-73 (14th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
Barring upset wins over Nebraska and Michigan, Iowa will miss out on a postseason game for the first time since 2007. The Hawkeyes lost 27-24 against Purdue on Saturday, which dropped their Big Ten record to 2-4 overall this year. Ferentz has a huge contract, so he’s really not in any danger of getting fired. However, there’s plenty of unrest among the fan base, especially since the win total has declined every year sine 2009. If the Hawkeyes finish 4-8, it would be the worst mark under Ferentz since going 3-9 in 2000.
15. Skip Holtz, South Florida
Last Week’s Rank: 15
Record at South Florida: 16-18 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-6
The Bulls had a bye in Week 11 and return to action against in-state big brother Miami (Fla.) this Saturday. South Florida still has slim bowl hopes but needs to win the final three games to get to 6-6. A bigger question for Holtz this week is the quarterback position, especially with starter B.J. Daniels out for the rest of the year with a leg injury. After going 8-5 in 2010, South Florida is just 8-13 since. Although Holtz will probably get another year, he needs to have good showings against Miami, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh to build some confidence about this team going into 2013.
16. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 17
Record at Western Michigan: 51-46 (8th season)
2012 Record: 4-7
The Broncos got a little spark on Saturday, as quarterback Alex Carder returned to the lineup after missing six games with a hand injury. However, Carder’s return wasn't enough to secure win, as Western Michigan fell 29-24 at Buffalo. The loss dropped the Broncos out of the mix for a bowl and to 51-46 overall under Cubit’s watch. Western Michigan finishes its 2012 season with a matchup against in-state rival Eastern Michigan.
17. Tim Beckman, Illinois
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Illinois: 2-8 (1st season)
2012 Record: 2-8
Beckman’s first season in Champaign hasn’t been as disastrous as Ellis Johnson’s first year at Southern Miss, but he isn’t too far behind. The Fighting Illini are 2-8 overall, with the only victories coming against Western Michigan and Charleston Southern. Illinois has been handled in Big Ten play, losing every game by 14 points or more. The fan base is already growing restless about Beckman and there’s no guaranteed win remaining with Purdue and Northwestern on tap. Expect significant staff changes at the end of the 2012 season.
18. Ron English, Eastern Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Eastern Michigan: 9-37 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-9
Considering how difficult it is to win at Eastern Michigan, it’s tough to evaluate English for having a 9-37 overall record in four seasons. However, take out the 6-6 mark in 2011 and the Eagles are just 3-31 under his watch. Eastern Michigan has been competitive in losses against Toledo and Michigan State, but lost to FCS opponent Illinois State. With matchups against Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to close out 2012, a 1-11 record appears very likely for English this season.
19. Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut
Last Week’s Rank: 13
Record at Connecticut: 9-13 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 4-6
The Huskies scored a much-needed victory with a 24-17 win over Pittsburgh on Friday night. The victory over the Panthers was Connecticut’s first in Big East play this season and will help this team build some momentum for the final two games of the year against Louisville and Cincinnati. Pasqualoni isn’t in any real danger of losing his job this year, but the former Syracuse coach could be the near the top of this list at the beginning of 2013.
20. June Jones, SMU
Last Week’s Rank: 19
Record at SMU: 29-33 (5th season)
2012 Record: 5-5
SMU moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with a 34-6 victory over Southern Miss on Saturday night. The Mustangs need to beat Rice or Tulsa in the final two weeks to make their fourth consecutive bowl trip. Although Jones has elevated SMU, the program has yet to take off as most expected. The Mustangs are set to enter the Big East next year and can’t afford to fall far behind. Considering Jones wanted to leave for Arizona State at the end of 2011, both parties might be better off with a mutual separation.
by Steven Lassan
Related College Football Content
Post-Week 11 ACC Power Rankings
Post-Week 11 Big East Power Rankings
Post-Week 11 Big 12 Power Rankings
Post-Week 11 Big Ten Power Rankings
Post-Week 11 Pac-12 Power Rankings
Post-Week 11 SEC Power Rankings
College Football Post-Week 11 Bowl Projections
In the world of fantasy football, some team owners are relentless in their search for information that will give them a competitive edge over their competition. Others just simply rely on projections from so-called experts, who try to convince everyone they have devised a computer program that accurately projects player stats by using a scientific formula so complicated that it makes the Drake equation seem elementary. Eventually, those computer-driven computations prove no more accurate than an old-fashioned gut feeling. However, in a quest to find a formula for fantasy success, one should just ask the question, “What are the odds?”
Quite simply, Vegas odds could give you all of the necessary insight to make smart roster decisions on a week-to-week basis. In this weekly article, theCFFsite considers the point spreads and totals(over/under) in order to give our readers a unique perspective into some of the week’s most interesting fantasy matchups.
Best Fantasy Matchups(Games with the most fantasy potential)
Kansas St at Baylor
Line: Kansas St -11.5(O/U-74)
Projected score based on point spread: Kansas St 43-32
Baylor (QB-Nick Florence, WR-Terrance Williams)
Kansas St (QB-Collin Klein, RB-John Hubert)
Baylor (RB-Lache Seastrunk, WRs-Tevin Reese, Lanear Sampson)
Kansas St (WR-Chris Harper, K-Anthony Cantele)
theCFFsite projects: Kansas St 40-28
Oklahoma at West Virginia
Line: Oklahoma -10.5(O/U-73)
Projected score based on point spread: Oklahoma 42-31
Oklahoma (QB-Landry Jones, RB-Damien Williams, WR-Kenny Stills)
West Virginia (QB-Geno Smith, WRs-Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey)
Oklahoma (RBs-Brennan Clay, WR-Justin Brown)
West Virginia (RB-Andrew Buie)
theCFFsite projects: West Virginia 42-38
Houston at Marshall
Line: Marshall -3.5(O/U-76)
Projected score based on point spread: Marshall 40-37
Marshall (QB-Rakeem Cato, WRs-Tommy Shuler, Antavious Wilson)
Houston (QB-David Piland, RB-Charles Sims-inj)
Marshall (WR-Aaron Dobson, TE-Gator Hoskins)
Houston (RB-Kenneth Farrow, WRs-Deontay Greenberry, Daniel Spencer)
theCFFsite projects: Marshall 38-30
Texas Tech at Oklahoma St
Line: Oklahoma St -10.5(O/U-72)
Projected score based on point spread: Oklahoma St 42-31
Texas Tech (QB-Seth Doege, WRs-Eric Ward, Darrin Moore)
Oklahoma St (RB-Joseph Randle, WRs-Charlie Moore, Josh Stewart, K-Quinn Sharp)
Texas Tech (RB-Kenny Williams, K-Ryan Bustin)
Oklahoma St (QB-Clint Chelf, TE-Blake Jackson)
theCFFsite projects: Oklahoma St 37-28
One-Sided Matchups(Using the odds to find a dominating ‘D’)
Colorado St at Boise St
Line: Boise St -28(O/U-50)
Projected score based on point spread: Boise St 39-11
Stay away from:
Colorado St (RBs-Donnell Alexander, Chris Nwoke)
theCFFsite projects: Boise St 42-14
Wake Forest at Notre Dame
Line: Notre Dame -24(O/U-44)
Projected score based on point spread: Notre Dame 34-10
Stay away from:
Wake Forest (QB-Tanner Price, RB-Josh Harris)
theCFFsite projects: Notre Dame 24-17
Florida St at Maryland
Line: Florida St -31(O/U-45.5)
Projected score based on point spread: Florida St 38-7
Stay away from:
Maryland (Stefon Diggs)
theCFFsite projects: Florida St 37-10
Must Watch Games(The games with the biggest headlines)
Rutgers at Cincinnati
Line: Cincinnati -6.5(O/U-47)
Projected score based on point spread: Cincinnati 27-20
What’s at stake: Rutgers (8-1, 4-0) will try to stay undefeated in conference play and stay one game ahead of Louisville in the Big East, while Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1) hopes to stay in the race.
theCFFsite projects: Cincinnati 23-20
Kent St at Bowling Green
Line: Bowling Green -2.5(O/U-47)
Projected score based on point spread: Bowling Green 25-22
What’s at stake: First place in the MAC East.
theCFFsite projects: Kent St 27-21
Toledo at Northern Illinois
Line: NIU -11(O/U-63)
Projected score based on point spread: NIU 37-26
What’s at stake: First place in the MAC West.
theCFFsite projects: Northern Illinois 45-35
Utah St at Louisiana Tech
Line: Utah St -3(O/U-70.5)
Projected score based on point spread: Utah St 37-34
What’s at stake: First place in the WAC.
theCFFsite projects: Utah St 45-41
USC at UCLA
Line: USC -3.5(O/U-65)
Projected score based on point spread: USC 35-31
What’s at stake: First place in the PAC-12 South.
theCFFsite projects: USC 37-28
Stanford at Oregon
Line: Oregon – 21 (O/U-65.5)
Projected score based on point spread: Oregon 43-22
What’s at stake: First place in the PAC-12 North.
theCFFsite projects: Oregon 48-28
theCFFsite in Must Watch games:
2012 Season: Straight Up (19-14) ATS: (13-20)
2011 Season: Straight Up (40-9) ATS: (35-14)
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Florida State and Clemson are clearly the ACC's best teams but after that is anyone's guess. North Carolina and Miami lost in Week 11, yet don't suffer a drop in the power rankings this week. With Duke on bye and Virginia Tech also losing, it's hard to find a No. 3 team in this week's poll. Virginia has been on the rise over the last two weeks but still needs two victories to get bowl eligible.
Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard had a relatively quiet afternoon against Georgia Tech (78 rushing yards) but retains the No. 1 spot in the offensive player of the year standings.
2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd has tossed 13 touchdowns over the last three weeks and has Clemson in the mix for an at-large spot in one of the BCS bowls.
3. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State – There’s really not much separating the top three in the offensive player of the year standings. Manuel staked his claim at the top spot with 326 passing yards and three touchdowns against Virginia Tech.
Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner was quiet on the stat sheet in Thursday night’s win over Virginia Tech, recording two tackles and one pass break up.
2. Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State – Carradine has closed the gap with teammate Bjoern Werner for defensive player of the year honors. The senior wrecked havoc against Virginia Tech, recording 11 tackles and one sack.
3. Steve Greer, LB, Virginia – Greer is quietly having a good season and led the way with 13 tackles in the win over Miami. The senior has recorded 108 tackles and two sacks in 2012.
Coach of the Year Standings
1. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – Fisher has the Seminoles one win away from clinching a spot in the ACC title game. Florida State is also on track to record 10 wins for the second time in three years.
2. David Cutcliffe, Duke – The Blue Devils have lost three out of their last four games, but Cutcliffe deserves credit for getting this team bowl eligible for the first time since 1994.
3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson – An ACC title is unlikely, but the Tigers still have a shot to play for a BCS bowl. Clemson is 19-5 in the last two seasons under Swinney’s watch.
Post-Week 11 ACC Power Rankings
1. Florida State (9-1, 6-1 ACC)
Last Week: 1
Week 11 Result: Beat Virginia Tech 28-22
The Seminoles had to work a little harder than most expected against Virginia Tech. Florida State was a double-digit favorite but needed a late touchdown pass from quarterback EJ Manuel to receiver Rashad Greene with just over a minute to go to clinch the victory. The Hokies’ active defensive line gave the Seminoles’ offensive line trouble all evening, as running backs Devonta Freeman and James Wilder combined for just five rushing yards. However, the line stepped up in the clutch, giving Manuel enough time on the final drive to lead Florida State to the victory. The Seminoles need a win over Maryland or a Clemson loss against NC State to clinch the ACC Atlantic title.
Next Game: at Maryland
2. Clemson (9-1, 6-1 ACC)
Last Week: 2
Week 11 Result: Beat Maryland 45-10
The Tigers used another big day from quarterback Tajh Boyd to cruise to an easy victory over Maryland. With injuries decimating the offense, the Terrapins were simply overmatched and this game was over by halftime. The one downside to this game for Clemson was a leg injury to receiver Sammy Watkins. However, he is expected to play next Saturday against NC State. The Tigers have to hope for an unlikely Maryland win against Florida State to win the ACC Atlantic title next week. Considering how much of a longshot that is, Clemson’s top priority should be finishing 11-1 and getting into a position for a BCS bowl.
Next Game: NC State
3. North Carolina (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week: 3
Week 11 Result: Lost to Georgia Tech 68-50
Basketball season is getting ready to start in Chapel Hill, so it’s only appropriate the Tar Heels scored their highest point total in ACC play this season (50) against Georgia Tech. However, despite the huge day on the scoreboard, it wasn’t enough to knock off the Yellow Jackets. The Tar Heels’ offense gained 497 yards but was never really able to get Giovani Bernard enough opportunities on the ground (16 carries). Although the offense had its issues, the defense was the main culprit. North Carolina allowed 588 yards to Georgia Tech and surrendered 30 points in the third quarter. The Tar Heels head to Virginia next Thursday and finish their season with a home game against Maryland on Nov. 24.
Next Game: at Virginia (Thursday)
4. Miami (5-5, 4-3 ACC)
Last Week: 4
Week 11 Result: Lost to Virginia 41-40
After a 30-12 win over Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes were in position to assume full control of the ACC Coastal with a win over Virginia. However, nothing in the ACC is simple this season. Miami fell 41-40 in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon, dropping its record to 5-5 overall and in danger of missing out on bowl eligibility. The Hurricanes had a huge effort from running back Duke Johnson (150 rushing yards), but the defense struggled to stop Virginia’s passing offense. Miami steps out of conference to play South Florida next week, before finishing the season against Duke.
Next Game: South Florida
5. Virginia Tech (4-6, 2-4 ACC)
Last Week: 5
Week 11 Result: Lost to Florida State 28-22
The Hokies gave Florida State all it could handle on Thursday night but fell just short of the upset win. Virginia Tech’s defense rose to the challenge, holding the Seminoles to 28 points and recording five sacks on Seminoles’ quarterback EJ Manuel. The Hokies outgained Florida State but had two costly interceptions from quarterback Logan Thomas. Despite 2012 being an overall disappointment, Virginia Tech still has a chance to get into the ACC Championship. However, the Hokies’ main goal over the next two weeks should be getting bowl eligible, which requires wins over Boston College and Virginia.
Next Game: at Boston College
6. Duke (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week: 6
Week 11 Result: Bye Week
The Blue Devils had a bye in Week 11 and return to action next Saturday at Georgia Tech. The off date came at a good time for coach David Cutcliffe and his team, especially since Duke has lost three out of its last four games. The defense has shown signs of improvement, but the secondary has been torched in losses against Florida State and Clemson. With two games remaining, the Blue Devils control their destiny in the Coastal race, as they take on Georgia Tech and Miami the next two weeks.
Next Game: at Georgia Tech
7. NC State (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week: 7
Week 11 Result: Beat Wake Forest 37-6
A week after a puzzling loss to Virginia, the Wolfpack bounced back with a 37-6 blowout win over Wake Forest 37-6. Quarterback Mike Glennon led the way with 258 passing yards, while freshman running back Shadrach Thornton chipped in 110 yards on the ground. While the offense had its way with Wake Forest, the defense deserves a ton of credit. After getting shredded for 570 yards against NC State and 446 versus Virginia, the Wolfpack allowed the Demon Deacons to record only 185 yards. NC State is bowl eligible and closes out the year with matchups against Clemson and Boston College.
Next Game: at Clemson
8. Georgia Tech (5-5, 4-3 ACC)
Last Week: 8
Week 11 Result: Beat North Carolina 68-50
It’s not crazy to believe Georgia Tech’s 68-50 shootout win over North Carolina might have saved the season. The victory evened the Yellow Jackets to 5-5 overall and puts them back in the mix to play for the ACC title. Georgia Tech’s offense rushed for 380 yards and seven touchdowns, including 112 by quarterback Vad Lee. Although the Yellow Jackets’ defense gave up 497 yards, they forced two turnovers and limited North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard to just 78 yards on 16 attempts. Georgia Tech needs some help to get to the title game but can help its case by beating Duke in Week 12.
Next Game: Duke
9. Virginia (4-6, 2-4 ACC)
Last Week: 11
Week 11 Result: Beat Miami 41-40
The Cavaliers used a late touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Rocco to tight end Jake McGee to knock off Miami 41-40. The win over the Hurricanes keeps Virginia’s slim bowl hopes alive with two games remaining. Coach Mike London planned on rotating quarterbacks, but Rocco assumed control of the No. 1 spot and was a key factor in the Cavaliers’ win. Rocco finished with 300 passing yards and four touchdowns, while Phillip Sims threw for 88 yards on 11 completions. Virginia’s defense struggled to find an answer for Miami running back Duke Johnson, but its offense stepped up in the clutch and delivered the victory. The Cavaliers host North Carolina on Thursday night this week.
Next Game: North Carolina (Thursday)
10. Maryland (4-6, 2-4 ACC)
Last Week: 9
Week 11 Result: Lost to Clemson 45-10
With Stefon Diggs and Wes Brown sidelined, combined with the injuries at quarterback, the Terrapins simply didn’t have the firepower to give Clemson much of a battle. Maryland managed only 180 yards, with quarterback Shawn Petty completing only 6 of 12 passes for 41 yards. The defense forced three turnovers but allowed 436 yards and 45 points to the Tigers. Although the season will end on a down note, the Terrapins have shown improvement in Randy Edsall’s second year in College Park.
Next Game: Florida State
11. Wake Forest (5-5, 3-5 ACC)
Last Week: 10
Week 11 Result: Lost to NC State 37-6
The Demon Deacons wrapped up their 2012 ACC season with a 37-6 loss to NC State. With a struggling offensive line, Wake Forest had trouble generating anything on the ground and its quarterbacks were sacked five times by the Wolfpack. Receiver Michael Campanaro was held to five receptions, while quarterback Tanner Price finished with 113 passing yards on 18 completions. The Demon Deacons still need one more win to get bowl eligible and that’s no easy task with matchups against Notre Dame and Vanderbilt remaining.
Next Game: at Notre Dame
12. Boston College (2-8, 1-5 ACC)
Last Week: 12
Week 11 Result: Lost to Notre Dame 21-6
The Eagles hung around but never really threatened in Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame. Without a consistent running game, quarterback Chase Rettig was forced to shoulder the load on offense. The junior finished with 247 yards, but Boston College’s offense is too one-dimensional right now. The Eagles host Virginia Tech next Saturday and play at NC State on Nov. 24. Barring a surprise upset, Boston College is headed for a 2-10 finish.
Next Game: Virginia Tech
by Steven Lassan
Related College Football Content
College Football Week 11 Recap
Big 12 Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
Big East Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
Kansas State was a big winner from the Big 12’s Week 11 action. The Wildcats knocked off TCU 23-10 to improve their record to 10-0. But that wasn’t the only bit of good news for Bill Snyder’s team. With Alabama losing to Texas A&M, Kansas State is in position to play for the national title with two more victories. The Wildcats still have some work to do but the road to a BCS Championship appearance is favorable. Oklahoma remains in position for an at-large spot in the BCS, while Texas has quietly rebounded since a blowout defeat to the Sooners in the Red River Rivalry.
1. Kansas State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 1
Week 11 Result: Beat TCU 23-10
Week 11 was a big one for the Wildcats for two different reasons. Kansas State knocked off TCU 23-10 to move to 10-0, while quarterback Collin Klein continues to stake his claim for the Heisman. Although the victory over TCU was huge, the Wildcats’ national title hopes were helped by Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M. Kansas State still needs to take care of its final two games – at Baylor and Texas – but this team is in the driver’s seat to play for the BCS title in January. The Wildcats play on the road for the final time this season with a date at Baylor next Saturday.
Next Game: at Baylor
2. Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 2
Week 11 Result: Beat Baylor 42-34
The Sooners kept their BCS bowl hopes alive with a 42-34 win over Baylor on Saturday. It was a balanced victory for Oklahoma, as the defense held the Bears’ high-powered passing attack to just 172 yards, while the offense recorded 460 yards. Quarterback Landry Jones had a steady performance, throwing for 277 yards on 25 completions, and running back Damien Williams chipped in 99 yards on 23 attempts. The Sooners play at West Virginia in Week 12 and host Oklahoma State in Week 13.
Next Game: at West Virginia
3. Texas (8-2, 5-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 3
Week 11 Result: Beat Iowa State 33-7
Very quietly, the Longhorns are piecing together a solid run to the end the 2012 season. Saturday’s 33-7 win over Iowa State was Texas’ fourth consecutive victory since losing 63-21 against Oklahoma. Quarterback David Ash has bounced back nicely since an awful showing against Kansas, throwing for 628 yards and five touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games. Freshman running back Johnathan Gray has provided a spark on the ground over the last three contests, while the defense has shown signs of improvement after allowing 63 points to Oklahoma and 50 to Baylor. The Longhorns won’t play again until Thanksgiving night against TCU.
Next Game: TCU (Nov. 22)
4. Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3 Big 12)
Last Week: 4
Week 11 Result: Beat Kansas 41-34
A 41-34 overtime win over Kansas wasn’t pretty. However, a victory is all that matters for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders’ rush defense gave up 390 yards but was bailed out by an offense that was nearly unstoppable through the air. Quarterback Seth Doege threw for 476 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Eric Stephens tossed a three-yard pass for a score in the second overtime. With the Big 12 title out of reach, the next few weeks are all about bowl positioning for Texas Tech.
Next Game: at Oklahoma State
5. Oklahoma State (6-3, 4-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 6
Week 11 Result: Beat West Virginia 55-34
Considering the injuries at quarterback, it’s a credit to Mike Gundy and his staff to have Oklahoma State in a position to potentially finish the 2012 season with nine victories. With Clint Chelf making his first start under center, the Cowboys knocked off West Virginia 55-34. Chelf threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns, with receiver Josh Stewart serving as his favorite target (13 receptions, 172 yards). The defense gave up nearly 500 yards to a potent Mountaineers’ offense but forced two turnovers and picked up three sacks.
Next Game: Texas Tech
6. TCU (6-4, 3-4 Big 12)
Last Week: 5
Week 11 Result: Lost to Kansas State 23-10
The Horned Frogs did a good job of keeping Kansas State’s Collin Klein in check, but TCU was never able to get its offense on track. The Horned Frogs’ defense seemed to generate pressure on Klein most of the night and forced two turnovers, but the Wildcats’ made just enough plays on offense to pull away for the 23-10 win. TCU gets a much-needed off date this Saturday, especially after playing Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Kansas State in consecutive weeks. The Horned Frogs meet Texas on Thanksgiving night and close out the year against Oklahoma on Dec. 1.
Next Game: at Texas (Thursday)
7. West Virginia (5-4, 2-4 Big 12)
Last Week: 7
Week 11 Result: Lost to Oklahoma State 55-34
A promising start to the season has quickly been forgotten in Morgantown. West Virginia lost its fourth consecutive game with a 55-34 defeat at Oklahoma State in Week 11. The Mountaineers seemed to regain some of its rhythm back on offense against the Cowboys, especially with Stedman Bailey looking closer to 100 percent at receiver. However, the defense continues to be a problem, as West Virginia allowed 55 points for the second time in three games. The Mountaineers take on Oklahoma next week and finish with two games they should be favored in – at Iowa State and Kansas.
Next Game: Oklahoma
8. Iowa State (5-5, 2-5 Big 12)
Last Week: 8
Week 11 Result: Lost to Texas 33-7
Not much went right for the Cyclones in the 33-7 loss to Texas. The offense was stuck in neutral for most of the game, recording only 277 yards against the Longhorns. Texas dominated the time of possession, which kept Iowa State’s defense on the field for nearly 40 minutes. The rush defense wasn’t the only concern for the Cyclones against the Longhorns, as the secondary allowed David Ash to throw for 364 yards and two touchdowns. Iowa State still needs one win to get bowl eligible, which could come in Week 12 against Kansas.
Next Game: at Kansas
9. Baylor (4-5, 1-5 Big 12)
Last Week: 9
Week 11 Result: Lost to Oklahoma 42-34
The Bears gave Oklahoma a tough battle but it wasn’t enough to leave Norman with a victory. The Sooners managed to hold one of the nation’s top passing offenses in check, limiting Nick Florence to only 172 yards on 13 completions. One of the bright spots for Baylor was the play of running back Lache Seastrunk, who recorded 91 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The Bears have three games remaining and need two victories to get bowl eligible. With matchups against Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State remaining, getting to six victories won’t be easy for Baylor.
Next Game: Kansas State
10. Kansas (1-9, 0-7 Big 12)
Last Week: 10
Week 11 Result: Lost to Texas Tech 41-34
Even though the losses are piling up, the Jayhawks deserve credit for not quitting this season. Kansas hung tough in a 41-34 overtime loss to Texas Tech, which was the second defeat in three weeks by less than eight points. The Jayhawks gashed the Red Raiders for 390 rushing yards, but quarterback Michael Cummings was never able to get anything going through the air. Kansas has a nine-game losing streak in 2012 and has lost 19 consecutive Big 12 contests.
Next Game: Iowa State
by Steven Lassan
Related College Football Content
Texas Tech was heavily favored and expected to easily handle Kansas on Saturday afternoon. However, the Jayhawks hung around and gave the Red Raiders all they could handle.
The frustration clearly showed on the Texas Tech sideline in the third quarter, as coach Tommy Tuberville ripped the headset off of graduate assistant Kevin Oliver after the Red Raiders got a penalty on fourth down. The five-yard setback prevented Texas Tech from going for it on fourth down.
After the game, Tuberville commented he was trying to grab the coach's shirt since he needed to get off the field. Really? Not sure that explanation really adds up for Tuberville.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has emerged as one of college football's breakout stars this season, leading the Aggies to a huge road win over Alabama on Saturday. Manziel gashed one of the SEC's best defenses for 253 passing yards and two touchdowns, while adding 92 on the ground.
Not only did Manziel play a perfect game, he provided one of Week 11's highlight-worthy moments. On third-and-goal, Manziel stepped up in the pocket to run, yet was hit and lost the ball. However, the redshirt freshman calmly collected the loose ball in the air and tossed a touchdown strike to Ryan Swope.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini isn't afraid to get vocal on the sidelines, but the tables were turned on him in Saturday's win over Penn State.
After a sluggish performance in the first half, Pelini and safety Daimion Stafford got into a heated exchange on the sideline. It's clear from the video Stafford was not happy with Pelini and appeared to drop a couple of f-bombs in the process. It's not clear what the two were discussing, but let's just say neither party was giving an inch in the heated discussion.
The Cornhuskers' defense struggled to stop the Nittany Lions' offense in the first half but eventually found the right answers in the final two quarters.
Even though USC is one of college football's biggest disappointments this year, receiver Marqise Lee should be in the mix for the Heisman Trophy. The sophomore is a lock for All-American honors and continues to be the go-to target for quarterback Matt Barkley.
In Saturday's win over Arizona State, Lee had a ridiculous 38-yard run to put USC into scoring position. The sophomore took the pitch from quarterback Matt Barkley, dodged an Arizona State defender and reversed field to take off down the sidelines.