Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 15

All good things must come to a end.

With #23 Fresno State’s 24 – 17 win over Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship Game, the 2013 college football regular season has come to an end. Sure, we have the Army-Navy game next week, and course we have the bowl games, but the 2013 regular season is now over. We spent eight months looking forward to this time of year, only to have it pass by so quickly. Alas.

Thankfully, there was just enough chaos left in the tank. #10 Michigan State held #2 Ohio State scoreless in the 4th quarter, and beat the Buckeyes 34 – 24 to become Big 10 Champions and secure a place in the Rose Bowl. The loss not only cost Ohio State a Big 10 Championship and ended its 24 game winning streak, but it also eliminated them from playing Florida State in the National Championship Game. Instead, the Buckeyes will have to be content to play Clemson in the Orange Bowl.

Ohio State’s loss was Auburn’s gain, as the Tigers, who beat Georgia and Alabama in miracle plays at the end of each game, soundly defeated the Tigers of Mizzou in a shootout, 59 – 42. The #3 Auburn Tigers, who went 3-8 overall and 0-8 in the SEC last year, are 12-1 and your 2013 SEC Champions. If Gus Malzahn isn’t the Coach of the Year, that award has no meaning. What an incredible turnaround on the Plains.

Besides Ohio State, the second biggest loser this week was #14 Northern Illinois, who, in losing the MAC Championship Game to Bowling Green 47 – 27, cost themselves an at-large bid and a trip to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Their loss is the Big 12’s gain, as it opened up another spot for a BCS at-large. That spot would be taken by #17 Oklahoma, who beat in-state rival #6 Oklahoma State in Bedlam 33 – 24. Not only that, they denied the conference championship to the Cowboys; the Big 12 Championship would be claimed by #9 Baylor, who defeated Mack Brown’s #25 Texas Longhorns 30 – 10 in a de facto Big 12 Championship Game. Mack Brown refused to talk about 2014 when asked in the post-game press conference, so even he may see the writing on the wall. The Mack Brown era at Texas may finally be coming to an end.

In other conference championship games, #1 Florida State easily dispatched of #20 Duke, 45 – 7 to win the ACC, and Stanford defeated #11 Arizona State 38 – 17 to win the Pac-12.

Winners: Auburn, Baylor, Oklahoma

Losers: Ohio State, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma State

Top 25 Upsets:

  • #10 Michigan State over #2 Ohio State, 34 – 24
  • #17 Oklahoma over #6 Oklahoma State, 33 – 24
  • Bowling Green over #14 Northern Illinois, 47 – 27

A Look Ahead

The only game next week in the Army-Navy game, aired on CBS. Although only one team can win that game, we are all winners for having those kids willing an eager to represent their country in the armed forces. Go Army, Go Navy.

Bowl Schedule:

SBNation has the full list of bowls here.

  • BCS National Championship Game: #1 Florida State vs. #2 Auburn, January 6 at 8:30 PM
  • Rose Bowl: #4 Michigan State vs. #5 Stanford, January 1 at 5:00 PM
  • Sugar Bowl: #3 Alabama vs. #11 Oklahoma, January 2 at 8:30 PM
  • Orange Bowl: #7 Ohio State vs. #11 Clemson, January 3, 8:00 PM
  • Fiesta Bowl: #6 Baylor vs. #15 UCF

BCS Standings

The new college football playoff format starts next year, so what follows are the last BCS Standings to be released…ever. The BCS has not always been fair, it hasn’t also been understandable, but it has always been a bit crazy. And with that a bit fun. In that, it was no different from the sport we all love.

With that said, here is a link to the full BCS Standings. As always, a list is provided below.

1 Florida State 13-0
2 Auburn 12-1
3 Alabama 11-1
4 Michigan State 12-1
5 Stanford 11-2
6 Baylor 11-1
7 Ohio State 12-1
8 Missouri 11-2
9 South Carolina 10-2
10 Oregon 10-2
11 Oklahoma 10-2
12 Clemson 10-2
13 Oklahoma State 10-2
14 Arizona State 10-3
15 UCF 11-1
16 LSU 9-3
17 UCLA 9-3
18 Louisville 11-1
19 Wisconsin 9-3
20 Fresno State 11-1
21 Texas A&M 8-4
22 Georgia 8-4
23 Northern Illinois 12-1
24 Duke 10-3
25 USC 9-4

Thanks for a great regular season folks. It now time for the bowls.

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Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 14

Going into the weekend, some pundits were billing this year’s Alabama-Auburn game as “the Iron Bowl to end all Iron Bowls.” Number 1 versus Number 4. Could it live up to the hype?

It did.

Words are difficult to describe what happened. but we’ll give it our best shot.

After blocking a 44-yard field goal attempt that would have given Alabama a lead 31-21 with 3:06 left in the game, Auburn was content to hand the ball off to running back Tre Mason. Again. Again. And again. The drive log looked something like this:

1st-10, AUB35 2:41 T. Mason rushed up the middle for 8 yard gain
2nd-2, AUB43 2:32 T. Mason rushed up the middle for no gain
3rd-2, AUB43 2:12 Alabama timeout
3rd-2, AUB43 1:43 T. Mason rushed up the middle for 4 yard gain
1st-10, AUB47 1:43 T. Mason rushed to the left for 5 yard gain
2nd-5, ALA48 1:39 T. Mason rushed up the middle for 3 yard gain
3rd-2, ALA45 1:11 T. Mason rushed up the middle for 6 yard gain

Consequently, on 1st and 10 on the Alabama 39, the entire defense was expecting a read option play to Tre Mason.

And that’s exactly what Gus Malzahn was counting on.

Instead, Nick Marshall faked the read to Mason, and rolled to his left, hitting a wide-open Sammie Coates for a 39 yard touchdown.

Tie game, 28-28.

But there were still 32 seconds left on the clock, more than enough time for Alabama and their Heisman-hopeful quarterback AJ McCarron to engineer a game-winning drive. Alabama moved the ball down the field, all the way to the Auburn 38 yard line, but TJ Yeldon did not step out of bounds with time left on the clock. To overtime we go.

But hold everything.

After reviewing the play, the officials determined that there was one second left on the clock. It was enough to remind certain individuals of the 2009 Big 12 Championship Game.

It was the correct call, and it gave Alabama one last chance to win the game before heading into overtime. Cade Foster had already missed three field goals on the day, so Saban sent out redshirt freshman Adam Griffith to attempt a 58 yard field goal. Even though a 38 yard completion by his All-American senior quarterback seemed much more likely to succeed, Saban still opted with the redshirt freshman.

What happened next will live in Auburn lore forever.

The snap was good. The hold was good, but the kick was just short. And then this:

109 yards. Auburn cornerback Chris Davis returned the missed field goal for 109 yards. Touchdown Auburn. Game Auburn. Iron Bowl Auburn. Alabama’s hopes for a third consecutive national championship are all but over.

The king is dead. Long live the king.

The Auburn radio crew exploded from glee

This. This is why we love college football. Granted, the product may not be as polished as the NFL, but it’s exactly the amateur nature of the game that we revel in. The excitement, the drama, the passion. Sure, this is said of nearly every sport, but college football delivers at a level unparalleled to others. Every week is a playoff. If the Broncos beat the Patriots in Week 14, who cares? It would only affect playoff seeding; it wouldn’t necessarily knock either team out of the playoff picture in its entirety. But that’s exactly what occurs every weekend in college football. And unlike at the professional level, these teams will never move, never relocate. The Gators played in the Swamp long before we were born, and they will continue to play there long after we have left this earth.

With the loss, Florida State becomes the new #1, and Ohio State, who for the entire season was on the outside looking in, moves to #2. Although Ohio State survived a scare against arch-rival Michigan, they are this week’s big winners.

Winners – Ohio State. Northern Illinois, Duke, Southern Miss

Losers – Alabama, Fresno State, Wisconsin

With Fresno State’s loss to San Jose State and their own victory over Western Michigan, Northern Illinois is in prime position to capture an at-large BCS spot. Wisconsin’s 31 – 24 loss to Penn State effectively eliminates them from a BCS Bowl. Duke (Duke!) defeated North Carolina 27 – 25, giving the program its first 10 win season in school history and a spot in the ACC Championship Game, where they will play Florida State.

And congrats to Southern Miss, who, in defeating UAB 62 – 27 avoided a second 0-12 year and ended their 23 game losing streak.

Top 25 Upsets

A Look Ahead

The regular season is over for most of college football’s teams. As such, it’s championship weekend.

  • ACC: #1 Florida State vs. #20 Duke
  • B1G: #2 Ohio State vs. #10 Michigan State
  • Pac-12: #7 Stanford vs. #11 Arizona State
  • SEC: #3 Auburn vs. # Mizzou

BCS Standings

1 Florida State 12-0
2 Ohio State 12-0
3 Auburn 11-1
4 Alabama 11-1
5 Missouri 11-1
6 Oklahoma State 10-1
7 Stanford 10-2
8 South Carolina 10-2
9 Baylor 10-1
10 Michigan State 11-1
11 Arizona State 10-2
12 Oregon 10-2
13 Clemson 10-2
14 Northern Illinois 12-0
15 LSU 9-3
16 UCF 10-1
17 Oklahoma 9-2
18 UCLA 9-3
19 Louisville 10-1
20 Duke 10-2
21 Wisconsin 9-3
22 Georgia 8-4
23 Fresno State 10-1
24 Texas A&M 8-4
25 Texas 8-3
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Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 13

Who said this week would be full of boring games? Certainly we did not. (Pay no attention to last week’s blog entry.) Baylor and Oregon both lost ins spectacular fashion, and are this week’s biggest losers. But fear not! Not to be outdone, the Florida Gators also made the list!

Losers – Baylor, Oregon, Florida

Coming into this week, Baylor was ranked #4 in the nation, and only fractions of a point behind #3 Ohio State. With a win over #10 Oklahoma State, the Bears would just the Buckeyes and take over the #3 spot in the BCS. All they had to do was take care of business against the Cowboys.

Instead, the Cowboys took care of them. After three quarters of play, Oklahoma State led 28 – 3, and that would be all they’d need en route to a 49 – 17 victory. With the loss, Baylor’s chances at the Fiesta Bowl are all but gone, and the Cowboys are in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 championship.

After Stanford’s loss last week, all Oregon had to do was win out, and then would play in the the Pac-12 Championship Game, and probably the Rose Bowl thereafter. But a few days after a few Oregon players complained about repeatedly playing in the Rose Bowl, the Arizona Wildcats neatly eliminated that problem for them. It was a 42-16 shellacking. As the SBNation Oregon blog put it:

Never mind the Rose Bowl; the Ducks will probably play in San Antonio. In the Alamo Bowl.

And Florida. Oh Florida.

That’s no way to sugar-coat this: Florida lost to FCS Georgia Southern 26 – 20. Don’t even think of blaming this one on injuries: Georgia Southern had as many, if not more than, Florida. The Eagles just played better than Florida, and they did so without completing a single pass. Just think about that: a team that will finish fifth in its conference in the FCS beat an SEC team without completing a single pass. Unbelievable.

Except for this Florida team, it’s entirely believable. Head Coach Will Muschamp won’t get fired; the boosters and the administration like him too much, and they’re willing to give him a mulligan due to the rash of injuries that occurred this year. Additionally, there very well could be head coaching positions opening at USC and Texas, and in a bidding war against those two schools. Florida will lose. Period. They simply do not have the resources to compete with these two athletic departments. The staff will get reshuffled, but even with a huge loss against Florida State this week, Muschamp will be the head coach in 2014. But make no mistake: 2014 is a make-or-break year for Muschamp; he’ll be coaching for his job.

Winners – Auburn, Wisconsin, Michigan State

Auburn had a bye this week, so it seems odd to include them in the winners category. But losses by Baylor and Oregon have a vacuum, and Auburn plans to fill it. The Iron Bowl could pit #1 vs. #4 next week, and what Malzahn has done to this Auburn program is nothing short of extraordinary. This Tiger team went 0-8 in the SEC last year, and now they are one win away from the SEC Championship. What a turnaround.

In the longest-played rivalry in FBS, #19 Wisconsin beat #25 Minnesota in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, 20 – 7. With the victory, Wisconsin moves to nine wins on the year, and are quietly amassing a rather impressive season. They’re currently #19 in the polls, and should move up tonight. With a victory over Penn State, they just might sneak into the Top 14, and play in the Orange Bowl. If it weren’t for inept Pac-12 refs, Wisconsin could very well be 10-1.

And finally Michigan State, in defeating Northwestern 30 – 6, clinched a spot in the B1G Championship Game as the Legends Division Champion. They will face the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes in Indianapolis in two weeks.

Top 25 Upsets

  • #10 Oklahoma State over #4 Baylor, 49 – 17
  • Arizona over #5 Oregon, 42 – 16
  • #22 LSU over #12 Texas A&M, 34 – 10
  • #17 Arizona State over #14 UCLA, 38 – 33

A Look Ahead

The Iron Bowl is by far the biggest game of the week, with two Top 5 teams facing off and the winner advancing to the SEC Championship Game. But it’s also rivalry week, and you never know how these games will turn out. Take nothing for granted. Florida State should run over Florida, and Ohio State should curb-stomp Michigan, but hey, stranger things have happened. #12 Texas A&M plays at #8 Mizzou, #7 Clemson plays at #11 South Carolina, and #14 UCLA plays a resurgent #23 USC.

BCS Standings

1 Alabama 11-0
2 Florida State 11-0
3 Ohio State 11-0
4 Auburn 10-1
5 Missouri 10-1
6 Clemson 10-1
7 Oklahoma State 10-1
8 Stanford 9-2
9 Baylor 9-1
10 South Carolina 9-2
11 Michigan State 10-1
12 Arizona State 9-2
13 Oregon 9-2
14 Northern Illinois 11-0
15 Wisconsin 9-2
16 Fresno State 10-0
17 LSU 8-3
18 Oklahoma 9-2
19 UCF 9-1
20 Louisville 10-1
21 Texas A&M 8-3
22 UCLA 8-3
23 USC 9-3
24 Duke 9-2
25 Notre Dame 8-3
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Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 12

Although the slate of games this week wasn’t exactly the most memorable, we only have three weekends remaining of college football, so we intend on enjoying what we have. Also, the night ended with Coach Orgeron swinging a sword, so how bad could it be, really?

Winners – USC, Auburn, Kansas, Duke

How hated was Lane Kiffin? He managed to turn USC, a private school that has earned the nickname the University of Spoiled Children, into a heart-warming, feel-good story. Such is the negativity and vitriol Kiffin brought USC’s way. After starting the season 3-2 (and 0-2 in the Pac-12), USC fired their much-loathed head coach and named Ed Orgeron, formerly the head coach at Ole Miss, to their interim head coaching spot. What has Coach O done since then? Well, only gone 5-1 (and 5-0 in the Pac-12), including yesterday’s upset over #4 Stanford, 20 -17. It was a remarkable win over a program that has been mostly listless since Pete Carroll left. Congrats to Ed Orgeron on the USC Trojans. Now, if you’ll excuse me, after saying that, I need to take a shower.

How lucky is Auburn? Let’s just say we wouldn’t want to cross Kristi Malzhan the wrong way lest she conjured up some sorcery and strike us dead. After having a 27-10 lead going into the half, the Tigers almost let it slip away, as Aaron Murray gave the Bulldogs a 38-37 lead with 1:48 remaining. It looked like Auburn would suffer yet another soul-crushing loss. Then, this happened.

We could use our command of the English language to describe in elegant terms the events that transpired, but all would fail in capturing the majesty that the above GIF provides. Suffice it to say: Auburn wins, 43 – 38.

We feel like a broken record, but once again, congrats to David Cutcliffe and the Duke Blue Devils, who easily took care of business and defeated a ranked Miami team, 48 – 30. We are halfway through November, and Duke controls its own destiny in the ACC Coastal. If they win out, they will face #2 Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. We’d say it’d be a bloodbath, but with the ACC, who knows?

And Kansas finally got its first conference win since the Reagan Administration, beating West Virginia, 31 – 19.

Losers – Stanford, Virginia Tech, Northwestern

Stanford has to be included here; as the only team in the Top 20 of the BCS to lose this week, they are Week 12’s biggest losers. Their 17 – 20 loss to Southern Cal all but eliminates them from the National Title conversation. Not only that, but it once again gives Oregon the lead in the Pac-12 North. So not only did David Shaw’s team play themselves out of a potential national championship game berth, they also may have just lost the Rose Bowl.

Virginia Tech, still reeling to their losses to Duke and Boston College (yes, you read that correctly), suffered another setback at the hands of the…Terrapins? Are we reading this correctly? We are? Okay then. Apparently Maryland beat Virginia Tech in overtime, 27 – 24. This happening the week after Virginia Tech beat #11 Miami 42 – 24. A Miami team which lost to Duke this week. Oh, and Florida lost to Miami in Week 2, which makes them worse than all of these teams. Go ACC. (Maryland is also bowl eligible now.)

And Northwestern. Ohhhhhhhh Northwestern.

There are heartbreaking losses, and then there are what happened to Northwestern. After leading 9-3 heading into the 4th quarter. As time expired in the 4th quarter, Michigan was out of timeouts and had to rush the field goal unit on to the field. Whereupon this happened:

There is no way anyone on the Michigan line was set for one complete second, but this is college football son. Rules don’t matter. If you want the Big 10 with any regularity, you knew Northwestern was going to lose this game. Yes, the field goal only forced overtime, but you knew Northwestern would lose. And lose they did, 27 – 19 in triple overtime.

Top 25 Upsets

  • USC over #4 Stanford, 20 – 17
  • Duke over #23 Miami, 48 – 30

A Look Ahead

Many teams are taking the penultimate game of the regular season (for those teams in conferences that have conference championship games) to rest up and play FCS opponents before their Week 14 rivalry game. As such, the pickings are once again slimmer than usual. The game of the week (and the one College GameDay will be at) is #5 Baylor at #12 Oklahoma State. In the SEC, #11 Texas A&M will travel to #21 LSU, and #19 Arizona State will play at #13 UCLA in a de facto PAc-12 South division championship game.

BCS Standings

1 Alabama 10-0
2 Florida State 10-0
3 Ohio State 10-0
4 Baylor 9-0
5 Oregon 9-1
6 Auburn 10-1
7 Clemson 9-1
8 Missouri 9-1
9 Stanford 8-2
10 Oklahoma State 9-1
11 South Carolina 8-2
12 Texas A&M 8-2
13 Michigan State 9-1
14 UCLA 8-2
15 Fresno State 9-0
16 Northern Illinois 10-0
17 Arizona State 8-2
18 UCF 8-1
19 Wisconsin 8-2
20 Oklahoma 8-2
21 Louisville 9-1
22 LSU 7-3
23 USC 8-3
24 Ole Miss 7-3
25 Minnesota 8-2
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Sunday Morning Wrapup – Week 11

A shorter post today.

Winners – Vanderbilt, Alabama, Central Florida, Stanford

Losers – Florida, Oregon, Notre Dame

Top 25 Upsets

Updated BCS Standings

1 Alabama 9-0
2 Florida State 9-0
3 Ohio State 9-0
4 Stanford 8-1
5 Baylor 8-0
6 Oregon 8-1
7 Auburn 9-1
8 Clemson 8-1
9 Missouri 9-1
10 South Carolina 7-2
11 Texas A&M 8-2
12 Oklahoma State 8-1
13 UCLA 7-2
14 Fresno State 9-0
15 Northern Illinois 9-0
16 Michigan State 8-1
17 UCF 7-1
18 Oklahoma 7-2
19 Arizona State 7-2
20 Louisville 8-1
21 LSU 7-3
22 Wisconsin 7-2
23 Miami (FL) 7-2
24 Texas 7-2
25 Georgia 6-3
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