National Review: Week Eleven

JOHNNY TUSCALOOSA - Mike Zarrilli

Alabama makes me look stupid and recaps from other games across the nation!

Last week in this very column, after defeating LSU, which seemed to be the toughest game on Alabama's schedule, I basically denounced the rest of the regular season and named the Tide national champions in Week 10. This is why I don't have the authority to hand out trophies to people.

(15) Texas A&M 29 - (1) Alabama 24

At the end of the first quarter, Alabama was down 20-0. By halftime, it was 20-14. It was easy to deduce that Alabama came out displaying the letdown factor after beating LSU in Death Valley last weekend and that Nick Saban, maybe the greatest in-game coach roaming the sidelines today, would make the necessary adjustments at halftime and the Tide would cruise to a victory in Tuscaloosa.

That didn't happen.

The freshman phenom Johnny Football, Johnny Manziel, Johnny Upset, whatever you want to call him, played the best game against the best competition of his young career, going 24-31 for 253 yards and two touchdowns through the air as well as adding 92 yards on the ground. 'Bama quarterback A.J. McCarron, who had not thrown an interception up until Saturday, threw two to the Aggie defense and T.J. Yeldon fumbled to halt a drive that had progressed deep into Aggie territory. McCarron still threw for 309 yards and a touchdown on the day.

This result changes everything. First off, his performance against the #1-team in the nation vaulted Manziel into a spot in New York City a month from now for the Heisman Trophy presentation. He might not win it, but if he isn't in attendance at the Downtown Athletic Club with a chance of taking it home, the Heisman becomes meaningless (at least to myself).

Top 3 Heisman Picks:

  1. Collin Klein, Kansas State
  2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
  3. (tie) Marquise Lee, USC and Manti Te'o, Notre Dame

Secondly, there are no undefeated-s left in the SEC. There is a large possibility that for the first time in seven years, we may see a national champion from a conference that isn't named the Southeastern Conference. Notre Dame is on the outside looking in at #3 in the BCS, but Alabama's loss opens up a spot for my favorite coach in college football....

(2) Kansas State 23 - TCU 10

....Bill Snyder.

The Wildcats weren't overly impressive on Saturday night. Klein didn't play one of his greatest games, maybe due to the effects of the head injury he suffered the week before against Oklahoma State. But they won to move to 10-0 and to move up to #1 in the BCS rankings. They have Baylor and Texas left on their schedule. Two wins and they're in and it couldn't happen to a greater coach.

(3) Oregon 59 - California 17

Cal actually hung tough with Oregon for the first half plus change, devoting all their defensive resources to the run, holding Kenjon Barner to only 65 yards on the ground. Chip Kelly, for the first time all year, really, opened up the playbook for quarterback Marcus Mariota and he didn't disappoint, throwing for 377 yards and six touchdowns as Oregon scored 35 unanswered second-half points to remain unscathed at 10-0. They jumped Notre Dame in the rankings and now sit at #2 in the BCS.

Syracuse 45 - (9) Louisville 26

Vegas knew something when they only made Louisville a two-point favorite in this game as Syracuse came out and scorched the Cardinals in a game that was never in doubt. Ryan Nassib threw for three touchdowns and Jerome Smith ran for 144 yards and a touchdown in handing Louisville their first loss of the season and dropping them behind Rutgers in the Big East standings. Those two teams will meet on November 29 in a game that might determine an Orange Bowl berth.

(6) Florida 27 - Louisiana-Lafayette 20

Florida needed a blocked punt return for a touchdown with two seconds remaining to defeat the Ragin' Cajuns from Louisiana-Lafayette. Jeff Driskel threw for 96 yards before being knocked out of the game. But, once again, the SEC is awesome!

Worth A Few Words:

(4) Notre Dame 21 - Boston College 6

Well, I mean, they won? The offense was anemic once again, but the defense didn't allow a touchdown to the Eagles. They remain on the outside looking in at the BCS title picture.

(5) Georgia 38 - Auburn 0

Auburn won a national championship two years ago. Now Gene Chizik is about to be a commentator for the SEC on CBS.

(19) USC 38 - Arizona State 17

#25 didn't play a snap as he was being held out with a sprained ankle. Curtis McNeal ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns. But, business decisions.

(22) Texas Tech 41 - Kansas 34 (2 OT)

I wasn't about to wake up for an 11:00 a.m. kickoff. I got to the bar just in time to see Tech miss a field goal that would have won the game in regulation. Pathetic.

Missouri 51 - Tennessee 48 (4 OT)

Reports are saying Derek Dooley and his stool are out after the loss which would be the second SEC job to open up during the regular season after Kentucky got rid of Joker Phillips a couple of weeks back.

Other Notable Games

(7) LSU 37 - (21) Mississippi State 17

(8) South Carolina 38 - Arkansas 20

(10) Florida State 28 - Virginia Tech 22

(14) Stanford 27 - (11) Oregon State 23

(12) Oklahoma 42 - Baylor 34

(13) Clemson 45 - Maryland 10

(17) Texas 33 - Iowa State 7

(18) UCLA 44 - Washington State 36

(20) LA Tech 62 - North Texas 55

(23) Rutgers 28 - Army 7

Ball State 34 - (25) Toledo 27

Bowling Green 26 - Ohio 14

Virginia 41 - Miami 40


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