NCAA Football: Changes in BCS Rankings and Heisman Watch

With college football nearing its regular season end, there are still weekly upsets to keep things interesting. Last weekend we had two: Baylor routed Kansas State 52-24 and Stanford beat Oregon 17-14.

This left one team standing: Notre Dame is the last BCS team with a perfect record after defeating Wake Forest 38-0. Ohio State also remains undefeated at 11-0 but is ineligible for the BCS this year.

Yes, there was a BCS shakeup and now it’s looking a little more interesting. Welcome back Alabama.

More change will also come in the Heisman Race as top contender Collin Klein had a rough game on Saturday and will see his star fall.

With one or two games left for most teams, a few are keeping their hopes alive for conference championship games and BCS bowls.

Meet Your New BCS No.1: Notre Dame

Notre Dame LB Manti Te'O

Who would have thought that the BCS No. 1 and No. 2 would both lose on the same Saturday?

Please welcome Notre Dame as the new No. 1. Expectations were high this year for the team and now they may have exceeded them.

The Fighting Irish need a win over a falling USC this weekend and they can punch their ticket to the National Championship. While the team has lost its last nine of 10 against the Trojans, this may be the year as quarterback Matt Barkley will be out with a sprained shoulder.

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly said of grabbing the top spot, “Now we don’t have to answer questions about style points or politics. Now we have a chance to play for the national championship this week.”

Alabama is now No. 2 and could meet Notre Dame for the title. Both teams sit at +500 to win it.

Rounding out the Top 5, it’s all about the SEC: No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Oregon.

As for Kansas State, it fell to No. 6 and its dreams of a National Championship are gone. They have his week off and will end their season on Dec. 1 against Texas.

With a win, they’ll grab a piece of the Big 12 title and receive an automatic BCS spot.

At No. 7 , LSU has the greatest ranking for a team with two losses. Stanford rose to No. 8, a five-spot  jump after beating Oregon and at No. 9, Texas A&M joins four other SEC teams for the top 10.

Florida State stayed at No. 10.

Here’s the Top 25 BCS rankings.

Heisman Watch

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

Saturday was a rough day for Kansas State quarterback Klein. He was beat up badly with three interceptions and two sack. For the game, he had 286 yards and two touchdowns; it wasn’t his day to run either with 17 carries for 39 yards and one score.

Was it the jinx of last week’s Sports Illustrated cover?

While Klein has been knocked off the Heisman throne after sitting with 1 to 3 odds for the win, so have some of his rivals.

Oregon running back Kenjon Barner andd quarterback Marcus Mariota will see their stock fall thanks to their weak play against Stanford.

USC’s Marqise Lee is still performing well (nine receptions for 158 yards and one touchdown) but the wheels have fallen off this team and quarterback.

While Notre Dame continues winning, its linebacker Manti Te’o remains in the conversation but what’s the likelihood a defensive player is going to win the Heisman?

Enter Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M.

In Saturday’s 47-28 win against Sam Houston State, the plucky redshirt freshman quarterback had 267 passing yards with three touchdowns. He can also run, hitting the century mark and adding two scores.

To-date, he has 3,047 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  He is the first SEC player in history with 3,000-plus passing yards and running for more than 1,000.

There’s also that 29-24 win over Alabama on his resume.

The Heisman is about as welcoming to defensive players to take home the coveted prize as they are toward freshmen. In its 78 years, the honor has never gone to the underclassman but maybe this will be the year.

 

 

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