NCAA Football Round-Up; BCS Race Heats Up

Johnny Manziel

Manziel and the Aggies pulled the stunner of the week beating #1 Bama

I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong but that doesn’t mean that it can’t hurt a little bit. I really thought Texas A&M would give Alabama a good game Saturday in Tuscaloosa, but I never dreamed they would knock off the Tide. Freshman Johnny Manziel was outstanding especially in the first half as he led the Aggies to a 29-24 win over Bama.

The BCS Standings are now in flux so to speak because there are so many crucial games remaining involving the top teams. Here are the standings currently… 1. Kansas State 2. Oregon 3. Notre Dame 4. Alabama 5. Georgia

There is no quick way to break it down but I’ll do my best. K-State has a trip to Baylor and a home finale against Texas remaining. Neither is a ‘gimme’ and the Wildcats will not have a conference titel game either. Oregon has #13 Stanford at home this week before finishing the season at rival and #16-ranked Oregon State plus the PAC-12 Title game which will more than likely be against USC or UCLA so their road is more challenging.

Notre Dame has a very winnable home game against Wake Forest before ending the season at 18th-ranked USC who will be coming off their rivalry game against UCLA. The Trojans should pose problems for the Irish especially with Matt Barkley and Marquise Lee. Alabama and Georgia might be the most interesting of the top five. The Crimson Tide have Western Carolina and Auburn at home to round out the regular season before playing Georgia in the SEC Title game. Both of those should be wins. The Bulldogs have two games remaining at home as well with Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech and then the title game against Bama.

If both SEC teams can enter the SEC Title game without losing any of their final games, they will each have a shot at the BCS Title game simply because of the huge bump in points the winner would get from beating the loser. Will a one-loss SEC team jump and unbeaten K-State, Oregon or Notre Dame team? Doubtful, but I wouldn’t bet against it. If any of those three loses, the SEC jumps right back into the fray.

Games I’m watching this week

Iowa at #21 Michigan – The Wolverines simply have to be careful of looking ahead here to Ohio State the following week and they need not look any further than their overtime escape last week against Northwestern. The Hawkeyes have had a very disappointing season and I really don’t look for it to change much in Ann Arbor. Take the Wolverines in this one.

Mark Richt

Richt and the Dawgs still have a shot at getting to the BCS Title Game.

Georgia Southern at #5 Georgia – The Bulldogs have no business over-looking an Eagles’ team that is 8-2. Both of their losses were by just three points. With that said, Georgia is a superior team and should win this game going away in the end. GS will not have seen a defense like this one and it will show. The Bulldogs roll into their rivalry match-up with Tech with a big win over Georgia Southern.

Wake Forest at #3 Notre Dame(-22) – At 5-5, the Demon Deacons should not be taken lightly especially considering the Irish have actually played better on the road than at home. The problem for Wake is that their rushing attack is near the bottom of FBS rankings and you can’t beat Notre Dame being one-dimensional. I just don’t see anything but a solid victory for Notre Dame, but I don’t see them covering.

#13 Stanford at #2 Oregon (-24) – Oregon has hung 50 and 52 points on Stanford the last two years while giving up around 30 and that was with Andrew Luck quarterbacking the Cardinal. The Ducks have the finish line in sight now that Bama went down and I look for this team to be firing on all cylinders offensively. The only reason I see Stanford staying within the spread is because of injuries to Oregon’s defensive line. The Cardinal will pound the ball at will and should have some success but Oregon still wins.

Other games I like (My picks in BOLD)

#1 Kansas State at Baylor (+10)

#18 USC at #17 UCLA (+3) 

Ohio State at Wisconsin (-2 1/2)

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