NCAA Roundup: Changes in BCS Rankings, Heisman Watch, Saturday’s Games

With less than a month to go for NCAA regular season football, things are getting interesting. The number of teams with perfect records is dwindling and the spoilers are starting to surface.

From Texas A&M’s 29-23 upset over Alabama, the national championship game’s landscape has changed. Kansas State is at the forefront of the conversation and it joins two other undefeated teams, Oregon and Notre Dame.

K-State’s quarterback phenom Collin Klein recovered from his mysterious injury and played another good game on Saturday. He continues to sit at the top of the Heisman-contending list.

There’s only a few weeks left of regular season play remaining but it’s enough time to change the postseason. This week includes a few interesting games for ranked teams.

BCS Rankings

Kansas State QB Collin Klein

The big story of the weekend was Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M. With their unbeaten season now gone, the Crimson Tide fell to No. 4 in the BCS rankings while Kansas State jumped to the coveted top spot at 10-0 thanks to its 23-10 win over TCU.

Looking ahead for the Wildcats, their remaining games include Baylor and Texas.

After Alabama’s loss, K-State is +140 to win the National Championship.

Also undefeated, the Ducks moved to the No. 2 spot after handily beating Cal 59-17. But looking ahead, they’ll end its season against #13 Stanford and #16 Oregon State.

A win on Saturday against the Cardinals has the Ducks clinching the Pac-12 North and traveling to the conference’s title game.

After dodging the Boston College jinx, Notre Dame has landed at No. 3 with their 21-6 win over the Eagles. This week, they’ll get a breather against Wake Forest but will wrap up the season with its usual game against USC.

Rounding out the Top 5 is Georgia. The Bulldogs routed Auburn 38-0 and will now prepare for the SEC championship game for a second consecutive year.

SEC Nation dominated spots five through 10 and this includes Florida (6), LSU (7), Texas A&M (8), South Carolina (9) and Florida State (10).

Looking at the rest of rankings, Louisville dropped to No. 19 after losing to Syracuse while the Nebraska Cornhuskers jumped from No. 24 to No. 14 after defeating Penn State. The Northwestern Wildcats exited the BCS rankings with their loss to Michigan while the Wolverines took spot No. 21.

Heisman Watch

After details of Klein’s mysterious injury from the previous week failed to surface, he returned to his usual form and added more bullet points to his Heisman-contending resume on Saturday. He had 145 passing yards and 15 carries for 50 yards and two scores.

But he was sacked three times–a season high.

Klein will remain as the top Heisman candidate. To-date, he has 2020 yards, 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

His competition, Oregon running back Kenjon Barber, had a quiet Saturday as his team routed Cal. He exited the game during the first half with a possible arm injury but returned and had 20 carries for 65 yards rushing along with three receptions for 35 yards.

From ESPN’s poll at No. 3, Alabama’s quarterback A.J. McCarron had 309 passing yards with two picks. One was especially tough as the team sat at fourth-and-goal; after the turnover, it put the nail in the coffin for a Texas A&M win.

McCarron will need a strong end of season to get an invite to New York.

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

Meawhile the Aggie’s quarterback Johnny Manziel had a great game going 24 for 31, 253 yards and two touchdowns. He also likes to run and had 18 carries for 92 yards.

Notre Dame’s Manti Te’O had his sixth interception. This represents a Notre Dame record for linebackers.

Saturday’s Games

In addition to Oregon’s matchup, key games will include No. 18 USC (-4) vs. No. 17 UCLA and No. 23 Texas Tech vs. No. 24 Oklahoma State (-11).

While not part of the conversation (just wait until hoops season), there’s a good big Big Ten game on Saturday. Ohio State, ranked No. 6 in the AP poll with its 10-0 record will play Wisconsin.

For now the bettors see the Buckeyes undefeated season ending with the Badgers at -2.5.

 

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