What You Need To Know - BCS Rank No. 1-8

Posted Nov 5, 2012

Notes and thoughts for the top eight teams in the BCS rankings

Top Team Notes & Thoughts

Week 10 - Part One

By Pete Fiutak
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Week 10 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Rank 9-17 | Rank 18-25 & Ohio State  
No. 1 Alabama (9-0)
Last week: Alabama 21, at LSU 17

Notes: Was this a great moment for the Tide in a championship season, or was it a warning of the potential of problems ahead? Considering the circumstances, Zach Mettenberger was red hot for the first time all year, and now the defense has to change things up a bit before dealing with Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel. LSU's pass protection was strong under the pressure, and A&M's should be even better. … The bigger problem could be holding up against the heat that the Aggie pass rush can bring. LSU only came up with one sack, but Texas A&M should be able to do even more to get to A.J. McCarron. … Why did the offense abandon the run? McCarron was struggling in the second half, but the coaching staff kept trying to mix things up. Eddie Lacy was running for 7.5 yards per carry and T.J. Yeldon averaged 6.9 yards per try. … The D had too many breakdowns and misses, but Adrian Hubbard and Nico Johnson were decent with 12 tackles each.

No. 2 Kansas State (9-0)
Last week: at Kansas State 44, Oklahoma State 30

Notes: How is Collin Klein's injured wrist? There doesn't appear to be a massive panic quite yet, but the offense didn't exactly flow when he came out and there's a big drop-off from the Heisman front-runner to freshman Daniel Sams. … The offense continues to be unstoppable. It might not be as jaw-dropping as Oregon's, but it's putting up yards and points in chunks with 44 points or more in four of the last five games. … The formula continues to work. KSU leads the nation in turnover margin helped by +5 against Oklahoma State. … Allen Chapman was fantastic with five tackles and three interceptions, including a pick-six. … There have been a slew of dangerous tests over the last several weeks, but going to TCU will be a problem if the Horned Frogs can take care of the ball.

No. 3 Oregon (9-0)
Last week: Oregon 62, at USC 51

Notes: USC might not be playing up to its capabilities, and it might be a major disappointment, but the talent and athleticism are there to match up with the Oregon speed – and it didn't matter. The Duck offense was as focused and effective as it was against Colorado, Arizona State, and everyone else on the schedule so far. … America is finally waking up to Kenjon Barner. 38 carries for 321 yards and five touchdowns on a national stage is what makes Heisman campaigns. … Lost in the shuffle was a brilliant performance from Marcus Mariota, who completed 20-of-23 passes for 304 yards and four scores while running 15 times for 96 yards. … Also lost in the excitement was a miserable day from the defense that has been touted all year as improved. Outside of two picks, it couldn't stop Matt Barkley. … There hasn't been a blip so far on offense, but there are still three more tests going to Cal and Oregon State to go along with a showdown against Stanford.

No. 4 Notre Dame (9-0)
Last week: at Notre Dame 29, Pitt 26 3OT

Notes: Great teams make their own breaks and are able to take advantage of every opportunity, but the Irish are also getting lucky highlighted by Pitt missing a game-winning field goal in the second overtime. … The Irish defensive front looked vulnerable. Great against the run all season long, it was shoved and pushed way too much as Ray Graham rumbled for 172 yards and a touchdown. …. Everett Golson might frustrate and frighten, but he also showed late why he has the potential to be so special. His 74 rushing yards to go along with the 227 passing yards and two touchdowns and two-point conversion saved the season. … Manti Te'o quietly came up with seven tackles with half a sack and two tackles for loss. … Pitt isn't nearly as good as the Irish, but it had the potential to come up with a tough effort with the way it can run the ball. There shouldn't be nearly the same problems against Boston College or Wake Forest over the next few weeks.

No. 5 Georgia (8-1)
Last week: at Georgia 37, Ole Miss 10

Notes: There's the Aaron Murray everyone has been waiting for. He has had some nice moments this season, but when the team got down and struggled early against the Rebels, he came up with the sharpest game needs at the right time completing 21-of-28 passes for 384 yards and four scores. This was Murray at his best, keeping his eyes downfield and making plays happen. … Todd Gurley ran hard again after the problems in the Florida loss, finishing with 117 yards on 18 carries. … LB Alec Ogletree came up with a tremendous game with 11 tackles, a sack, and two tackles for loss with a pick. … One win over Auburn and it's on to play for the SEC championship with an outside shot at the national title.

No. 6 Florida (8-1)
Last week: at Florida 14, Missouri 7

Notes: The Gators didn't exactly come out roaring after the loss to Georgia with the downfield passing game failing and the ground game not beating up the Tigers like it should've. … Florida is starting to get beaten up. There's some scrambling going on to make the pieces fit with several key players getting dinged. … If it wasn't for Mike Gillislee's catch and run for a 45-yard score the passing game would've done almost zilch. Jeff Driskel finished with just 106 yards completing 12-of-23 passes. … The pass rush was terrific, helping to force the four picks that changed the game around. … Free safety Josh Evans led the team with 12 tackles with a pick. … With Georgia beating Ole Miss, and not likely to lose to Auburn, the Gators didn't get their break in the SEC East race. However, style points will count. They need to blow away Louisiana-Lafayette – watch out, that might be more dangerous than it looks – and Jacksonville State before making a statement against Florida State. 11-1 could be enough to get an at-large BCS slot.

No. 7 LSU (7-2)
Last week: Alabama 21, at LSU 17

Notes: LSU, get over this in a hurry. It's asking for too much for Alabama to lose twice, but there's still an outside shot at getting an at-large BCS bid. After this game, the respect will be there, but there can't be a hangover slip to Mississippi State next week. … Take the long view, LSU. Zach Mettenberger showed he has the ability and the talent to make the offense move. He was cool, calm, and mistake-free, throwing darts completing 24-of-35 passes for 298 yards with a score. … Throw in Jeremy Hill, who ran for 107 yards and a score, and the Tigers have a good foundation in the backfield. … The defense did everything right until the very end. Alabama converted just one of nine third down chances and had the ball for under 21 minutes. … Did Les Miles' aggressive style set the tone for the team enough to overcome the massive game-management blunders? Probably not. His team played well enough to win without having to take any gimmicky chances like the fake field goal disaster. … Brad Wing was Brad Wing again, averaging 49 yards per punt with two kicks put inside the 20.

No. 8 South Carolina (7-2)
Last week: Didn't Play This Week, Arkansas Up Next

Notes: The Gamecocks are going to have to fight through possible concerns and problems with malaise – there's nothing to play for. They're not going to get an at-large BCS bid, and they're out of the SEC title chase. Shooting for a ten-win regular season is nice, but that's not what the team was hoping for coming into the season. … Okay, so there's something to play for – Clemson. Arkansas and Wofford shouldn't be a problem over the next few weeks, but it's all gearing up to face a Tiger team that should be 10-1 with an eye on an at-large BCS bid. … The week off couldn't have come at a better time. Now the offense gets time to figure out how to get things moving without Marcus Lattimore and gets to give Kenny Miles and company more chances to grow into the workload.

Week 10 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Rank 9-17 | Rank 18-25 & Ohio State