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

Posted Nov 12, 2012

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

Top Team Notes & Thoughts

Week 11 - Part One

By Pete Fiutak
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Week 11 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Rank 9-17 | Rank 18-25 & Ohio State  
No. 1 Kansas State (10-0)

Last week: Kansas State 23, at TCU 10

Notes: Style points don't matter. Just win, baby, and it's on to the BCS championship. Nothing is standing in KSU's way anymore needing to only beat Baylor and Texas to get a trip to Miami. … Give this one to the defense. Collin Klein was fine, but hardly special outside of a 34-yard scoring dash. The defense never let this get interesting with two key takeaways and good stop after good stop. End Meshak Williams was fantastic making seven tackles with two sacks and three tackles for loss. … The offense has to be ready to gear it up for some more shootouts. This might have been a defensive slugfest – the offense was allowed to be ultra-conservative – but Baylor and Texas are going to wing it around the yard and can grind it out, too. The Wildcats are mentally tough enough to handle the challenges.

No. 2 Oregon (10-0)

Last week: Oregon 59, at California 17

Notes: Don't let the final score fool you. Oregon was in for a major fight against vastly inferior team before Allan Bridgford threw a horrendous pick to turn the game around. …. However, Oregon being Oregon turned the break into a blowout. Linebacker Boseko Lokombo made the pick, Marcus Mariota threw a perfect strike to Josh Huff for a 35-yard touchdown on the next play, and just like that, a 24-17 tight battle turned into a 31-17 lead on the way to a run of 35 unanswered points. … The Ducks were banged up with a slew of injuries. Mariota fought through a shoulder problem to complete 27-of-34 passes for 377 yards and six scores, and he ran for 42 yards on six carries. … Let this game be a warning – Oregon can be powered on. If Cal had more talent, it would've been able to grind out the game more. The Bears ran for 236 yards with Isi Sofele tearing off 134 yards and a score on 15 carries. … The new No. 1 in the human polls, there's no more concern about the national championship. Beat Stanford, beat Oregon State, beat either USC or UCLA for the Pac-12 title, play for it all.

No. 3 Notre Dame (10-0)

Last week: Notre Dame 21, at Boston College 6

Notes: The Irish did what they were supposed to do with an efficient and effective win, but there's nothing they can do at this point to play for the national championship without getting a loss from either Oregon or Kansas State. … Everett Golson might have had one of his most effective games yet. On the road, his job was all about not making mistakes and keeping things moving. The Irish converted 11-of-14 third down chances with Golson completing 16-of-24 passes for 200 yards and two scores, and he ran for 39 yards and a touchdown. … Manti Te'o made all the highlights because he came up with a pick, but Prince Shembo was the star of the defense with five tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss. … It's all about keeping the focus at this point with Wake Forest up next before the USC showdown. The Irish have to win out and hope for the best – they can only take care of themselves, which is what Brian Kelly is preaching.

No. 4 Alabama (9-1)

Last week: Texas A&M 29, at Alabama 24

Notes: After coming so close to losing to LSU, now the Tide was bitten by another hot quarterback. Now, looking back at the schedule, the defense was exposed by the two really good teams it faced. … The defense had to manufacture a pass rush and it still couldn't slow down Johnny Manziel until the second half. … Why did the Tide abandon the running game? It was working, outside of a key T.J. Yeldon fumble, but the ground attack couldn't seem to take control. The offensive line didn't get into a lather. … A.J. McCarron put himself and the offense in a hole for the second week in a row with his first two interceptions of the year. However, he finished with 309 yards and a score. … C.J. Mosley did his part with 14 tackles with a sack. He was all over the field. … The national title is still a possibility. Win out, get help from USC vs. Notre Dame and Texas vs. Kansas State, play for it all.

No. 5 Georgia (9-1)

Last week: Georgia 38, at Auburn 0

Notes: This is a different, more confident-looking Dawg team than the one that sputtered through the first part of the season. Of course, it helps to play Auburn, but with the SEC East on the line, there wasn't any question. … The loss of WR Marlon Brown last week hurt, but the receiving corps made up for it with three different players catching touchdowns highlighted by a brilliant scoring grab from Tavarres King. … It helped that Aaron Murray was nearly perfect completing 18-of-24 passes for 208 yards and three scores. … Todd Gurley ran for 116 yards and a score on just 11 carries, and Keith Marshall ran eight times for 105 yards and a touchdown. … Jarvis Jones did his part with four tackles and two sacks, while Alec Ogletree stayed hot with ten tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss. … The national title still might be on the table with wins over Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, and, likely, Alabama in the SEC championship.

No. 6 Florida (9-1)

Last week: at Florida 27, Louisiana-Lafayette 20

Notes: That's three straight now. After the bad performance in the loss to Georgia, and the bad game against Missouri, the Gators were lousy against Louisiana-Lafayette and should've lost. Everyone will remember the blocked punt for a score to win the game in the final seconds, but that masked a slew of problems with ten penalties, poor play on third downs, and miserable pass protection. … Jacoby Brissett completed 6-of-8 passes for 64 yards and a score in place of Jeff Driskel, who left with an ankle injury after completing 13-of-16 passes for 98 yards and a score. He also ran for 76 yards. … There's one more tune-up against Jacksonville State before dealing with Florida State.

No. 7 LSU (8-2)

Last week: at LSU 37, Mississippi State 17

Notes: It took a little while, but the team came up with the plays it needed on both sides of the ball in the second half. The game was tighter than the final score indicates. … Zach Mettenberger stayed hot from the Alabama game completing 19-of-30 passes for 273 yards and two scores. He can be trusted now to move the offense; the training wheels are off. … The running game was effective, but not dominant. Jeremy Hill continued to be the main man, but he only ran for 48 yards on 15 carries. … Outside of two fumbles, and despite the fight in the first half, it was a relatively decent overall performance for a team coming off the heartbreak from the Alabama loss. There were only two penalties. … Beating Ole Miss and Arkansas to finish 10-2 should be a given.

No. 8 Texas A&M (8-2)

Last week: Texas A&M 29, at Alabama 24

Notes: Welcome to the SEC. There wasn't anything cheap about the win. Johnny Manziel will get all the credit and all the hype, but the defense did its part doing a great job against the Tide running game and forcing three key turnovers. … Ryan Swope was the exact type of veteran receiver Manziel needed as a go-to guy all game long. He made 11 catches for 111 yards and a score, was in the right place at the right times, and took some big shots on several key plays. … As great as the win was, this was almost a third time the Aggies blew a hot start against a great team. The good beginnings against Florida and LSU came up short, and this week they struggled to hang on to a 20-0 first quarter lead. Basically, the talented offense has to be better at closing. … With Sam Houston State and Missouri to finish, 10-2 is a must at this point.

Week 11 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Rank 9-17 | Rank 18-25 & Ohio State