NCAAF News and Notes Week 12

NCAAF News and Notes Week 12

Bama, Texas Tech pull away in AP Top 25
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK (AP) -Penn State slipped to the back of the one-loss pack Sunday in The Associated Press college football poll, while No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas Tech strengthened their hold on the top spots.

The Nittany Lions fell four places to No. 7 in the Top 25 after losing for the first time this season. The 24-23 loss at Iowa on a field goal in the final seconds all but eliminated coach Joe Paterno's team from the national title race and left only Alabama and Texas Tech as unbeaten teams from the six BCS conferences.

The Crimson Tide (10-0) needed overtime to stay perfect, beating LSU 27-21 in Nick Saban's return to Baton Rouge, La., as Alabama coach. The Tide received 44 first-place votes and 1,604 points from the media panel.

The Red Raiders (10-0) followed up their big win over Texas last week with a resounding 56-20 victory over Oklahoma State. The impressive performance earned the Red Raiders the remaining 21 first-place votes, up from 12 last week, and 1,574 points.

Alabama plays Mississippi State at home on Saturday and Texas Tech has a week off before playing at Oklahoma on Nov. 22, the Red Raiders' fourth consecutive game against a ranked opponent.

No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Texas, No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 Southern California, all with one-loss but still with national title hopes, all moved up one spot and are ahead of the Penn State.

No. 8 Utah (10-0) moved up two spots, jumping over Boise State (9-0) which stayed at No. 9. The Utes and Broncos are both trying to break into the Bowl Championship Series from conferences without an automatic bid to the big-money games.

Ohio State moved up two spots and completes the first 10.

Oklahoma State fell three spots to No. 11 and is followed by Big 12 rival Missouri.

No. 13 Georgia is one spot ahead of the other unbeaten team, Ball State (9-0) from the Mid-American Conference.

Mountain West rivals TCU and BYU are Nos. 15 and 16, respectively.

No. 17 North Carolina has its highest ranking since it started the 1998 season No. 12. That was the season after coach Mack Brown left Chapel Hill for Texas.

Michigan State is No. 18. LSU dropped three spots to 19th and Florida State moved up four spots to No. 20.

Pittsburgh moved up four spots to No. 21 and the final four teams were unranked last week.

Cincinnati is ranked for the first time this season at No. 22 after beating West Virginia 26-23 in overtime. The Mountaineers dropped out of the rankings.

Oregon State, which has won four straight and controls the Pac-10 race because it beat USC, also moved into the rankings for the first time this season. The Beavers are No. 23.

No. 24 South Carolina and No. 25 Tulsa both moved back into the rankings.

California, Georgia Tech and Maryland also dropped out after losses.

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Re: NCAAF News and Notes Week 12

Week 12 Rewind
By Brian Edwards

Here we go again? Are we on the verge of witnessing a slew of late-season upsets that rock the national-title picture? It’s possible, but I doubt it’ll happen, at least not to the extent we saw last year when a two-loss LSU team was able to work itself back into the mix and eventually capture the hardware.

We did see Penn State most likely eliminated from the national-championship conversation when it lost 24-23 Saturday at Iowa. Daniel Murray buried a 31-yard field goal with one second left to lift the Hawkeyes to victory as 7½-point underdogs. Kirk Ferentz’s team hooked up money-line backers with a plus-250 return (risk $100 to win $250).

With the Big Ten now out of the mix, we’re most likely looking at the winners of the Big 12 title game and the SEC Championship Game meeting in the BCS title game in Miami. That won’t make USC fans happy, but the reality is that teams are rewarded with wins in conference championship games. In other words, teams from the Pac-10 and Big Ten are going to have to stay undefeated unless their respective leagues create a conference championship game.

What circumstances might allow the Trojans to get to South Florida? Well, they obviously have to win out and will need at least a few of these upsets to go down: South Carolina or FSU over Florida, Mississippi St. and/or Auburn over Alabama, Kansas over Texas or Oklahoma St. over Oklahoma.

Alabama took advantage of a young quarterback -- Jarrett Lee, who three his sixth pick-six of the season against the Tide -- whose confidence is shot to barely get past a game LSU squad in overtime, 27-21.

John Parker Wilson’s QB sneak from one yard out allowed ‘Bama backers to get paid as a 3½-point favorite. The Crimson Tide had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but Leigh Tiffin’s short field-goal attempt was blocked by LSU’s Ricky Jean-Francois. If ‘Bama had made the kick to win by a 24-21 count, LSU would’ve covered the spread.

Florida looked like the best team in America again, winning its fifth straight game both SU and ATS. The Gators raced out to a 35-0 lead at intermission and eventually captured a 42-14 win at Vanderbilt as 24-point road favorites.

Tim Tebow accounted for five touchdowns, rushing for two and throwing for three more. He had 171 yards passing and 88 rushing, elevating himself back into the mix to win a second straight Heisman Trophy, something that’s only been done once previously by Ohio St. RB Archie Griffin.

The win clinched the SEC East for the Gators, who will meet Alabama in the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 1999.

Texas Tech showed no signs of a letdown in stroking Oklahoma St. 56-20 as a 3½-point home favorite. Graham Harrell, who appears to be the Heisman leader at this point, completed 40-of-50 passes for 456 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. Michael Crabtree had eight receptions for 89 yards and three TDs.

The Red Raiders, who are off this week before going to Norman for a monster showdown on Nov. 22, produced 629 yards of total offense. They limited the Cowboys to just 368 yards.

Speaking of Oklahoma, it hung a 66-spot (in just three quarters) on Texas A&M at Kyle Field. The Sooners collected a 66-28 win over the Aggies as 27-point favorites. Sam Bradford threw four TDs for the Sooners to bring his season mark to 38.

Texas bounced back from its first loss at Texas Tech to beat Baylor 45-21. However, the Bears covered the number as 27-point road underdogs.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Shame on ABC. At 6:32 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, FSU had a 34-20 lead on Clemson with more than nine minutes left. The Tigers and Seminoles were on ABC for regional coverage in the South. Meanwhile, undefeated Penn St. was clinging to a 23-21 lead in the final minute with Iowa driving. Um, perhaps some bonus coverage? Maybe a switch to the Iowa-Penn St. game for a couple of plays? Unreal!

--The ‘over’ is 8-1 overall for Oklahoma, cashing in each of its last six games.

--Washington St. is no longer the nation’s only team that hasn’t covered the spread all year. The Cougars finally took the cash as 39-point underdogs in a 59-28 home loss to Arizona.

--Any team can be had on any given night, but I really don’t see anybody beating Florida. The oddsmakers at Las Vegas Sports Consultants agree, making the Gators the new No. 1 team in LVSC’s Top 30 that was released Sunday.

vegasinsider.com.

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