The two weekends prior to this one have ended with a bang. First we had the Wisconsin/Michigan State finish and then last week we saw Clemson and Kansas State fall from the unbeatens and the great finish between Stanford and USC. This week it was all about the #1 team in the country, LSU, against the #2 team in the country, Alabama. What we saw was two dominant defenses flexing their muscle and not allowing the offenses to get anything consistent going throughout the game. This game definitely lived up to the hype as it was a close game throughout and a great game for those that like hard-nosed smash mouth football. You will hear some complain that not enough points were scored but that's because of the defensive performances. The offenses for these teams are not great but they are decent as LSU has put up over 40 on Oregon and West Virginia out of conference and Bama put up 27 on a really good Penn State defense. The key play in this game was Saban's trick play where Marquis Maze threw up a pass to the goaline and the Bama receiver and LSU DB fought for the ball and LSU's Eric Reid simply wanted the ball more. Bama had it's chances but when you miss four field goals it's hard to win a football game against the #1 team in the country. Is a re-match warranted? My answer is a big fat decisive, maybe. Let's let the season play out and see if Oklahoma State and Stanford can stay undefeated. If they can't and Bama and LSU win out then I see no reason whey they can't replay this one for the National Championship.
In addition to the "Game of the Year of the Century" there was a great game between Oklahoma State and Kansas State that came down to the wire. Okie State jumped out 14-0 but the Wildcats showed moxie and came back and with the clock running down had a chance to tie the game at the end. If you like offense (and not so much defense) then this was the game for you as these teams put up 97 points between them and over 1,000. That's the great thing about college football. You can have a fantastic game that totals only 15 points and then on another channel you can have one where teams light up the scoreboard. In the other game with National Championship ramifications the Stanford Cardinal struggled early with the Beavers of Oregon State but finished them off in the rain in Corvallis by the score of 38-13.
In the other big SEC game that pitted two top ten foes against each other the Arkansas Razorbacks pulled away from South Carolina in the second half by the tune of 44-28 and set up a big meeting between them and LSU in the near future. This game was also significant for the SEC East. With the Gamecocks loss, the Georgia Bulldogs moved into sole possession of first place after their 63-16 annihilation of the New Mexico State Aggies in which Georgia scored 42 points in the second quarter and Aaron Murray tossed 5 second quarter TD passes. Georgia now moves on to face Auburn as only the Tigers and Kentucky stand between them and an SEC Championship Game.
No college football weekend is complete without upsets. This week we saw Northwestern move to 4-5 by beating #10 Nebraska 28-25 and UCLA moved to 5-4 and grabbed control of the Pac-12 south by beating #19 Arizona State 29-28. Also, while maybe technically not an upset the Big Ten got a little more wacky when Iowa beat Michigan 24-16 giving the Wolverines their second loss of the season. Iowa is now one of the teams in the Big Ten that controls it's destiny despite being just 3-2 in the conference.
This week the Pac-12 takes center stage as Oregon and Stanford do battle for the Pac-12 Championship and Boise State tries to get back on the National radar with a match-up against 7-2 TCU. A few more big games on tap include Virginia Tech/LSU, Auburn/Georgia, West Virginia/Cincinnati, Michigan State/Iowa, Michigan/Illinois, and Nebraska/Penn State.