College Football Week 9 Review: Notre Dame is a Title Contender, USC’s Business Will Remain Unfinished
Notre Dame Wins Big, Tightens Title Race
For years people have been waiting for Notre Dame to return to power. Even though it was a close game until the end, the Fighting Irish tacked on enough points in the final few minutes to win 30-13 at a top-ten ranked Oklahoma squad.
Manti Te’o solidified himself as a Heisman candidate with over ten tackles and a turnover that sealed the game. The defense for the Irish held Oklahoma to only 15 yards on the ground.
Now Notre Dame, Kansas State, Alabama, and Oregon are all the contenders for a title. Alabama if it wins out will most surely be in. People have crunched the numbers and if Oregon wins out they will also probably get in. If there was ever a time for a playoff, it would have been this year.
Georgia Controls It’s Own Destiny in the East
Mark Richt shows he’s still got it. Georgia took on the Gators as touchdown underdogs. They left having won 17-9 and knocking off the #2 team in the nation. The game was a story of inopportune mistakes by the Gators, such as fumbling it on the three-yard line, and the Bulldogs making big plays.
The Bulldogs now only have to beat Auburn and Ole Miss to play in the SEC title game. Georgia is an imperfect team that manages to show up at the right time during games. Maybe they can pull out the win over the Crimson Tide. If I had to pick an SEC team for Oregon to play in the national title game, it would be the Bulldogs.
The unfinished business that Matt Barkley and the other Trojans spoke of is now unattainable. The Trojans have two losses on the season, surely knocking them out of the title race.
On the road in Tuscon, Arizona, the Trojans made mistakes in the second half as they were wearing down. In the second half USC was outscored 26-15. Barkley continued to be unimpressive, tossing two interceptions and blundering away seconds in the final seconds of the last drive.
The Trojans were a lot of talk this year and a win against Oregon this upcoming Saturday seems unlikely. USC probably will have to travel to Eugene anyways to play in the PAC-12 title game even if they beat Oregon in Los Angeles.
Beavers Undefeated Streak Comes to an End
Oregon State went 6-0 for the first time in school history and their dream of an undefeated season fell at Washington. I was really pulling for the Beavers to win this game. A Civil War matchup of top ten teams would have been amazing.
Sean Mannion had his first mortal day of the season, throwing four interceptions before being replaced by Cody Vaz. Oregon State even outgained the Huskies by 130 yards, rushing for 109 yards.
Oregon State still controls its own destiny and if they go undefeated will play in the PAC-12 title game against USC, most likely.
Blunders for Everyone!
Nebraska is playing Wisconsin in the BIG-10 title game. It’s pretty much set based on the schedule left to be played. Michigan lost Denard Robinson in the Husker-Wolverine showdown and the backup Russell Bellomy couldn’t get the job done. Unless the Wolverines beat Ohio State on the road Nebraska will play Wisconsin.
Marcus Lattimore, while not a blunder, had a horrific injury that made me yell for a solid minute. It sounds like what looked like a gruesome break is merely a dislocated knee. He has a redshirt year to burn and could return in 2014 for the Gamecocks.
Kansas almost beat Texas. Yep, almost happened.
Gene Chizik’s Auburn team gave up 63 points, the most since the Tigers lost to Georgia Tech 68-7 in 1917. The Tigers are freefalling and this is just an awful team. Normally I don’t advocate for coaching changes, especially when the coach won a national championship two years ago, but this is more than just a bad season, this is a colossal mistake.
Player of the Week
Marqise Lee, who set a PAC-12 record for most receiving yards. He had 16 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns.
Highlights of the Week
Herbstreit hates Corso’s picks every week.