Top Five College Football Games in Week 11
SEC West Matchups Highlight Week 11 Schedule
Last Saturday was a day that college football fans may look back at in a few weeks as one that decided the participants in the national championship game and decided conference championships.
Week 10 gave many college football fans heart palpitations across the country if they watched the triple overtime thriller in South Bend that saw Notre Dame use a little bit of that luck of the Irish to down Pittsburgh 23-20 to remain unbeaten.
Oregon and USC gave the scoreboard operator in the Los Angeles Coliseum quite the workout as Oregon escaped LA with a 62-51 victory over Matt Barkley and the Trojans that saw Kenjon Barner run into the record books for the Ducks with 321 yards and five touchdowns.
However, all that paled in comparison to the rematch of the BCS National Championship game and the regular season meeting that was dubbed as the game of the century between LSU and Alabama. This game lived up to the billing this time whereas the previous two matchups fell flat to a majority of fans living outside of SEC country.
AJ McCarron proved that he has ice water in his veins when he led the Crimson Tide on the game winning touchdown drive following a missed field goal by LSU that set up a screen pass to freshman running back, TJ Yeldon, for the winning score. The win extended Alabama’s run as No.1 in the polls and snapped the 22-game home winning streak of LSU.
This week’s games don’t feature quite the same caliber of main events as last week, but makes up for it with more depth and as per usual the SEC west is right in the middle of the week’s premiere matchups.
What will you be watching?
Follow me on Twitter: @PatrickASchmidt
Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.
Penn State at No. 16 Nebraska
Penn State is ineligible for postseason play as a result of the sanctions imposed on them by the NCAA, but they can play spoiler to Nebraska who leads the legends division in the Big Ten by a game over Michigan. The Nittany Lions have been a surprise at 6-3 this season behind the steadying presence of Matt McGloin under center.
Nebraska has shown a flair for the dramatic this season and had to come from behind to score the final 14 points to escape East Lansing with a four-point win over Michigan State last weekend. They also have comeback wins at Northwestern and vs. Wisconsin already on their resume, so if this game is close heading into crunch time, then Nebraska will have the road team on the ropes.
TCU at No. 2 Kansas State
The big question surrounding this game is the health status of Heisman front-runner, Collin Klein, and whether he will be medically cleared to play in this contest. Klein was forced out in the third quarter in the home win vs. Oklahoma State with an undisclosed injury.
TCU is coming off a double overtime win at West Virginia to snap a two-game losing streak. The team is young, hungry, and capable of coming from behind as they did last week, so if they get the No. 2 Wildcats without Klein, they may have a shot at a massive upset that would shake up the BCS standings.
No. 7 LSU at No. 21 Mississippi State
Two teams that are coming off home losses to ranked conference opponents and the loser of this game will suffer their third conference loss of the year and all but say goodbye to their chances of a BCS bowl game. LSU has dominated the series vs. Mississippi State, but the home team could take advantage of a team that suffered a devastating loss in the final minute at home if they can strike early and get some confidence and early momentum behind the home crowd ringing their infamous cowbells.
No. 11 Oregon State at No. 14 Stanford
Each team is 5-1 in conference and trails Oregon in the Pac 12 by a game, so this is an elimination game of sorts. The loser will be in third place in division, but the winner will still have a game against Oregon for a chance to take down the high-flying Ducks for a chance to win the division and head to the Pac 12 championship game.
Stanford has a new quarterback in Kevin Hogan who replaced Josh Nunes for the 48-0 win over Colorado last week and Oregon State will be starting Cody Vaz for the second game in a row since Mike Riley named him the starter for Sean Mannion who struggled in his return from a knee injury.
No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama
Alabama is riding high after the last minute victory at LSU last Saturday and must be aware of a letdown vs. Johnny Manziel and the high powered Texas A&M offense that is the best in the SEC and one of the best across the nation.
The Alabama defense had their worst game last weekend giving up more than 400 yards of offense, but will face their toughest test against Manziel who leads the conference in rushing and is one of four players to lead his team in both passing and rushing in the country.