College Football Week 12 Review: Oklahoma State, LSU, Baylor and More

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Great, now we have to listen to SEC fans, snobs, and elitists the rest of the year. Not that LSU, Alabama and Arkansas don’t deserve the top three spots—they do, and the SEC is without question the toughest conference in football over the last several seasons—but I’d love to see some tournament-style thing-a-ma-bob that pits the top teams against each other—including LSU, Alabama and Arkansas.

In the current system, Houston by no means deserves the shot at the national title. But the current system is garbage. We will just never know for sure which team is the best team if all teams do not have an opportunity to play other elite teams. You know, like every other sport in the freaking world. Not only would it give the SEC more opportunity to gloat with each win, it would give the college football minions an opportunity to prove just how good the SEC really is. Isn’t that what everybody wants?

Recapping the week in 500 words or less, this is what we learned about the season:

  • Oklahoma State allows a big opportunity to slip through its fingers (they had a shot at the Big 12 South in last year’s Bedlam Game), and Iowa State pulls a marquee win for the third time in three years (@ Nebraska in 2009, @ Texas in 2010).
  • Virginia Tech has surpassed Clemson as the best team in the ACC. The Tigers beat the Hokies in October, but have since lost twice and are clearly on a downturn. They’ve lost to Georgia Tech and NC State, and narrowly beat Wake Forest last weekend. They’ll play for the ACC Championship, but when can we say that Clemson is pulling another Clemson?
  • Meanwhile, Virginia has certainly earned next weekend’s ACC Coastal championship matchup with the Hokies.
  • Ohio State was in the best position of the Big Ten Leaders leaders (really?) just two weeks ago. Now Penn State and Wisconsin will meet in a showdown next Saturday that will determine the Leaders representative.
  • Man, what’s going to happen if Arkansas beats LSU next Saturday? It would eliminate the last undefeated team, except for the other undefeated team. Again, Houston doesn’t deserve the title shot in the current system, but we’ll just never know for sure. The Cougars deserve more, and so does whoever ends up winning the BCS National Championship. There should be no uncertainty or controversy.
  • Meanwhile, Georgia struggled to separate from Kentucky, Florida had trouble with Furman, and Auburn didn’t pull away from Samford for a while; but they all ended up with the victories. The SEC is tough and playing that schedule can take it out of you, but there’s quite a disparity between the SEC elite and everybody else.
  • Over the summer I said Rutgers and Louisville would occupy the Big East basement this year. They’re currently tied for first with 4-2 conference records ahead of three 3-2 teams. Mea culpa. But really, when is automatic qualification going to be a thing of the past?
  • I was extremely impressed with Oregon in the second half against USC. They scored 21 points in eleven minutes and then gave themselves a chance to win at the end. The Trojans, meanwhile, did what the only teams to defeat the Ducks the last two seasons did: hold them to fewer than 14 points in the first half. Over the last two seasons, Tennessee and Cal are the only teams who held the Ducks to fewer than 14 points in the first half and lost.
  • Baylor pulled off its second shocker of the year as Robert Girffin III found Terrance Williams for a 34-yard touchdown with eight seconds to go. They beat TCU on a field goal with 1:04 left in the opener. Oklahoma, meanwhile, sees its fourth quarter comeback attempt fall short for the second time against a former Big 12 South foe. The good news is that the Big 12 title and BCS bowl is still within reach for the Sooners.

Robert Griffin III Proved He’s Worth the Hype this weekend, leading 22nd-ranked Baylor past fifth-ranked Oklahoma. The Bears move up only one spot to 21st in the latest AP rankings, and Oklahoma falls to 12th. Griffin led the final Bears drive after Oklahoma had tied it up with under a minute to go. He found Terrance Williams for the 34-yard touchdown. Griffin ended the day with 479 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-34 passing with no picks. He rushed for 72 yards, too.

This week’s New Household Names are Iowa State quarterback Jared Barnett and cornerback Leonard Johnson. Barnett completed 31 of his 58 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns. He threw two interceptions. Barnett led the Cyclones to 17 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to tie it up at 24. He then threw a touchdown in overtime and led the final overtime drive that ended it on a four-yard Jeff Woody run. Johnson did a good job on Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who still managed 99 yards and a touchdown on ten receptions. Johnson caught a tipped pass for his first interception of the season.

Rivalry week starts Tuesday this Thanksgiving week, and continues with Thursday’s annual (although maybe not so annual anymore) Texas/Texas A&M tilt and several Friday games before Saturday gets underway.

Tuesday, November 22

  • Miami (OH) @ Ohio, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2

Thursday, November 24

  • Texas @ Texas A&M, 8:00 PM ET, ESPN

Friday, November 25

  • Louisville @ South Florida, 11:00 AM ET, ESPN2
  • Houston @ Tulsa, 12:00 PM ET
  • Arkansas @ LSU, 2:30 PM ET, CBS
  • Pittsburgh @ West Virginia, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN

Saturday, November 26

  • Iowa State @ Oklahoma, 12:00 PM ET, FX
  • Georgia @ Georgia Tech, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN
  • Ohio State @ Michigan, 12:00 PM ET, ABC
  • Alabama @ Auburn, 3:30 PM ET, CBS
  • Oregon State @ Oregon, 3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN2
  • Virginia Tech @ Virginia, 3:30 PM ET, ABC/ESPN2
  • Penn State @ Wisconsin, 3:30 PM ET, ESPN
  • Missouri vs. Kansas (neutral site), 3:30 PM ET
  • Texas Tech vs. Baylor (neutral site), 7:00 PM ET
  • Florida State @ Florida, 7:00 PM ET, ESPN2
  • Ole Miss @ Mississippi State, 7:00 PM ET, ESPNU
  • Washington State @ Washington, 7:30 PM ET, Versus
  • Clemson @ South Carolina, 7:45 PM ET, ESPN
  • Notre Dame @ Stanford, 8:00 PM ET, ABC
  • UCLA @ USC, 10:00 PM ET