The SEC might not be as strong as we thought coming into the year, but it sure is fun to watch, and several epic SEC games changed the BCS picture over the weekend. Thursday, Arkansas upset LSU in 3 overtimes. This was LSU’s 2nd loss this year, both in 3 overtimes. Darren McFadden put himself right back into the Heisman race with a tremendous performance against the Tigers, while LSU losing gave West Virginia a spot in the BCS title game, as long as they won out. West Virginia had to play Connecticut, a clash for the Big East championship, and WVU rolled 66-21. They should dominate rival Pittsburgh, securing a spot in New Orleans. However, they will be ranked number two when they play in the Backyard Brawl.
The Kansas vs. Missouri game had huge national championship implications. Oklahoma, who has already beaten Missouri this year, was waiting to find out who their opponent would be in the Big 12 championship game. Missouri dominated Kansas early, taking a 21 point lead into halftime. Kansas cut the lead to six, but their onside kick attempt failed, securing a Missouri win. Chase Daniel locked up his invitation to New York for the Heisman ceremony with a 361 yard, 3 touchdown performance.
Tennessee over Kentucky
It did not matter how much Georgia fans cheered for Kentucky to win, it just was not going to happen. This game was eerily similar to the Kansas/Missouri game. Tennessee led 31-14 midway through the third quarter. However, Woodson led the Wildcats back with two consecutive touchdown drives to cut the lead to three points. Kentucky got the ball back and drove deep into Tennessee territory. They had to settle for a field goal when Woodson missed a wide open Keenan Burton in the end zone. The game went into a 2nd OT after both teams scored. Erik Ainge was picked off on UT’s drive. Kentucky called conservative plays to set up a 35-yard field goal attempt. Dan Williams managed to get a paw on it, and sent the game into a 3rd OT. Tennessee went on to win in the 4th OT, after stopping Kentucky’s 2-point conversion attempt. Tennessee will play LSU for a spot in a BCS bowl.
Runner-Up: Arkansas over LSU
Arkansas over LSU
Not only was it a huge upset, it was fun to watch. Arkansas played like their preseason ranking suggested. The Hogs had struggled all year to keep a constant winning mentality. After starting 3-3, Arkansas finished the year 5-1, topped off by the upset over LSU. LSU and Arkansas traded blows in OT, scoring touchdowns at will. The difference is that Arkansas converted their 2-point conversion in the 3rd OT. LSU’s attempt was picked off in the back of their end zone. Another top 5 team falls to an unranked team. You had to know the upsets were not over.
Runner-Up: Texas A&M over Texas
BEST TEAM PERFORMANCE
WVU out gained UConn 517 to 203. QB Pat White was the game’s leading rusher with 186 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Noel Devine averaged a stellar 10.7 yards per carry. Replacing Steve Slaton just got a whole lot easier. WVU made no mistake about this game. They scored 42 consecutive points to start the 2nd half, until UConn scored a garbage touchdown. I do not see Pittsburgh being able to compete with the Mountaineers.
MOST DISAPPOINTING TEAM PERFORMANCE
UCLA managed a dismal 220 yards on offense. They did not score a touchdown until the 4th quarter. Still, UCLA rolled Oregon 16-0. The Ducks only ran for 43 yards, 200 yards less than their average. Without Dennis Dixon, the Ducks are not worthy of a top 25 ranking.
Runner-Up: Arizona State
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Sam Bradford - QB - Oklahoma
After being knocked out of last week‘s game versus Texas Tech, it was nice to see Bradford come back strong. He threw 4 touchdowns against rival Oklahoma State. With those touchdowns, he broke the freshman record for passing TDs in a season.
Colt Brennan - QB - Hawaii
Brennan performed like a Heisman candidate against Boise State. Brennan threw for 495 yards and 5 touchdowns. With their win over Boise State, Hawaii locked up the WAC conference championship, and put themselves in a spot for a BCS at large bid.
Brennan Marion - WR - Tulsa
Tulsa quietly won 9 games this year. Marion caught 7 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns against Ric, and Tulsa will now battle UCF for the C-USA title.
Hugh Charles - RB - Colorado
Charles ran for 163 yards and three touchdowns against rival Nebraska. This was the final nail in Bill Callahan’s coffin.
Alex Brink - QB - Washington State
Washington State won the annual Apple Bowl 42-35. Brink threw for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns against a banged up Washington team. With the game tied and under a minute left, Brink threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to give the Cougars the lead and eventually the win.
Next week is championship week in college football. Miami (OH) and Central Michigan will battle for the MAC championship, while Tulsa and UCF will fight it out for the C-USA title. In the ACC, Virginia Tech will attempt to avenge their regular season loss to Boston College in the ACC championship game. Tennessee will try to beat LSU in the SEC championship game, although no one thinks they can. Lastly, Oklahoma and Missouri will play in San Antonio for the Big 12 championship. Missouri advances to New Orleans with a victory. However, if OU wins, Ohio State moves into the number two slot. I think that this season has one more upset left in it.