There were three teams that were on upset alert this past weekend. #6 Kansas State was able to battle off Iowa State in a hard fought game in Ames, the #10 Oregon State Beavers looked impressive at BYU with backup quarterback Cody Vaz, and then there was #5 West Virginia who was blown out by Texas Tech in Lubbock 49-14. I feel a lot of people knew this was a trap game and that West Virginia had a chance to lose, but no one could have predicted the Mountaineers losing by 35 points. The interesting thing about this loss is West Virginia didn't turn the ball over once and quarterback Geno Smith continued his streak of not throwing an interception. Lastly, there was a wild finish between the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and the Texas A&M Aggies. Hopeful BCS buster Louisiana Tech was down 34-7 in the second quarter. Louisiana Tech battled back in the second half and was only down 59-44 with 2:04 remaining in the game. The Bulldogs came down and scored a touchdown with 1:46 remaining to make it 59-51, and then recovered an onside kick. The Bulldogs quickly made their way down the field and scored again with 38 seconds remaing, but failed to convert the two-point conversion and lost 59-57. This ruined Louisiana Tech's chances of being this year's BCS buster. There is still hope for the Ohio Bobcats to be that team though.
What we learned from Week 7:
LSU is on a mission.
- I am honestly very impressed in the way Les Mile's team fought through adversity and beat a tough South Carolina football team. LSU had nothing offensively against the Florida Gators two weeks ago, but came out on Saturday night in Death Valley as determined as ever. The key of winning that game was for the offensive line to protect quarterback Zack Mettenberger. Senior left tackle Josh Dworaczyk was all over potential All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and took him out of the game. The LSU offensive line gave up just one sack to one of the best defenses in the country. Zack Mettenberger played rather well except for the interception thrown in the first quarter, which helped South Carolina set up their first score of the game. One of the biggest surprises to the offense has to be freshman running back Jeremy Hill. Hill had just 13 touches for 71 yards on the season. He finished this past game with 17 carries for 127 yards. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry and had two touchdowns. LSU moved from the nine spot down to the six spot in the new BCS rankings after beating South Carolina 23-21. This is the team I thought LSU would be this season. If they beat Alabama on November 3rd at home they will most likely win the SEC Conference.
The Sooners look better than ever.
- Wow! where was this Sooner team this past month and a half? The Sooners were firing on all cylinders and destroyed the Texas Longhorns in every aspect of the game. I picked Oklahoma to be in the BCS National Championship game and this is the type of team I believed them to be this whole season. The Sooners struggled to beat UTEP on opening weekend and then three weeks later lost at home to a tough Kansas State team. The way in which the Sooners lost to Kansas State was just hard to swallow, because you knew they were not playing up to their potential. Oklahoma looked much improved on defense against Texas Tech and then went off against rival Texas on Saturday. The Oklahoma offense racked up 677 yards on the Texas defense and sophomore quarterback Black Bell "The Belldozer" had four rushing touchdowns in the first half. Starting quarterback Landry Jones played his best game of the season passing for 321 yards and one touchdown. The Sooner rushing attack looked almost unstoppable as they put up 343 yards with 167 yards of it coming from junior Damien Williams. Williams 95 yard touchdown run late in the first quarter sparked the Sooners and was the longest rushing touchdown in Red River Rivalry history. The Sooners are definitely in the BCS discussion again.
Notre Dame is looking more and more like a championship contender every week.
- This is one of the best Notre Dame defenses I have seen in years. The Irish defense is giving up just 8.7 points per game (2nd in the country) and have not given up a touchdown in their past four games. Senior linebacker Manti Te'o has to be in the Heisman discussion right now. Te'o is averaging 9.5 tackles per game and made two key stops on the goal line in overtime to keep Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor out of the end zone. The question still lies on who should be the starting quarterback. Everett Golson fumbled four times and three of them were recovered by Stanford. One of the fumbles turned into a touchdown as Golson held onto the ball to long in his own end zone and was hit from behind causing him to fumble the ball and Stanford's Chase Thomas to recover. Golson is questionable for this weekend's game against BYU. Tommy Rees has been clutch whenever he has needed to come into crucial situations for the Irish. Rees had an important touchdown run in a win against Michigan and a key touchdown pass that helped Notre Dame get by Stanford in overtime. I will not be surprised if we see a lot more of Tommy Rees in these next few games. Notre Dame's win over Stanford could be what gets them considered for a BCS At-Large bid. If Notre Dame goes to Norman in two weeks and beats Oklahoma look for the Irish to be a lock for a BCS Bowl game.
Texas A&M's true freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel could be in the Heisman mix.
- Texas A&M is off to their best start since 2007. A big part of the success for the Aggies has been because of the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel. This past Saturday, Manziel had 395 passing yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 181 yards and three touchdowns. Manziel is the first SEC player to ever put up 500 total yards in two games. Manziel's statistics for this season include 1,680 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns, 676 rushing yards, and ten rushing touchdowns. He appears to be the true leader of this Aggie team and is the spark the Aggies did not have last season. The next three of four games will be tough for the Aggies though, as they host LSU and travel to Mississippi State and Alabama. If Texas A&M finds a way to win two of these games and win all the others, look for Manziel to be in the top 5 of the Heisman race.
The Longhorn defense has a lot of work to do.
- This is currently one of the worst defenses in Texas Longhorn history. The Longhorn defense is giving up an average of 32.5 points per game, which is 97th in the country, and 449.70 total yards per game. Oklahoma put up 667 total yards on the Longhorn defense this past Saturday. The Oklahoma offensive line physically beat up the Longhorn defensive line and Longhorn defenders struggled to tackle ball carriers. The Sooners averaged 6.7 yards per carry on the Longhorn defense, and also scored a 95 yard rushing touchdown. I can guarantee you Head Coach Mack Brown and his staff are working the defense hard this week at practice. Texas's defense going into this season was supposed to be one of the best in the country consisting of potential All-American defensive ends Alex Okafor and Jackson Jeffcoat. This weekend will be a big test for the Longhorn defense as they host a Baylor team that is averaging 47.6 points per game and 398.4 passing yards per game, which is the best in the country. It will be interesting to see how this Longhorn team faces adversity and if they can come back and win at least six of their last seven games.
We are half way through the 2012 football season and every conference is up for grabs. The SEC East has turned into a battle between undefeated Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia. The SEC West is going to come down to Alabama, LSU, and even Mississippi State and Texas A&M could be in the mix. The Big 12 is going to be the most interesting because there is no longer a conference championship game. Kansas State is the front-runner right now, but Oklahoma appears to be a reenergized team after their win against Texas. West Virginia, Texas Tech, and possibly even TCU and Texas are in the Big 12 race. The Big Ten is a complete mess and it appears Wisconsin will be the champion of the Leaders Division with their win over Purdue this past weekend. The Legends Division though is completely up for grabs. The only team not in the Legends Division race will be Minnesota. The five other teams in this division will beat one another up and I won't be surprised if the team that comes out of this division has two or three conference losses. Lastly, the Pac-12 is going to come down to Oregon, Oregon State, and USC. I guess you could say Arizona State and Stanford are in the race too, but these three teams seem to be the clear leaders of the Pac-12 Conference.