Lessons We Learned from College Football Week 12
Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
On paper, it didn't look like Week 12 of the college football season was shaping up to be all that exciting. There were just three games pitting BCS Top 25 teams against each other, and many of the top-ranked teams in the nation were facing weak opponents.
As it turned out, though, the 12th Saturday of the 2012 season was actually the wildest and most tumultuous day thus far. Upset losses by the two top-ranked teams in the country, Kansas State and Oregon, have added a huge twist to the BCS-championship race and thrown the college-football world into a state of chaos.
There are many key storylines that developed and there's a lot of action to analyze. Here's a look at the important lessons we learned from Week 12.
The BCS-Chaos Scenario Has Become a Reality
We entered Week 12 of the season debating which of the three unbeaten teams—Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame—deserved to be in the BCS championship game. Now, after upset losses knocked out the Ducks and the Wildcats, we're scrambling to figure out which one-loss team is the most worthy of a spot in the big game.
New No. 1 Notre Dame and new No. 2 Alabama seem to control their own destinies. But there are plenty of other potential championship-game matchups, involving teams like Georgia, Florida State, Oregon and even a two-loss LSU team.
The Irish vs. the Tide is definitely a game that would score a huge rating with a national audience, given the popularity and prestige surrounding both schools. But after what we just saw this past weekend, nothing's a certainty at this point in the season.
Kansas State Couldn't Handle the Pressure
Kansas State gained a reputation of being a team that relied on endurance and efficiency to compile a 10-0 record heading into Saturday's game against Baylor. But the Wildcats surprisingly played very sloppy in Waco in a critical spotlight game.
Bill Snyder's squad gave up 52 points and 580 total yards, turned the ball over three times and it was called for seven penalties.
Now, after being knocked out of the national-title race, Kansas State will have to figure out how to regroup before the season finale against Texas, or the Wildcats may not even end up winning the Big 12 championship.
Collin Klein Is Not Heisman Material
Kansas State QB Collin Klein took the title of "Heisman favorite" away from West Virginia QB Geno Smith on Oct. 20, when he led the Wildcats to a huge 55-14 stomping of Smith's Mountaineers in Morgantown.
"Optimus Klein" has now lost that title, however, after an ugly performance in a 52-24 loss to Baylor in front of a national prime-time audience.
The dual-threat signal-caller threw three killer interceptions and 23 incompletions, and he was held to just 39 rushing yards against the Bears.
Klein's Heisman hopes are now on life support.
Oregon's Offense Can Be Stopped
No opponent had found success trying to stop Oregon's offense this season. But Stanford managed to shut down the high-powered attack and contain the team's dangerous, triple-headed backfield of QB Marcus Mariota and running backs De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner.
The Cardinal came into the weekend with the No. 1 rush defense in the nation. It turned out to be as good as advertised, as they held Oregon to just 198 yards on the ground, its second-lowest rushing total of the season.
Stanford's stunning 17-14 upset victory in Eugene has shifted the power in the Pac-12 Conference, and it's shaken up the BCS standings.
There’s a New King in LA
When Rick Neuheisel took over as head coach at UCLA back in 2008, he declared that the football monopoly in Los Angeles was officially over, referring, of course, to crosstown rival USC's dominance over the Bruins.
Obviously, Neuheisel looked a bit foolish when the Trojans proceeded to beat UCLA four straight times during his tenure.
This past Saturday, new coach Jim Mora finally got that big win that Neuheisel had always talked about when UCLA took down USC, 38-28, in the Rose Bowl.
The Bruins have now clinched the Pac-12 South division title, and they'll make their second consecutive appearance in the conference championship game on Nov. 30.
Matt Barkley Regrets Returning
Harry How/Getty Images
Remember that Sports Illustrated cover that Matt Barkley was on back in August? You know, the one that said the star quarterback didn't return to USC to play in the Holiday Bowl.
Well, if that's truly the case, then he has to be severely regretting his decision to pass up the chance to be a Top Five pick in the 2012 NFL draft in order to return to Los Angeles for his senior year.
Barkley got to experience what it's like to be college football's poster boy for the entire summer, but ultimately, both he and the Trojans failed to live up to high preseason expectations.
USC is just 7-4 following a 38-28 loss to crosstown rival UCLA on Saturday, and Barkley will not be taking home the Heisman or getting the chance to know what it's like to be a No. 1 overall draft pick. Plus, to make matters worse, he now has to recover from an injury to his throwing arm.
Johnny Manziel Is Now the Top Heisman Contender
USC WR Marqise Lee may be the best overall player in college football, but at this point, the player who actually has the best shot of winning the Heisman Trophy this year is Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel.
Manziel added to his already mighty-impressive statistics with another big performance in a 47-28 victory over Sam Houston State. The explosive freshman signal-caller has now thrown for over 3,000 yards and 21 touchdowns and added in excess of 1,100 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground, while leading the Aggies to a 9-2 record.
If Manziel can guide Texas A&M to a win over Missouri in the season finale, the 2012 Heisman will likely be his.
Notre Dame Is Stepping Up
Notre Dame had one of its most efficient and dominant outings of the season against Wake Forest on Saturday. The Irish thoroughly overwhelmed the Demon Deacons in South Bend, rolling to a 38-0 victory.
The team's powerful defense held Wake Forest to just 209 total yards and nine first downs.
Following Oregon and Kansas State losses, Notre Dame is now just one win away from finishing the regular season undefeated and playing for a BCS national championship.
The question is, can the Irish get the job done at USC on Saturday?
Manti Te’o Will Be the No. 1 Pick in the 2013 NFL Draft
Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
There is no surefire No. 1 overall pick for the 2013 draft like there was with Andrew Luck for the 2012 draft. But one player who seems to have established himself as an early top candidate is Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o.
Te'o has battled through adversity in 2012 and still managed to perform at a consistently high level.
The intimidating inside 'backer has totaled 96 tackles, including 43 solo stops, and he's been the most impressive defensive player in the country.
If the Kansas City Chiefs end up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft as expected, there's a good chance they'll probably take Te'o unless Geno Smith really wins them over.
Geno Smith Is the Best Quarterback Prospect for the 2013 Draft
West Virginia may have lost to Oklahoma, 50-49, to extend its current losing streak to five, but one Mountaineer player who helped himself on Saturday night was QB Geno Smith.
Smith threw for 320 yards and connected on four touchdowns in the losing effort, and he made the kind of throws that not many other quarterbacks in college football are capable of.
Given the way Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson have struggled this season, Smith clearly has a great chance to end up as the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL draft.
Landry Jones Is Clutch
Landry Jones has gained more than a few critics and doubters during his time as a starting quarterback for Oklahoma. However, Jones managed to quiet all of them on Saturday night with a huge showing against West Virginia.
The Sooner signal-caller threw for 554 yards and six touchdowns and helped lead the Oklahoma offense on a game-winning drive in the final minute to beat the Mountaineers, 50-49.
SEC Teams Love to Beat Up on Cupcakes
Kirk Herbstreit summed it up best with one word on College Gameday on Saturday morning when he asked a simple question, "Why?"
Herbstreit was referring to the fact that five SEC teams were facing off against FCS opponents in Week 12 of the season. Why there's a need for that has to puzzle any intelligent college-football fan.
Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Auburn combined to outscore Western Carolina, Jacksonville State, Wofford, Sam Houston State and Alabama A&M by an average score of 38-9.
It's an absolute joke that schools charge money for these games against inferior FCS teams. It's blatant thievery.
Wofford Is a Very Solid FCS Opponent
One FCS team that actually stepped up in a big way on Saturday against an SEC foe is Wofford.
The Terriers took a 7-7 tie into the fourth quarter before eventually losing to South Carolina, 24-7.
The 8-3 Southern Conference squad actually ended up out-gaining the Gamecocks by 37 total yards of offense.
Florida State Is Heading to the ACC Championship Game
Florida State has rebounded after a disastrous upset loss to NC State back on Oct. 6. The Seminoles have won their last five games, including a 41-14 victory over Maryland on Saturday which helped seal up the ACC Atlantic division.
Jimbo Fisher's squad is now 10-1 and prepping for a big matchup with No. 4 Florida this weekend. If Florida State beats the Gators and then wins the ACC championship in convincing fashion, the Seminoles could have an outside shot at making it into the BCS championship game if everything falls into place.
Clemson Deserves a BCS Bowl Bid
Clemson wasn't able to overtake Florida State in the ACC Atlantic division, but the Tigers have done enough to convince BCS bowl officials that they are worthy of an invitation to one of the big games.
Behind the play of QB Tajh Boyd, RB Andre Ellington and receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins, Clemson's offense totaled 754 yards, 34 first downs and eight touchdowns in a 62-48 win over NC State.
The Tigers are now 10-1 and they've got a big matchup with hated in-state rival South Carolina set for Saturday. If they beat the No. 12 Gamecocks, they'll deserve a BCS at-large bid.
Tajh Boyd Is an “Elite” Quarterback
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd fell apart down the stretch run of the 2011 season. But he certainly hasn't fallen apart in 2012.
Boyd has established himself as one of the elite quarterbacks in the country with a tremendous campaign this season. The redshirt junior has thrown for over 3,300 yards and 33 touchdowns, as he's helped guide the Tigers to a 10-1 record.
Against NC State, Boyd accounted for all eight of his team's touchdowns and 529 yards of offense.
Sammy Watkins Is Back
After earning a reputation as the biggest freshman sensation of the 2011 season, Clemson WR Sammy Watkins has seen his production decrease during his sophomore year, partly due to a suspension and injury troubles.
Watkins showed what he's really capable of against NC State, however, as he caught 11 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
The star sophomore pass-catcher needs more efforts like that one in order to prove that he's still one of the best playmakers in the country.
Tobais Palmer Is an Explosive Playmaker
Sammy Watkins may have had one of his best performances of the season against NC State, but it was Wolfpack WR Tobais Palmer who put on the true show.
Palmer caught seven passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns and also averaged 34.6 yards on eight kick returns.
The senior finished the game with 496 all-purpose yards.
Mike Glennon's NFL Draft Stock Is Climbing
Mike Glennon showed that he could make all of the throws that NFL scouts want to see from a potential NFL franchise quarterback during his big passing performance against Clemson.
Glennon completed 29 passes for 493 yards and five touchdowns.
The prototypical pro-style passer has had an inconsistent senior campaign in 2012. But he could end up being considered the second-best quarterback prospect in the 2013 draft class behind Geno Smith when all is said and done.
David Amerson’s NFL Draft Stock Is Sinking
One NC State player who certainly didn't impress NFL scouts with his performance against Clemson was cornerback David Amerson.
Amerson was burned on numerous occasions, and overall, he just did not come close to looking like the Top 10 draft pick he was billed as during the summer.
The former All-American has not lived up to his initial hype, which is why he may have to seriously think about returning for his senior year and improving his declining draft stock.
Ohio State Should Be Playing in the BCS Championship Game
It's a shame that Ohio State isn't eligible for the postseason this year, because the Buckeyes have arguably looked like the best team in the country up to this point in the season.
Urban Meyer's team is 11-0 heading into its big game against Michigan, and it would be a perfect opponent for a team like Notre Dame in the BCS championship game.
QB Braxton Miller deserves an invitation to the Heisman ceremony, and Meyer deserves a ton of praise for the job he's done restoring the Buckeyes back to a national power in just his first year.
The Rutgers Defense Is Legit
Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
Rutgers went on the road and completely shut down Cincinnati in a crucial Big East battle, beating the Bearcats, 10-3, to improve to a perfect 5-0 in conference play.
The team's defense has been dominant all year long, and this past Saturday was certainly no different. The Scarlet Knights held Cincinnati's offense in check in numerous critical situations.
Following the supremely impressive defensive performance, the Scarlet Knights now rank fourth in the nation in scoring defense and 14th in total defense, allowing just 12.4 points and 312.6 yards per game.
The team's top-two defenders, LB Khaseem Greene and CB Logan Ryan, both appear destined to become high NFL draft picks. Plus, Greene has to be considered the clear favorite to win the Big East Defensive Player of the Year award for the second year in a row.
LSU Can Get the Job Done in Crunch Time
LSU has fallen apart in crunch time on more than a few occasions during the Les Miles era. However, the Tigers found a way to get the job done when it counted against Ole Miss on Saturday, pulling off a big 41-35 win at home.
Miles' squad didn't dominate the Rebels like many expected, but it did pick up the win to move to 9-2 and stay mathematically alive in the SEC West race.
Ole Miss Will Be a Team to Watch in 2013
Ole Miss has surpassed modest preseason expectations this season, winning five games and playing much better than the team we saw in 2011.
Coach Hugh Freeze and quarterback Bo Wallace have breathed new life into the Rebels, who definitely could emerge as a contender in the SEC West division in the coming years.
Vanderbilt Is the Best Team in Tennessee
Vanderbilt went into its game against Tennessee looking to beat the Volunteers for the first time since 2005. The Commodores accomplished that task in resounding fashion, destroying Derek Dooley's squad, 41-18, to the delight of the home fans.
QB Jordan Rodgers, RB Zac Stacy and WR Jordan Matthews all had outstanding performances.
This is just the second time since 1982 that the Commodores have reached the seven-win total, and they've still got two more chances to pick up victories this season.
The Derek Dooley Era Is over
The loss to Vanderbilt ended up being the nail in the coffin for Derek Dooley.
After starting the season 3-1, Tennessee has lost seven of its last nine games, including all seven games against SEC opponents.
Dooley's time with the Volunters can be simply summed up with his record against conference competition during his time in Knoxville: 4-19.
Tennessee needs to take a long, hard look at Louisville coach Charlie Strong, a former Florida assistant who helped build the Gators into a BCS champion.
Oklahoma State and Texas Tech Are Heading in Different Directions
Oklahoma State and Texas Tech both have seven wins at this point in the season, but these are two teams that are headed in opposite directions.
The Cowboys picked up their fifth win in the last six games by obliterating the Red Raiders, 59-21, in Stillwater.
Texas Tech has now lost three of its last four games, and it will have to finish the season against a Baylor team that is looking red hot after a big upset win over Kansas State.
Utah State Is the Best Team in the WAC
Louisiana Tech may have been the team that came into the game with a national ranking. But it was Utah State who proved which team was really the best team in the WAC with a statement 48-41 win over the Bulldogs in overtime on the road.
Aggies QB Chuckie Keeton was one of the top individual performers of Week 12, throwing for 340 yards and two touchdowns while also gaining 121 yards and scoring two touchdowns with his legs.
It Would Be Fun to See North Carolina and Penn State in the Postseason
North Carolina and Penn State are both banned from the postseason for two very serious, yet very different NCAA violations (technically, the Nittany Lions didn't violate any specific NCAA rules, but they were still given a four-year postseason ban anyway).
It's a shame that we won't get to see either team play in a bowl game this season, because both teams have a lot of quality players, including a few future pros.
Michigan State Is Officially a Massive Disappointment
Michigan State started off the 2012 season ranked No. 13 in both major polls. However, the Spartans have not come close to living up to preseason expectations.
Instead of winning the Big Ten Legends division for the second straight year, Michigan State has imploded, losing six games, including a defeat at the hands of Northwestern on Saturday.
With RB Le'Veon Bell, TE Dion Sims, DE William Gholston, CB Darqueze Dennard and LB Max Bullough all possibly leaving early for the NFL, who knows where the Spartans will stand heading into the 2013 season?
Ka’Deem Carey Can’t Be Stopped
A week after setting the Pac-12 single-game rushing record with 346 rushing yards against Colorado, Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey yet again showed that he can't be stopped with another outstanding performance against Utah.
Carey carried the 26 ball times, rushing for 204 yards and a touchdown, and he played a key role in the Wildcats' 34-24 victory.
Anthony Barr Is a Beast
In a game full of stars and future NFL players, the one player who stood out the most in the showdown between UCLA and USC at the Rose Bowl was Bruins LB Anthony Barr.
Barr has been an absolute beast this season, and he had one of his best games of the year against the Trojans, racking up three solo tackles, a sack and two pass breakups.
The highly athletic 6'4'', 235-pound junior is a former running back who is excelling in his first season at outside linebacker. Barr has truly put together an All-Pac-12 caliber campaign in 2012.
Don’t Jump off the Mississippi State Bandwagon Just Yet
Mississippi State went from 7-0 to 7-3 in the blink of an eye following consecutive losses to Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU. But the Bulldogs managed to bounce back in a big way by beating Arkansas, 45-15, on Saturday.
Dan Mullen's team is now 8-3 and it should be headed to a quality bowl game.
If they beat Ole Miss and win their bowl game, the Bulldogs will finish with 10 wins for the first time since 1999.
Ohio Is Falling Apart
There was a point in this season when Ohio was 7-0 and ranked in the Top 25, but those days seem long gone following a recent 1-3 stretch.
The Bobcats started out as the early favorite to win the MAC conference, but losses to Miami (Ohio), Bowling Green and Ball State have ended those hopes.
...And so Is Toledo
Toledo is another MAC team that has blown its chance to make it into the conference-championship game.
The Rockets were 8-1 and ranked in the Top 25 just a few weeks ago, but back-to-back losses to Ball State and Northern Illinois have cost them the chance to win the MAC West division.
Hopefully, the team will get a bowl invitation because Toledo deserves a chance to rebound and prove itself in the postseason.
Northern Illinois and Kent State Are the Best MAC Teams
There was a time when it looked like we were destined for an Ohio-Toledo MAC championship game, but instead, we'll be seeing Northern Illinois and Kent State battling it out in Detroit next Friday night.
Both teams are currently 10-1 and undefeated in league play, and both appear to be two of the best teams outside of the BCS conferences.
If things get really crazy in the final two weeks, we could potentially end up seeing one of them crash a BCS bowl.
Dri Archer Deserves Heisman Consideration
The MAC has never had a player finish higher than fourth in the Heisman voting, and that likely won't change this season. But the conference does have one special player, Kent State RB Dri Archer, who has put together a Heisman-caliber campaign in 2012.
Archer currently ranks fourth in the nation with 2,240 all-purpose yards and he's tied for second with 21 total touchdowns.
The versatile and dangerous game-changer ran for 241 yards and two touchdowns in the Golden Flashes' 31-24 win over Bowling Green.
He's played an integral role in Kent State's surprising 10-win season this year.
Michael Mauti Can't Avoid Injuries
Michael Mauti has never had the chance to live up to his full potential at Penn State due to multiple injuries. But Mauti was finally healthy and had the chance to prove himself in 2012, and he made the most of the opportunity.
The senior middle 'backer racked up 95 tackles and picked off three passes in 2012. Unfortunately, however, he was forced to leave this past Saturday's game against Indiana on a cart with what could be a serious knee injury.
It's so sad to see such a talented and hard-working young player get bitten by the injury bug so often.
Montel Harris Is Still Around
Former Boston College RB Montel Harris has managed to salvage his collegiate career at Temple this season. Harris has rushed for 948 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he had his best game ever against Army on Saturday.
The sixth-year senior set a single-game Big East rushing record with 351 yards and seven touchdowns.
It's performances like that one which will help Harris rebuild his credibility among NFL scouts.
Auburn Can Say It Beat a Team from Alabama in 2012
Auburn moved to 3-8 on Saturday when the Tigers beat Alabama A&M, 51-7.
Was the win enough to save Gene Chizik's job?
It's doubtful. But at least Auburn can say it beat a team from Alabama this season, because the Tigers don't stand a chance against their rival, the Alabama Crimson Tide, on Saturday.
Tulsa Is the Best Team in Conference USA
Tulsa proved its supremacy in Conference USA with a 23-21 win over Central Florida.
The Golden Hurricane are 9-2 overall and a perfect 7-0 in conference play this season.
The team will face SMU on Saturday before heading to the league-title game as the West division representative.
Denard Robinson Could Be a Solid Running Back in the NFL
Denard Robinson got a chance to demonstrate his running-back skills to NFL scouts when he lined up in Michigan's backfield against Iowa on Saturday.
Robinson didn't throw a pass due to a lingering arm injury, but he did rush for 98 yards on 13 carries (7.5 yards per carry).
The speedy signal-caller doesn't have the passing skills to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. However, he should still be a Day 2 pick in the 2013 NFL draft based on his explosive speed and ability to fill a variety of different roles, including Wildcat quarterback, running back, slot receiver and kick returner.
BYU Is an Underachiever
BYU had the talent to win 10 games and finish ranked in the Top 25 this season. But the Cougars have just not lived up to their preseason potential, as they've trudged to a 6-5 record.
Granted, they lost to some quality opponents such as Notre Dame, Oregon State, Boise State and, most recently, to a San Jose State team that is a lot better than it gets credit for. But this is a team that wanted to prove that it was the "Notre Dame of the West," and it certainly hasn't come close to doing that yet.
Oregon State Will Give Oregon a Tough Challenge
Oregon better regroup quickly following its disappointing 17-14 loss at home to Stanford on Saturday. The Ducks must make sure they have their full focus on in-state rival Oregon State in the Civil War, because the Beavers are a worthy adversary.
Oregon State beat Cal, 62-14, on Saturday to improve its record to 8-2.
Who knows what the Ducks' mindset will be after such a devastating loss, but one thing's for sure; the Beavers are going to come ready to play and ready to win.
Tavon Austin Deserves to Be a First-Round NFL Draft Pick
Tavon Austin is only 5'9'', 173 pounds, which obviously isn't very appealing to NFL scouts. What is appealing about Austin, however, is that he is a game-changer that can create big plays anytime he gets the ball in his hands.
The speedy senior pass-catcher showed off his field-stretching speed and playmaking ability against Oklahoma, catching four passes for 82 yards, rushing for 344 yards and two touchdowns and finishing with 572 total yards.
Austin is a receiver that would instantly make any NFL offense more explosive. Regardless of his smaller stature, he still has the chance to be a Wes Welker type of slot-receiving threat in the pros.
Lache Seastrunk Has Finally Arrived
Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
Lache Seastrunk arrived at Oregon back in 2010 as one of the top-rated prospects of the 2010 recruiting class, but things didn't exactly work out for Seastrunk in Eugene.
After transferring to Baylor in 2011 and sitting out all of last year, Seastrunk was rather quiet for most of this season, but he finally had a showcase performance against Kansas State on Saturday.
The former Duck rushed for 185 yards and a touchdown, and he was a big reason the Bears upset the Wildcats, 52-24.
Virginia Tech’s Bowl Hopes Are Still Alive
Many believed that Virginia Tech would win its third straight ACC Coastal division title this season. But instead, the Hokies have struggled to a 5-6 record in arguably the worst season ever in the Frank Beamer era.
Virginia Tech managed to keep its bowl hopes alive when it survived to beat a 2-9 Boston College team, 30-23, in overtime.
It might be time to let fading star quarterback Logan Thomas head off to the NFL, so Beamer could move on without the talented, yet highly inconsistent signal-caller.
The Mike Leach Experiment Is a Failure
When Mike Leach was announced as the head coach at Washington State, many around Pullman were so excited that someone else besides Paul Wulff was the head coach that they built up Leach to be a savior. So far, though, he's simply been the face of one of the most pitiful-looking teams in college football.
The Cougars are now 2-9 and 0-8 against Pac-12 opponents following another blowout loss to Arizona State this past weekend.
Just how bad is Washington State this year?
Leach's squad is the only team to lose to Colorado this season. The Buffaloes are 1-10 and rank 118th in the nation in total offense and 118th in total defense.
Even without getting into the Marquess Wilson abuse accusations, the Leach experiment has to be considered a failure just based on the on-field performance of his lousy team.
Duke Has Fallen Apart
It wasn't all that long ago that Duke was 6-2 and considered to be a legitimate contender in the ACC Coastal vision. However, the team has lost its last three games by an average score of 48-17.
The Blue Devils may be going to a bowl game for the first time since 1994, but they blew a great chance to win a wide-open division.
Southern Miss Is Historically Bad This Year
Southern Miss is the only winless team left in college football at this point in the season. The Golden Eagles dropped to 0-11 following a 34-33 loss to UTEP.
There aren't many teams that have gone from 12 wins to 12 losses in one year's time, but Southern Miss definitely has a chance to accomplish that rare feat this year.
Ellis Johnson's first year in Hattiesburg has been a full-blown disaster. It wouldn't be shocking to see him looking for a new job after this miserable season ends.
Ranking the Top 15 Heisman Contenders
1. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
2. WR Marqise Lee, USC
3. LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
4. QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State
5. QB Aaron Murray, Georgia
6. QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson
7. QB Collin Klein, Kansas State
8. RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
9. WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
10. RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon
11. QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
12. QB EJ Manuel, Florida State
13. DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
14. RB Dri Archer, Kent State
15. QB Brett Hundley, UCLA
Ranking the Top 10 BCS-Championship Contenders
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-0)
2. Georgia Bulldogs (10-1)
3. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1)
4. Florida State Seminoles (10-1)
5. LSU Tigers (9-2)
6. Oregon Ducks (10-1)
7. Kansas State Wildcats (10-1)
8. Texas A&M Aggies (9-2)
9. Florida Gators (10-1)
10. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10-1)
Ranking the Top 40 Prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft
Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
1. LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
2. QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
3. DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
4. LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
5. OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
6. DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
7. OG Chance Warmack, Alabama
8. DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
9. OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
10. RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
11. DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
12. DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
13. TE Gavin Escobar, San Diego State
14. OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama
15. DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
16. DT John Jenkins, Georgia
17. DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
18. QB Mike Glennon, NC State
19. CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
20. QB Matt Barkley, USC
21. OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
22. WR Keenan Allen, California
23. DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
24. LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
25. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
26. DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
27. CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
28. WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
29. LB Khaseem Greene, Rutgers
30. WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
31. FS Eric Reid, LSU
32. WR Robert Woods, USC
33. OG Barrett Jones, Alabama
34. QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
35. OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
36. FS Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
37. DE Tank Carradine, Florida State
38. TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
39. CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
40. QB EJ Manuel, Florida State
Ranking the Top 10 Hot-Seat Coaches
1. Jeff Tedford, California
2. Gene Chizik, Auburn
3. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
4. Jon Embree, Colorado
5. Skip Holtz, South Florida
6. Lane Kiffin, USC
7. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
8. Rich Ellerson, Army
9. Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss
10. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State