Week 11 was filled with BCS title hopes shattered and division races tightening up.
Thursday night showcased two Top 10 matchups with BCS implications on the line. While No. 6 Baylor dismantled No. 10 Oklahoma 41-12 to keep its undefeated season intact, No. 3 Oregon was not able to win against division rival No. 5 Stanford.
The Ducks' high-octane offense was shut down by a physical Cardinal defense. A Stanford offense that had been inconsistent this season also controlled the clock and ran all over the Oregon defense with senior running back Tyler Gaffney, who rushed for 157 yards and one touchdown.
It took until the fourth quarter for the Ducks to finally score its first points of the game. Oregon also didn't begin to make a comeback until there were only five minutes remaining in the game. Oregon returned a rare field-goal block for a 65-yard touchdown and scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Pharaoh Brown because of a recovered onside kick.
The comeback was not enough though, as Stanford potentially ruined the Ducks' BCS title hopes for a second year in a row.
On Saturday, Kansas State knocked No. 25 Texas Tech out of the Big 12 title race by blowing the Red Raiders out 49-26 in Lubbock, while Texas survived a scare at West Virginia in a 47-40 shootout overtime victory to stay undefeated in conference play.
The Big Ten saw Nebraska ruin Michigan’s 19-home game winning streak with a 17-13 win. With that win, Nebraska keeps itself in the Big Ten Legends Division race. A win over current division leader Michigan State this upcoming week could give them its second consecutive division title.
While No. 2 Florida State locked up the ACC Atlantic Division with a convincing 59-3 win over Wake Forest, the ACC Coastal Division has become interesting yet again with Virginia Tech’s 42-24 win over Miami (Fla.).
All one can say is "here we go again with the ACC Wheel of Destiny," as seen on ESPN’s College Football Final. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Duke and Miami (Fla.) are all in the running to play for the ACC Championship in Charlotte on Dec. 7.
Overall Record: 78-32
Week 11 Record: 6-4
Note: Team in bold indicates author’s pick
Prediction: Baylor 42, Oklahoma 35
Result: Baylor 41, Oklahoma 12
Prediction: Oregon 41, Stanford 24
Result: Stanford 26, Oregon 20
Prediction: Michigan 41, Nebraska 27
Result: Nebraska 17, Michigan 13
Prediction: UCF 35, Houston 31
Result: UCF 19, Houston 14
Prediction: Alabama 27, LSU 21
Result: Alabama 38, LSU 17
Prediction: Texas Tech 35, Kansas State 28
Result: Kansas State 49, Texas Tech 26
Prediction: Minnesota 31, Penn State 27
Result: Minnesota 24, Penn State 10
Prediction: Wisconsin 34, BYU 24
Result: Wisconsin 27, BYU 17
Prediction: Arizona State 41, Utah 28
Result: Arizona State 20, Utah 19
Prediction: Miami (Fla.) 24, Virginia Tech 21
Result: Virginia Tech 42, Miami (Fla.) 24
The fourth BCS Standings were released Sunday night. Here are the current Top 10:
1. Alabama .9958
2. Florida State .9619
3. Ohio State .8926
4. Stanford .8689
5. Baylor .8618
6. Oregon .7665
7. Auburn .7206
8. Clemson .7200
9. Missouri .7118
10. South Carolina .5584
Current Bowl Projections
BCS National Championship (Pasadena, Calif.)
Alabama vs. Florida State
Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)
Ohio State vs. Stanford
Fiesta Bowl (Glendale, Ariz.)
Baylor vs. Fresno State
Sugar Bowl (New Orleans)
Auburn vs. UCF
Orange Bowl (Miami)
Clemson vs. Oregon
The ACC Coastal Division is in a state of disarray for a second consecutive year. With Virginia Tech’s decisive victory over Miami (Fla.), the division is up for grabs now.
These are the current standings for the ACC Coastal Division:
Conf. W-L Overall
Georgia Tech 5-2 6-3
Virginia Tech 4-2 7-3
Duke 3-2 7-2
Miami (Fla.) 3-2 7-2
North Carolina 3-3 4-5
Pittsburgh 2-3 5-4
Virginia 0-6 2-8
Notice which team is sitting tight in the race that one would not expect to be there. Yes, the Fighting (David) Cutcliffe’s of Duke are a true contender to win the division. A school which prides itself in basketball is now a school that could suddenly be known for football as well.
The Blue Devils went to their first bowl game since 1995 last season and have gained momentum this season by already winning seven games for the first time since that 1994-95 season.
Duke is on a five-game winning streak and would win in a tiebreaker against Virginia Tech, who it defeated 13-10 on Oct. 26.
The Blue Devils lost to Georgia Tech earlier in the season 38-14, but the Yellow Jackets must travel to No. 8 Clemson this upcoming Saturday and could suffer their third loss in conference play. A loss for Georgia Tech would mean if Duke wins out, it would win the Coastal Division.
We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves though, Duke will have its own difficult task of knocking off Miami (Fla.) at home this Saturday.
If the Blue Devils are able to defeat the Canes, its final two regular-season games would be manageable at Wake Forest and rival North Carolina.
So far this season, the Duke offense, led by wide receiver Jamison Crowder (903 yards and four total touchdowns), has averaged 33.4 points per game, while the defense has held opponents to 22.2 points per game and converted 2.0 takeaways per game.
With a lot on the line for this up-and-coming program, will 10 wins and an ACC Championship Game birth be possible?