Power Ranking the Top 10 Moments of Rivalry Weekend 2013
Rivalry weekend in college football almost never disappoints, and it failed to let us down once again. We witnessed record-breaking performances, upsets that will leave the losing team weeping for weeks and a jaw-dropping play with one second remaining that will be talked about for generations.
Hopefully you were tied to your couch and didn't miss a second of the action. But if you were out doing holiday shopping, were forced to attend a wedding or got stuck in an endless line of traffic, don't worry, we have you covered.
Here are the best college football moments of the weekend.
10. A Real Shootout
Fresno State and San Jose State probably wasn't real high on your list when putting together your Black Friday plans. And if you were out doing some holiday shopping, you missed a dandy.
The halftime score between those two teams was 42-41. Quarterbacks Derek Carr and David Fales threw for six touchdowns each in just 30 minutes of play. Folks who enjoy defense probably wouldn't have been thrilled, but this was an offensive lover's dream. There was a touchdown every time you blinked your eyes!
The San Jose State Spartans ended up pulling off the gigantic upset 62-52, and they became bowl-eligible as well.
9. Breaking Records
Not sure Northern Illinois has an actual rival, but who cares? Jordan Lynch continues to prove that he can't be ignored when it comes to the Heisman discussion.
In a win over Western Michigan to secure an undefeated regular season, the senior quarterback broke the single-game Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) rushing record for quarterbacks with 321 yards on the ground.
Guess who held the record previously? Some guy who goes by Lynch. He broke his own record just in case the first one of 316 yards wasn't already hard to top.
Whether you want to admit it or not, Lynch deserves some serious Heisman consideration.
8. Mississippi State Wins the Egg Bowl
Mississippi State needed just one more win in order to qualify for a bowl appearance. It had to come against a hot in-state rival in Ole Miss.
The Bulldogs were up to the challenge, as they received an inspiring performance from sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott. The defense also forced four turnovers, including a Bo Wallace fumble in overtime that sealed the game.
Winning the Egg Bowl is absolutely huge when it comes to recruiting purposes and bragging rights. But when it's the win that provides you with one extra game, it becomes that much more special.
7. Missouri Is Going to the SEC Championship!
Last season, Missouri won only five games—two in the conference—and fell short of a bowl game. The Tigers were the laughing stock of the SEC and many questioned why they even left the Big 12 for the powerhouse football conference.
Joke's on you.
With the Tigers' 28-21 win over Texas A&M, they not only beat Johnny Manziel in possibly his last regular-season game, but they locked up a spot to play for the SEC crown. That's right. Missouri has a chance to go from being a doormat to being considered one of the best teams in the land in just one season.
Did I mention that I love college football?
6. The Civil War
The Civil War was a real battle. Like always, Oregon came into the game as the heavy favorite, but Oregon State wasn't giving anything to its in-state rival.
The Ducks had to work hard for all 568 yards and 36 points. The Beavers defense rose to the occasion, and the offense surprisingly was able to grind out 545 yards of its own. It took a last-minute touchdown pass to Josh Huff for Oregon to pull away for good.
It's always nice to see rivals play well and make the game competitive when they're supposed to get blown out on paper. This was actually one of the more entertaining rivalry games of the weekend.
Who would have thought?
5. Penn State Shocks Wisconsin
Anybody have Penn State knocking off Wisconsin?
Didn't think so.
The Badgers were hoping to qualify for a BCS bowl and a 10-win season for the fourth time in five years. Nobody told the Nittany Lions they were supposed to lose. In fact, they had a 31-14 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
This victory is bigger than an upset on rivalry weekend; it provides hope to a program that was flatlined by NCAA sanctions. This was Penn State's bowl game and an opportunity to provide some type of happiness to the players before a long offseason.
Job well done.
4. The Kid Is Pretty Good
Zach Mettenberger went down with an injury at the worst possible time. Arkansas was surprisingly keeping up, and it was the quarterback's last game of his career at Tiger Stadium. So, with the game still up for grabs, LSU's coaching staff was forced to turn to freshman Anthony Jennings. He only had three passing attempts under his belt.
Good luck with that.
Luckily for him, Travin Dural was able to find himself wide-open downfield. Jennings threw a beautiful football his way and allowed the freshman to run underneath it for the 49-yard score. From freshman to freshman.
Improbable plays like this make college football so great.
3. Duke Did It!
It's no secret that Duke is a basketball school, and it will probably remain that way until the end of time. But this year, basketball can wait.
With a win over rival North Carolina, the Blue Devils secured a spot in the ACC Championship Game. They also won 10 games for the first time in program history. Just a few years ago, Duke struggled to win four or five games. Forget double-digit wins and a bowl game; you'd be lucky if folks could name 10 players on the team.
Head coach David Cutcliffe deserves all the credit in the world, as he did the impossible and continues to do the most with the least. I'm not sure a date with Florida State is going to end well, but it doesn't matter at this point. It's already been a season for the ages.
2. Michigan's Gamble
If you're a Michigan fan, look away. This wasn't the greatest moment for you, but it was wonderful for folks who didn't have a dog in the fight.
Michigan went toe-to-toe with Ohio State when a majority of the college football world thought the game would be a blowout. With a score in the final minute, one of the sport's biggest rivalries was sure to go into overtime. That's when head coach Brady Hoke decided to go for the win with a two-point conversion attempt.
It's one of those calls that make you a genius if it works or a little loony if it doesn't. Devin Gardner threw the ball into double-coverage, and Tyvis Powell came up with the interception to put the game on ice.
Let the questioning begin.
1. I Don't Believe What I Just Saw
Speechless. It's one of those plays that you'll remember where you were, who you were with and everybody's reaction to what just happened. For a few seconds I swear time froze.
When Chris Davis caught the ball in the back of the end zone, nobody expected him to go 100-plus yards for the touchdown. Ah, he may get to the 30-yard line or even midfield, but one of those big Alabama offensive linemen is going to bring him down for sure.
Once he passed everybody and had a wall of blockers, you had no choice but to rewind the footage.
Wait, he didn't just do that, right?
Incredible. By far the greatest play of the season. It may be the greatest college football play of the last decade given the magnitude of the game. I feel sorry for Alabama fans, because it's a play that they're going to see until the end of time.