College football saw two possible national title contenders fall in week 10. Undefeated teams largely took care of their opponents this week as well.
Week 10 saw some teams solidify their bowl hopes, while other teams' bowl hopes took a big hit. Two teams' bowl hopes took a hit and landed their coaches on very hot seats.
The Heisman race is wide open, but three players might have made their case for the award.
We take a look back at week 10 and touch on the effects on each team's bowl hopes. The teams we will look at have a mathematical chance even if they do not get a bowl bid.
Let’s take a look at week 10, Heisman hopes, and bowl dreams.
Iowa runs out of magic against Northwestern and other Big Ten games
The Hawkeyes had been living on the edge each week in college football. Iowa had trailed in eight of their nine wins.
Iowa looked good as they raced out to an early 10-0 lead. Northwestern was playing backup quarterback Dan Persa, and starter Mike Kafka, who had suffered a hamstring injury, was playing as well.
The game changed when Ricky Stanzi was sacked in the end zone. Stanzi fumbled the ball as he was sacked by Corey Wootton, and the ball was recovered by Marshall Thomas to cut the lead to 10-7.
Stanzi was injured on the sack with a leg injury, and his replacement, James Vandenberg, had only thrown three passes all year. The close games Iowa was playing did not allow Vandenberg to get much playing time, and it showed.
His first pass after replacing Stanzi was intercepted by Quentin Davie. Northwestern did what other teams have not done, which was make Iowa pay for the turnover.
Persa used the pick to throw a touchdown to take a 14-10 lead. The Wildcats added a field goal to take a 17-10 lead after Persa suffered an injury to his throwing hand.
Northwestern had to play Kafka, who could not run very much because of the hamstring injury but could throw the ball effectively. Iowa was not able to mount a final drive to win the ball game.
The Hawkeyes could point to the injury of Stanzi or calls that could have gone their way for the loss, but the real reason Iowa lost was four turnovers.
Two turnovers committed by Stanzi, a fumble and an interception, led to Northwestern points. Overall the Hawkeyes had four turnovers in the second quarter, which kept them from blowing out Northwestern early.
Even with the loss, the Hawkeyes can still represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl. All Iowa has to do is beat Ohio State and they can smell the roses. The win also made Northwestern bowl eligible with the necessary six wins.
Ohio State took some pressure off Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor with a 24-7 win over Penn State. After a loss to Purdue, the Buckeye faithful questioned Pryor as the starting quarterback.
Pryor completed eight of 17 passes for 125 yards with two touchdown passes. He also rushed five times for 50 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, Pryor had no turnovers.
Tressel was questioned for his play calling after the loss to USC and for playing Pryor after the Purdue loss. Winning fixes everything now that the Buckeyes have a chance to play for the Rose Bowl.
If the Buckeyes win against Iowa and play in the Rose Bowl, all will be forgiven until the outcome of that game. If Ohio State loses to Iowa, then all the questions about the Buckeyes will start once more.
Illinois kept its bowl hopes alive after beating a struggling Minnesota team. Strangely, all this team needed to start winning was to know that Ron Zook would be back next season.
The Illini will have to keep winning without Juice Williams, who suffered an ankle injury. The Gophers were once 4-2 and are now just a 5-5 team struggling to win the required six games.
Speaking of struggling, Michigan State had no struggles against Western Michigan. The Spartans improved to 5-5 with the win.
Alabama beats LSU to set up de facto BCS title game against Florida and other SEC games
The Crimson Tide had two weeks to prepare for LSU and get healthy as well. Alabama was playing for a right to meet the Florida Gators in the SEC title game.
LSU struck first and was able to take 7-3 lead into the half. The Tigers were unable to take advantage of a Tide safety and a touchdown in the third quarter.
Alabama was able to get two Greg McElroy touchdown passes from their much-maligned quarterback. McElroy’s 71-yard touchdown to star receiver Julio Jones finished off the Tigers.
While LSU saw an injury to quarterback Jordan Jefferson hurt their chances to win the game, the real injury that hurt the Tigers was Charles Scott breaking his collarbone.
Jarrett Lee, who replaced Jefferson, saw a lot of playing time last season. Before Scott was injured, he had rushed for 83 yards on 13 rushes. The Tigers could not muster a running game for the rest of the ball game.
The Tide won the SEC West with the 21-15 win over the Tigers. Now Alabama has to avoid an upset in their final three games before their fourth trip to Atlanta in two years.
Florida had little trouble with Vanderbilt in week 10. The Gators got 208 yards passing on 15 of 20 attempts from Tim Tebow. Tebow threw for a touchdown and ran another score in himself.
The Gators, whom historically have trouble with the Commodores, had the game in hand for the whole game. The rushing game left a lot to be desired as Florida only ran for 148 yards as a team.
The good news for Florida is that they did not commit a turnover in the game against Vanderbilt. After a couple of sloppy games with handling the ball, the Gators took care of the football.
The Gators will meet Alabama in the SEC title game having already clinched the East division. Still the main goal of Florida this season is to finish undefeated for the first time in school history and win back-to-back national championships.
The only other game featuring a conference matchup saw Arkansas and Ryan Mallett have little trouble against South Carolina. Mallett completed 23 of 27 passes for 329 yards and rushing for a score. The Razorbacks' passing game helped set up three other rushing touchdowns.
The Gamecocks wasted a great passing effort by Stephen Garcia. Garcia completed 20 of 34 passes for 327 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown to give South Carolina a 16-10 lead.
The Gamecocks would be shut out the rest of the way and lose 33-16 to an Arkansas team that needed the win to help its bowl chances.
Tennessee wasted little time beating up on in-state rival Memphis to raise their record to 5-4. The Volunteers only need one more victory in their last three games to become bowl eligible.
Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Auburn all feasted on FCS teams in week 10.
The Wildcats were able to get an easy win over Eastern Kentucky. Mississippi was able to beat up on Northern Arizona after a slow start. The Tigers wasted little time putting away Furman.
Georgia Tech kept its slim BCS title hopes alive and other ACC games
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead against Wake Forest in the first quarter. The second quarter was a whole other affair with the Demon Deacons scoring 17 unanswered points to take a 17-10 halftime lead.
Georgia Tech would battle back in the third quarter to take a 24-17 lead. Riley Skinner of Wake Forest completed 26 of 40 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. The last touchdown tied the game at 24-24 to force overtime.
The Demon Deacons kicked a field goal in their overtime possession. The Yellow Jackets were saved in the overtime period by Josh Nesbitt, who rushed for the game-winning touchdown. Nesbitt rushed for 54 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns overall.
The star for Georgia Tech was Jonathan Dwyer, who had a career day with 23 carries for 189 yards. The win kept the Yellow Jackets in first place in the ACC Coastal division and, with a lot of help, in contention for a possible BCS title.
Duke had a chance to win four straight ACC games and keep pace with Georgia Tech in the division. To do so, the Blue Devils needed to beat in-state rival North Carolina.
This was the first time in 15 years that these teams had met with winning records. The Tar Heels used a career rushing day by Ryan Houston, who ran for 164 yards, and a suffocating defense to top Duke.
The win by the Tar Heels was the 19th in 20 meetings with the Blue Devils. The 19-6 game featured only one touchdown, scored by Jheranie Boyd for the Tar Heels.
The loss by Duke did open the door for one ACC team. Miami, with its win over Virginia, now still has hopes of a division title. They have to win out and need the Blue Devils to beat Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes then must beat Duke.
Clemson kept its hold on the ACC Atlantic division with a win over Florida State. The Tigers only have to win their final two conference games to win the division. The loss put the Seminoles in dire straits for a winning season and a bowl.
Virginia Tech was able to break a two-game losing streak, beating C-USA foe East Carolina. The Hokies became bowl eligible with the win. The Pirates lost only a chance to upset a ranked team at home but still lead their division in conference.
North Carolina State kept its bowl hopes alive with a win over Maryland. The Wolfpack win ended any hopes for a postseason appearance by the Terrapins. The road for NC State is not impossible but will be hard.
Texas keeps marching on to Pasadena and other Big 12 games
The Longhorns started very slowly against Central Florida, falling behind 3-0 early. Texas took over from that point, scoring 35 unanswered points.
Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley both had career days. Shipley’s day was even more special in setting a school record for receiving yards. He had 11 catches for 273 yards and a touchdown.
McCoy had a career high against the Knights, throwing for 470 yards and completing 33 of 42 passes. Just three yards kept McCoy from tying the record and four yards from breaking the record held by Major Applewhite.
Texas only has to avoid a pothole on the road to the national championship game. The greatest threat to the Longhorns could be their in-state rivals in the final game of the regular season.
Dan Hawkins helped save his job and the Colorado Buffaloes kept their postseason hopes alive with a win over Texas A&M. The Aggies' loss put a damper on their bowl hopes this season.
Kansas State is the only team that seems to want to win the Big 12 North. The Wildcats beat their in-state rival Kansas Jayhawks. The North division could come down to the final week of the season.
Nebraska used a dominating defense to upend Oklahoma at home. The Cornhuskers kept their Big 12 North title hopes alive with the win. The Sooners' disappointing season continued and left them still searching for their sixth win.
Oklahoma State bounced back from their drubbing by Texas by spanking Iowa State. The Cyclones have been a surprise this season and have two games left to get to six wins. The Cowboys need the Longhorns to slip twice if they want to win the Big 12 South.
Baylor kept their postseason hopes alive with a win over Missouri. The Bears still need wins if they hope to go bowling. The Tigers missed a perfect chance against an injury-ridden team to get six wins.
Cincinnati starts the meat of their season with a win over UConn and other Big East games
The Bearcats turned to their backup quarterback to keep them perfect after the injury to starter Tony Pike. Zach Collaros, the Cincinnati backup quarterback, helped keep his team's BCS title hopes alive.
Collaros piled up 555 yards in total offense with 480 passing yards on 29 of 37 attempts and one touchdown. He also ran for another 75 yards and ran for two more scores.
The Bearcats needed every yard, as they jumped out to a big lead but the Huskies battled back. Connecticut, down by 20 points twice, battled all the way back to just needing a two-point conversion to tie the game.
The Huskies have been playing with a heavy heart since the murder of teammate Jasper Howard. UConn has lost five games by a total of 15 points this season.
The Bearcats are off to their best start since 1951.
Cincinnati faces the meat of their schedule the final three weeks of the season. This team faces a tough West Virginia team, a resurgent Illinois team, and a one-loss Pittsburgh team to finish the season.
The Bearcats will get some help in the SEC title game but need a Big 12 team to beat Texas if they hope to play for a title.
Pittsburgh had little trouble against Syracuse and stayed undefeated in conference play. The Panthers only have to keep winning to set up a one-game playoff for the Big East title. The Orange are an improved team but still have some work to do to become a top team in conference.
West Virginia kept their Big East title hopes alive with a win over Louisville. The Mountaineers only need to win out to represent the conference in a BCS game. The Cardinals have seen their program go from one of the best in the country to one of the worst in just three years.
Stanford’s win over Oregon keeps the Pac-10 wide open
The Cardinal started off fast against the Ducks and then held on for a win, 51-42. Stanford jumped out to a 31-14 halftime lead over Oregon.
The Ducks suffered a letdown after the big win over USC the previous week. By the time Oregon was able to get rolling it was too late.
Jeremiah Masoli passed for 334 yards on 21 of 37 attempts with three touchdowns. He also rushed 10 times for 55 yards and a score as well. LaMichael James had another nice game with 125 yards on 18 attempts.
The stars for Stanford stole the show for the Cardinal. Andrew Luck completed 12 of 20 passes for 251 yards and two scores. Toby Gerhart ran his way into the record books, setting a school record with 223 yards on 38 carries and adding three touchdowns.
Stanford still has a chance to go to the Rose Bowl but will need some help. They can help themselves out by beating USC this week.
Arizona is the only other team besides Oregon to control its own fate. The Wildcats took care of a Washington State team that has no hope of a postseason bid. The Cougars can play spoiler at the end of the season. Arizona only has to win out to win the Pac-10.
Oregon State kept its slim conference title hopes alive with a win over California. The Beavers need help if they want to win the Pac-10. The Bears are happy that their star running back Jahvid Best was not seriously injured leaping into the end zone in the second quarter.
USC kept any hope of a conference title alive with a win over Arizona State. The Trojans offense struggled but had just enough to win, but they still need help to keep their streak of Pac-10 titles going. The Sun Devils' bowl hopes took a hit with the loss.
UCLA kept their bowl hopes alive and dealt a major blow to Washington’s postseason life. The Huskies need to win three straight to even get bowl eligible. The Bruins need two more wins to get the magical six wins.
Coaches on the hot seat
Two coaches have already been shown the door after week 10. Tommy West of Memphis and David Elson of Western Kentucky were both fired this week.
There are other coaches on the hot seat. Here is a look at some who could be on the hot seat. Coaches who are in danger of being fired are Mark Richt and Gene Chizik in the SEC, Steve Kragthorpe in the Big East, Dan Hawkins in the Big 12, Ron Zook in the Big Ten, and Al Groh in the ACC.
There are two coaches getting the biggest push out the door in week 10. Rich Rodriguez at Michigan and Charlie Weis at Notre Dame both could be fired this season.
The Wolverines started out by winning their first four games. They are 1-5 since that 4-0 start. The latest blow came when Purdue won in the Big House for the first time since 1966.
Michigan and Rich Rod have games against Wisconsin and Ohio State to become bowl eligible. The coach himself said not going to a bowl this year would be a disappointment to this team. Another losing season looks more likely than a bowl bid.
Weis got himself back on the hot seat after losing to a very good Navy team. The Irish believed this was the season they returned to the BCS.
The loss dropped Notre Dame from the top 25 and was the second loss to the Midshipmen in three years. Weis’ team is still 6-3 and bowl eligible and can raise their stock the next three weeks.
Weis and the Irish play big games against Pittsburgh, Connecticut, and Stanford. All three games could go either way. If the Irish sweep, look for Weis to keep his job, but anything less than a 2-1 finish will doom him.
Everyone knows about the top three candidates for the Heisman Trophy. To help out anyone who is looking for players beyond the top three who belong in the discussion, here are the numbers.
The Big Three
Tim Tebow: 1,531 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, four interceptions, 578 rushing yards, nine touchdowns
Colt McCoy: 2,447 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, nine interceptions, 151 rushing yards, one touchdown
Mark Ingram: 1,148 rushing yards, eight touchdowns, 216 receiving yards, three touchdowns
Here are three other players who should be in the discussion and one dark horse that could win it all. These players all have a chance to overtake the top three favorites.
Case Keenum: 3,815 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, five interceptions, 95 rushing yards three touchdowns
Before you say Keenum plays in C-USA, remember that he and Houston are 3-0 against BCS teams. Keenum has beaten two Big 12 teams and one SEC team. Except for a slip-up against UTEP, this team would be undefeated. Keenum has put up video game numbers and could be the best quarterback in the draft if he leaves early.
Toby Gerhart: 1,217 rushing yards, 16 touchdowns, 78 receiving yards
Gerhart can steal the Heisman this season. Stanford is playing their biggest games of the season late. He had a big game against Oregon and has USC, California, and Notre Dame to put up big numbers against.
If the Cardinal can win their final three games and Gerhart can play a big part, he has to become a leader. Gerhart has rushed for over 100 yards in every game but two this season.
C.J. Spiller: 739 rushing yards, five touchdowns, 334 receiving yards, three touchdowns, 191 punt return yards, one touchdown, 530 kick return yards, three touchdowns
Spiller could be the biggest game changer in college football. He is a threat in every phase of the offensive game. Clemson has two games left and could play in the ACC title game plus a bowl game. The Tigers are leading their division mainly because of the work Spiller has done. He should be a top vote getter for the Heisman.
The Dark Horse
Ryan Mathews: 1,459 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns, 112 receiving yards
Mathews has rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season. He has a chance to reach the 2,000-yard mark in his final three games of the season. Fresno State plays Nevada, Louisiana Tech, and Illinois to end the season.
If Mathews could reach the 2,000-yard mark, he would be the eighth player in FBS to reach that mark. Five of the eight players went on to win the Heisman.
Before you say Mathews has racked up yardage against weak opponents, look at the Bulldogs' schedule. Mathews has gone over 100 yards against Wisconsin, Boise State, and Cincinnati. Both the Broncos and the Bearcats are undefeated, and the Badgers have only lost two games.
Mathews is not widely known but should be for the work he is doing on the field and should get votes if he breaks the 2,000-yard mark.
The college football season is slowly coming to a close. Boise State and TCU still have their hopes to be BCS busters alive with wins in week 10.
The rest of the season will see teams trying to become bowl eligible, spoilers, and jockeying for bowl positions. The best part of the season is heating up, so enjoy week 10 but focus on week 11.
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