50 Things We Learned from Week 13 in College Football
Thanksgiving came and went, Texas A&M blew another lead, Michigan finally beat Ohio State and Ron Zook was fired at Illinois.
So what does it all mean?
Other than the incredible amounts of turkey aging cousins can consume, what did we learn this week in college football?
Here is a run down of the 50 things we learned from week 13.
Try to keep up.
50. Coleman Can Catch the Ball
Ever heard of Rutgers wide receiver Brandon Coleman?
If you said "no," you are not alone.
Before last weekend, he never gained more than 75 yards in a game and had only 243 receiving yards all season.
Then they faced UConn.
Coleman exploded for 223 yards on only six receptions, good for an average of 37.2 yards per, and he scored twice.
Hello, Brandon, welcome to the season.
49. Logan Thomas Is Pretty Good
For a guy who was going to play defense, Logan Thomas has developed into a pretty solid quarterback.
Virginia Tech has quietly sneaked along, until they are in position to take the ACC title yet again.
The maturity of Thomas and running back David Wilson will be tested in the ACC title game against a Clemson squad that limited them severely earlier in the season.
Judging from the performances Thomas has turned in over the past month, they will be ready for the Tigers.
48. Wisconsin Is Ready for Rematch
Wisconsin took Penn State's Rose bowl dreams, stomped on them and then ran away with them.
The final count: 45-7.
Now looms the biggest game of the Badgers season.
Their first loss came against Michigan State, in East Lansing, on a "Hail Mary" in the final seconds.
Guess who is waiting in Indianapolis for the rematch...
Wisconsin's O-line ran all over Penn State, limiting Devon Still and Jordan Hill all day long.
It will be interesting to see if the Badgers can duplicate that success against Jerel Worthy and the rest of the Spartan defense that tormented them back in October.
47. Oregon Is Still on Track for the Rose Bowl
The Ducks hit a few road bumps along the way, but now all that stands between them and the Rose Bowl is a miserable UCLA squad.
Sure, they had national title aspirations, but "The Grandaddy of them all" is no joke.
These Ducks are heading for another pretty successful season.
Now, if they could just figure out this whole uniform thing.
46. The Heisman Is Still a Popularity Contest
Why is Trent Richardson the supposed Heisman front-runner?
Don't give me this crap about playing against SEC defenses.
The only defenses in the league worth their salt are LSU and Alabama.
He hasn't scored the most, hasn't gained the most yards and isn't the guy that makes ridiculous plays every time he steps on the field.
However, he plays for Alabama, the press loves them and their fanbase is huge.
The Heisman is no more about the best player in football; it has become a career award given to the most recognizable name on the best team.
Sorry, Case, RGII, Russell and Montee, you guys may be breaking records and leading the nation, but you don't have the cachet that Richardson or Luck do.
45. Tom O'Brien Is Not a Fool
N.C. State head coach Tom O'Brien is a pretty wise man.
Earlier in the year, he asked quarterback Russell Wilson to leave the team if he was not going to focus on football.
Wilson wanted to continue playing minor league baseball, so he left for Wisconsin, and the rest of that is history.
While many questioned the wisdom of letting such a talented guy go, O'Brien knew what he was doing.
Wilson's replacement, Mike Glennon, showed why this move was beneficial for everyone against Maryland this weekend.
He accounted for six touchdowns, five through the air, in a thrilling comeback victory over Maryland.
44. Last Verse, Same Old Aggies
In what was the last meeting between these two rivals for a long time, the Texas A&M Aggies fell short yet again.
All season long, getting leads and holding them has been an issue, and this game was no exception.
I think it is safe to say, after the Aggies led twice in this game and fell after a 40-yard field goal, that faltering late is a trend with them rather than the exception.
Mike Sherman's seat is warming up, and it's not going to get cooler in the uber-competitive SEC.
43. Tulsa Can't Cut It
Forgive me, I was one that thought that Tulsa might be able to slow down Case Keenum and his traveling circus.
Boy, was I off.
They don't even deserve to carry Keenum's jock strap.
42. The Big East Is a Mess...Again
For the next presidential election, instead of this whole voting thing, let's make the candidates propose their plans to solve the Big East.
The conference is a conglomerate of barely above .500 teams vying for a conference championship and the automatic berth in a BCS bowl.
Forgive me if this does not seem entertaining.
Louisville, Cincinnati and West Virginia are all in the running to win the worst BCS conference in history and become the sacrificial lamb for someone like Michigan or Stanford.
41. Wildcats Got Game
All Tennessee had to do to become bowl eligible was knock off an opponent that had not beaten them since 1984.
For those of you trying to do the math, that's 26 attempts without a victory by Kentucky.
Not this time.
Kentucky came out with an effective gameplan and squeaked by the Vols, 10-7, ending Tennessee's bowl aspirations.
40. Rematches Are on Tap
If you are not a fan of seeing the same two teams play twice in one season, you are out of luck.
Michigan State/Wisconsin, Virginia Tech/Clemson and Alabama/LSU are three notable matchups that we are going to have either for a conference championship, or in a BCS game.
It's hard enough to beat a good team once, but to have to try and do it twice in once season is ridiculous.
39. Rivalries Rock
OK, so the Iron Bowl was a blowout, but "The Backyard Brawl was decided by one point, Michigan beat OSU by only six and Texas squeaked by Texas A&M on a last second field goal.
For the casual football observer (if there is such a thing), these were classics and vastly entertaining.
For those such as Clemson, Georgia Tech and Oregon State that found themselves on the wrong end of a pummeling in their rivalry games, there will always be next year...
38. Al Golden Has His Hands Full
This guy is not paid enough.
He was not told about the whole Nevin Shapiro mess before he was hired, so he had to deal with all kinds of issues there.
He recently signed a contract extension and appears to be ready to clean up the "U," but it's going to be a big job.
Miami can haul in some big recruits on name alone, so Golden has that going for him, but not much else right now.
37. Jerry Kill Is the Right Guy for the Job
It took a while, but Minnesota fans should rest assure that Jerry Kill was the right guy for their coaching vacancy.
Kill and the Gophers limped along to a miserable 3-9 record, but were at least competitive in many of those games and adjusted as the season went along.
The Gophers are on the right track, and a big win over a flailing Illinois squad to end the season should give Kill confidence going into spring practice.
36. Arizona State Sucks
The Sun Devils tantalized us earlier in the season, beating a ranked Missouri squad and USC, making us start to believe that they might be able to contend with Oregon in the Pac-12.
Then the wheels fell off.
The Devils barely managed bowl eligibility at 6-6.
They only further destroyed our belief in them by falling this past weekend to Cal.
This capped off a six-game stretch in which the Devils lost five games after starting the season 5-1.
35. George Thinks Urban Meyer Is in at OSU
Eddie George is one of the greatest football players to ever play at Ohio State university.
Apparently, he fancies himself as a bit of a prognosticator, as well.
George told ESPN: "I think the signs are there and it's definitely going to happen. I think he's the perfect fit. He's a coach that wants to be at Ohio State and has ties to Ohio State. He said Ohio State is his dream job."
He also stated: "I think it's a done deal".
We shall see.
34. TAMU Is Going to Struggle
The Aggies finished an incredibly disappointing season at 6-6, just scraping by the threshold for bowl eligibility.
For those of you who weren't already sure of this, their repeated losses after jumping out to big leads are only an omen of what is to come.
The SEC is a cruel unforgiving place, and the Aggies are going to find out how it feels playing the "little brother" role.
Oh wait, they already know how that feels.
33. The Big Ten Is Deep
The SEC may have the top two teams in the country, but after that, things drop off significantly.
The Big Ten, while not as top heavy, may be the deeper conference.
Ten of the 12 teams in the conference are bowl eligible, and every one of them has the potential of winning their bowl game.
Whether the conference is actually on the way back up or if this is a fluke will remain to be seen until after bowl season.
32. Chris Nwoke Can Tote the Rock
Where do these guys come from?
Nwoke only had two games this season where he broke the 100-yard mark before last Saturday.
In that game, against Air Force, he rushed for 269 yards, a 9.2 per carry average and two scores.
Saving the best for last?
31. The ACC Is in Trouble Come Bowl Season
The Big East gets a pretty bad rap for being the weakest BCS conference, but the ACC is not far behind.
Clemson, arguably the best the conference has to offer, just got spanked by the fifth best team in the SEC.
Georgia Tech also got blasted by an SEC foe.
It's going to be another long bowl season for fans of the ACC.
30. Early Leads Mean Little
What do Penn State, Pitt, Tulsa, Texas A&M, Wyoming, Iowa State and Miami all have in common?
They all lost last their last game.
They also all had the lead at the end of the first quarter.
Apparently, jumping on the opponent early is not the way to go.
29. James' Durability Becoming an Issue
LaMichael James is hurt again.
He left the Ducks game against Oregon State after suffering an apparent left elbow injury.
Should NFL scouts be concerned about his durability at this point?
28. UCLA Is in Trouble
UCLA is your Pac-12 South division champion this season thanks to USC being banned from postseason play.
The Bruins are horrible on defense, inefficient on offense and their coach is a joke.
Now they must travel to Autzen Stadium to face a tough Oregon squad in the conference title game.
This one is going to be uglier than the Bruins 50-0 loss to the real Pac-12 South champs, USC.
27. Melvin Ingram Is Still Terrorizing Quarterbacks
Melvin Ingram has established himself this season as a game-changing pass-rusher.
He has forced fumbles, scored off of fumbles and even returned a punt for a score.
Anyone who watched the Gamecocks thrashing of Clemson noticed that Ingram was in Tajh Boyd's grill all day long and caused all kinds of problems for SC's offensive line.
This guy will be a star on Sundays.
26. Arkansas Is Not Quite There
Let's be fair, Bobby Petrino's team has come far.
Their only losses this season are to the No. 1 and 2 teams in the country.
Tyler Wilson has played very well, and the defense has made even more progress this season after growing by leaps and bounds last year.
However, they are not quite to the point where they are ready to contend with the big boys in the SEC.
Both Alabama and LSU dispatched the Hogs with relative ease.
It will be interesting to see how Arkansas does against a non-conference foe in their bowl game.
25. Andrew Hendrix Should Have Started All Along
OK, maybe not, but he did provide quite a spark against Stanford for the Irish after Tommy Rees was turned into a human punching bag.
Hendrix contributed both of the Irish touchdowns, one through the air, and another one rushing in the waning seconds of the game.
The future looks bright at quarterback for Notre Dame.
24. John Brantley Is Awful
The man had three picks before getting knocked out of the game in the second quarter.
Florida State won the game primarily because of turnovers, and Brantley did his part to help contribute.
He has been on and off the field this season due to injury, and the Gators were clearly better with him on the field than off of it, but his tenure at Florida will not be remembered fondly.
23. Duke Should Stick to Basketball
Yep, it's official.
Duke should just stop trying.
It appeared that coach David Cutcliffe had the Blue Devils program heading the right direction, but after another miserable season, it's tough to say whether this is actually the case.
Their most recent loss came at the hands of basketball rival UNC and capped off a 3-9 season in ugly fashion.
22. Penn State's Stingy Defense Isn't Really All That Stingy
The Nittany Lions had not allowed more then 27 points to any opponent all season.
Then, they took on the most balanced offense they have faced.
After allowing 45 points in a game that determined who would play in the Big Ten championship game, PSU's defense has got to be wondering what went wrong.
21. Rex Burkhead Is a Workhorse
Rex Burkhead has been the most consistent piece of Nebraska's offense all season long.
Over the weekend, he proved he can carry whatever load is thrown on his back.
He toted the ball 38 times in the Huskers 20-7 win over Iowa.
He doesn't blow you away with his speed, but he lowers his head, keeps his legs going and gets the yardage that is needed on a regular basis.
If Nebraska is going to be successful in their upcoming bowl game, they will need Burkhead to continue his strong play.
20. Twitter Is Taking over the World
That is not a photoshopped image.
It is a Twitter hashtag painted on the endzone grass in place of the usual artwork.
The Mississippi State athletic department apparently is more technologically advanced than the rest of the college football universe.
19. Latavius Murray Has the Juice
For a guy that hasn't broken triple digits in a single game rushing this season, Murray was prety effective against UTEP in UCF's win.
He totaled 233 yards on the ground to go with two scores and rang up another one in the receiving game.
18. Barkley Returning?
Said Matt Barkley after his 35-of-42, 423-yard and six touchdowns night about the prospect of returning to USC: "I have no idea what I am doing next year. Tonight is too special to worry about that."
At some point he is going to make his decision, and will likely head to the NFL.
However, if there is even a modicum of hope for USC fans, they should hold onto that hope as tight as possible.
Barkley has been incredible over the last half of the season, and should be a major Heisman Trophy contender.
17. Auburn's Offense Couldn't Handle the Tide
It might have been Alabama's defense.
Or it could have been that Gus Malzahn had other things on his mind during the Iron Bowl.
Whatever the reason, it became clear that the Tigers are very one-dimensional, and when Michael Dyer gets shut down, they are in a world of hurt.
Against Alabama, the Tigers garnered just 140 yards of total offense.
That's 63 fewer than Trent Richardson managed, just rushing the ball.
16. Ron Zook Is Toast
Yep, it's official.
Just when we thought Ron Zook might do enough to keep his job past this season, he led his team to a miserable 0-6 finish, culminating in an embarrassing loss to hapless Minnesota.
Just watch, Zook will pop back on the coaching radar very soon.
15. Notre Dame, Still Overrated
Notre Dame has exactly one win on their resume that might be considered "good."
They beat a Michigan State team that had not quite gelled as of yet.
Other than that, they have faltered in every game they have played against a decent team.
After all the hype they received yet again, this is vastly disappointing.
The Irish capped off this pathetic excuse for a season with a loss to Stanford that was uglier than the score would indicate.
Yep, same old Irish...
14. Keshawn Martin Is Underrated
If you have never heard of this guy, it's because you don't watch the Spartans.
His ability to make guys miss in the open field and the speed he turns on afterwards is, dare I say, Hester-esque.
The Spartans want a shot at the Rose Bowl, and Martin is going to be the key, both in the return game and as a receiver against Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.
13. Bedlam Is for All the Marbles
Bedlam, by definition, is madness.
It's certainly going to be crazy this weekend, as Oklahoma managed to knock off Iowa State, meaning the big game is going to be a for the Big 12 title and a BCS berth.
Oklahoma State has a week off to prepare for the Sooners after their first loss, and I feel like that will be the difference.
Either way, make sure to record this one; it will be good.
12. Tyrann Mathieu Is Not a Flash in the Pan
You know those guys who burst on the scene, make some big plays in the first three games of the year and then disappear?
Tyrann Mathieu is not one of them.
The guy is a ball-hawk, ripping the rock away from the offense on a regular basis.
Against Arkansas, he ripped one away late in the game, and earlier, he had a punt return for TD.
Hearing people call him the "honey badger" gets a little old, as the name is just awkward, but he is legit.
11. RGIII Should Win the Heisman
Robert Griffin III is the best football player in the nation.
In spite of his early departure from the Bears game against Texas Tech, he managed to score three more times.
He has a higher passer rating than everybody except Wisconsin's Russell Wilson, and more total touchdowns and fewer interceptions than Andrew Luck against a tougher schedule.
Give the man some love.
10. Aaron Murray Is Primed for LSU
Georgia has it's most daunting task of the season ahead of them...score on LSU.
It will be interesting to see if Aaron Murray and his squadron of receivers can stay efficient agains ta stout LSU secondary.
Murray appears to be ready, torching Georgia Tech over the weekend for four touchdowns.
Bring on the "Honey Badger."
9. Luck...that Is All
Look, Andrew Luck is good.
While I feel that Robert Griffin should take home the hardware, even with his injury, Luck is likely going to be the quarterback that gets the most votes, and may even win the award.
It's tough to definitively argue that he shouldn't.
While the Cardinal could not win the Pac-12, Luck has still lead them to a potential BCS berth and put up some pretty gaudy numbers in the process.
8. Oklahoma Can Still Play Defense
Oklahoma got to take on Iowa State, a team coming off a thrilling upset over Oklahoma State.
And they shut them down.
Other than a fluke touchdown that defensive end Frank Alexander assisted on with his noggin, the Sooners held the Cyclones in check the entire day.
With injuries plaguing the offense, they will have to rely on the defense to slow Brandon Weeden and an explosive Cowboys offense in Bedlam.
They appear to be ready.
7. Brady Hoke Is the Man
Brady Hoke has done a great job of getting his system in place, as well as making his players believe in it, and it shows on the field.
While the Wolverines are no Alabama defensively, they have made huge strides, and are sitting pretty for a potential BCS at-large berth.
Throw in the fact that Hoke was able to lead the Wolverines to a win over OSU after too long as the losing side, and it looks like we have a winner.
6. David Shaw Is Not a Big Fan of the BCS
David Shaw has been a mild-mannered alternative to the departed Jim Harbaugh for Stanford.
Then somebody got him started about the BCS.
He hates it.
"Bottom line is, the BCS is flawed...They themselves know it, which is why they proposed a lot of changes going forward. All I've heard all year is the computers don't like Stanford. Well, the computers haven't programmed themselves."
Well said, coach, well said.
5. 'Bama Is Ready for the Tigers
Let's get this straight.
Alabama already lost to LSU, yet they may finish ahead of them in the BCS rankings if Georgia pulls off the upset?
Also, the Tide get an extra week to rest up and recover?
Yeah, that makes sense.
Anyway, the Tide are clicking on offense, and the defense is as stout as ever.
If they can find a kicker that can make a field goal once in a while, they will knock off the Tigers.
4. Montee Ball Should Be a Heisman Finalist
Montee Ball continued to add to his ridiculous touchdown total today with four against Penn State.
He has now scored a total of 34 times this season, second only to Barry Sanders' 39 back in 1988, and he still has the Big Ten Championship game and a bowl game to play.
Since they did not count bowl scores toward the record back in Sanders' day, some might say this number is a little tainted if Ball ties it.
However, consider this.
Sanders hit 39 in 373 attempts; Ball has 34 at a mere 248.
Why is this guy not getting more Heisman hype?
3. Big Ten Likely to Get Second BCS Berth
The Big Ten seems to find a way to put two teams in BCS bowls every year.
The champion of the conference plays in the Rose Bowl, while the at-large pick often ends up in the Sugar Bowl.
This year may be no exception.
Given the chaos that has reigned high in the rankings for two weeks, and the fact that Michigan finished the season with only two losses and will likely be inside the top 15 of the BCS at season's end, we will probably see them get an at-large berth.
Other than Ohio State fans, who wouldn't want to see more of "Shoelace?"
2. We Have an All-SEC BCS Title Game Coming Our Way
As much as nobody outside of the SEC wants to see a rematch of a sloppily played 9-6 snore-fest in the national title game, it's going to happen.
Last weekend was the final opportunity for Alabama and LSU to possibly take hits to their BCS credentials with losses, and it did not happen.
Even if LSU falls to Georgia, they appear to be so far ahead of everybody else in the BCS rankings that they will still be one of the top two teams.
Get set for more missed field goals and a 10-6 score in the BCS title game.
For all the haters out there, at least an SEC team will lose the title game this year, guaranteed.
1. Griffin Might Come Back
Robert Griffin III is not 100 percent certain he will go to the NFL after this season.
The seriousness of his head injury might help him to make a decision.
In a conference call early last week, he had this to say about his future:
"It's something I have to decide. I'll talk to Coach Briles, my family and anybody else out there I feel close to that could give me advice. I don't want it to be about money or draft status. I want it to be because it's the right time to go."
Keep your fingers crossed, Baylor fans.