There were four unbeaten National Championship contenders entering week 11, but only three of them came out with their records still unscathed and the one that fell was the one everyone thought was untouchable.
Notre Dame, Oregon and Kansas State all rolled on to perfect 10-0 records this week after watching #1 ranked Alabama lose its first game of the season at home to #15 Texas A & M 29-24. A & M is now 8-2 in its first season in the SEC, but will be best known to every other team in the country as the team that knocked off the mighty Crimson Tide.
Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel impressed on the national stage, leading his team to victory against the best team in the land. Manziel completed 24 of 31 throws for 253 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 92 yards.
The loss for Alabama doesn’t put them completely out of title contention, but now it will need some serious help in the form of losses from at least two of the current unbeaten teams.
Kansas State thought it might have been in danger this week on the road at TCU and possibly without its star QB and Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein. Klein, who ended up starting, didn’t put forth his best performance, but it was enough to lead the Wildcats to a 23-10 win yesterday. We will have to wait to see if the win was enough to vault them into the number one spot, but regardless, the Cats are in good position to make a run for the title game.
Oregon’s undefeated season was also in jeopardy early in its game on the road against Cal, but in a split second, the high-powered Ducks offense flipped the on-switch and went on a tear, blowing out the Bears in the second half en route to a 59-17 win. Freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota tied an Oregon school record with six passing touchdowns.
Notre Dame was also on the road this week against 2-7 Boston College, but a rivalry game posed as potential upset material. However, the Irish continued their good fortune and prevailed 21-6 over the Eagles. Quarterback Everett Golson accounted for all three Irish touchdowns with two through the air and one on the ground.
Alabama should drop to #4 in the BCS standings, but it will be interesting to see where the other three teams land. Oregon’s second half performance might have been enough to place them at number one, but maybe Kansas State will hold their position over Oregon and get the nod.
Next week, all three teams will be favored, but Oregon has the toughest game of the three as it will play Stanford. Meanwhile Notre Dame and K State should get by Wake Forest and Baylor respectively. When the point spreads come out, we’ll have some picks for you later in the week.