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College Football Top 10 -- Week 6
by Wayne Root - 10/04/2012
1) Alabama---There was a panic that hung over the entire stadium last Saturday night. No.1 Alabama actually trailed for a change, a predicament that lasted a grand total of 15 seconds. The Tide trailed briefly, 7-6, for the first time in regulation since last year's Tennessee game, a span of about 10 games. Saban had tried to keep his players focused by broadcasting Tim Tebow's memorable speech after the Rebels upset Florida four years ago. Alabama goes into its open week without needing such a podium prompter. Meanwhile, it was a 33-17 win. That was almost a bye for 'Bama- a restful walk in the park. This is their real bye week.
2) Oregon---This is a very good team. I hope that they get to play Bama at season's end. They have scored over 50 points in both conference games to start their year. This game was played at the home of the Seattle Seahawks which Washington St does once a year, and the Ducks put on a show to 60,000 fans that usually do not watch a Washington State game. Now they host Washington, a team coming off a Stanford win and need to stay focused on the game at hand. The defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, a former Oregon player, is focused on stopping the Ducks. I say "good luck". This Duck team can put up 50 points without even quacking!!
3) Florida State---A hangover effect or a minor letdown was expected after the Clemson win and hitting the road for the first time this year. South Florida kept is close, but the Noles prevailed in the end: 30-17. EJ Manuel threw for 242 yards and one touchdown, helping the third-ranked Seminoles remain unbeaten. FSU entered the game averaging 575 yards and 56 points per game. Manuel completed 19 of 26 passes with no interceptions and Dustin Hopkins kicked three field goals for Florida State. Jumbo Fisher gets a second road game this week as his boys play at North Carolina St.
4) LSU---I'm embarrassed for the entire Bayou State. Mighty LSU beat Towson in the Paycheck Bowl, 38-22. LSU paid Towson $510,000 to travel to Baton Rouge's Tiger Stadium, which seats more than 92,000 people and is considered one of the nation's most difficult places to play. How does Towson score 22 points on LSU's defense? Zach Mettenberger is a problem at QB. The offensive line allowed four Towson sacks. Some thought the Auburn game was a wake-up call. Now this mess, before they travel this week to play Florida. Five of LSU's first six drives ended with three punts, a fumble and a missed 51-yard field goal attempt last Saturday night.
5) Georgia---What a game last week against Tennessee. The Bulldogs won 51-44. This game had it all. Forget the numbers, throw out the stats and enjoy the narrative of the contest. Georgia recovered after blowing a 17-point lead. They needed three takeaways in the final six minutes to stay unbeaten. The game was a special teams mess for both sides. There were three missed extra points, including two by Georgia. The Bulldogs blocked a punt and Tennessee's Derrick Brodus missed a 28-yard field goal. The Vols' only touchdown in the first quarter came on Byron Moore's 35-yard interception return. Tennessee capitalized on lost fumbles by Murray and Marshall and other mistakes for 20 unanswered points to take the lead. The deluge of mistakes continued for Georgia when Gurley caught the kickoff and stepped out of bounds at the 1. Four plays later, Marshall fumbled when hit by Curt Maggitt. Defensive end Darrington Sentimore recovered at the Georgia 18. Now for the bad news. Georgia travels to play at #6 South Carolina.
6) South Carolina---The Gamecocks defeated Kentucky 38-17 last week in SEC play. What's interesting about this game is that UK lead 17-7 at half-time. Even a coach who loves passing as much as Steve Spurrier knows there are times his South Carolina team must run the ball to win games. Trailing 17-7 at halftime and held to just 26 yards on the ground, South Carolina out rushed Kentucky 174-7 in the second half and scored 31 unanswered points for a 38-17 victory. Marcus Lattimore rushed 23 times for 120 yards and two second-half touchdowns and Kenny Miles added a 17-yard run as the Gamecocks scored on five of six possessions. They also moved into a tie with Florida and Georgia atop the East division, with the Bulldogs coming to Columbia, S.C., this week. It will be fascinating to see how SC QB Conner Shaw performs against a quality team.
7) Kansas State--Kansas St must've had their hands really full trying not to get too emotionally high with their Oklahoma win and enjoying their bye week. And there's little motivation this week as they prepare for the Governors Cup against state rival Kansas. More interesting stuff to report on them next week, as they are more than a 3 TD favorite this week. This is the 110th SunFlower Showdown between these two teams.
8) West Virgina---I think RGIII sent his formula to Geno Smith on how to win the Heisman as the Mountaineers played host to his former team, Baylor Bears. West Virginia won in an incredible game 70-63. Smith tied a conference mark with eight touchdown passes and narrowly missed another one with 656 yards passing. Smith outdueled Baylor's Nick Florence, who broke Heisman Trophy-winning predecessor Robert Griffin III's school record with 581 yards. Florence threw for five TDs. How wild was it? Smith, the early Heisman front-runner, had more TD passes than incompletions (six). He finished 45 of 51 and still doesn't have an interception this season. (pass the Heisman please!). West Virginia amassed a school-record 807 yards and the teams combined for 1,507 yards of offense and 67 first downs. Six receivers had at least 100 yards receiving. It has not been confirmed if either defenses played. The Mountaineers now must hope they can generate points on the road when they head to No. 12 Texas and Texas Tech over the next two weeks.
9) Florida---The Gators are coming off a bye week having beaten Kentucky 38-0 the prior week. This past week was 100% prep time for their upcoming game this week at home against LSU. They've had this date circled since last years 41-11 loss. This year, Florida's secondary is tougher, and the quarterback making the start isn't making his first career start on the road, there's no injured QB that the coaching staff is trying to shoehorn into a game plan, LSU's secondary is weaker, and the LSU offense appears even less imposing (unless they've been playing possum). This could make it a great game coming down the stretch.
10) Notre Dame---Notre Dame beat Michigan two weeks ago and finally got a must-needed rest in their bye week. The past four weeks have been quite the story with overseas travel and defeating Michigan St on the road and Michigan at home. Now it's time to host old rival, Miami Hurricanes but not really a home game. This game is being played at Soldier Field in Chicago. This team will be known for their defense during this undefeated 4-0 run.