Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Things We Learned In College, Week 13

Does it get any better than Thanksgiving leftovers and rivalry games?

-Congrats to Notre Dame for presumably locking up a spot in the BCS title game. In the process, it’s safe to say LB Manti Te’o further increased his Heisman chances. In addition to leading the Irish in tackles, Te’o ranks second in the country in interceptions- not something you see a linebacker do every day.

-Speaking of the Notre Dame game, the USC quarterback position will be in good hands next year after the departure of Matt Barkley. I didn’t see the entire game last night, but what I saw of freshman Max Wittek was certainly respectable. The video ABC showed of him throwing in high school was ridiculous. How does a high school kid have an arm that strong?

-Ten minutes into the Arkansas-LSU game, the first line of my notes looks like this: Ark. -17 -18 -19 turnover diff. Tyler Wilson is a good quarterback, and give credit to the Hogs for making it a game and finishing with a respectable score after what has been a disastrous season for them. For LSU’s part, this catch by WR Jarvis Landry should be in contention for Play Of The Year.

-Nebraska slugged out a 13-7 win over Iowa on a sunny but windy day when both passing and punting were nearly impossible. With the win, the Huskers punched their ticket to a Big Ten Championship meeting with Wisconsin. (Nebraska won their September matchup, 30-27).

-I’m not sure what happened to Mississippi State in the latter part of the season, but congrats to Ole Miss on their Egg Bowl win and on becoming eligible for a bowl game in coach Hugh Freeze’s first season with the Rebels. (BTW, anyone who’s interested in learning more about Coach Freeze, Ole Miss, or college recruiting in general should definitely read Meat Market by Bruce Feldman. It covers the 2005 recruiting season, when Freeze was an assistant under then-head coach Ed Orgeron. Really good book.)

-Michigan’s first offensive snap on Saturday was a classic: Denard Robinson broke a sure tackle, scrambled for 30 yards and a first down, and lost his shoe in the process.

-I caught some interesting Ohio State stats on tv this morning. Six of their 12 wins were by 7 points or less, and four of those six teams did not have winning records. Imagine the controversy if Ohio State were bowl-eligible. Does a 12-0 Ohio State team with those stats get into a BCS title game over one-loss Alabama or Oregon? We’ll never know.

-There was a scary moment in the Florida State game as QB EJ Manuel was absolutely laid out by Florida LB Antonio Morrison. He certainly appeared to be unconcious on the field, and looked very groggy heading off. I assumed that the Noles’ trainers and coaches would have the sense to shelve Manuel for the night. I assumed wrong. Inexplicably, Manuel was allowed to return to the game after missing just one series. At least one Florida State blogger tweeted later that something seemed “off” with Manuel as late as the post-game press conference. This is why the NCAA needs to come up with a standardized concussion protocol, and strict sanctions for teams that violate it- if a player loses conciousness, even if he/she is lucid and coherent, it IS a concussion and that player should NEVER be allowed to return to action in that game. Period. Google “second impact syndrome” for a better understanding of why.

-Florida, for their part, has got to cut down on the penalties. It’s been an issue all season and continued last night with 12 for 101 yards.

-There’s not a whole lot to say about Texas A&M’s 59-29 romp over Missouri (with most of Mizzou’s points coming in garbage time), except to ask “Could this be the year we see a freshman win the Heisman?” Johnny Manziel has as good a case as anybody.

-Drama in three Big East cities today as Rutgers, Syracuse, and Louisville are all 9-2. TAlthough we do have Rutgers vs Louisville on Thursday to settle one of those issues, If Syracuse gets a win this week, the Winner of the Conference will be settled via the BCS Standings.



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