College football rankings and watching Heisman after week 12
That was a statement Saturday in Week 12 college football and no team made a bigger statement than Ohio State with a 56-7 win over Michigan State No. 7.
Week 12 was billed as Saturday’s statement with convincing victories from Georgia, albeit against Charleston Southern, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Michigan and Notre Dame.
Alabama No. 2 needed to reclaim a kick to the side from Arkansas in the last minute to fend off the Razorbacks, snatch SEC West and meet Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
The winning statement was one thing but there were some lopsided losses from the top 10 teams. No. 3 Oregon lost 38-7 to Utah, No. 7 Michigan State lost 56-7 to Ohio State and No. 10 Wake Forest lost 48-21 to Clemson. The top three teams out of 10 lost with a total of 99 points.
With three upsets inside the top ten and Ohio State’s dominant display combined with Alabama’s win over Arkansas, the college football powerhouse rankings after Week 12 sees the Buckeyes leap over Crimson Tide to sit in second behind Georgia.
College football standings after Week 12: Ohio State jumps in Alabama
1. Georgia The Bulldogs have been the most impressive from their opening week win against Clemson to their dominance of Charleston Southern. Look, they don’t get any style points for defeating them, but this team hasn’t shown any weaknesses all year. And they’re only getting stronger with wide receiver George Pickens coming close to returning from the ACL rupture he suffered in March. Adding Pickens to this team is deeply unfair. The Dawgs wind up against Georgia Tech before they play Alabama in Atlanta for the SEC title. Top seed Georgia will secure the playoffs if they win. They will likely continue to do so even as Alabama loses.
2. Ohio Has there been more impressive win in the sport this year than Ohio State did Michigan? The score was 21-0 after the first half and 49-0 in the first half. CJ Stroud had six touchdowns in the first half. Michigan State had the worst pass defense in the country and Stroud and the Buckeyes receivers took advantage of it. Ohio State’s only drawback was Oregon at home, but this win convinced me that they are the second best team at the moment. A potential championship match between Buckeyes’ No. 1 offense against Dawgs’ No. 1 defense would be an amazing match. As long as Ohio State doesn’t lose to Michigan for the first time since 2011 next week when they face their rivals in Ann Arbor next week, they’ll be in the Big Ten Championship.
3. Alabama Nick Saban wasn’t a death squad like they used to be, including last year when they ran through SEC and then Notre Dame and Ohio State to win it all. The offense is so intimidating that quarterback Bryce Young set a one-game record for passing 559 yards against Arkansas, but the defense didn’t stifle. The offense has been the calling card of Alabama teams for the past few years, but linebacker Will Anderson is able to take over games and stop when the team needs it most. Can I interest anyone in a semifinal match between Ohio State and Alabama?
4. Cincinnati – Desmond Ryder threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Bearcats had no problem getting past SMU. It was thought that SMU could present a challenge for Cincinnati, but the Mustangs have fallen a bit in recent weeks and haven’t been able to overcome the discomfort the teams behind them needed in the playoff standings. Cincinnati has Houston in the American Championships game that they would need to win to secure their first playoff berth by a Group of Five team. Oregon’s loss to Utah could be the opening Luke Weckle’s team needs to make history. Could the committee find a way to screw them up by placing runners-up in the Big Ten East with their win 2 loss? Maybe. No one said that making history wouldn’t come without a little angst.
5. Michigan Jim Harbaugh’s team had a perfect tuning before The Game next Saturday at Ann Arbor. Michigan led 24-3 in the first half and scored 28 in the third to push out Maryland who had no chance. Cady McNamara threw a pair of scores in a 21 of 28 pass and JJ McCarthy was a perfect 5-for-5 for 58 yards and touchdowns. The new midfielder also added a quick touchdown. Donovan Edwards received 170 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown and Hassan Haskins ran for 78 yards and had two touchdowns. Could Michigan score their first win over Ohio State in a decade when they hosted the Buckeyes on Saturday? If — and it’s a big deal if we consider the track record — they do, they’ll play in the Big Ten and win away from making their first college playoff. It’s the biggest game of the year. Let’s hope it fulfills.
6. Notre Dame – Jack Kwan threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns while Notre Dame defeated Georgia Tech, 55-0 to improve to 10-1. Many left Notre Dame to die after losing at home to Cincinnati, but Brian Kelly’s team survived quietly on the journey back to the playoff. The Irish need some help getting there, but a win against Stanford’s dip next week and a pair of seeded disturbances ahead of them would see Notre Dame slip through the back door. Notre Dame had six sacks in the win over Georgia Tech.
7. Oklahoma The Big 12 are known for their attack and aversion to playing defense. The latter does not apply to the state of Oklahoma. The Pokes entered their game for Week 12 versus Texas Tech ranked eighth in defensive goalscoring, allowing 16.4 points and third in total defense, allowing 282.2 yards per game. These numbers will drop a lot after a stifling effort against the Red Raiders. Pokes only allowed 41 yards of the offense to enter the fourth quarter. Unheard of in this offensive era of college football. The defense faces its toughest test when it hosts new quarterback Caleb Williams and the Oklahoma Sooners. OKST is seeking its first win at Bedlam in six attempts.
8. Baylor Outside of 65 yards from Deuce Vaughn, Baylor’s defense didn’t give up much in the 20-10 win against Kansas State. The Bears need a win next week against Texas Tech and a loss for Oklahoma to reach the Big 12 championship game. What’s worrisome is the injury of quarterback Jerry Bohannon, who has been replaced by Blake Chapin. No Bohannon bears the threat of quarterback running out of attack. If Baylor is going to win the Big 12 title, they will need a quarterback there.
9. Be a beauty queen – Quarterback Matt Coral has announced that this will be his last home game as a member of the Ole Miss soccer team before the game. His last game at Vaught-Hemingway was a win. The top prospect potential quarterback for the 2022 NFL draft topped 300 yards and threw a pair of touchdowns in the win over Vanderbilt. Now, he’s looking to score an Egg Bowl win against rival Mississippi State on Thanksgiving night to truly spend his career on a high note.
10. Oklahoma – The urgent team is not truly respected as a losing one by the supplement committee. The 28-21 win over Iowa State didn’t bring any style points, but it was a win that put them within one point of entering the Big 12 Championship. That win should come in Bedlam against rival Oklahoma State who has lost six in a row in the competition, hasn’t won at Stillwater since 2011 and has only had 18 wins in 115 meets ever.
Heisman Watch After Week 12: Bryce Young or CJ Stroud?
In the first 10-11 weeks, the Heisman chase felt that no one wanted to escape with the prize. Now, we’ve got a few guys who’ve had their own Heisman moments and the Heisman party is coming into focus. Kenneth Walker III was knocked out of the race after being stuffed by the Ohio State defense and held 25 yards on six stands in the loss. He wasn’t even the lead carrier on his team, and he wasn’t even the lead racer on his team.
So with Walker out, and quarterback Matt Coral likely to be Ole Miss on the outside looking inward, this opens the door for a pair of defensive players to earn a trip to New York as a Heisman Finalist. But, none of the defenders are likely to join Charles Woodson and win. It’s still the quarterback award and the Alabama quarterback might have to give the tides their second Heisman award in a row.
Young’s 559 yards and five touchdowns extends his lead as a Heisman favorite. Stroud threw for 432 yards and six touchdowns on 32 of 35 but would need two similar hits with Young as an easy pass for Alabama. It’s not out of reach but Heisman Young would lose at this point.
Young’s teammate, Anderson, entered Week 12 as the nation’s leader in sacks (12.5) and deals with a loss (23) which is Kirk Herbstreet’s pick to win Heisman as the most dominant player. It deserves an invite. Jordan Davis, the 340-pound Georgia defensive lineman, was equally in control in a position to get no attention, but he got a chance to shine in the spotlight when he stroked a yard against the Charleston Southern.
- Bryce Young – Alabama, QB
- CJ Stroud – Ohio State, QB
- Will Anderson, Alabama, OLB
- Jordan Davis, Georgia, DT
Thank you for competition week
It’s Thanksgiving week. It’s one of my two favorite days of the year with Christmas, and I’m so happy to be so thankful. I am grateful for my health, my family, my friends, and this job that allows me to write about college football. This season has been very interesting and rewarding after last year’s COVID season which was a daily struggle with shortened schedules, players and coaches testing positive, matches canceled and the realistic impact of the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people. I am grateful that this season has brought back the fun and spirit that makes college football the best sport in the world. Upheaval, chaos, stories and rivalries are very special.
This year’s Competitive Week gives us The Game with Michigan looking to capture their losing streak against Ohio State dating back to 2011. The playoffs are on the line.
The Iron Bowl sees Brian Harsen thrown into the rivalry between Auburn and Alabama for the first time. His predecessor, Gus Malzan, beat Nick Saban three times in this rivalry. Saban is 9-5 against Auburn since taking over Alabama and he needs to improve to 10-5 to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive. They have already locked up SEC West but Auburn will be looking to play a spoiler and give them a second loss.
Palmetto Bowl between Clemson and South Carolina, Civil War between Oregon and Ohio State, Tennessee against Kentucky, Notre Dame against Stanford, Iowa vs. Nebraska and Bedlam between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as playoff hopes are on the line. One of the competitive games I can’t wait to see this weekend.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and enjoy the Egg Bowl between Ole Miss and Mississippi State which should be an offensive blast with offenses Corral and Will Rogers quarterback Lynn Kiffin and Mike Leach. Then skip Black Friday shopping to watch a full day of games before doing it all again on Saturday for the last full day of the college football schedule.
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