Monday, December 5, 2011

E/C’s College Football Top 10, Week 14

Louisiana State demonstrated why they are the top ranked team in the nation once again with a second half surge against Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game that buried any hope for an upset. The Tigers’ interdivision rivals from Tuscaloosa are the only ones who stand a chance to stop this freight train. But the next time these two teams get together, on January 9, it will be in New Orleans. And it’s difficult at this point to imagine LSU getting beat in their backyard. Advantage: Bayou Bengals.

Among the rest, Virginia Tech – possibly the weakest third-ranked team in history – got exposed by Clemson for the second time in the ACC title game. Houston, despite the Cougars’ first 12-win season ever, lost by three touchdowns in Conference USA title game to Southern Mississippi. They fall from the Top 10 as a result and are replaced by Wisconsin and Kansas State.

LSU, of course, are your regular season champions. The final Top 10 will be released the day after 'bama/LSU go final.

1. Louisiana State (def. Georgia. 42-10), 13-0, 680 pts.
2. Alabama (Bye), 11-1, 605 pts.
3. Oklahoma State (def. Oklahoma, 44-10), 11-1, 570 pts.
4. Oregon (def. UCLA, 49-31), 11-2, 545 pts.
5. Stanford (Bye), 11-1, 525 pts.
6. Boise State (def. New Mexico, 45-0), 11-1, 510 pts.
7. Arkansas (Bye), 10-2, 435 pts.
8. Wisconsin (def. Michigan State, 42-39), 11-2, 425 pts.
9. Southern California (def. UCLA, 50-0), 10-2, 370 pts.
10. Kansas State (def. Iowa State, 30-23), 10-2, 335 pts.

E/C’s Heisman Ballot
1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor – 4,642 total yards, 45 TD, 192.3 QB rating [led nation]
2. Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California – 3,528 yards, 39 TD, 69.1 comp. %
3. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin – 2,014 total yards [led nation in rushing and scoring], 38 TD
4. Case Keenum, QB, Houston – 5,099 yards [led nation], 45 TD, 71.7 comp. %
5. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama – 1,910 total yards, 23 TD
6. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – 3,170 yards, 35 TD, 70.0 comp. %
7. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon – 1,856 total yards, 18 TD
8. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State – 3,507 yards, 41 TD, 74.1 comp. %
9. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State – 4,328 yards, 34 TD, 72.6 comp. %
10. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin – 3,199 total yards, 36 TD, 10.3-to-1 TD/INT ratio [led nation]

Honorable Mentions
(listed alphabetically)
David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State – 11 interceptions [led nation]
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – 1,336 yards, 15 TD
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – 3,764 total yards, 36 TD
Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois – 2,942 passing yards, 1,234 rushing yards, 36 TD
Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State – 1,877 total yards, 20 TD
Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College - 191 tackles [led nation for second consecutive season]
Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois – 14.5 QB sacks [led nation]
Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State – 1,431 total yards, 25 TD
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor – 1,572 yards, 13 TD

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu celebrates upon earning MVP honors after the Tigers’ 42-10 victory over Georgia in the SEC championship game in Atlanta. Despite the media attention he receives as the leader of a daunting smash-mouth defense, it seems that Mathieu’s status as a Heisman contender is, at least, debatable.

His 71 tackles, five forced fumbles and two interceptions were complimented by a nation-leading 12.7 yards per punt return (92-yard long, 2 TD). Yet it also seems that his catchy “Honey Badger” nickname has kept Mathieu in the press as much as his on-field performance. Some are easily swayed by the media, but not I. The "Badger" is rock solid, but the true Sophomore is not quite Heisman worthy.

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