Let’s recap Week 10, shall we?
Game of the week: No. 1 Alabama at No. 5 LSU
Final score: Tide 21, Tigers 17
Pregame rant: As good as this game will be, we don’t want to see the Tide and Tigers play in the national title game again.
Alabama hasn’t lost since it fell 9-6 in overtime at home to the Tigers. The Tide dominated LSU in the national title game, but the Tigers can avenge that loss and really put themselves in the national title picture.
The Tide are first in the nation in run defense. LSU is eighth. So the team that has the better quarterback should win Saturday.
A.J. McCarron has thrown 18 touchdowns, no interceptions and can make all the throws. If Zach Mettenberger is called upon to beat the Tide, it’s not going down.
Post-game commentary: McCarron wasn’t his best until it matter most.
With that Death Valley crowd roaring and ready to pounce on him for predicting the Tide would win, McCarron was 4-of-5 for 72 yards and a game-winning touchdown pass with 51 seconds left to beat the rival Tigers.
Mettenberger actually played well. Was 24-of-35 for 298 yards and a touchdown.
Truth be told, the Tigers had this game won. They had more yards, won the turnover and time ouf possession battle and limited Alabama to 1-of-9 on third-down conversions.
So why did they lose? Penalties and bad play calling.
The Tigers had seven penalties for 51 yards and LSU coach Les Miles called a fake field goal on a 4th-and-12 play down 7-3 in the first half. It failed miserably.
No. 2 Oregon at No. 18 USC
Final score: Ducks 62, Trojans 51
Pregame rant: The Ducks are going to need USC to beat Notre Dame later this season to help them play for a national title.
On Saturday, they have to make a statement and crush the Trojans in the Coliseum.
The Ducks have the offense to run up points and are catching USC after it lost at Arizona. If Oregon jump out on the Trojans early, it could get ugly.
Chances of that are good. This season, Oregon has outscored its opponents 162-26 in the first quarter.
Post-game commentary: Ducks jumped out to a 14-3 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
Oregon’s offense is phenomenal. The Ducks quacked out 730 yards. Kenjon Barner had 321 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
Think about that.
321. 5 TDs.
Oklahoma State at No. 3 Kansas State
Final score: Wildcats 44, Cowboys 30
Pregame rant: Kansas State is right where it wants to be in the BCS rankings.
The Wildcats are second behind Alabama, but can’t afford any slip ups. Looking at their final four games, their two toughest ones are at home — Saturday against the Cowboys and Dec. 1 against Texas.
If senior quarterback Collin Klein continues to dominant, Kansas State won’t have any problems in either one. In his last two games, the leading Heisman Trophy candidate has rushed for six touchdowns and thrown five more.
Post-game commentary: Klein didn’t put up Heisman numbers (16-of-22, 245 yards, 1 rushing TD), but he didn’t finish the game, either. Went out with an injury, but Kansas State is keeping what the injury is or the severity of it on the hush hush.
The Wildcats didn’t need him to ball out to beat the Cowboys.
Kansas State scored on offense, defense and special teams to remain undefeated. If Klein can’t go Saturday at TCU, the Wildcats are good enough to win, but the game will be too close for Kansas State’s comfort.
Pittsburgh at No. 4 Notre Dame
Final score: Irish 29, Panthers 26 (3 OT)
Pregame rant: The Panthers are going to try to score against a team ranked second in the nation in scoring defense. The Irish are yielding just 9.88 points a game.
Now Tino Sunseri has improved as a quarterback for Pitt as evidence of him throwing 18 touchdowns to only two interceptions this season.
He hasn’t thrown a pick in his last five games.
Last season, Sunseri threw 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. However, Notre Dame has intercepted 13 passes this season. Good luck trying to complete passes on the Irish.
Post-game commentary: The Irish escaped this one.
They came into the game a perfect 4-0 at home, but had won those games by a combined 20 points. Didn’t expect this one to be as close, though.
Sunseri didn’t thrown an INT. Pitt got a big game out of Ray Graham, who went for 172 yards against Manti Te’o and that Irish defense.
However, when you blow a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter on the road as the Panthers did, the chances of winning that game go from slim to none.
Missouri at No. 8 Florida
Final score: Gators 14, Tigers 7
Pregame rant: The Tigers were feeling good last week.
Got that first SEC win by beating Kentucky, but woke up Sunday morning realizing they have to face an upset Florida team next in The Swamp.
The Gators are coming off a loss to Georgia in Jacksonville that not only cost them a shot at a national title, but likely knocked them out of the SEC title game.
Not good for Missouri.
Post-game commentary: The Tigers were their worst enemy.
James Franklin was intercepted four times. The Gators turned the second one in a game-winning touchdown. Then they picked off Franklin twice on Missouri’s last two possessions.
Maybe Florida was still sulking after losing to Georgia, but the Gators almost lost to a team that had no business being in the game with them.
Illinois at No. 6 Ohio State
Final score: Buckeyes 52, Illini 22
Pregame rant: Hate to keep picking on Illinois. The Illini are having a tough enough time this season.
Won’t get any easier against Heisman Trophy candidate Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes.
A sophomore, Miller is 11th in the nation in rushing with 1,033 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. He’s thrown for 1,527 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Post-game commentary: Miller threw two TDs, ran for another and led the Buckeyes to 30-point win.
– Duane Rankin