First and 10 - November 5, 2012
- Published: Monday, 05 November 2012 17:45
- by Zach Barnett
1. With the presidential election upon us, San Diego State accomplished something that hasn't been done since George H.W. Bush won the presidency. San Diego State went to Boise and defeated the Broncos 21-19 on Saturday. Coupled with the Aztecs' 39-38 overtime win at Nevada on Oct. 20, they became the first team to win at Boise State and Nevada in the same season since 1998. Both programs competed in I-AA at the time. That's a heck of an accomplishment that Rocky Long's team can hang their hat on. SDSU has won five straight games, its longest in-season winning streak since 1995, The Aztecs are 7-3 overall and 5-1 in Mountain West play. They will need some help, but an MWC championship isn't out of reach.
2. Army has a shot at its first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 1996. Rich Ellerson's team played by far its best game of the season in defeating Air Force 41-21. The Black Knights compiled 414 yards of total offense while holding the Air Force offense to just 103 yards on the ground. You know things are going good defensively when you force the Falcons to throw the ball 29 times, which is what happened on Saturday. The winner of the Army-Navy game on Dec. 8 will take home the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. Navy last won the prize in 2009, the tail end of its seven-year streak that began in 2003. Army is looking to break a 15-year skid.
3. The SEC title game could be set by Saturday night. Alabama can clinch its first SEC West title since 2009 by toppling Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS). A few hours to the east, Georgia can win the SEC East for the second straight year with a victory at Auburn (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2). A little bit of superstition to keep in mind, Alabama has won the West seven times and in all seven years its SEC Championship opponent from the East has been Florida.
4. For the second straight week, the FootballScoop staff is deeming a Sun Belt match-up as Thursday night's best game. Florida State at Virginia Tech will draw more viewers on ESPN, but the more competitive, high-stakes game will take place on ESPNU when ULM visits Arkansas State with first place in the Sun Belt on the line. After a slow start, first year head coach Gus Malzahan and Arkansas State are heating up with a four-game winning streak, averaging nearly 40 points per game in the process, in defense of their 2011 league title. ULM suffered its first Sun Belt loss last week, 40-24 to Louisiana - Lafayette. Both teams (4-1 in league play) share first place in the league with Middle Tennessee. Arkansas State won last year's meeting, 24-19.
5. Offense may be coming back to earth in the Big 12. Two weeks after six of the league's 10 teams topped 50 points, no Big 12 teams hit the half-a-hundred mark and only two teams topped 40 points. There were actually more punts (56) than touchdowns (37) on Saturday.
6. Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson may not exactly be happy about it, but Indiana still controls its Rose Bowl destiny. "People talk about us controlling our own destiny but we're not trying to be an upper-level team, we're just trying to play hard every Saturday," Wilson told Yahoo's Dan Wetzel last week. Nevertheless, the Hoosiers beat Iowa 24-21 on Saturday and still control their destiny to play in the Rose Bowl. A home date with Wisconsin on Saturday (12 p.m. ET, ESPN2) will determine whether Indiana's Leaders Division hopes remain afloat.
7. Seven staffs reached bowl eligibility last weekend. Congratulations to the coaching staffs at Arkansas State, East Carolina, Michigan, Middle Tennessee, Navy, Oklahoma and TCU on reaching bowl eligibility. 14 more squads will compete for bowl eligibility this weekend.
8. Notre Dame has the biggest home-road dichotomy of any 9-0 team in recent memory. The Fighting Irish have been the best road team in the country with a 50-10 win over Navy in Dublin, Ireland, a 24-3 triumph at Michigan State, a 41-3 win over Miami in Chicago and a 30-13 victory at Oklahoma. At home it's been a different story with a trio of three-point victories and two wins by seven points. According to Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel, 10 of Notre Dame's 11 turnovers have occurred in South Bend, as well as 33 of their 48 penalties. Two of Notre Dame's final three games are on the road, including Saturday at Boston College (8 p.m. ET, ABC).
9. All four major networks showed college football on Saturday afternoon. In the 3-6:30 p.m. ET time slot, ABC showed a split-national telecast of Nebraska at Michigan State and Texas at Texas Tech, FOX televised the double-overtime thriller of TCU at West Virginia, NBC showcased the triple-overtime Notre Dame win over Pittsburgh and CBS showed Ole Miss at Georgia. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but college football is the only American sport regularly broadcast on all four major networks, much less at the same time. God bless college football.
10. The players, coaches and staff at Ball State and Toledo had better get their votes in early. The Cardinals and Rockets kickoff two days of MACtion tomorrow night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Bowling Green and Ohio keep it going on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2).