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Beyond the Fort: Week 12

After a great week 12 we have some conference championship games set. Where do things stand across the country?

NCAA Football: Washington at Oregon State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Washington survives in Corvallis.

The Washington Huskies went on the road and came away with a 22-20 win over #11 Oregon State on Saturday. I had the Huskies on upset alert, and the Beavers just couldn’t get it done. Oregon State outgained Washington 317-272, went 4-4 in the red zone, had 15 minutes more of possession, and did not give up a single point in the second half, but the Huskies found a way to win. DJ Uiagalelei threw 2 interceptions, and Anthony Gould fumbled in the first half, making the Beavers -2 in the turnover battle on the day.

At this point, I think it’s safe to say Washington is this years’ TCU. The Huskies are 5-0 in one score games. It may not always be pretty, but they just find a way to win. When the offense is hot, this team can beat anyone in the country. It looks as if we’re going to get Washington-Oregon round 2.

Alabama and Georgia set for a heavyweight bout.

Georgia steamrolled Tennessee on Saturday in a 38-10 win that really looked worse than the score showed. The Volunteers opened the game with a 75 yard rushing touchdown from Jaylen Wright, and for a split second we all entertained the idea that Tennessee might make it a game. After that play, the Volunteers would gain 200 yards of offense and score 3 points. Meanwhile, Georgia put up 472 yards and 317 came through the air. Carson Beck continues to be one of the top quarterbacks in the country. He’s now thrown for 3,320 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just 5 interceptions. The Bulldogs will likely roll Georgia Tech next week before they head to Atlanta to take on Alabama.

Alabama scheduled their annual pre-Auburn cupcake against Chattanooga. The Mocs are 7-4 on the season now, and will actually be in the FCS playoffs, but they didn’t stand a chance against the Tide. Alabama rolled to a 66-10 victory. Jalen Milroe was 13/16 for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns before he left the game to give the younger guys some playing time. The Tide also rushed for 315 yards as the tuned up for Auburn next week. Speaking of Auburn, anyone see the Tigers get blown out at home by New Mexico State?

All eyes on Ann Arbor next weekend.

Ohio State and Michigan will meet with a (likely) playoff spot on the line next weekend in what is one of the most anticipated regular season games in college football history. With all of the off-field drama around this Michigan team, and the strange performances in their last 2 games, it’s easy to forget that Ohio State is 11-0. The Buckeyes have won their last 3 games by a combined 110-22. Kyle McCord has played a little better, and Marvin Harrison Jr continues to make plays, but the biggest win for Ohio State has been the return of running back TreVeyon Henderson. Henderson is one of those backs that turns 4 yard runs into 20 yard runs on a regular basis. He rushed for 146 on 15 carries on Saturday while also scoring twice. If Ohio State is to beat Michigan, I think it will be because Henderson has a huge game.

On the other side, Michigan hasn’t looked quite as dominant as they did to start the season. Despite that, Michigan found a way to win 31-24 over Maryland on Saturday. The Wolverines are dealing with some injuries on the offensive line. Their top wide receiver, Roman Wilson, left the game against Maryland in the first quarter. And linebacker Michael Barrett suffered an AC joint sprain. The Wolverines will need to get healthy in a hurry with Ohio State coming to town. I can’t imagine the gameplan will be what it has been the past 2 weeks, because finding success in the run game against Ohio State will not be easy. Ryan Day has had this one circled since last year, and I think we’re in for a fantastic edition of The Game.

Florida State wins big, but loses quarterback Jordan Travis.

Florida State’s annual pre-Florida tune up game finished with a scoreline that was expected, as the Noles won 58-13. With 2 minutes left in the first quarter, and his team down 13-0, quarterback Jordan Travis took off on a 14 yard run. Unfortunately, the star quarterback did not get up as he suffered a horrendous lower leg injury, ending his final season in Tallahassee. Florida State would rally to win the game, but the question now is will this team be able to win its final 2 games and make the College Football Playoff? Their annual rivalry game with Florida is in the Swamp, and the Gators would love nothing more than to get bowl eligible by ending their rival’s national championship hopes. If the Seminoles survive, they’ll have to beat Louisville who is led by one of the best in game coaches in the sport. It’s a horrific ending to what has been a great story in Travis’ career, and I don’t see the Noles winning both of their remaining games. Also, there are some people out there saying that Florida State shouldn’t go to the playoffs even if they win their final 2. And I could not disagree more. I’m with Pate on this one.

Arizona just keeps winning.

I’m not sure even Arizona fans wouldv’e expected their team to be 8-3 at this point in the season. Every loss this team has is by one score, and 2 of them were overtime games. The Wildcats are seriously a handful of plays away from being 11-0. On Saturday, Arizona hosted Utah. I thought maybe the Utes defense would make things hard for the Arizona offense, but boy was I wrong. The Wildcats put up 443 yards against a good Utah defense on their way to a 42-18 win. Freshman quarterback Noah Fifita continued his outstanding play, throwing for 253 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22/30 passing. The Wildcats will travel to Tempe to take on Arizona State, and I expect them to come out of that one with a 9-3 record. It is still mathematicall possible for Arizona to make the Pac-12 title game, but I don’t think it happens. If I was a Power Five school looking to hire a new coach this year I would absolutely be giving Jedd Fisch a call. Especially after recent reports of financial issues at the University of Arizona.

Kansas State outlasts Kansas.

The Kansas State Wildcats once again defeated their rival Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday in an entertaining 31-27 victory. The win makes it 15 straight victories for Kansas State over Kansas! The craziest thing about that stat is that Kansas still leads the all-time series 65-51-5. This was also just the third time in this 15 game winning streak that it was a one score game. While it is still possible for Kansas State to make the Big 12 Championship game it is unlikely, but the job Chris Kleiman has continued to do in Manhattan is impressive. All 3 losses for this team were in one score games. Missouri hit a walk-off 60-yard field goal to beat them in September. Texas needed overtime at home to get the job done. And Oklahoma State beat the Wildcats by 8 on a Friday night in Stillwater.

On the other side, Kansas continues to do a great job. I think their coaching staff is top 5 in the country for sure. The Jayhawks came into this game down their first two quarterbacks, and one of them is a real game changer who has hardly played this season. Despite that, the Jayhawks managed to put up 396 yards of offense and 234 came on the ground. Turnovers ended up being the difference in this one, but Lance Leipold deserves tons of credit. He took over a Kansas program that hadn’t had a winning season since 2008, and in year 3 it looks like he will get that winning season after all. It’s even possible this team wins 9 games!

Quick Hitters

#6 Oregon dominated Arizona State 49-13.

#7 Texas went to Ames and beat Iowa State 26-16.

#9 Missouri survived an upset bid from Florida 33-31.

#10 Louisville survived an upset bid from Miami 38-31.

#12 Penn State beat Rutgers 27-6.

#13 Ole Miss beat UL Monroe 35-3.

#14 Oklahoma survived an upset bid from BYU 31-24.

#15 LSU beat Georgia State 56-14.

#16 Iowa beat Illinois 15-13.

#19 Notre Dame beat Wake Forest 45-3.

#20 North Carolina was upset by Clemson 31-20.

#23 Oklahoma State beat Houston 43-30.

#24 Tulane beat FAU 24-8.

Coach Perry’s Power Rankings: Week 11

  1. Georgia - The Bulldogs have been getting better every week, and they’ve officially entered Death Star mode on the season.
  2. Washington - The Huskies haven’t looked great by any means since their win over Oregon, but they keep finding ways to get it done. Their win on Saturday was impressive.
  3. Ohio State - The Buckeyes have continued to impress, and the defense looks better every week. If they beat Michigan they’re probably going to the playoff.
  4. Michigan - I don’t really know what the Wolverines are doing since Harbaugh’s suspension. The complete abandonment of the passing game has been bizarre to watch, but they keep finding ways to win. I still think they have the best defense in the country.
  5. Florida State - With the loss of Jordan Travis I’m not sure I see the Seminoles winning their final 2 against Florida and Louisville. I think they’ll drop one and be out of the playoff race as a result.
  6. Oregon - Also reaching a Death Star mode. The Ducks have been scary good since the loss to Washington. I expect they’ll take care of Oregon State next Saturday and get their rematch with Washington.
  7. Alabama - Also reaching a Death Star mode. The Tide screwed around at the beginning of the season with their quarterback choices, but make no mistake - Jalen Milroe is one of the best in the country. This team has the talent to beat Georgia.
  8. Texas - The Longhorns keep finding ways to win, but it hasn’t been pretty. It’s simple though, win out and the Horns are in the playoff.
  9. Louisville - I’m not sure Jeff Brohm could’ve dreamt up a better first season in charge at Louisville. The Cardinals are 10-1, headed to the ACC Championship game, and they’ve got a real shot to win it.
  10. Missouri - The Tigers destroyed Tennessee last week and then found a way to beat Florida this week. I don’t think they’ll have any trouble with Arkansas, so 10-2 looks likely.