College Football 2011: Bring on the BCS
By Cabrone D. Brewer
In a season full of surprises, one thing remained constant Sunday night: LSU is simply ahead of the pack.
The Bayou Bengals were granted the No. 1 position in the first BCS Poll to be released this season — besting Southeastern Conference rival Alabama and perennial Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma in the celebrated mid-season standings that combine the Coaches’ Poll, Harris Poll and a compilation of six computer rankings to place the top two schools in the national championship at the end of the season.
If the current trajectory stays on course, the BCS will become an interesting topic of conversation when No. 1 LSU meets No. 2 Alabama Nov.5 in Tuscaloosa and No. 3 Oklahoma battles No. 4 Oklahoma State during Bedlam Dec. 3 in Stillwater.
On the field last weekend, a handful of teams were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten.
No. 23 Michigan State achieved their fourth straight victory over in-state rival No. 11 Michigan, beating the Wolverines 28-14 in East Lansing. Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, a fifth-year senior, became the first Spartan starting quarterback to win three straight over Michigan — handing first-year head coach Brady Hoke his first loss in the process.
Ohio State, down but not entirely out in Big Ten, beat No. 16 Illinois 17-7 in Champaign. The shocking loss knocked the surprising Illini from the ranks of the undefeated and offered hope to a crippled Buckeyes’ team that has entertained a ton of negative press throughout the season.
No. 6 Oklahoma State hijacked No. 22 Texas’ bid to heal from the previous weekend’s embarrassing loss to No. 3 Oklahoma, as the Cowboys topped the Longhorns 38-26 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Austin.
Oklahoma State running back Jeremy Smith ran for 140 yards on just seven carries, scoring on runs of 30 and 74 yards right up the gut of the Longhorn defense.
And the Oregon scoring machine proved to be healthy even without the help of star running back LaMichael James, with the No. 9 Ducks beating No. 18 Arizona State 41-27 in a possible preview of the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game.
Rounding out the top ten this week: No. 1 LSU stays perfect with a 38-7 win over Tennessee; No. 2 Alabama beats Mississippi in a 52-7 rout; No. 3 Oklahoma handled Kansas 47-17; No. 4 Wisconsin keeps the offensive gears grinding with a 59-7 win over Indiana; No. 5 Boise State tops Colorado State 63-13; No. 7 Stanford dumps Washington State 44-14; And No. 8 Clemson remains undefeated with a 56-45 victory over Maryland.
We’ll see you Friday with a preview of all the weekend’s marquee games.
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