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Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
Although the top portion of the rankings stayed relatively steady after Week 12 of college football, the perception of Alabama has changed dramatically.
Unfortunately for fans of good football and struggling NFL teams, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa endured a season-ending injury. His 2019 campaign―and most likely his college career―is over because of a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture, per Aaron Suttles of The Athletic.
Now, the Crimson Tide’s chances of reaching the College Football Playoff are slim. The same goes for Minnesota, which suffered its first loss of the year in a letdown at Iowa.
Georgia, on the other hand, picked up a marquee victory at Auburn and sealed a place in the SEC Championship Game.
The Bulldogs are a unanimous top-four selection by B/R’s panel of experts: Matt Hayes, David Kenyon, Adam Kramer, Kerry Miller, Joel Reuter and Brad Shepard. Each panel member submitted a ballot, with a first-place vote being worth 25 points, followed by 24 points for second, 23 for third, etc.
B/R Week 12 Top 25
3. Ohio State
7. Penn State
15. Notre Dame
20. Boise State
22. Oklahoma State
23. Appalachian State
T-24. San Diego State
Others receiving votes: Virginia Tech, Navy, Texas A&M
Note: Final rankings are pending Oregon and Boise State results.
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Butch Dill/Associated Press
At 9-1, Georgia isn’t going to reach the College Football Playoff unless it wins out. That’s no easy task, considering LSU―provided it defeats Arkansas next week―will await the Bulldogs in Atlanta.
But they avoided the largest remaining pre-SEC Championship Game challenge, knocking off rival Auburn 21-14 on the road.
Jake Fromm threw a touchdown in each of the first three quarters, yet the defense owned the day. Georgia forced seven punts on the Tigers’ first 10 possessions. The other three resulted in a missed field goal, a turnover on downs and a fumble.
That stingy unit allowed the Dawgs to build a 21-0 lead and, similar to the win against Florida, survive a late charge. Auburn’s last two drives ended with turnovers on downs.
Georgia needs to keep looking forward, though.
“We’ve just got to get ready for Texas A&M,” head coach Kirby Smart said, per Anthony Dasher of Rivals.
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Ray Carlin/Associated Press
As we’ve all come to understand, it’s simply futile to hold a 28-3 lead. Baylor made that perilous mistake Saturday.
Seriously, though, that’s a brutal way to watch an undefeated season crash. The Bears stormed ahead of 10th-ranked Oklahoma thanks to a pair of takeaways they turned into touchdowns. Baylor even took a 31-10 advantage into halftime.
But that’s when everything crumbled.
In the second half, the Sooners forced a trio of three-and-outs and two turnovers. They overcame that 21-point hole, survived a goal-line turnover and kicked a game-winning 31-yard field goal.
Fortunately for Baylor head coach Matt Rhule’s squad, Texas’ loss to Iowa State practically ensured Baylor’s spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Bears must defeat either Texas or Kansas over the next two weeks to set up the rematch with OU in Arlington, Texas.
Because of the loss, however, Baylor no longer has a clear path to the College Football Playoff. This one stings for sure.
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Thomas Graning/Associated Press
Add it to the list, right?
Quarterback Joe Burrow―the runaway favorite to win the Heisman Trophy―is officially atop LSU’s record book for most passing yards in a season. He diced Ole Miss for 489 yards in a 58-37 win, climbing to 3,687 for the year. Rohan Davey set the previous record with 3,347 back in 2001.
Earlier this year, Burrow smashed LSU’s single-season passing touchdown record of 28. His ever-rising standard surged to 38 on Saturday as he tossed five more―including three to Ja’Marr Chase, who broke the single-season receiving mark with his 13th touchdown.
Burrow might not be finished, either.
With 54 career scores for the Tigers, he sits 15 behind Tommy Hodson for that record. Since they have either four or five games remaining this season, Burrow at least has a chance to chase it down.
Whatever awards are coming his way, Burrow is fully deserving. The senior has had a remarkable season.
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Jay LaPrete/Associated Press
By the time next Saturday’s slate of games comes to an end, one more contender will be eliminated from the College Football Playoff picture.
Undefeated and second-ranked Ohio State will host 9-1 Penn State in a showdown to decide the Big Ten East. The Nittany Lions technically won’t clinch the division, but a matchup with Rutgers to end the regular season is not exactly worrisome.
Hopefully, we’ll get another classic.
In each of the last two seasons, the Buckeyes have pulled out a one-point victory. Three years ago, Penn State muscled out a 24-21 triumph. The victor ended up advancing to (and winning) the Big Ten Championship Game in all three campaigns.
Kickoff is slated for noon ET, meaning Week 13 is starting off with the most important contest.