Week 12 provided plenty of story lines in college football, with a star quarterback facing a tough recovery from a serious injury, an unbeaten team falling and a top ranked team clinching their division. With only two weeks left of the regular season, the race for the play-off is heating up. Let’s review the ten talking points from this past weekend.
1) Georgia Overcome Auburn
This could have been a trap game for Georgia, but they proved themselves with a 21-14 win over Auburn. The fourth ranked Bulldogs were on top the entirety of the game, with a strong offensive performance. Quarterback Jake Fromm only threw for 110 yards, but with three touchdowns the yards didn’t matter.
Running back D’Andre Swift had 106 yards, as the Georgia offensive line stamped it’s authority on this game. The defense forced two late turnovers to secure the win, showing their completeness as a team and why they are in the national championship hunt.
2) Georgia Clinch SEC East
Saturday was also significant for the Bulldogs as they claimed a third straight SEC East title. Head coach Kirby Smart has elevated Georgia into national contention, as they have now guaranteed a chance at a national title.
Georgia have faced tough competition from Florida, but will now likely face top ranked LSU in the SEC Championship game. The winner here will be guaranteed a play-off spot, with the loser potentially still making the play-off. Their worst position would be a lower top ten ranking and a prominent bowl game for the Bulldogs.
3) Oklahoma Survives Baylor Scare
This game was a tale of two halves for Oklahoma, as they barely survived on the road against Baylor 34-31. Unbeaten Baylor came out firing, and led 28-3 in the second quarter. Defense has been a major issue for the Sooners this season, and they started slowly here.
A 24 point scoring rampage from the high powered Oklahoma offense brought them back into the game, eventually recovering to record the biggest comeback in program history. The win is a confidence boost for a team who has struggled in recent weeks, but this win won’t have earned the confidence of the play-off voters as they fight to remain in contention.
4) Oklahoma Comeback Massive Confidence Boost
It’s been a rough month for Oklahoma, who have gone from sure fire play-off contenders, to now their hopes hanging by a thread. The team have struggled to rebound from a tough loss to Kansas State, winning their last two games by a combined total of four points.
The Oklahoma offense, led by transfer quarterback Jalen Hurts, is high scoring, but it’s their defense that lets them down. They are eighth in the latest AP Top 25 polls, and with only two games left need to win out and hope others fall if they want to contend for a national championship.
5) Iowa Knocks Off Minnesota
Minnesota stole the headlines last week with their upset win against Penn State, but their dreams of a top ten ranking fell in a tough road loss to Iowa. The Hawkeyes played their tough, physical style of football on route to a confidence building 23-19 win.
Both teams excel on defense, and in a low scoring affair Iowa had the extra spark on offense to win this one. Iowa scored 20 of their 23 points in the first half, with Minnesota predictably starting slow after such a big win last week. Both teams can feel good about the season they’re having.
6) Minnesota Falls Short in Comeback
The Golden Gophers would have seen this as a potential trap game, and unfortuantely for them it was proved right. They have struggled in recent years travelling to Iowa, and were punched in the mouth early in this game. They were down 13-0 at the end of the first quarter, and down 20-3 halfway through the second.
They recovered well in the second half, with a late fourth quarter touchdown bringing them within one score of the win. The team is still having an incredible season, and barring collapse they will win the Big Ten West title.
7) Weekend Roundup
Michigan claimed bragging rights over rivals Michigan State, demolishing them 44-10. This is a big win for a program that has struggled this season, and sees them jump to 12th in the latest AP polls. Notre Dame rolled over 23rd ranked Navy, beating them 52-20 in a massive win for Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish.
Top ranked LSU easily overcame Ole Miss 58-37, with another massive performance from quarterback Joe Burrow. Over 500 total yards five touchdowns further cement him as the Heisman Trophy favourite. Wisconsin rolled over Nebraska 37-21, thanks again to Jonathan Taylor with 204 yards and two touchdowns.
8) Tua Tagovailoa Out for Season
It’s been a difficult two weeks for Alabama, with their loss to LSU last week and now star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is out for the season with a hip injury. He’s undergone successful surgery, but has potentially played his last snap for the Crimson Tide.
He’s been a star for the team, so to lose him in a comfortable win over Mississippi State is even more galling for fans of the team. If he declares for the 2020 NFL Draft as expected, this injury could have cost him millions in future revenue.
9) AP Top 25 Poll
The latest week 12 AP poll has been released, with no surprises at the top. The top four all won so it remains LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia in the play-off places. Alabama and Oregon remain on the outside looking in, with Utah and Oklahoma rising to seventh and eighth.
Penn State remain ninth, with Florida rounding out the top ten. Minnesota drop to eleventh after their loss, as Michigan jump Baylor for 12th and 13th. Auburn falls to 16th after their loss, with a big Iowa win vaulting them four places to 19th.
10) Scott Frost Extension at Nebraska
Nebraska announced last week they had signed a two-year extension with head coach Scott Frost, tying him down to the program until 2026. Frost took over last year, after guiding UCF to an undefeated season in 2017.
The former Nebraska quarterback has struggled so far, with a 4-8 record last year and currently is at 4-6. They need to win two of their remaining three to be bowl eligible, a tough ask with games against Iowa and Wisconsin still to play. The timing seems strange from the school, with the pressure beginning to build on Frost.
That wraps up my recap of week 12 from college football, thank you to everyone for reading this I really appreciate it! If you have any comments at all either leave them below or find me on Twitter @JWjournalism.