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LSU Faces Alabama in Rematch for National Title - Bowl Matchups

College Football Mondays
2011-12 College Football Bowl Schedule

Bowl / Location / Date / Time / Network

BCS National Championship Game
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama

New Orleans - Louisiana Superdome
Jan. 9, 8:30 p.m. - ESPN

2011-12 College Football Bowl Schedule

Photo – WR Rueben Randle – LSU

Gildan New Mexico
Temple vs. Wyoming - Albuquerque, N.M.
Dec. 17, 2 p.m. ESPN

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Ohio vs. Utah State - Boise, Idaho
Dec. 17, 5:30 p.m. ESPN

R+L Carriers New Orleans
San Diego State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
New Orleans- Superdome
Dec. 17, 9 p.m. ESPN

Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg
Florida International vs. Marshall - St. Petersburg, Fla.
Tropicana Field
Dec. 20, 8 p.m. ESPN

S.D. County Credit Union
TCU vs. Louisiana Tech - San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Dec. 21, 8 p.m. ESPN

MAACO Las Vegas
Arizona State vs. Boise State - Las Vegas
Dec. 22, 8 p.m. ESPN

Sheraton Hawaii
Nevada vs. Southern Miss - Honolulu
Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ESPN

Independence
Missouri vs. North Carolina - Shreveport, La.
Dec. 26, 5 p.m. ESPN2

Little Caesars
Western Michigan vs. Purdue - Detroit
Ford Field Dec. 27, 4:30 p.m. ESPN

Belk
Louisville vs. NC State - Charlotte, N.C.
Bank of America Stadium
Dec. 27, 8 p.m. ESPN

Military Bowl
Toledo vs. Air Force - Washington, D.C.
RFK Stadium
Dec. 28, 4:30 p.m. ESPN

Holiday
California vs. Texas - San Diego
Qualcomm Stadium
Dec. 28, 8 p.m. ESPN

Champs Sports
Florida State vs. Notre Dame - Orlando, Fla.
Florida Citrus Bowl
Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m. ESPN

Alamo
Washington vs. Baylor - San Antonio
Alamodome
Dec. 29, 9 p.m. ESPN

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
BYU vs. Tulsa - Dallas
Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Dec. 30, Noon ESPN

New Era Pinstripe
Rutgers vs. Iowa State - Bronx, N.Y.
Yankee Stadium
Dec. 30, 3:20 p.m. ESPN

Music City
Mississippi State vs. Wake Forest - Nashville, Tenn.
Dec. 30, 6:40 p.m. ESPN

Insight
Iowa vs. Oklahoma - Tempe, Ariz.
Sun Devil Stadium
Dec. 30, 10 p.m. ESPN

Meineke Car Care
Texas A&M vs. Northwestern - Houston
Reliant Stadium
Dec. 31, Noon ESPN

Sun
Georgia Tech vs. Utah - El Paso, Texas
Sun Bowl
Dec. 31, 2 p.m. CBS

Liberty
Cincinnati vs. Vanderbilt - Memphis, Tenn.
Liberty Bowl
Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ABC

Kraft Fight Hunger
Illinois vs. UCLA - San Francisco
AT&T Park
Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ESPN

Chick-fil-A
Virginia vs. Auburn - Atlanta
Georgia Dome
Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ESPN

TicketCity
Houston vs. Penn State - Dallas
Cotton Bowl
Jan. 2, Noon ESPNU

Outback
Michigan State vs. Georgia - Tampa, Fla.
Raymond James Stadium
Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ABC

Capital One
Nebraska vs. South Carolina - Orlando, Fla.
Florida Citrus Bowl
Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ESPN

Gator Bowl
Ohio State vs. Florida - Jacksonville, Fla.
EverBank Field
Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ESPN2

Rose Bowl Game
Wisconsin vs. Oregon - Pasadena, Calif.
Rose Bowl
Jan. 2, 5 p.m. ESPN

Tostitos Fiesta
Stanford vs. Oklahoma State - Glendale, Ariz.
U. of Phoenix Stadium
Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Sugar
Michigan vs. Virginia Tech - New Orleans
Louisiana Superdome
Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Discover Orange
West Virginia vs. Clemson - Miami
Sun Life Stadium
Jan. 4, 8:30 p.m. ESPN

AT&T Cotton
Kansas State vs. Arkansas - Arlington, Texas
Cowboys Stadium
Jan. 6, 8 p.m. FOX

BBVA Compass Bowl
SMU vs. Pittsburgh - Birmingham, Ala.
Legion Field
Jan. 7, 1 p.m. ESPN

GoDaddy.com
Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois - Mobile, Ala.
Ladd-Peebles Stadium
Jan. 8, 9 p.m. ESPN

BCS National Championship Game
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama New Orleans
Louisiana Superdome
Jan. 9, 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game.

LSU / Alabama / Oklahoma St Top Rankings in BCS Final Season Poll

LSU vs Alabama in BCS Championhip Gamel

Photo - QB Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma St

Rank / Team / Harris Poll / USA Today / Computer rank / BCS Average

1 LSU 1 1.0000 / 1 1.0000 / 1 1.0000 / 1.0000

2 Alabama 2 .9471 / 2 .9485 / 3 .9300 / .9419

3 Oklahoma State 3 .9231 / 3 .9268 / 2 .9500 / .9333

4 Stanford 4 .8710 / 4 .8719 / 5 (tie) .8000 / .8476

5 Oregon 5 .8250 / 5 .8353 / 8 .7100 / .7901

6 Arkansas 7 .7523 / 7 .7539 / 5 (tie) .8000 / .7687

7 Boise State 6 .7777 / 6 .7647 / 9 .6800 / .7408

8 Kansas State 10 .6028 / 10 .5953 / 4 .8500 / .6827

9 South Carolina 9 .6376 / 9 .6583 / 10 .6700 / .6553

10 Wisconsin 8 .7165 8 / .7356 / 14 .4600 / .6374

11 Virginia Tech 11 .5210 / 11 .5661 / 13 .4700 / .5190

12 Baylor 16 .4271 / 16 .4061 / 11 .6600 / .4977

13 Michigan 12 .5033 / 12 .5349 / 15 .4000 / .4794

14 Oklahoma 19 .3245 / 19 .2963 / 7 .7600 / .4603

15 Clemson 14 .4699 / 14 .4454 / 16 .3500 / .4218

16 Georgia 18 .3809 / 18 .3647 / 12 .4900 / .4119

17 Michigan State 13 .4967 / 13 .4983 / 21 .1700 / .3883

18 TCU 15 .4330 / 15 .4278 / 17 .3000 / .3869

19 Houston 17 .3937 / 17 .3675 / 18 .2900 / .3504

20 Nebraska 20 .2494 / 20 .2725 / 19 .2600 / .2606

21 Southern Mississippi 21 .2473 / 21 .2481 / 25 .0800 / .1918

22 Penn State 23 .1332 / 23 .1281 / 24 .1300 / .1305

23 West Virginia 22 .1816 / 22 .1885 / -- .0000 / .1233

24 Texas -- .0021 / -- .0007 / 19 .2600 / .0876

25 Auburn -- .0052 / -- .0000 / 21 .1700 / .0584

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game.

Top 50 Senior Pro Prospects for the NFL Draft 2012

Top 50 Senior Pro Prospects for the NFL Draft 2012

Photo - Safety Mark Barron - Alabama

Top 50 Senior Pro Prospects for the NFL Draft 2012
early December 2011

Pro Prospect / Position / School
1. Quinton Coples - DE - North Carolina
2. Alfonzo Dennard - CB - Nebraska
3. Mark Barron - S - Alabama
4. Michael Floyd - WR - Notre Dame
5. Brandon Thompson - DT - Clemson
6. Zach Brown - LB - North Carolina
7. Janoris Jenkins - CB - North Alabama
8. Melvin Ingram - DE - South Carolina
9. Billy Winn - DT - Boise St
10. Courtney Upshaw - LB - Alabama
11. Cordy Glenn - OL - Georgia
12. Devon Still - DT - Penn St
13. Brandon Boykin - CB - Georgia
14. Coby Fleener - TE - Stanford
15. Jared Crick - DT - Nebraska
16. Dwight Jones - WR - North Carolina
17. Marvin McNutt - WR - Iowa
18. Cyrus Gray - RB - Texas A&M
19. Kelechi Osemele - OL - Iowa St
20. Juron Criner - WR - Arizona
21. Chase Minnifield - CB - Virginia
22. Nigel Bradham - LB - Florida St
23. Markelle Martin - S - Oklahoma St
24. Brandon Lindsey - LB - Pittsburgh
25. Alameda Ta'Amu - DT - Washington
26. Andrew Datko - OT - Florida St
27. Jeff Fuller - WR - Texas A&M
28. Keenan Robinson - LB - Texas
29. Ryan Broyles - WR - Oklahoma
30. Shaun Prater - CB - Iowa
31. Zebrie Sanders - OT - Florida St
32. Leonard Johnson - CB - Iowa St
33. Nick Toon - WR - Wisconsin
34. Harrison Smith - S - Notre Dame
35. Logan Harrell - DT - Fresno St
36. Lavonte David - LB - Nebraska
37. Kendall Wright - WR - Baylor
38. Donnie Fletcher - CB - Boston College
39. Vinny Curry - DE - Marshall
40. Dont'a Hightower - LB - Alabama
41. Joe Adams - WR - Arkansas
42. Sean Spence - LB - Miami (Fl.)
43. Andre Branch - DE - Clemson
44. Jarius Wright - WR - Arkansas
45. B.J. Cunningham - WR - Michigan St
46. Mike Brewster - OC - Ohio St
47. Michael Egnew - TE - Missouri
48. Travis Lewis - LB - Oklahoma
49. Mike Martin - DT - Michigan
50. Kirk Cousins - QB - Michigan St

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game.

Luck & Richardson Head Walter Camp Player of the Year Award Finalists

Finalists Named For 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award

Photo – QB Andrew Luck - Stanford

Three QBs – Robert Griffin III(Baylor), Case Keenum (Houston) and Andrew Luck (Stanford)– lead the list of five finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2011 College Player of the Year award. Two players from the Southeastern Conference - Alabama running back Trent Richardson and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu round out the list.

The 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by the Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be presented live on Thursday, December 8 during the 6 p.m. edition of _ESPN SportsCenter. Former Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton, now playing in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers, won the award last year. The winner will receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and continue the tradition of selecting an annual All-America team. The Walter Camp Football Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards top protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of
its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. Visit www.ncfaa.org

THE FINALISTS FOR THE 2011 WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD:

Robert Griffin III – BAYLOR – Jr – QB
Griffin III ranks second nationally in total offense (390.0 yards per game) and points responsible for (22.5)….. He has passed for 3,678 yards and 34 touchdowns… Griffin III has eight 300-yard passing efforts, including four with 400 or more…. He has thrown for three or more touchdowns in a game eight times… He has earned Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors twice, most recently after a 479-yard and four-touchdown effort in a win over Oklahoma on November 19.

Case Keenum – HOUSTON – Sr – QB
Keenum has led the Cougars to a 12-0 record and a berth in Saturday’s Conference USA title game… He leads the nation in total offense (397.4 yards per game) and passing yards per game (393.8)… Keenum has passed for 4,726 yards and 43 touchdowns, completing 342-of-467 passes… He has thrown for 300 or more yards in all 12 games, including six 400-yard efforts… His best game came in a win over Rice on October 27 when he threw for a season-high 534 yards and nine touchdowns and earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Andrew Luck – STANFORD – Jr – QB
Luck has led the Cardinal to an 11-1 record and #4 ranking in the latest BCS standings… Has passed for 3,170 yards (261-of-373) and 35 touchdowns… Luck leads the Pac-12 in passing efficiency (167.5)… Has also rushed for 153 yards and scored two touchdowns… He has thrown for two or more touchdowns in all 12 games and has four 300-yard passing efforts, including a season-high 370 in a win over Colorado on October 8.

Tyrann Mathieu – LSU – Soph – CB
Mathieu leads the top-ranked and undefeated LSU defensive unit with 66 tackles and six forced fumbles…. He has recovered four fumbles and intercepted two passes for a Tiger defensive that ranks second in the nation in scoring defense (10.58 points allowed per game)… Mathieu also averages 13.7 yards a punt return and has one returned for a touchdown… Mathieu has earned Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors twice this season (Sept. 25 and Nov. 27).

Trent Richardson – ALABAMA – Jr
RB Richardson has led the second-ranked Crimson Tide to an 11-1 record… Has rushed for 1,263 yards and 20 touchdowns… Richardson has nine 100-yard rushing efforts, including a season-high 203 in a win over Auburn on November 26 which earned him Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors… He has scored at least two rushing touchdowns in seven games this season, including a season-high four in a victory over Ole Miss on October 15.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game.

LSU Heads Polls and Conference Championship Weekend Games

LSU Heads Conference Championship Weekend - Draft Insiders.com, AP and Coaches Top 25 Teams

This is DraftInsiders.com weekly 2011 season College Poll. We will have weekly polls thru the season & postseason in our College Football Mondays blog column.

Nov. 29

Team of the Week – LSU

Photo – WR Rueben Randle - LSU

Draft Insiders.com Top 25 Poll
(This year’s record in parentheses)

1. LSU (12-0)
2. Alabama (11-1)
3. Stanford (11-1)
4. Oklahoma St (10-1)
5. Arkansas (10-2)
6. Virginia Tech (11-1)
7. Houston (12-0)
8. Oregon (10-2)
9. Boise St (10-1)
10. Oklahoma (9-2)
11. Michigan St (10-2)
12. South Carolina (10-2)
13. Georgia (10-2)
14. Southern Cal (10-2)
15. Michigan (10-2)
16. Wisconsin (10-2)
17. Kansas St (9-2)
18. Texas Christian (9-2)
19. Clemson (9-3)
20. Baylor (8-3)
21. Nebraska (9-3)
22. Southern Miss (10-2)
23. West Virginia (8-3)
24. Penn St (9-3)
25. Cincinnati (8-3)

AP Top 25 Poll
Rank / Name / W L / Previous

1. LSU - 12 - 0 / 1
2. Alabama - 11 - 1 / 2
3. Oklahoma St - 10 - 1 / 5
4. Stanford - 11 - 1 / 4
5. Virginia Tech - 11 - 1 / 6
6. Arkansas - 10 - 2 / 3
7. Houston - 12 - 0 / 8
8. Oregon - 9 - 2 / 9
9. Boise St. - 10 - 1 / 7
10. Southern Cal - 10-2 / 10
11. Michigan St - 10-2 / 11
12. Georgia - 10-2 / 13
13. Oklahoma - 9 - 2 / 12
14. South Carolina - 10 - 2 / 14
15. Wisconsin - 10-2 / 15
16. Kansas St. - 10 -2 / 16
17 Michigan - 10 - 2 / 20
18. Texas Christian - 9-2 / 19
19. Baylor - 9-3 / 21
20. Nebraska - 9 -3 / 22
21. Clemson - 9 - 3 / 18
22. West Virginia - 8-3 / NR
23. Penn St - 9-3 / 20
24. Southern Miss - 10-2 / NR
25. Florida St - 8-4 / NR

Coaches Top 25 Poll
Rank Team (first-place votes) Record

1. LSU (59) - 12-0
2. Alabama - 11-1
3. Virginia Tech - 11-1
4. Stanford - 11-1
5. Oklahoma St - 10-1
6. Houston - 12-0
7. Oregon - 10-2
8. Boise St - 10-1
9. Michigan St. - 10-2
10. Arkansas - 10-2
11. Oklahoma - 9-2
12. Wisconsin - 10-2
13. South Carolina - 10-2
14. Georgia - 10-2
15. Kansas St - 10-2
16. Michigan - 10-2
17. Texas Christian - 9-2
18. Baylor - 9-3
19. Nebraska - 9-3
20. West Virginia - 8-3
21. Clemson - 9-3
22. Penn St - 9-3
23. Southern Miss - 10-2
24. Florida St - 8-4
25. Cincinnati (8-3)

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe and All-American teams. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards.

LSU Pounds Arkansas To Claim #1 Into Conference Title Game

LSU Pounds Arkansas To Claim #1 Into SEC Championship vs Georgia

'College Football Monday'
Frank Coyle's Blog Column

LSU and Houston Finish Regular Season As the Only Two Unbeatens

Offensive Player of the Week –
RB Trent Richardson - Alabama

Defensive Player of the Week
CB Tyrann Mathieu - LSU

Photo - RB Trent Richardson - Alabama

The final full week of the regular 2011 season is complete with conference championship games on the agenda this week. LSU continues to establish themselves as the #1 club with an impressive 41-17 win over Arkansas after trailing 14-0 in the second quarter. The Tigers are a powerhouse who meets a hot Georgia team this week in the SEC title game. The Bulldogs have won 10 consecutive games since opening the season with two losses. LSU gained their composure vs Arkansas and drilled them with another display of power and speed that has dominated their competition against probably the toughest schedule in the nation. LSU appears headed for a rematch with Alabama who lost their only game to the Tigers 9-6 in early November. Alabama dominated Auburn in their finale to complete an excellent 11-1 season, though only good for second place in the SEC West that is occupied by LSU and Arkansas. Those three clubs ranked 1-3 entering last weekend with LSU and Alabama holding the top two spots while Arkansas fell back in the top ten.

LSU relied on a power ground game and some big plays from QB Jordan Jefferson and corner Tyrann Mathieu to blitz the Hogs. Jefferson had his best game of the season and gets the starting nod from here on thru the BCS bowl games. Mathieu may be the best defensive player in the nation after another outstanding performance. ‘Honey Badger’ has a great nose for the ball and packs a wallop when he gets there to force turnovers. In the key win over Arkansas, he had a team-best eight solo tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered one as the top-ranked Tigers completed their regular season undefeated. Mathieu added a 92-yard punt return for a TD as LSU remained undefeated (12-0, 8-0 in SEC West) and earned a spot in next week’s SEC Championship Game.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson rushed for a career-high 203 yards (on 27 carries) as the second-ranked Crimson Tide defeated Auburn, 42-14, in the Iron Bowl. Richardson added a five-yard touchdown reception as Alabama improved to 11-1, 7-1 in the SEC West. Richardson is one of the top Heisman Trophy candidates entering the final weekend where he will sit out waiting for the Tides feat in the postseason.

Michigan finally beat Ohio St. 40-34 that snapped a 7 game losing streak to their archrival. Michigan QB Denard Robinson accounted for 5 TDs as the Wolverines finished 10-2. Robinson ran for 170 yards on 26 carries, in addition to going 14 of 17 for 167 yards in a terrific overall performance. The Michigan win was huge for first year coach Brady Hoke who will lead the Wolverines in a top tier bowl matchup. Ohio St. named Urban Meyers their new head coach on Monday. The former Florida head coach sat out this year due to minor medical issues. He lead the Gators to two national championships and returns to Ohio St. where he was an assistant coach prior to starting his head coaching career at Bowling Green.

UCLA ran into the Trojans in their cross town rivalry. QB Matt Barkley has been in a zone for weeks and torched the Bruins 50-0. Barkley went 35 of 42 for 423 yards and 6 TDs that ended the Trojans season at 10-2. The Trojans are under NCAA suspension for any postseason activity, though they would rank in the top ten easily if eligible. Barkley had an outstanding season and closed with as impressive a run as any player in the nation, though any Heisman talk was most likely too little too late. UCLA finished 6-6 and earned a berth in the Pac 12’s first championship game vs Oregon. Figure that out.

Houston finished undefeated that ranks them in the top ten. QB Case Keenum broke school, conference and NCAA records weekly over the final months that might earn an invite to the Heisman Trophy presentation. Where Houston falls in the bowl season will be interesting with their perfect record intact entering the CUSA title game vs Southern Miss. They hope to possibly challenging for the BCS title if LSU loses over their final two games.

Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead had two punt returns for 54 yards, nine receptions for 112 yards and a TD, and 17 carries for 80 yards and a TD in a 30-13 win over Syracuse on Nov. 26. He finished with 246 all-purpose yards in the game. Pead's performance helped keep the Bearcats alive for a Big East Championship and a BCS bowl berth.

Georgia's Brandon Boykin had an impressive showing against Georgia Tech over the weekend. Boykin will face off with LSU this weekend in the Southeastern Conference Championship game in Atlanta, Georgia. Boykin caught one pass for 28 yards, returned two punts for 4 yards and returned one kick for 60 yards in a 31-17 win over Georgia Tech. On defense Boykin recorded two total tackles, including assisting on a tackle for loss.

The BCS matchup for #1 appears headed for a rematch of LSU and Alabama after last weekend. LSU prevailed 9-6 earlier this season on the road that earned them a huge lead for the #1 ranking entering the final months. They win the SEC West division in the conference that has dominated the national title for five consecutive seasons.

This Week’s Top Games
#1 LSU vs #12 Georgia
#11 Michigan St vs #15 Wisconsin
#7 Houston vs #24 Southern Miss
#5 Virginia Tech vs #21 Clemson

New Weekly Top 25 Polls Posted every Tuesday

Frank Coyle writes ‘College Football Monday’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe, etc. He is a voter for weekly Team and Player Awards

LSU Pounds Arkansas To Claim #1 Into Conference Title Game

LSU Pounds Arkansas To Stand At #1

'College Football Monday'
Frank Coyle's Blog Column

LSU and Houston Finish Regular Season As the Only Two Unbeatens

Offensive Player of the Week –
RB Trent Richardson - Alabama

Defensive Player of the Week
CB Tyrann Mathieu - LSU

Photo - RB Trent Richardson - Alabama

The final full week of the regular 2011 season is complete with conference championship games on the agenda this week. LSU continues to establish themselves as the #1 club with an impressive 41-17 win over Arkansas after trailing 14-0 in the second quarter. The Tigers are a powerhouse who meets a hot Georgia team this week in the SEC title game. The Bulldogs have won 10 consecutive games since opening the season with two losses. LSU gained their composure vs Arkansas and drilled them with another display of power and speed that has dominated their competition against probably the toughest schedule in the nation. LSU appears headed for a rematch with Alabama who lost their only game to the Tigers 9-6 in early November. Alabama dominated Auburn in their finale to complete an excellent 11-1 season, though only good for second place in the SEC West that is occupied by LSU and Arkansas. Those three clubs ranked 1-3 entering last weekend with LSU and Alabama holding the top two spots while Arkansas fell back in the top ten.

LSU relied on a power ground game and some big plays from QB Jordan Jefferson and corner Tyrann Mathieu to blitz the Hogs. Jefferson had his best game of the season and gets the starting nod from here on thru the BCS bowl games. Mathieu may be the best defensive player in the nation after another outstanding performance. ‘Honey Badger’ has a great nose for the ball and packs a wallop when he gets there to force turnovers. In the key win over Arkansas, he had a team-best eight solo tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered one as the top-ranked Tigers completed their regular season undefeated. Mathieu added a 92-yard punt return for a TD as LSU remained undefeated (12-0, 8-0 in SEC West) and earned a spot in next week’s SEC Championship Game.

Alabama running back Trent Richardson rushed for a career-high 203 yards (on 27 carries) as the second-ranked Crimson Tide defeated Auburn, 42-14, in the Iron Bowl. Richardson added a five-yard touchdown reception as Alabama improved to 11-1, 7-1 in the SEC West. Richardson is one of the top Heisman Trophy candidates entering the final weekend where he will sit out waiting for the Tides feat in the postseason.

Michigan finally beat Ohio St. 40-34 that snapped a 7 game losing streak to their archrival. Michigan QB Denard Robinson accounted for 5 TDs as the Wolverines finished 10-2. Robinson ran for 170 yards on 26 carries, in addition to going 14 of 17 for 167 yards in a terrific overall performance. The Michigan win was huge for first year coach Brady Hoke who will lead the Wolverines in a top tier bowl matchup. Ohio St. named Urban Meyers their new head coach on Monday. The former Florida head coach sat out this year due to minor medical issues. He lead the Gators to two national championships and returns to Ohio St. where he was an assistant coach prior to starting his head coaching career at Bowling Green.

UCLA ran into the Trojans in their cross town rivalry. QB Matt Barkley has been in a zone for weeks and torched the Bruins 50-0. Barkley went 35 of 42 for 423 yards and 6 TDs that ended the Trojans season at 10-2. The Trojans are under NCAA suspension for any postseason activity, though they would rank in the top ten easily if eligible. Barkley had an outstanding season and closed with as impressive a run as any player in the nation, though any Heisman talk was most likely too little too late. UCLA finished 6-6 and earned a berth in the Pac 12’s first championship game vs Oregon. Figure that out.

Houston finished undefeated that ranks them in the top ten. QB Case Keenum broke school, conference and NCAA records weekly over the final months that might earn an invite to the Heisman Trophy presentation. Where Houston falls in the bowl season will be interesting with their perfect record intact entering the CUSA title game vs Southern Miss. They hope to possibly challenging for the BCS title if LSU loses over their final two games.

Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead had two punt returns for 54 yards, nine receptions for 112 yards and a TD, and 17 carries for 80 yards and a TD in a 30-13 win over Syracuse on Nov. 26. He finished with 246 all-purpose yards in the game. Pead's performance helped keep the Bearcats alive for a Big East Championship and a BCS bowl berth.

Georgia's Brandon Boykin had an impressive showing against Georgia Tech over the weekend. Boykin will face off with LSU this weekend in the Southeastern Conference Championship game in Atlanta, Georgia. Boykin caught one pass for 28 yards, returned two punts for 4 yards and returned one kick for 60 yards in a 31-17 win over Georgia Tech. On defense Boykin recorded two total tackles, including assisting on a tackle for loss.

The BCS matchup for #1 appears headed for a rematch of LSU and Alabama after last weekend. LSU prevailed 9-6 earlier this season on the road that earned them a huge lead for the #1 ranking entering the final months. They win the SEC West division in the conference that has dominated the national title for five consecutive seasons.

This Week’s Top Games
#1 LSU vs #12 Georgia
#11 Michigan St vs #15 Wisconsin
#7 Houston vs #24 Southern Miss
#5 Virginia Tech vs #21 Clemson

New Weekly Top 25 Polls Posted every Tuesday

Frank Coyle writes ‘College Football Monday’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He is also a member of the FWAA and voter in College team and player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe, etc. He is a voter for weekly Team and Player Awards

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