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Week 11 - Stay the Course

Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Not much changed in the BCS poll this week, as all of the top-10 in the standings remained intact. It certainly wasn't shaping up that way as some of the major players in the national title race averted disaster and pulled out hard-fought victories to stay on target. The last two weeks of the season are sure to be action packed.

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE: The Cam Newton debacle has taken on a life of its own and if Auburn continues to play its Heisman hopeful then the school could face any and all consequences as a result. At first, I thought this was a lot to do about nothing, but the more that comes out, it looks like Newton's camp has been busy over the last year or so. His father is the central figure in this whole thing, being accused of offering up a "pay-for-play" deal to Mississippi State during Newton's recruitment out of Blinn College. Whether Newton makes it through the season remains to be seen, but this isn't going away anytime soon.

DOWN TO THE WIRE: While some of the conference races have already been decided like the SEC, most are coming down to the last couple of games. The ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and Big East winners are still unclear, but that is going to change starting with key matchups this week in each league.

ESCAPE ARTISTS: The top 10 teams in the BCS rankings remained in place this week, but it was almost a disaster for some. Second-ranked Auburn got off to a slow start against Georgia before putting the game away late. Fourth-ranked TCU got a huge scare at home against San Diego State. Seventh-ranked Stanford hung on to survive against Arizona State, but it was top-ranked Oregon's "Houdini act" in Berkeley that really opened eyes.

The Ducks stopped California on a crucial two-point conversion and also got a fortuitous break on an confusing illegal motion penalty by Cal's placekicker that moved the Bears back five yards and was followed by a miss. The result was a 15-13 victory and while the Ducks kept their spot atop the national polls, they finally showed a chink in the armor.

Alex Gillett rushed for 159 yards and one TD, while throwing for 214 yards and three more scores.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Eastern Michigan's Alex Gillett's team dropped a 15-point decision to Western Michigan this past weekend, but it certainly wasn't Gillett's fault, as the multi-talented QB rushed for 159 yards and one TD, while throwing for 214 yards and three more scores. He was met head on by Western Michigan's Alex Carder, who passed for 349 yards and four TDs. Another classic head to head battle took place when UAB's Bryan Ellis (418 yards, five TDs against East Carolina) and East Carolina's Dominique Davis (331 yards, five TDs against UAB) squared off against one another.

Other QBs with superior performances include Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (409 yards, one TD against Texas), Central Michigan's Ryan Radcliff (394 yards, three TDs against Navy), Northwestern's Dan Persa (318 yards, two passing TDs, one rushing score against Iowa), Tennessee's Tyler Bray (323 yards, three TDs against Ole Miss), Oklahoma's Landry Jones (317 yards, five TDs against Texas Tech), NC State's Russell Wilson (300 yards two TD passes, two rushing TDs against Wake Forest), Auburn's Cam Newton (148 yards passing and two TDs, 151 yards rushing another two TDs against Georgia), Northern Illinois' Chandler Harish (149 yards rushing, one TD, 162 yards passing, one TD against Toledo), Arkansas' Ryan Mallett (215 yards passing, five TDs, one rushing score against UTEP), Tulsa's G.J. Kinne (190 yards rushing one TD, 154 yards passing, two TDs against Houston) and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick (153 yards rushing two TDs, 171 yards passing against Fresno State).

North Texas tailback Lance Dunbar had a monster game in the Mean Green's win over Middle Tennessee, rumbling for 226 yards and one TD. Fresno State's Robbie Rouse also had a big outing, rushing for 217 yards and two TDs against Nevada). UConn's Jordan Todman did it again, although his 222 yards on 37 carries provided little relief in a heart-wrenching 30-28 loss to Pittsburgh.

South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore however, had the most impact in his game, as the freshman completely destroyed the Florida Gators in Gainesville, rumbling for 212 yards and three TDs, propelling his Gamecocks to the SEC East title.

Navy QB Kriss Proctor will be counted among RBs here as well, as he did all his damage against Central Michigan on the ground, rushing for 201 yards and one TD in a thrilling one-point victory for the Midshipmen.

Other ball-carriers with big time performances include FIU's Darriet Perry (186 yards, one TD against Troy), Arkansas' Knile Davis (182 yards, one TD against UTEP), Kentucky's Randall Cobb (170 yards, two TDs against Vanderbilt), Baylor's Jay Finley (169 yards, three TDs against Texas A&M), USC's Marc Tyler (160 yards, one TD against Arizona), FIU's T.Y. Hilton (158 yards, two TDs against Troy), Western Kentucky's Bobby Rainey (154 yards, two TDs against Arkansas State), Toledo's Adonis Thomas (152 yards, two TDs against Northern Illinois), Illinois' Mikel Leshoure (141 yards, two TDs against Minnesota) and Texas A&M's Cyrus Gray (137 yards, four TDs against Baylor),

San Diego State's Vincent Brown did all he could in nearly knocking off TCU this past weekend, catching four balls, for 167 yards and two TDs.

Other receivers of note include Georgia's A.J. Green (nine catches, 164 yards, two TDs against Auburn), BYU's Luke Ashworth (four catches, 113 yards, four TDs against Colorado State), Maryland's Torrey Smith (seven catches, 157 yards, one TD against Virginia), Kent State's Tyshon Goode (seven catches, 155 yards, one TD against Army), UTEP's Kris Adams (five catches, 148 yards, one TD against Arkansas), Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon (nine catches, 145 yards, one TD against Texas), Tulane's Ryan Grant (three catches, 140 yards, two TDs against Rice), NC State's Owen Spencer (seven catches, 138 yards, one TD against Wake Forest), Western Michigan's Jordan White (seven catches, 134 yards, one TD against Eastern Michigan), Kansas State's Aubrey Quarles (nine catches, 133 yards, one TD against Missouri) and Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles (eight catches, 119 yards, three TDs against Texas Tech).

SNEAK PEEK: There are four top-25 showdowns this week in the FBS. It starts in the Sunshine State when ACC Coastal Division powers collide in 14th-ranked Virginia and 24th-ranked Miami-Florida. Big Ten action then takes center stage as eighth-ranked Ohio State hits the road to battle 21st-ranked Iowa. The SEC is decided already but that won't stop 13th-ranked Arkansas and 22nd-ranked Mississippi State from putting on a good show in Starkville. The final ranked matchup takes place in the Big 12, as ninth-ranked Nebraska invades College Station to take on 18th-ranked Texas A&M.

Other games worth taking a look at include Fresno State at third-ranked Boise State, sixth-ranked Wisconsin at Michigan, NC State at North Carolina, 16th- ranked Oklahoma at Baylor, 25th-ranked Utah at San Diego State and Florida State at Maryland.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Scott Haynes at shaynes@sportsnetwork.com.

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