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Week 12 Headlines

Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The college football regular season is coming to a close, with a lot of teams already cleaning out their lockers, as several seasons around the nation came to an end last weekend. For the programs still battling on the gridiron, it should be a frantic finish. Redemption for some, bowl eligibility for others and BCS aspirations for the elite few, should provide plenty of intrigue in this week's regular-season finish.

BCS WORTHY? The sentiment heading into the last full week of the college football season is that either TCU or Boise State, and not both, will get a BCS bowl berth. Both are ranked in the top-10 and undefeated on the season, but playing in the Mountain West and WAC, leaves one on the outside looking in despite remarkable seasons by both. Penn State, a two-loss team will likely get a BCS bowl bid and the reason for it is that the team travels well and brings a television audience to the table. Forget the fact that the team's only tough games, Iowa and Ohio State, resulted in losses, in Happy Valley no less. Are the Nittany Lions a better team than the Broncos and Horned Frogs? Maybe, but both TCU and Boise State have run the table, while PSU finished second in the Big Ten. While the BCS won't have to deal with a national title controversy this season, the powers that be need to fix something to reward those programs that go out and navigate their schedules flawlessly, don't they?

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Speaking of teams that have far exceeded expectations. The Temple Owls have won nine straight games and sit at the precipice of a MAC Championship game if they can get past the Ohio Bobcats this week. Al Golden has to be considered a prime candidate for National Coach of the Year honors, simply for making college football relevant in Philadelphia again. There will certainly be job offers following what will likely be Temple's first postseason appearance since the 1979 Garden State Bowl. Will Golden go the route of Rutgers' Greg Schiano and stay the course with his current program instead heading off to bigger, and maybe better, things? We may find out very soon.

SOUTH BEND SHORT LIST: Charlie Weis' time at Notre Dame is probably in its final weeks, as the Irish lost at home again, this time to UConn. With Weis' departure all but a forgone conclusion, where exactly will Notre Dame look for a successor? Forget all the talk about Bob Stoops or Urban Meyer leaving
Charlie Weis' time at Notre Dame is probably in its final weeks.
Stoops may have had a down year in Norman, but the Sooners' demise had mostly to do with their Heisman Trophy winning QB, Sam Bradford, going down to injury. Stoops would have to be crazy to want to tackle the Notre Dame football program at this point.

their posts and taking on the rebuilding process in South Bend. Meyer would be foolish to leave Gainesville, where he can win national title after national title with a conveyor belt of talent at his disposal. So, where does that leave the Irish? How about Cincinnati's Brian Kelly? He has the Bearcats on the verge of a second straight BCS bowl game and has done a remarkable job in his short three-year stint in Cincinnati. He may actually be the best choice at the present time. Stanford's Jim Harbaugh has also been mentioned, and though a long shot, the aforementioned Golden could get an interview. Still, if the ND brass is smart, it will begin an extensive search for the right man. Jimmy Clausen is likely taking his talent to the NFL, as is Golden Tate, but there are still offensive weapons in the cupboard in South Bend (namely Michael Floyd) and the right coach could bring about a quick turnaround.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: How about the quarterback play last weekend? Oregon's Jeremiah Masoli was unstoppable in the shootout win over Arizona, rushing for 61 yards and three touchdowns, while passing for 284 yards and another three scores. Texas' Colt McCoy set the NCAA record for career wins with his 396- yard, four TD performance against Kansas. Other QBs of note include Houston's Case Keenum (405 yards passing, five TDs against Memphis), Arkansas' Ryan Mallett (313 yards, five TDs against Mississippi State), BYU's Max Hall (377 yards, five TDs against Air Force), Florida's Tim Tebow (102 yards rushing, one TD and 215 yards passing, two TDs against FIU), South Florida's B.J. Daniels (141 yards, two TDs rushing and 304 yards, one passing TD against Louisville) and finally Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour (59 yards rushing, one TD, 344 yards passing, four TDs against Ball State).

The showdown between California and Stanford didn't disappoint with two prolific ground games on display. Cal was without All-American Jahvid Best, but Shane Vereen was more than a suitable replacement, rumbling for 193 yards and three TDs in upsetting the Cardinal. Stanford's Heisman candidate, Toby Gerhart, didn't hurt his campaign with a 136-yard, four TD outing.

Other tailbacks with big weeks included Tennessee's Montario Hardesty (171 yards, one TD against Vanderbilt), Nevada's Luke Lippincott (162 yards, two TDs against New Mexico State), Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams (120 yards, four TDs against NC State), Mississippi's State's Anthony Dixon (176 yards, two TDs in loss to Arkansas) and Colorado State's John Mosure (177 yards, two TDs in loss to New Mexico).

Wide receivers that dominated included Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes (12 catches, for 197 yards, two TDs against Akron) and Missouri's Danario Alexander (11 catches, 173 yards, one TD against Iowa State).

SNEAK PEEK: It's rivalry week in college football and although there is only one top-25 matchup on the docket (22nd-ranked Utah at 18th-ranked BYU), there is plenty to watch this weekend. Other games worth a look-see are top-ranked Florida hosting Florida State, second-ranked Alabama at Auburn, Georgia at seventh-ranked Georgia Tech, 11th-ranked Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, eighth- ranked Pittsburgh at West Virginia, 15th-ranked Clemson at South Carolina and UCLA at 24th-ranked USC.

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

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