After an off-season filled with scandal and controversy, seeing college football back on the field was a welcome sight. While early season games for Top 25 teams often feature blowouts of lesser opponents (and we certainly had several of those), this week we were also treated to a pair of matchups between Top 25 teams as well as some outstanding individual efforts. Some questions were answered, other teams now have even more. Here is a recap of all the action in the Top 25 this weekend.
Michigan’s star running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has been suspended for one game and will not make the trip with the team to Arlington, TX for the Wolverines’ big game against second-ranked Alabama at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday.
Second-ranked Alabama avenged its only loss of the season in a big way, shutting out #1 LSU, 21-0, in the Allstate BCS Championship Game Monday night.
Alabama’s defense, which came into the game ranked first nationally in virtually every major category, showed just why it deserves to be national champions, holding the Tigers to just 92 total yards and five first downs while pitching the first shutout in BCS title game history.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck saved the best for last, going 27 for 31 for 347 yards and two touchdowns in what was probably his last college football game.
But his stellar effort wasn’t enough as Cardinal kicker Jordan Williamson missed three field goals — including one at the end of regulation and another in overtime — and opened the door for Oklahoma State’s exciting 41-38 overtime win in Monday’s Fiesta Bowl.
DISCOVER ORANGE BOWL: #23 West Virginia (9-3) vs. #15 Clemson (10-3)
West Virginia closed the season on a three-game winning streak to win the Big East championship. While this may or may not be the Mountaineers’ final year in the Big East (depending on the outcome of two pending lawsuits), West Virginia is more than happy to represent the conference one last time in the Orange Bowl. Clemson, meanwhile, beat Virginia Tech twice this season, including 38-10 in the ACC title game, to clinch its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 1991 and first 10-win season since 1990.
The Rose Bowl between #5 Oregon and #10 Wisconsin was expected to be a shootout, and the two teams lived up to the hype in the highest scoring Rose Bowl in history. Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas had just two carries, but made them count on touchdown runs of 91 and 64 yards and the Ducks scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure a 45-38 victory.
Although a late-season loss at Iowa State and a handful of poll votes kept Oklahoma State out of the national championship game, the Cowboys can still make their case for national respect, playing on the biggest stage in school history.
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