- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
College football: SEC needs outside help to reach title game
The six-year stranglehold of Southeastern Conference teams on the national championship might be at its end.
Conference partisans have a newcomer to thank for the development.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for a pair of touchdowns Saturday as Texas A&M toppled No. 1 Alabama 29-24 (and on the road, no less) to provide the latest twist in the title chase.
At this stage, it could take as few as four specific victories over the next three weeks to freeze SEC powers out of the national championship game for the first time since Southern California and Texas met in 2005.
Four unbeatens remain, though 10-0 Ohio State is ineligible for either the Big Ten title or a bowl game. Still, at least two of Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon would need to stumble to open things up for whoever emerges from the SEC title game.
Notre Dame will wrap up the regular season first, facing Wake Forest (5-5) in its home finale before a visit to Southern Cal (7-3). Kansas State has only two games left as well, this week’s trip to Baylor (4-5) and a Dec. 1 showdown with Texas (8-2) at home.
Oregon’s path is trickier, with Stanford (8-2), Oregon State (7-2) and a Pac-12 title game against either UCLA (8-2) or Southern Cal still to come.
There’s also the matter of dissecting just who the best team in the SEC really is, a difficult task with six teams combining for nine total losses — all against each other.
Alabama (9-1) wins the SEC West with a Thanksgiving weekend defeat of Auburn, and Georgia (9-1) already clinched the SEC East. But Florida (9-1) can add an impressive victory when it visits Florida State (9-1).
Those are the best hopes of an SEC national title, and each has upended at least one of Louisiana State (8-2), South Carolina (8-2) and Texas A&M (8-2). But to seriously have a chance at the crystal football at season’s end, the SEC’s juggernauts find themselves in quite a strange spot: needing help from the outside.
Kevin Hogan. The Stanford quarterback threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start as the Cardinal upended Oregon State 27-23 to remain in the Pac-12 title chase. Hogan, who replaced the inconsistent Josh Nunes this week, kept Stanford (8-2, 6-1) on track entering Saturday’s trek to unbeaten Oregon.
Minnesota. The Golden Gophers, who went 3-9 in back-to-back seasons, are bowl eligible under second-year coach Jerry Kill after dispatching Illinois 17-3. Saturday’s outcome wasn’t too much of a surprise; three of Minnesota’s past five Big Ten road victories came against the Illini.
Georgia Tech. Look who’s back in the ACC title chase. The Yellow Jackets (5-5, 4-3) knocked off North Carolina 68-50 and, with Miami’s loss to Virginia, share the lead in the eminently mediocre Coastal Division. ”If I would have saw that coming, I probably wouldn’t have shown up today,” Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora told reporters.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- Professor apologizes after blasting Republicans in class
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014