The college football season has almost reached its conclusion, with next week bringing us a slate of epic conference championship games. We're here to give you a recap of the last stacked (volume-wise) Saturday slate of the year with our College Football Final: Everything You Need To Know From Week 13's Saturday Action.
The Big 12 Belongs To Oklahoma
There was plenty of controversy surrounding the Oklahoma Sooners' ascent from #7 to #3 in this past Tuesday's College Football Playoff rankings reveal. The critics may have been silenced for good, however, after the Sooners' 58-23 Bedlam win over the #11 Oklahoma State Cowboys.
OU ran through the Cowboys for 44 points and 359 total yards in the first half on the strength of RBs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. Perine and Mixon broke off TD runs of 68 and 66 yards respectively, pacing an electric Sooners attack. Up 44-20, OU basically backpedaled to a win and looks to be a mortal lock for one of the four College Football Playoff slots.
Clemson And Alabama Are Each One Win Away
The #2 Alabama Crimson Tide stifled Auburn's offense for the majority of Saturday's Iron Bowl matchup, and RB Derrick Henry made it count with his fourth 200-plus rushing yard effort in six games in Bama's 29-13 road win. Henry went for 271 yards and a score, sending Alabama into next week's SEC title game against Florida in what'll be a win-and-in scenario.
The same holds true for #1 Clemson who finished off their first undefeated regular season since the program's 1981 national title run, holding off rival South Carolina in a 37-32 triumph. QB Deshaun Watson accounted for 393 of the team's 515 yards, scoring four total touchdowns in a performance for the Clemson history scrapbook. Clemson will face off with one-loss #14 North Carolina next week in the ACC title game. UNC finished off its regular season on Saturday with a 45-34 win over in-state rival NC State. A win there and Clemson will have a CFP spot locked down.
LSU To Retain Les Miles
As recently as a day ago, it appeared that Les Miles and the LSU Tigers were headed for a messy breakup. However, following LSU's 19-7 win over the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday night, athletic director Joe Alleva says Miles will remain as the program's head coach.
"Les Miles is our football coach and he will continue to be our football coach," Alleva said on the SEC Network Saturday night.
According to ESPN's Joe Schad, "public pressure and sentiment" played a huge role in Miles' retention. Multiple reports over the past couple of weeks indicated that the majority of the program's most influential boosters were heavily in favor of firing Miles, with Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher tabbed as the boosters' #1 pick as a replacement.
However, Miles will be retained after finishing 8-3 this regular season -- the 11th time in 11 tries that he's led LSU to eight wins or more.
Michigan State Sets Things Up
Two weeks ago, #5 Michigan State seemed like they'd have to scrap just to make a New Year's Six bowl. Now they're set up for a College Football Playoff elimination next week after a 55-16 thrashing of Penn State. Taking advantage of a litany of PSU mistakes and missed opportunities, MSU secured a Big Ten East title and will take on #4 Iowa in an all-the-marbles conference title game next week.
Notre Dame Falls, Stanford Rises
The #9 Stanford Cardinal have been written off for dead at multiple points of the 2015 season. That means very little now, as their College Football Playoff hopes are alive following a massive home 38-36 win over the #6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday night. QB Kevin Hogan captained an improbable comeback down 36-35 with just over a minute left, hitting Devon Cajuste with a 27-yard strike to set up kicker Conrad Ukropina for a game-winning 45-yard field goal.
The two-loss Cardinal will need help and a win over USC in next week's Pac-12 title game to make the CFP field. Notre Dame, on the other hand, will likely end up with an at-large Big 12 title bid.
The Defending Champs Aren't Dead Yet
Rumors of #8 Ohio State's demise were greatly exaggerated. One week after watching their Big Ten title hopes go up in smoke with a three-point loss to #5 Michigan State, OSU buckled in and ran all over rival #10 Michigan in an inspired 42-13 road win. The Wolverines' normally all-world run defense was gashed for 353 combined yards and five rushing touchdowns by RB Ezekiel Elliott and QB JT Barrett. Now, OSU has to wait for the rest of the dominos to fall next week before they learn if this MASSIVE win is enough to get them back to college football's Big Dance.
Florida's CFP Dreams Are Dashed
The SEC East champion #12 Gators needed a win over rival #13 Florida State on Saturday to set up a potential win-and-in SEC title game with #2 Alabama next week. So much for that.
FSU dominated UF in every facet of the game, levelling a hapless Florida squad in a 27-2 win. RB Dalvin Cook's 183 yards and two touchdowns paced the Seminoles in a complete effort that will leave the Gators on the outside of the CFP looking in.
USC's Regular Season Rebound Is Complete
What a long, strange trip it's been. Just under two months ago, USC was languishing at 3-2 and staring at the unknown after head coach Steve Sarkisian was fired for his alleged behavior under the influence of alcohol while at work. However, USC has persevered in amazing fashion -- winning five of seven under interim coach Clay Helton while securing a Pac-12 title game matchup against Stanford.
Saturday's 40-21 win over rival #22 UCLA moves the Trojans to 8-4 and an upset win over the Cardinal away from a New Year's Six bowl berth. Quite the turnaround.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed