As the college football regular season approaches its end, the top ranked teams for the most part held form this weekend. Meanwhile in the NFL, the top contenders started making their moves for playoff spots in today’s early games.
In the best college football game of the day, the #10 Ohio State Buckeyes survived a game Maryland squad who took OSU to overtime, only to lose on a failed 2 point conversion attempt. The high scoring affair ended up in a 52-51 victory for the Buckeyes, which kept their Big 10 title hopes as well as national playoff hopes alive. Next week, they play the annual rivalry game against the #4 Michigan Wolverines who won their game against Indiana 31-20.
The game which was supposed to be the match-up of the day, but which was anything but was the #3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish versus the #12 Syracuse Orange Men from Yankee Stadium in New York. Only one squad showed up to play though and the Irish trounced the Orange 36-3.
The only top 10 team to lose yesterday in the college ranks was #9 West Virginia who were stunned by unranked Oklahoma State 45-41, ending any chance the Mountaineers had of making the National College Playoff.
Elsewhere, #1 Alabama crushed the Citadel 50-17 despite being tied with the underdog 10-10 at the half. #2 Clemson dispatched Duke 35-6, and #11 Central Florida continued the longest winning streak in the nation by defeating #24 Cincinnati 38-13. Central Florida improved their record to 10-0 this year after last year’s undefeated season. Still, they are seen as a long shot to reach the National Playoff.
And two BREAKING NEWS notes on the college football front:
1) Former LSU head coach Les Miles who won the national championship with that school in 2007 has signed with the Kansas Jayhawks to become their next football head coach.
2) Army has landed in the top 25 rankings for the first time since 1996 with their 9-2 record. They will next play in the annual Army-Navy game at 3pm on December 8th.
Turning to today’s NFL action, all of the early games were relatively close with the exception of the Indianapolis Colts – Tennessee Titans match-up where the Colts easily won 38-10.
The Houston Texans pulled out a late victory on the road against the Washington Redskins with a 23-21 win. In that game, Washington starting quarterback Alex Smith went down with a gruesome broken leg injury and is lost for the season. Backup Colt McCoy did an adequate job covering for Smith, but the Texans would still eek out the win.
Similarly, the Pittsburgh Steelers won on a last minute quarterback run by Ben Roethlisberger to steal a victory on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16.
Dallas Cowboys 22 – Atlanta Falcons 19
Detroit Lions 20 – Carolina Panthers 19
New York Giants 38 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35
Baltimore Ravens 24 – Cincinnati Bengals 21
Today’s NFL afternoon games include the Philadelphia Eagles at the red hot New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders at the Arizona Cardinals.
The Sunday Night Game is a big divisional match with the Minnesota Vikings visiting the Chicago Bears.
And the Monday Night Game pits two of the best teams in the league this year with the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs visiting the 9-1 Los Angeles Rams. The game was originally was supposed to be played in Mexico City, but due to poor field conditions, the game was moved back to Los Angeles earlier this week.