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December 4, 2013

Direct Kick: What a weekend for college football

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — And this past weekend was a perfect example of why college football is such a thrill to watch.

I mean all I can say is wow. Rivalry Saturday (and in some cases Thursday and Friday) lived up to its moniker as Auburn stunned Alabama in the Iron Bowl to totally throw the BCS into disarray, Ohio State held off a two-point conversion by Michigan to win at the Big House, South Carolina once again proved its superiority over Clemson in the Battle of South Carolina, Florida State kept its national title hopes alive by rolling past a reeling Florida, Missouri proved it was for real with a win over Texas A & M, and of course, Tennessee beat Kentucky. Whew. And that’s not even mentioning USC-UCLA, Oregon-Oregon State, Arizona State-Arizona and Notre Dame-Stanford.

Chris Davis became a household name in Alabama when he returned a missed field goal 108 yards for a touchdown that lifted Auburn past previously No. 1 and two-time defending national champ Alabama, dropping the Crimson Tide out of the SEC title game and the national title picture. Auburn, a team that went winless in the SEC last season, will take on Missouri, a two-win SEC campaign last year, for the SEC title and an outside chance that the SEC will once again have a representative in the national title game.

That is unless Florida State and Ohio State both win their conference title games and stays unbeaten. That would set up a Seminoles-Buckeyes tilt for the national title. But already there are some who are saying that Auburn deserves to be in the BCS title game over Ohio State, a team that has only won 24 straight games dating back to last season. I say let’s wait and see what happens after this weekend. There’s no saying Auburn will even beat Missouri or that Ohio State will beat Michigan State. The only given I think is Florida State ending Duke’s dream season in the ACC title games.

So SEC fans there’s still a chance you will have a representative for what seems like the 100th year in a row in the national title game.

A lot of people knock Ohio State’s strength of schedule, which is true to some extent. The Buckeyes can’t help it that the Big 10 isn’t quite as big as it once was, but that was never a concern back in the day when it used to be the Big 2 (Ohio State and Michigan) and the rest. The Buckeyes were always a national power and I still think that they are. Of course, they could have strengthened up their non-conference schedule a little more.

Florida State has been a surprise team, but if quarterback Jameis Winston is charged in a sexual assault case that is ongoing and suspended, I think the Seminoles will put up very little opposition against whichever team it would face. FSU goes as Winston goes.

This is the final season for the BCS, as next year we go to a four-team playoff format. It’s only fitting that the final year of the BCS has this type of drama.

Staying with football, the University of the Cumberlands remained unbeaten over the weekend by beating St. Francis in the NAIA playoffs. Could they win a national title? And In the high school ranks, Williamsburg and Pulaski County both will be playing for a state title this weekend in Bowling Green. So football fans in this area still have something the cheer about.

sports@sentinel-echo.com

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