College Football Week 11 Observations

Mississippi State @ 13 Texas A&M

-Texas A&M’s 51-41 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday marked the end of an era: Johnny Manziel’s last game playing in front of the “12th man” at College Station

-the importance of Manziel to the football program is immeasurable—his emergence as a superstar and leader for the Aggies made the transition to the SEC at the start of 2012 season as effortlessly as anyone could have predicted

-“Johnny Football” will look to add to his legendary collegiate career by attempting to reach an elusive BCS bowl; to do so, he will have to engineer winning performances at LSU and at Missouri, both top 15 opponents—though they are daunting matchups, victories in both are not impossible, as Manziel has yet to lose an away game as a starter

22 Arizona State @ Utah

-Arizona State almost gave the college football world another reason to dismiss them, barely edging out Utah 20-19 away from home (where they’re most commonly known to falter)

-the Sun Devils needed a 13-point fourth-quarter rally, led by quarterback Taylor Kelly’s own turnaround (Kelly had been uncharacteristically inefficient in the rest of the game)

-with three remaining games on their schedule, the Devils will only have to overcome away-game woes once more, on November 23rd at the Rose Bowl, facing off against UCLA in a matchup that will most likely decide the Pac-12 South

BYU @ 24 Wisconsin 

-as they continue to cruise through the weak part of their schedule, the Wisconsin Badgers only strengthen their case as a BCS bowl contender, with a decisive 27-17 win over BYU on Saturday

-the Badgers have been able to recover from their defeat at Arizona State, which essentially came at the hands of an officiating blunder; since then, they’ve won five of six games, with the only loss occurring at Ohio State (by only seven points)

-an away game matchup against the Minnesota Gophers poses as Wisconsin’s last threat to a 10-win season; but even then, questions about the Badgers’ resume will arise during consideration for a BCS bowl bid, posting a measly 1-1 record against ranked teams

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