Posted November 10, 2013

Alabama wears down LSU to remain unbeaten; more late Week 11 Snap Judgments

Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers, SEC, Texas Longhorns, UCF Knights, Virginia Tech Hokies
T.J. Yeldon

Tailback T.J. Yeldon (4) rushed for 133 yards and two TDs in Alabama’s win over LSU. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Snap Judgments from the Week 11 late slate. For more coverage, check out columns from Stewart Mandel and Andy Staples off Alabama’s win over LSU and our early and midday Snaps.

No. 1 Alabama 38, No. 10 LSU 17: For about a half, this year’s edition of LSU-Alabama seemed like it was headed to a weird and classic place. But that’s when the Crimson Tide’s physicality took over, and ‘Bama ground LSU into the dust with its size, speed and technique.

College football fans get caught up trying to predict which team can slay Alabama, but until someone finally does it, speculating seems like a fruitless exercise. Nick Saban’s team is precise and calculative. It plays with its prey like a deft cat, pawing and shifting until it finally decides to kill and move on.

At this point in the season, it seems almost comical to consider how nonchalant and dismissive Saban was of his team earlier this year. The Tide are loaded at every position. They’re singularly focused and play with the discipline of a robot army. Watching Alabama is like watching an episode of CSI; the who, what, when, where and why change, but the end result is always the same.

In this week’s episode, the Tigers were undone by early mistakes – LSU fullback J.C. Copeland fumbled a would-be first-quarter touchdown at the goal line, and quarterback Zach Mettenberger mixed some signals leading to a botched snap – and a team like Alabama pounces on missed opportunities. The second half featured a heavy dose of running back T.J. Yeldon (25 carries, 133 rushing yards, two touchdowns), and the Tide defense cracked down, taking away running back Jeremy Hill and receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The clock began to tick away, and everything wrapped up neat and tidy on CBS, the home to conveniently packaged doses of expected results.

Alabama is undefeated. Alabama is still number one. For at least another week, there will be no spoilers. [RECAP l BOX]

Virginia Tech 42, No. 14 Miami 24: The Hokies entered Saturday’s game at Miami having just endured back-to-back losses to Duke and Boston College. But with its ACC Coastal chances hanging in the balance, Virginia Tech came through in a big way. Thanks to four rushing touchdowns from freshman tailback Trey Edmunds, the Hokies improved to 7-3 (4-2) and handed the Hurricanes their second consecutive conference defeat.

The ‘Canes, who lost running back Duke Johnson to a broken ankle last week against Florida State, relied more heavily on quarterback Stephen Morris, and the senior went 16-of-29 for 324 yards with two touchdowns. But Miami had trouble sustaining long drives and keeping its offense on the field, and the ‘Canes defense eventually wore down in the second half.

With four teams with two ACC loses, the Coastal has now become some kind of crazy football bumper cars. Do you miss your childhood? I know I do. [RECAP l BOX]

• Texas 47, West Virginia 40 (OT): The Longhorns improved to 6-0 in Big 12 play after edging the Mountaineers in overtime. In a year in which Mack Brown was on the hot seat for doing less with more, Texas continues to respond in the face of adversity. For a slightly longer recap of this game, take a stroll over here. [RECAP l BOX]

No. 19 UCF 19, Houston 14: The Knights didn’t get the type of high-scoring production they’re used to receiving this season, but they were still able to manufacture enough offense to beat Houston and remain in control of the American Athletic Conference. UCF got a combined 201 rushing yards and two touchdowns from backs Storm Johnson and William Stanback, and it overcame arguably quarterback Blake Bortles’ worst performance of the year (17-of-24, 210 passing yards, one interception).

The Knights remain unbeaten in league play, while Houston, which was held to its lowest point total of the season, dropped to 7-2 (4-1). UCF will play Temple (Nov. 16), Rutgers (Nov. 21), South Florida (Nov. 29) and SMU (Dec. 7) as it looks to lock up a BCS bowl berth. [RECAP l BOX]

Pittsburgh 28, No. 24 Notre Dame 21: The Fighting Irish had been able to dodge, dip, duck, dive and dodge their way through a few close calls this season. But after steadily creeping up the rankings, they got pelted in by the Panthers on Saturday. Campus Union’s Zac Ellis has more over here. [RECAP l BOX]

No. 16 UCLA 31, Arizona 26: After Arizona State’s come-from-behind victory over Utah on Saturday, it was doubly important that UCLA win to keep pace in Pac-12 South. With running back Jordon James out, Steven Manfro injured and the bulk of the carries falling to Paul Perkins, coach Jim Mora opted to open things up a bit, working freshman linebacker Myles Jack into the ground game. Jack finished with 120 rushing yards and a touchdown, proving he’s a modern day renaissance man capable of just about anything. [RECAP l BOX]

No. 17 Fresno State 48, Wyoming 10: The Bulldogs stayed unbeaten in another late-night special, and they used the formula that’s fueled much of their 9-0 start: Let Derek Carr throw a lot. The senior quarterback went 31-of-44 for 347 yards with four touchdowns. With Northern Illinois entering the make-or-break portion of its schedule, each team will continue to jockey for BCS position. Let’s get their fans together for an ice cream social and do some trust falls soon. [RECAP l BOX]

16 comments
JasonKoonce
JasonKoonce

One point about the college football season that bugs me is the seeming underestimation of undefeated teams. This is college ball, and keeping dozens upon dozens of very young people focused and WINNING every week is equal to a win in an of itself at the end of the season.

Currently the reasoning goes something like, 'Well [team A] played a weak conference and only had 1 marquee win. [Team B] had a loss early on in the season (essentially preseason) but now they have their thing together and are deemed worthy of a better spot.' 

Well, I'm of the opinion that a win has more value if you never lose than if you have the motivation of the taste of defeat in your mouth. Sure the margins of competition vary from say the Big 4 conferences and everyone else. However, to go several months doing whatever it takes (overcoming questionable officiating, offense/defense/special teams bad days, injuries, college kids emotions, etc.), is worth a victory. A 1-loss team can't say they are perfect in anything, but a team with a perfect record has just that: a PERFECT record and should keep playing until they lose or they run out of games to lose.

JasonKoonce
JasonKoonce

Alabama reminds me of Tyson at his height, and I think the BCS Championship game opponent is looking more and more like Michael Spinks than Buster Douglass. One of two scenario's is going to happen:

a) Whoever makes the championship game had better win or at least 3 teams fans are going to be crying about how their team should have played instead of whoever.

b) The final BCS Championship is a success after Bama loses without any officiating controversy.

youngnorth77
youngnorth77

I said it before that oregon and alabama would lose the season ain't over yet , it will be only 2 teams left undefeated who will they be we will see

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

I'm thankful that this era of college football is almost over. It has been so absurd. The fact that Florida was ranked as one of the better teams in the nation coming in to this year exemplifies this BCS era.  We have a secret computer formula that undoubtedly gives teams credit for beating ranked teams. I'm sure it is secret because we all know how ridiculous the rankings are, especially at the beginning of the year. They want to cover this collusion up as much as possible. 

Oldtimeduffer
Oldtimeduffer

Florida State looks to be the only team with a chance to stop Alabama's run this year.  It will be an interesting game to see.  ( I am NOT a fan of either team, but the outcome of the BCS race looks pretty inevitable this year).

olansuddeth
olansuddeth

Quick, somebody let in the peanut gallery, so that they can tell us again how Bama is overrated, flawed, etc.  Disclaimer: I'm an Auburn fan who would love to see *anybody* knock off the Tide.

AllisGrace
AllisGrace

Congratulations to bama for another dominating victory this season. It doesn't look like they will be stopped I'm afraid, and this run in very impressive.

doghockey
doghockey

Time to hear from the Hurricane fans explaining how another loss and another drop in the polls are nothing but a massive conspiracy by SI against the UM program.

JamesTeasdale
JamesTeasdale

@youngnorth77 How's that working out for you so far. Alabama won't lose to anyone left on their schedule. They play Auburn in Auburn and probably Mizzou in the SECCG. Neither has a snowball's chance in hell. Auburn can't pass the ball and nobody runs on Bama.

stagger
stagger

@JeffBockert What does one have to do with the other? Early season polls are always useless. That's not going to change. Remember USC being touted as the #1 team in the country in 2012, only to fall completely out of the top 25?

ironoxide40
ironoxide40

@JeffBockert The coming four team playoff isn't going to change the flaws in the polls, especially pre-season.  It will only help determine a more complete outcome.

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@Oldtimeduffer  I think you are right. It's too bad. I'd love to see A&M, Stanford, Oregon (with a healthy QB) and Ohio State with FSU and Bama in a playoff. 

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@olansuddeth  Because they beat a team that already lost to Ole Miss? I see you were also educated at Auburn. 

Choutsu
Choutsu

@stagger @JeffBockert The computer portion of the BCS formula is the most unbiased of the whole thing. Coaches, media, humans in general can vote based on affiliation, especially with non-public ballots. 

The AP will still have their preseason poll, which means jack. The good news for you, Jeff is that Oregon will probably be overhyped again next year in said poll and you can celebrate that at least until they choke again against a complete team.

Lastly, as of now the playoff committee members votes are not going to be made public, so in my opinion that is not the definition of a better system to define who gets to be the 4 teams at the end. I think you have to peel back the layers. Just because a team is undefeated doesn't mean it is better than a 2 loss team. Look at who a team loses to, and if those team have any losses, who those teams were. How close were scores? Where were the games played? Was it a rivalry? Look at injuries for the teams, and if they have the personnel back. How improved is a team than they were from the first game. 

ironoxide40
ironoxide40

@JeffBockert @olansuddeth

Jeff, You're right LSU loss to a healthy Georgia team, Alabama and an Ole Miss team that loss to the current  #1, #7 & #15 ranked teams.  Not sure Ole Miss is a bad loss.

Bama has wins over four current Top-40 teams (Texas A&M, LSU, VT and Ole Miss), FSU two (Clemson & Miami), Ohio State one (Wisconsin) and Baylor one (Oklahoma).  If you consider them overrated, based on this information, who would you put ahead of Alabama?