Week 11 Rewind

Published on Nov. 13, 2012, at 11:50 a.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

We knew Texas A&M was in a good ‘spot’ from a situational standpoint when it ventured into Tuscaloosa to take on the nation’s top-ranked team Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Alabama was coming off its first 60-minute fistfight in more than a year. There was no telling how the Crimson Tide would play after such a draining come-from-behind win at LSU the previous week.

We found out quickly. Johnny Manziel helped the Aggies race out to a 20-0 first-quarter lead, one they would never let get away. Manziel threw for 253 yards and two touchdown passes without being intercepted. He also rushed for 92 yards on 18 carries.

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron threw his first two interceptions of the season, while Manziel and the Aggies played turnover-free football.

Nick Saban’s team isn’t out of the BCS Championship picture yet, but it will need two of the three unbeaten schools in front of it (Oregon, Kansas St. and Notre Dame) to lose.

Sportsbook’s updated future odds look like this: Oregon (+120), Kansas St. (+140), Notre Dame (6/1) and Alabama (6/1). Remember, undefeated Ohio St. can’t go to the Big Ten Championship Game or play in a bowl game.

By orchestrating Texas A&M’s stunning upset as a 13 ½-point underdog, Manziel is now a major player in the Heisman Trophy conversation. Kansas St. quarterback Collin Klein remains the minus-300 ‘chalk,’ but Manziel now has the second-shortest odds at plus-175 (risk $100 to win $175).

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo has plus-450 odds, while Oregon’s Kenjon Barner has an 8/1 number.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

–Sportsbook.ag is now listing South Carolina at Clemson as a pick ‘em affair. A few other numbers at Sportsbook for Nov. 23-24 include LSU -12 at Arkansas, FSU -7 vs. Florida, Alabama -35 vs. Auburn, Texas A&M -17 vs. Missouri and Southern Cal -3 vs. Notre Dame.

–If there was any doubt remaining about the futures of Derek Dooley and Gene Chizik (there wasn’t!) at Tennessee and Auburn, respectively, it was all removed this past Saturday. The Volunteers lost to Missouri 51-48 in quadruple overtime as 3 ½-point home favorites. Meanwhile, Georgia destroyed Auburn 38-0 as a 15 ½-point road ‘chalk.’

–For the first time in school history, Vanderbilt has won three SEC road games this season. The third victory came Saturday night in Oxford, where the Commodores posted their biggest comeback in more than 30 years. James Franklin’s team rallied from a 23-6 third-quarter deficit, capturing a 27-26 win at Ole Miss as a 2 ½-point underdog. Jordan Rogers connected with Chris Boyd on a 26-yard scoring strike with 52 seconds remaining. Vandy is a four-point home favorite Saturday vs. Tennessee.

–Despite sustaining a concussion the previous week in a win over Oklahoma St., Collin Klein started and went the distance in Kansas St.’s 23-10 win at TCU as a 6 ½-point road favorite. Klein didn’t have his best stat day, but he did rush for a pair of touchdowns to bring his season total to 19.

–With McCarron throwing his first two picks of the season, La. Tech senior quarterback Colby Cameron is now the nation’s only QB who hasn’t been intercepted. Cameron has 27 TD passes and has led the Bulldogs to an incredible year. Their only loss came in a 59-57 thriller vs. Texas A&M in Shreveport.

–La. Tech will play host to Utah St. this weekend as a three-point home underdog. This is a great under-the-radar matchup that’ll decide the WAC regular-season title. Cameron and Utah St.’s Chuckie Keeton are the country’s two most underrated signal callers. Keeton has led the Aggies to an 8-2 straight-up record and an NCAA-best 9-0-1 ATS mark. Their two outright losses came by five combined points in setbacks at Wisconsin and at BYU.

–Louisville lost more than its first game, a 45-26 defeat at Syracuse, at the Carrier Dome this past Saturday. The Cardinals also lost junior RB Senorice Perry to a season-ending ACL tear. Perry was leading U of L in rushing yards (701) and rushing touchdowns (11).

–Florida was extremely fortunate to get a pair of late fourth-quarter scores in a 27-20 win over UL-Lafayette. But the Gators lost QB Jeff Driskel to a sprained ankle and he’s listed as ‘doubtful’ for Saturday’s game vs. Jackson St. Obviously, the concern for UF is whether or not Driskel will be 100 percent for the team’s date with FSU in Tallahassee on Nov. 24.

–Southern Cal head coach made lots of enemies in his 14 months in the SEC during his brief stay in Knoxville. Therefore, there’s plenty of irony in the fact that the SEC’s hopes of winning the BCS Championship for a seven straight year could hinge on Kiffin’s Trojans beating Notre Dame in both school’s regular-season finales.

–South Carolina improved to 8-2 straight up and 7-3 against the spread with its 38-20 win over Arkansas as a 13 ½-point home favorite. The total closed at 50 ½ points, resulting in an ‘over’ winner late in the third quarter. The ‘over’ now owns a 7-3 overall record for the Gamecocks, who will host Wofford in their home finale this weekend. As of Tuesday morning, there was no line available for USC vs. Wofford. It is a part of the “extra games” on the board, ones which will most likely not have a line until Friday when a select amount of offshore shops will provide a number.

–The ‘over’ needed overtime to cash in last week’s Tennessee game vs. Missouri. Nevertheless, the ‘over’ improved to a perfect 9-0 in UT games.

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