Kansas State v TCU

K-State is the BCS’ new No. 1 team


Thanks to Texas A&M, there are now only three undefeated teams fighting to fill one of two spots in this year’s BCS championship game.

Your new No. 1 team? Kansas State, fresh off a win over TCU. As we said Saturday night, the Wildcats should be feeling good about their BCS chances so long as they can win their remaining games against Baylor and No. 15 Texas, which has quietly rebounded after dropping a pair of Big 12 games in early October. Manhattan, KS, could be a rocking town here in a couple of weeks.

Oregon comes in at No. 2 as the Ducks prepare for a difficult stretch against No. 13 Stanford and No. 16 Oregon State. Despite being the top-ranked team in both the AP and USA Today coaches’ polls, the Ducks are still looking at a No. 4 computer average. That should figure to go up if Chip Kelly’s team can get through the next few weeks unscathed.

Left out as of the BCS championship picture as of tonight, once again, is No. 3 Notre Dame. It’s still hard to imagine the Irish could be undefeated with quality wins against Oklahoma, Stanford and perhaps USC and still be left out of the championship game, but that’s the way things appear to be lining up.

Alabama falls to No. 4 after losing a heartbreaker at home to A&M, and is the first of six straight SEC teams in the BCS top 10 — yet the SEC’s streak of six straight BCS championship game appearances could very well be coming to an end — before Florida State rounds out the list.

Staying in the ACC, Clemson comes in at No. 11, Oklahoma comes in at No. 12 and Nebraska is ranked 14th. Rivals UCLA and USC come in at No. 17 and No. 18, respectively, and will be playing for the Pac-12 South lead next Saturday. In fact, the Pac-12 BCS at-large picture gets interesting in the next few weeks with Stanford, Oregon State, UCLA and USC all playing in important games. To receive a BCS at-large bid, a team must be ranked in the top 14.

Louisville drops nine spots to No. 19 after losing a shocker to Syracuse and Louisiana Tech, still eyeing a BCS bowl appearance, checks in at No. 20.

Michigan, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Washington round out the BCS top 25.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah