Wake Forest v Notre Dame

Notre Dame is No. 1 in the BCS for first time in school history


For the third straight week, the BCS has a new No. 1 team.

A pair of stunning upsets on Saturday for the top two ranked teams in the college football has given the BCS a new look with just two weeks before the end of the 2012 season. No. 1 Oregon was kept off balance all night by Stanford’s defense and lost in overtime 17-14. It wasn’t as close for No. 2 Kansas State, who got thoroughly knocked around by Baylor 52-24.

Now, there’s a new BCS 1 and 2. And, as expected, it mirrors the latest Associated Press and USA Today coaches’ polls. Notre Dame is the new BCS No. 1. It’s the third straight week the BCS has had a different top-ranked team, and it’s the first time the Irish have been ranked atop the BCS in school history. The only thing that keeps Notre Dame from its first BCS championship game appearance? A little rivalry game at USC this weekend.

Alabama comes in at No. 2 and would also be slotted to play in the BCS championship game if they beat Auburn and then Georgia in the SEC championship game. Speaking of the Bulldogs, they come in at No. 3. If both Alabama and Georgia win their regular season finales before the SEC championship game, the winner in Atlanta would be practically guaranteed to play in the BCS championship game. Remember when Georgia got crushed by South Carolina 35-7 in early October? Doesn’t matter anymore.

But don’t overlook No. 4 Florida. The Gators haven’t looked good at all since beating South Carolina in October, yet with a win over rival Florida State and a little help, Will Muschamp‘s team is very much in the BCS championship picture despite not even making the SEC championship game. Why? The Gators’ resume is tops.

Sitting at No. 5 and No. 6 are Oregon and K-State. Barring a complete meltdown atop the BCS, the Wildcats’ national championship hopes are done. The Ducks still have a glimmer of hope, but would need some help in front of them plus Stanford to lose to UCLA plus beat Oregon State plus win the Pac-12. When it comes to the computer averages, Florida is in a much better spot than the Ducks.

LSU comes in at No. 7 and Stanford, Texas A&M and Florida State round out the BCS top 10.

(Hat tip to the NFF for the chart) 

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.

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.