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National Review: The Picture Becomes Clearer

Alabama won an amazing Iron Bowl, Mississippi State eliminated, Baylor Struggles, and Ohio State wins the battle but loses key personnel. Rusty Ryan takes a look at the week that was.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend worked out as best as it could for Oregon.  The Ducks get a shot at revenge against Arizona in the PAC-12 Championship game, Alabama keeps the top spot meaning that Oregon is slotted to take on Florida State in the Rose Bowl.

Alabama Gets Revenge

The 2014 Iron Bowl did not disappoint.  Blake Sims had a near implosion and Auburn was on pace to score 70 points at one point.

Blake Sims finished with 20/27 for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns with 3 interceptions.  His 3 interceptions came at a bad time, but his touchdown passes led to the late-game surge that saw Alabama score on five consecutive drives.

Amari Cooper had his "remember me?" Heisman moments.  He finished with 13 catches for 223 yards and 3 touchdowns.  He laughed when he was in single coverage.  Somehow the Tiger defense said to themselves, "Yeah, leave Cooper in single coverage, what could go wrong?" multiple times even though Cooper was slicing and dicing the secondary.

Ohio State Struggles in Win, Loses QB

Michigan brought the ruckus in Brady Hoke's last game as head coach.  Devin Gardner made so many plays both running and throwing but a fumble late sealed the game for Ohio State.

The biggest loss was J.T. Barrett went down with a fractured right ankle and had to undergo surgery ending his season.  The Buckeyes are now down to their third string quarterback after losing Braxton Miller before the season and now Barrett.

The committee says that they take injuries into consideration.  I hope that they only take injuries into account retroactively and not predicting forward.  I hope that the Barrett injury doesn't negatively impact the Buckeyes because their defense is strong, their running game is solid, and they might have a plug-and-play aspect at the quarterback position like Oregon has had the last few years.

Ole Miss Tops Mississippi State

The Egg Bowl has been one of the games we were waiting on all season.  The Mississippi schools were the crown jewels of the beginning of the season.

This game was a defensive slugfest with both defenses hitting hard and tackling well.  The game didn't swing one way until Ole Miss running back Jaylen Walton had a 96-yard run reversing field and breaking tackles to put Ole Miss up 14 points.

Bo Wallace, even without a touchdown pass, made some important plays.  Perhaps most importantly, he only threw one interception.

TCU Throttles Texas

The Horned Frogs got up early and scored often in their 48-10 win over Texas.  TCU forced 6 turnovers, which is one of the reasons why this score is so lopsided.  Texas was never in this game.

TCU, Baylor, or Ohio State will be the argument that you'll hear about all week.  Which team belongs in the #4 spot?  Ohio State has been one of the most impressive teams late in the season.  TCU is beating everyone but lost to Baylor.  Baylor has struggled in some games but beat TCU.

Baylor Pulls Out Close Win Against Texas Tech

This game came down to a failed two-point conversion with just over a minute to go but Baylor held on for a 48-46 win.

Texas Tech outgained the Bears 712-547 but was undone with their four turnovers, three of which were fumbles.  The Red Raiders also had to battle 125 yards of penalties.

We'll be on Bryce Petty watch this week.  He was knocked out of the game with a concussion after a targeting hit.  It's really the worst timing because this week they travel to Kansas State.

Florida State Comes Back Earlier Than Normal

I thought the Gators matched up well with a strong defense and potentially stiff rushing game.  They took advantage of Jameis Winston's early mistakes in possibly the worst half of his career but had to settle for field goals, which were ultimately the different maker in the 24-19 loss.

Jameis Winston threw 12/24 for 125 yards and 4 interceptions with only 2 touchdowns.  His QBR, and I didn't know this was possible, was 5.9.  5.9!

The tide turned when Terrance Smith intercepted a tipped Gator pass and returned it for a 94-yard touchdown.  Nike O'Leary balled out by catching two touchdowns and talking the most trash during the game.

This game wasn't great to watch.  It almost makes me feel bad for Gator fans but then I remember they won national championships not too long ago.

Playoffs if they happened now

Alabama v. TCU in the Sugar Bowl

Oregon v. Florida State in the Rose Bowl