Athlon ranks the top 25 true and redshirt freshmen from 2012.
With the 2012 college football regular season in the books, it’s time to take a look at the year in review. Several freshmen made an impact in the national and conference title races, including Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. The redshirt freshman wasn’t the only quarterback making a splash in their first season, as Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and UCLA’s Brett Hundley each averaged over 250 yards of total offense.
Which bowls should you tune into? Athlon ranks and previews all of the matchups from the must-see to the ones you can avoid. Although Alabama and Notre Dame is clearly the biggest bowl game, with 34 other contests, there are plenty of other quality pairings to watch this postseason.
Ranking the 35 Bowl Games: Must-Watch to Must-Miss
Saban, Stanford in rare company on way to BCS games
This is not a sentiment often noted with the BCS: Good thing the championship game is more than a month away.
Otherwise, good luck topping the game of the year in Atlanta. Every play and every decision was magnified in the SEC Championship Game. Every time a running back fought for an extra yard (and it happened a lot) a national championship seemed it was at stake.
Six conference championship games highlight the Week 14 slate, most notably the Georgia vs. Alabama clash in the SEC. There will also BCS bids on the line in the Big Ten (Nebraska vs. Wisconsin), ACC (Florida State vs. Georgia Tech) and Pac-12 (UCLA at Stanford), and possibly even in the MAC, where the winner of the Kent State vs. Northern Illinois battle could possibly end up in the Orange Bowl.
UCLA and Stanford will play for the second time in six days in the Pac-12 title game.
The second annual Pac-12 Championship game isn't exactly what fans were expecting to see entering this season. Oregon and USC were overwhelming favorites to win their respective divisions and potentially battle on Nov. 30 for more than just West Coast supremacy. Best laid plans, right?
Athlon looks back at what we learned about the Pac-12 in 2012.
Please raise your hand if you had UCLA at Stanford in the 2012 Pac-12 championship game? I am still waiting. Oregon and USC were overwhelming favorites to win their respective divisions out west this fall and neither was able to reach the promised land. Oregon is still the highest-rated team in the league and should land in a BCS bowl game, while USC took a very different route to disappointment this fall. That said, a host of new coaches and freshmen quarterbacks have this league poised for a run at the mighty SEC over the next few seasons.
Have the Bruins ended the football monopoly in Los Angeles?
Has the torched in the Pac-12 South passed from USC to UCLA? Before the win over the Trojans on Saturday, the Bruins had won only one out of the last 13 matchups in the annual battle for bragging rights in Los Angeles. However, UCLA's victory, combined with the ongoing sanctions at USC could signal a shift in the series.
Athlon previews the coming week of gridiron action in the Pac-12 Conference.
This could be one of the truly great season finales in Pac-12 history. And this comes from a league that consistently plays its best rivalries on the final weekend of the year. The Civil War. The Apple Cup. The Duel in the Desert. Notre Dame and USC. And, oh by the way, Stanford visits UCLA with a trip to the Pac-12 championship game on the line.
Additionally, it's worth nothing that Colorado will play Utah.
Athlon recaps all of this weekend's action in the Pac-12.
So much for a Oregon-USC rematch in the Pac-12 title game. UCLA not only knocked Matt Barkley out of the game, the Bruins knocked the Trojans out of the title race for good. UCLA has clinched its second straight bid to the conference championship game — and they may have to face the same team in six days. Should Stanford win in the Rose Bowl this weekend, these two teams will meet again in Palo Alto for the right to play in the Rose Bowl against the Big Ten champ.