Thursday night action
Two national title contenders faced their biggest challenge of the season Thursday night, with only one emerging unscathed. No. 5 Baylor hosted No. 10 Oklahoma in likely the biggest game in program history for the Bears, and they stepped up to the challenge, overcoming a slow start to thrash the Sooners 41-12. The news wasn't all good for the Bears, however — star wide receiver Tevin Reese suffered a wrist injury and will miss the rest of the regular season, while running backs Glasco Martin IV and Lache Seastrunk also received injuries and did not return to the game.
No. 3 Oregon, meanwhile, continued their annual tradition of losing a key game in November, falling on the road to the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal by a score of 26-20. The game wasn't exactly as close as the final score might indicate — the Ducks scored 20 straight points in the fourth quarter, including 13 in a stretch of around three minutes late in the fourth quarter when the game was essentially out of hand. Star Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota played with a partial sprain of his MCL, and had to be helped off the field at one point after a sack (he returned to the game afterwards).
In the night's less-talked about game, two top Sun Belt competitors squared off as Louisiana-Lafayette beat visiting Troy, 41-36. The Ragin' Cajuns are now 4-0 in conference play and have won seven in a row, after opening the year with non-conference losses to Arkansas and Kansas State.
The Trojans' head coaching search rages on, but USC may have finally found its choice to replace Lane Kiffin. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is reportedly the top target for the Trojans. USC is hoping to announce their new coach in December, and while Sumlin doesn't have any direct ties to the program, he's a hot coaching commodity who would be a big splash of a hire for the Trojans.
Former head coach Carl Pelini has denied allegations of drug use, and is reportedly seeking reinstatement to his old job at the university. SB Nation previously found via a FOIA request that Pelini has been accused of using both cocaine and marijuana during his time as the Owls' head coach.
New athletic director Steve Patterson was introduced in a Thursday early afternoon news conference, and was at times overwhelmed with emotion as he begins his term at the most prestigious athletic position at his alma mater.
The Beavers added a key piece to their 2014 recruiting class, as defensive tackle Kalani Vakameilalo committed to the program. Vakameilalo is considered a three-star prospect and the top-rated player in the state of Hawaii.
There's a new NCAA rule that states high school prospects who are on track to graduate in the middle of the school year can sign a letter of intent months early, instead of having to wait until February. A few schools have taken advantage of this, as three-star all-purpose back/wide receiver Calvin Green has officially signed with Washington State and will enroll early. Four-star athlete/wide receiver Curtis Samuel signed with Ohio State, as did four-star dual-threat quarterback Brandon Harris with LSU.
Injured Badger stars Jared Abbrederis and Chris Borland are both expected to play for Wisconsin this Saturday when they take on the BYU Cougars. Starting center Dallas Lewallen, however, looks to miss the game, with Dan Voltz in his place.