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CFB Barometer: Who's Up, Down Week 12

Jesse Siegel

Siegel covers college football, college basketball and minor league baseball for RotoWire. He was named College Sports Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

We're extremely close to BCS madness, as undefeateds Stanford and Boise State saw their title hopes go up in flames with losses Saturday. That leaves LSU and Oklahoma State in the driver's seat, controlling their own destinies on the road to the Championship. Alabama and Oregon still lurk, though, having both suffered their only losses of the season to coach Les Miles and LSU. Should the Tigers or Cowboys sputter down the stretch, a one-loss squad will make the BCS national championship. Whether that's Alabama, Oregon, or even perhaps Oklahoma, remains to be seen.

Let's look at the highs and lows in this week's College Football Barometer.


Alec Lemon, WR, Syracuse -
After failing to reach the 100-yard receiving plateau in Syracuse's first eight games, Lemon has surpassed that mark in each of his last two games. Over that span, Lemon has hauled in 19 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns. The Orange have a bye this week before next facing the Cincinnati Bearcats, a team that allowed two 100-yard receivers last week against West Virginia. Lemon's stats are trending in the right direction, so ride him while he's hot.

Austin Davis, QB, Southern Miss -
One of the longest winning streaks in the nation belongs to the Golden Eagles. They are led by the senior quarterback Davis, who has tossed 10 touchdowns compared to just two interceptions in his last five games. This week, the 20th-ranked Golden Eagles face UAB, which allows 37.2 points per game, good for 113th in the country. Davis should pick apart the Blazer secondary.

Brandon Wilds, RB, South Carolina -
It's tough to replace a stud like Marcus Lattimore, but Wilds has done an admirable job in his stead. Wilds has had at least 120 yards rushing or a touchdown in each of the last three contests for the Gamecocks. South Carolina is done with SEC play, with a home game against the Citadel this weekend. Wilds should certainly have his way with the Bulldogs.

Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh -
It's no surprise that with improved quarterback play from Tino Sunseri, the Panther passing game has finally taken flight. Street has been the main beneficiary, snatching 19 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown the last three games. With star running back Ray Graham out for the remainder of the season, Pittsburgh will lean a bit more on the passing game, and it appears Street will play a major role in that department.


Tim Jefferson, QB, Air Force -
Jefferson was forced to take an early exit Saturday against Wyoming due to a concussion. He hadn't exactly been lighting it up lately before the injury either, scoring two touchdowns in his last three games despite being a dual-threat quarterback. Jefferson will have to pass several hurdles before being cleared to play against UNLV this weekend. The Falcons might be able to beat 2-7 UNLV without Jefferson, so Air Force could play it safe with its senior quarterback.

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan -
Ah, the plight of the running quarterback. Robinson left Saturday's game at Illinois in the third quarter due to a wrist injury and did not return. It was the second consecutive game that Robinson was knocked out early. Although he is expected to play this week against Nebraska, Robinson has been dinged up for some time now, making him a high-risk, high-reward play.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson -
One of the most explosive players in the NCAA, Watkins suffered an AC sprain on Saturday against Wake Forest. The injury is not considered serious, but it is still worth checking on Watkins' shoulder as the week progresses. The freshman playmaker is having an absurd 2011 campaign, grabbing 69 passes for 1,040 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State -
Hillman sprained his ankle at Colorado State on Saturday en route to his worst performance in more than a month, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry for the game. However, Hillman has been a beast overall for the Aztecs, rushing for 1278 yards and 13 touchdowns in yet another sensational season. If healthy, the sophomore is a must-start; just make sure that is indeed the case before inserting him in your lineup.


Henry Josey, RB, Missouri -
The Big 12's leading rusher will have his season cut short after rupturing a tendon in his left knee. Josey was having a monster sophomore year with six 100-yard-plus rushing games and an absurd 8.1 yards per carry. In Josey's absence, Kendial Lawrence rushed for 106 yards and a score against Texas on Saturday. If available, Lawrence should be a chic pick-up this week.

Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati -
Collaros broke his right ankle against West Virginia Saturday and underwent a surgical procedure that will knock him out for the remainder of the regular season. The Bearcats will put sophomore Munchie Legaux under center for the rest of the 2011 campaign. Expect a heavy dose of the running game moving forward, meaning less production from wideouts D.J. Woods and Kenbrell Thompkins.

Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina -
Bernard had a streak of five consecutive 100-yard games earlier this season but has surpassed that mark just once in his last three games. He's been battling a hip injury for the better part of a month, while also facing better defenses. That will be the case Thursday when the Tar Heels visit Blacksburg to clash with the Virginia Tech Hokies. Va Tech ranks eighth in the nation in points allowed per game, surrendering a paltry 16.5 points per tilt. Bernard might not have the greatest output on the road in the hostile environment.

Bryant Moniz, QB, Hawaii -
Moniz broke his right leg Saturday at Nevada, ending his 2011 campaign. The Hawaii gunslinger was one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the nation, compiling a 22:5 TD:INT ratio while amassing 2,733 yards passing for the season. Shane Austin will get the nod in his place, but bear in mind that Austin tossed three interceptions in relief of Moniz in Saturday's loss to the Wolf Pack.