1. Heisman watch
Saturday, November 23 marks the day I must hop off the Jalen Hurts for Heisman campaign. While his rushing performance was Heisman gold, his pass game was, respectfully, subpar. He threw for a 52.4% completion rate with 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. A 60% completion rate is a solid game, so being below that is a little ridiculous (props to our TCU defense though.) Like I prefaced, his rushing game was phenomenal leading the Sooners with 28 carries for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. Duggan and Hurts both lead each team’s rushing game. While Jalen Hurts is still a Heisman finalist contender, at this point in time I no longer see him as College Football’s best. As Oklahoma alumni, Kyler Murray once said-
Which brings me to my next point, right now it’s 100% Joe Burrow’s Heisman to lose. Against Arkansas, he had an 82.1% completion rate with 327 yards and 3 touchdowns. This immaculate performance puts him in the driver’s seat of the Heisman. I guess you could say I was so timid to choose him based solely on the fact that he is by no means a dual threat quarterback, even though everyone claims him to be one. In one game, Hurts was able to rush for almost as many touchdowns as Burrow has been able to all season (3 total touchdowns with 239 yards). I think a Heisman should possess the dual threat ability, making them well rounded, but this year it’s obvious that Joe Burrow is the better quarterback.
2. Yale-Harvard game
This past Saturday marked the 135th meeting of the Yale-Harvard rivalry game. With that game usually comes clever student chants, and some interesting posters. Well, this past meeting was nothing ordinary. Harvard and Yale students, as well as their alumni were seen getting along. But that’s not the craziest part, a protest consisting of at least 150 people stormed the field towards the end of halftime and remained for 40 minutes. About 100 of them would leave before the brave 42 were arrested. They were protesting their school’s participation in climate change and giving awareness to other crisis like the Puerto Rican debt relief and China’s treatment of Uighurs. While Climate Change is a prevalent issue, I think what TCU students are more concerned about is the challenging campus parking situation. Take one more parking lot away from them on gameday and I think we’d have a protest of our own to deal with. Oh yeah, and Yale won 50-43 in double overtime.
3. Rivalry week
Ah yes, week 14 of NCAA football means rivalry week. Which are the most important matchups this week?
Ohio State and Michigan will be important for the CFP. Ohio State is one of three undefeated teams left in College Football, not to mention a Michigan win would break their 7-game losing streak to the Buckeyes. Ohio State is currently an 8.5-point favorite in this matchup.
Alabama and Auburn is simply bragging rights for the Tigers, but a chance to compete in 6 straight playoff games for the Crimson Tide. Auburn has home field advantage and no Tua Tagovailoa to defend against. But, does that mean they can pull out the win? It’s going to be a close one to say the least. Auburn’s coach, Gus Malzahn, is the only active SEC coach to have 2 wins against Saban’s Alabama team, and the Tigers will come to play. Nevertheless, Alabama is favored, but by a whopping 4 points. So, get your popcorn and stay a while because this will be a game to watch.
Oklahoma State and Oklahoma is a rivalry that might very well have the most hate associated with it. Bedlam is no game to be messed with, and Oklahoma must pull out not just a win, but an impressive win if they want to remain relevant to the CFP. Oklahoma is currently a 12.5-point favorite, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t see Oklahoma State pull out the stops in Stilly.
Clemson and South Carolina is one of those games Clemson can’t afford to lose. Clemson remains one of the other three undefeated teams. Even though a rivalry game brings on a different type of energy, the Tigers can’t allow that to affect them. The 4-7 Gamecocks are on a 5-game losing streak, and Clemson is favored by 25.5 points.
LSU and A&M have a lot riding on this game, for LSU at least. Sitting at number 1 on the AP Poll, and being undefeated, really speaks to the importance of an LSU win. LSU had consistently dominated the Aggies, until last year’s 7 overtime game where A&M pulled out the win (74-72) for the first time in 6 years. LSU is favored by 17, and If I was legally of age, I’d be taking LSU and giving the points. LSU is not the same team they were last year, and it came down to a game of exhaustion. If the Tigers can play this game as they have been all season, this shouldn’t be a problem for them.
4. UIL playoffs
There are 3 major 6A Football stories to focus on right now.
An undefeated, and 5-time state champion, Allen team lost in a tight race against Rockwall at AT&T Stadium. In the 2018 season, Rockwall lost to Allen in this same second round game. The team came into the game looking for redemption, and that’s what they got. The game would come down to a touchdown and 2-point conversion with 1:43 left to beat the Eagles 60-59.
The Reigning DII 6A Champs, Longview, also saw an upset in the second round. The Dallas Jesuit football team beat the Lobos 27-25 at Kincaid Stadium in Dallas. EJ Smith rushed for 4 of the Rangers touchdowns and racked up 164 yards to knock off the undefeated Longview team.
The Prosper football team also made history, they sailed by Mesquite in a 45-18. If the Eagles can pull out a win at McLane Stadium this Saturday, they will have gone farther than they ever have in the playoffs since 2008 when they won the State Championship as a 3A High School.
As the UIL playoffs get closer to the championship at AT&T stadium, the competition increases dramatically, good luck to all 3 of these teams as they advance to the third round.