The State of College Football – Week 12 Edition

As we enter the final weeks of the college football season I have a new number two team, Heisman rankings, what to expect in the CFP on Tuesday night and the return of one of my favorite players in the nation. And no, it isn’t Trevor Lawrence.

As we enter the final weeks of the college football season I have a new number two team, Heisman rankings, what to expect in the CFP on Tuesday night and the return of one of my favorite players in the nation. And no, it isn’t Trevor Lawrence. 

Top 25:
1 Alabama
2 Notre Dame
3 Ohio State
4 Clemson
5 Cincinnati
6 Florida
7 Oregon
10 Texas A&M
11 Miami
12 Georgia
13 Coastal Carolina
14 Oklahoma
15 Northwestern
16 Indiana
17 Iowa State
18 Texas
19 Auburn
20 North Carolina
21 Marshall 
22 Wisconsin
23 Louisiana 
24 Oklahoma State
25 Tulsa

Weekly Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: JT Daniels, QB, Georgia
Defensive Player of the Week: Zaven Collins, EDGE, Tulsa
Freshman of the Week: Jermaine Burton, WR, Georgia
Coach of the Week: Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

Where I was Right – Where I was Wrong
Right: This week I wrote about a few coaches that could be on the hot seat and at least two of those coaches are really feeling the heat after a bad weekend. James Franklin most likely has enough equity with Penn State that he won’t be fired at season’s end, but the head coach is definitely feeling the pressure and hearing the rumors, and the same for Jim Harbaugh. Harbs and the Wolverines narrowly escaped Rutgers this weekend and the quarterback and offense still look atrocious in Ann Arbor. Sophomore Cade McNamara has shown potential but you still have to wonder if he can do enough to save Harbaugh’s job. 

Wrong: I fell into the preseason Penn State trap just like everyone else and I have to own up to it. Penn State is off to a historically bad 0-5 start after starting the season ranked 6th, before the pandemic. The good news for the Nittany Lions is that they play 2-3 Michigan this weekend and the Wolverines barely escaped Rutgers 48-42 in overtime. 

$100 Handshakes – Underclassmen that stood out or draft eligible players that improved their stock

Jake Plummer, Purdue
Michael Penix Jr., Indiana
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Running Backs:
Jaret Patterson, Buffalo
Master Teague III, Ohio State
Breece Hall, Iowa State

Receivers/Tight Ends:
Ty Fryfogle, Indiana
Rondale Moore, Purdue
D’Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan

Jamal Hines, Toledo
Nick Bonitto, Oklahoma
CJ Brewer, Coastal Carolina

Nick Bolton, Missouri
Blake Gallagher, Northwestern
Darian Beavers, Cincinnati 

Defensive Backs
D’Jordan Strong, Coastal Carolina
Jamar Johnson, Indiana
Richie Grant, UCF

Final Thoughts:
Heisman rankings are really shaking themselves out and with a not so great weekend for Justin Fields I think it is time to name a new frontrunner for the award. Kyle Trask continues to dominate SEC opponents and is doing so with 31 passing touchdowns and 2554 yards in just seven games – making him the new favorite to take home the hardware in December. After Trask I would still have Fields as No. 2, followed by Najee Harris, Mac Jones, and Zach Wilson. I do not think BYU quarterback Zach Wilson can win the award but I do think he has done enough to be considered for the award and will receive enough second and third place votes to be on the list. Notably absent is Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence will probably receive enough votes just on name recognition but I do not think he is a true contender for the award. 

College Football Playoff rankings come out Tuesday night and I honestly can’t imagine them screwing this up. Alabama is clearly the best team in the nation right now and should be a unanimous number one. With Notre Dame being undefeated and having a big win over Clemson they will probably be two followed by Ohio State. Ohio State is a better football team than Notre Dame but their most recent game was not their best performance and will cost them a spot in the ranking. However, two vs three is irrelevant as they will have to play each other. The number four spot should go to one loss Clemson but I could see undefeated Cinicinnati stealing some votes from the Tigers. And don’t sleep on the Bearcats. They may not have the depth of a Clemson or Florida but they have a damn good team. Cincy is led by one of the more exciting quarterbacks, who is a legit draft prospect, and a great defense. I hope they get their chance in the playoff, but we’ve never had a group of five school make the final four. 

Rondale Moore made his triumphant return on Saturday night after missing the first few games due to an undisclosed injury. Moore was starting to get knocked in the draft community for his durability but the shifty receiver reminded everyone of his ability on Saturday night. Moore had 15 catches for 116 yards and also added three carries for 20 yards and a touchdown against Minnesota. If More can stay healthy and stay on the field, Purdue could make some noise the rest of the season. 

Week 13 Preview: 
FRIDAY – 15 Iowa State @ 20 Texas, 11:00 AM, ABC
FRIDAY – 2 Notre Dame @ 25 North Carolina, 2:30 PM, ABC
Saturday – 22 Auburn @ 1 Alabama, 2:30 PM, CBS
Saturday – LSU @ 5 Texas A&M, 6:00 PM, ESPN

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