A look at what happened last week, TaxAct Texas Bowl projections and a look ahead to another tremendous weekend in CFB for week 12.
The CFB season is really just starting to hit its stride, so let’s take a look at what happened last week, project some TaxAct Texas Bowl teams and look ahead to another tremendous weekend in CFB for week 12.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Team of the Week - Missouri - The Tigers got lambasted last year in Knoxville when the Tennessee Volunteers poured it on late in a 66-24 win. This year, though, was a different story. The Tigers, riding the wave of former DII transfer RB Cody Schrader trampled Tennessee 36-7, making a significant statement that the Tigers are a force in 2023. The Tigers have only lost to LSU by ten and to Georgia by nine last week. That’s it. So, they needed this one at home for a bit of revenge and a bit of redemption. A ten win season is certainly in range with games against Florida and Arkansas coming up.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Honorable mention Team of the Week - UCF - Gus Malzahn’s squad did not have a Big 12 win after grueling gut punch losses to Baylor, Oklahoma and West Virginia, in particular. But, in week ten, the Knights beat Cincinnati on the road. But, they still hadn’t beaten a legacy Big 12 team until Saturday. Not only did they beat a legacy team, they dismantled the HOT Oklahoma State Cowboys. Fresh off an upset over Oklahoma and five Big 12 wins in a row, Mike Gundy’s Cowboys got shellacked by Malzahn’s squad 45-3. That’s not a misprint. Oklahoma State was in some kind of driver’s seat after Kansas lost to Texas Tech, but the Cowboys couldn’t handle UCF at all. UCF RB R.J. Harvey looked more like Ollie Gordon than the real Ollie Gordon looked like Ollie Gordon. Harvey ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Player of the Week - LSU QB Jayden Daniels - I fell asleep well before the Florida-LSU game concluded, so I got on my phone first thing in the morning and I saw Daniels’ numbers. I got confused. I thought those have to be a misprint. Nope. Daniels did something that’s never been done in the history of college football. He’s the first QB to throw for 350+ yards and rush for 200+ yards. Check these #s out - 17 of 26 for 372 yards and three touchdowns through the air with 12 rushes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. 606 total yards, accounting for five touchdowns. He was the only player that could make Missouri RB Cody Schrader the honorable mention selection this week.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Honorable mention Player of the Week - Missouri RB Cody Schrader - This was such a tough decision but when Daniels set records that no QB in FBS history had ever reached, Schrader moved down a notch from his high perch. But, that doesn't take away in the slightest from one of the greatest RB performances in SEC and Missouri history. He was the first player in SEC history to have 200 yards rushing (205) and 100 yards receiving (116) in the same game. There are only ten players that have done it in the history of college football. No player has generated as many all-purpose yards (321) in a game in FBS this season as Schrader.
National Team of the Week - Oregon State - The Beavers are one of the least talked about GREAT teams in the country. Stifling defense. Outstanding QB play. One of the nation’s best OL. The Beavers piled up 62 points on Stanford on Saturday, including 55 in the first three quarters. Circle the next two Saturdays - Oregon State gets Washington at home in Corvallis and then it’s Civil War time in Eugene against the Ducks. Those games will be AWESOME!
Honorable Mention National Team of the Week - UNLV - The Rebels finished 2022 with six losses in their last seven games. In 2021, they won just two games. In 2020, they lost all six games. After Friday night’s win over Wyoming in Vegas, the Rebels are now 8-2. That’s eight wins, one more than the Rebels had in the last three years COMBINED. Head coach Barry Odom’s squad jumped all over the Cowboys in the second half, shutting out the Cowboys and putting up 13 points over the last 30 minutes in a 34-14 win.
National Player of the Week - Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. - Three touchdowns against Michigan State. Went over 1000 yards receiving for the second consecutive season. Heisman love. Seven catches for 149 yards, two TD. One carry for a nineteen yard touchdown. Yeah, he’s the absolute Truth.
Honorable mention National Player of the Week - Cal LB David Reese - You wouldn’t think that a defensive star emerged in a 42-39 game on the west coast, but Reese should get all kinds of honors for his performance. Three sacks. Six tackles. Two forced fumbles, one of which was returned for a 52 yard TD for the Golden Bears.
…to Sam Houston for its second win, and first ever against a CUSA as a FBS program, on the road at Louisiana Tech.
…to Georgia for a resounding win over a top ten team at home. TE Brock Bowers returned to the lineup and scored a TD in a 52-17 win over formerly #9 Ole Miss.
…to Washington for remaining undefeated in a hard fought win over Utah in Seattle 35-28
…to Oregon QB Bo Nix for throwing four TD passes against USC in a 36-27 win.
…to the Red Raiders of Texas Tech for wrecking Kansas’ magical season with a last second field goal in Lawrence, KS.
…to Jedd Fisch and the Arizona Wildcats for their seventh win of the season, this time over Colorado on the road in Boulder.
…to Iowa for a shutout over Rutgers.
…to James Madison for its tenth win in a row this season. All that stands between JMU and a perfect 12-0 season is a game with Appalachian State and a trip to Coastal Carolina.
…to Hugh Freeze and Auburn for finding their offensive attack at the right time in the season. 48-10 over Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Week 12’s Big games
#2 (10-0) Georgia at #13 (7-3) Tennessee - the Volunteers are coming off of an embarrassing showing in Columbia, MO, so ruining the season of the #2 Bulldogs would be an amazing finish to the year.
#5 (10-0) Washington at #12 (8-2) Oregon State - This is the BEST game of the weekend, in my estimation. Oregon State is actually a slight favorite at home, so it’s clear this could be Washington’s last biggest test.
#24 (8-2) North Carolina at (6-4) Clemson - The Tigers are starting to play some good football finally, but facing, and shutting down, North Carolina QB Drake Maye might be a more difficult exercise on Saturday afternoon.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Potential teams
Big 12 candidates
(7-3) Oklahoma State - The Cowboys have overachieved a bit this year, but I didn’t expect them to get it handed to them this past weekend. Still in the Tax Act Texas Bowl hunt.
(7-3) Kansas - The Jayhawks lost to Texas Tech and have Kansas State this week…and potentially a banged up QB.
(5-5) Texas Tech - If the Red Raiders finish out the year with a win over UCF and an upset of Texas…I wouldn’t mind a HOT Tech team coming back to Houston.
(7-3) LSU - If LSU finishes out with two more wins, the Tigers will get snapped up by a New Year’s Bowl
(6-4) Texas A&M - With the change at the head coaching position, A&M is an intriguing team to watch this offseason for many reasons.
(6-4) Auburn - The Tigers stayed hot with a MASSIVE blowout win on the road last weekend.