Rivalry Week is here with some of the greatest matchups of the entire 2023 season.
Rivalry Week is here with some of the greatest matchups of the entire 2023 season. We’re also honing in on our TaxAct Texas Bowl teams, which should provide for one heck of a matchup again on December 27th at NRG Stadium.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Team of the Week - Kansas State - Trailing most of the game at Lawrence, KS against rival Kansas, the Wildcats came from behind to win the Sunshine Showdown 31-27. The Wildcats won their 15th straight over Kansas after QB Will Howard ran into the end zone with the game winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter. A win over Iowa State on Thanksgiving weekend will give the Wildcats nine wins in 2023, with three losses by a total of 14 points (Missouri, Oklahoma State and Texas)
TaxAct Texas Bowl Honorable mention Team of the Week - Missouri - The Thicker Kicker, aka Harrison Mevis, knocked home a game winning field goal with little time left in a 33-31 win for the Tigers over Florida. The Gators took a 31-30 lead with 1:36 remaining on a Trey Smack 35-yard field goal. But, Missouri QB Brady Cook hit a key 4th and 17 pass for a first down to help get Mevis in position for his game winning kick. That’s the second one for Mevis this season (Kansas State the other). Head coach Eli Drinkwitz’s team can get to ten wins with a win over Arkansas in Fayetteville on Black Friday.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Player of the Week - LSU QB Jayden Daniels - Again? Yes sir!! Daniels’ tremendous performance put him right back into the winner’s circle after what he did against Georgia State. EIGHT total TDs. That’s right, Daniels accounted for eight total TD - rushing for two and throwing for six in a 56-14 win over Georgia State. Could a Heisman be next?
TaxAct Texas Bowl Honorable mention Player of the Week - Oklahoma S Billy Bowman Jr. - 100+ yard pick sixes completely change the tenor of any game and that’s exactly what Bowman Jr. did against BYU on Saturday afternoon. With the score tied at 17, BYU QB Jake Retzlaff had the Cougars within a few yards of taking the lead; however, Bowman Jr. picked off Retzlaff’s pass at the goal line and raced to the other end of the field for the backbreaking touchdown. OU beat BYU 31-24, the difference being Bowman’s huge interception for a TD. He also added nine tackles and a TFL in the win.
National Team of the Week - New Mexico State - All Jerry Kill’s squad did was walk into Jordan-Hare Stadium and beat 26-point favorite Auburn…and collect a massive check in the process. QB Diego Pavia threw three touchdowns in a 31-10 win over the Auburn Tigers in one of the most shocking wins of the entire season. NMSU did that to Hugh Freeze last year when he was the coach at Liberty, beating Freeze’s squad at Liberty in the same manner. Liberty. Auburn. It doesn’t matter to Kill as the Aggies are beating everyone on the schedule right now. As a result, the Aggies will play Jamey Chadwell’s Liberty squad for the CUSA title in two weeks.
Honorable Mention National Team of the Week - (Tie) Toledo - The Rockets are 10-1 and no one in the nation is talking about Jason Candle’s squad. Win number ten, though, didn’t come easy. The Rockets trailed rival Bowling Green 28-10 at half and it looked like the Falcons would get a memorable win at season’s end. However, Toledo RB Peny Boone (15 carries for 131 yards, one TD) and Toledo QB Dequan Finn (20-30, 279 yards and two TD) led the Rockets back from the dead. Finn threw a 59-yard TD to Jacquez Stuart for the game winner with just under two minutes remaining. The Rockets face Central Michigan and then Miami, OH in the MAC Championship game. Run the table, win their bowl game and the Rockets could be one of a handful of teams to win 13 games this season.
(tie) Louisville - In just his first year back home at Louisville, head coach Jeff Brohm led the Cardinals to the ACC Championship game after a scintillating defensive stop on the goal line at Miami for a 38-31 win. At 10-1, Louisville is hanging on to faint playoff hopes, but a win over Kentucky in the finale will put the Cardinals at 11-1, heading into the ACC Championship game against undefeated Florida State. ANYTHING could happen at that point but, holy cow, what a game that’ll be!!
National Player of the Week - UTSA QB Frank Harris - The longtime starter at UTSA had one of the best games of his career, throwing for 411 yards and three touchdowns in UTSA’s 49-21 win over USF. He also ran for over 100 yards, racking up 112 yards on 10 carries and three touchdowns. So, a 300-100 game with SIX total TD. Wow!
Honorable mention National Player of the Week - Oregon QB Bo Nix - The Ducks signal caller lit up Arizona State in a 49-13 win. Nix threw for 24 of 29 for 404 yards and SIX touchdowns and spent most of the second half watching the rest of the game. Revenge is on the schedule next as the Ducks prepare for Oregon State, a game that slipped through Nix’s grasp last season.
…to Washington’s defense for holding Oregon State to 20 points in a 22-20 win in the rain in Corvallis. The (LAST??) Apple Cup is next!!
…to Texas for grinding out its tenth win in a place that hasn’t always been kind to them in recent years - 26-16 win over Iowa State in Ames, IA.
…to Arizona and head coach Jedd Fisch. Perhaps the HOTTEST team in the country, Fisch’s Wildcats trounced Utah 42-18 on the strength of four TD passes by three different individuals.
…to Northwestern for getting bowl eligibility. Wow, what a coaching job David Braun’s done in Evanston in 2023.
…to Arkansas State and Butch Jones. In the first two games of the 2023 season, Arkansas State lost to Oklahoma and Memphis a combined 110-3. Ten weeks later, ASU beat bowl bound Texas State 77-31 on Saturday night. What a turnaround!
Week 13’s Big games
#1 (11-0) Ohio State at #3 (11-0) Michigan - It’s THE Game. What else needs to be said? The vitriol is 100% real and there are MASSIVE implications, FOOTBALL implications, on the line for this matchup, as it always seems.
(8-3) UTSA at #24 (10-1) Tulane - Simply put, the winner goes to the American Championship game. It’s an AAC unofficial semifinal. I can’t wait to see Frank Harris (UTSA) battle Michael Pratt (Tulane) in New Orleans with so much on the line.
#11 (8-3) Oregon State at #6 (10-1) Oregon - The Civil War will not be so civil given the Pac-12/Pac-2 situation, not to mention the revenge the Ducks seek after Oregon State beat them last year in Corvallis. There will be blood.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Potential teams
Big 12 candidates
(9-2) Oklahoma - A win over TCU would more than likely put OU in a New Years’ Day bowl game. A TCU win over Oklahoma could make things very interesting.
(8-3) Kansas State - At home, the Wildcats are undefeated in 2023 and guess where they play Iowa State on Saturday?
(8-3) Oklahoma State - The Cowboys roared back for a 43-30 come from behind win over Houston last week. The Cowboys are my odds on favorite to be in the bowl game this year.
(6-5) Texas Tech - If the Red Raiders finish out the year with a win over Texas, I’d absolutely be ALL FOR bringing the Red Raiders back to Houston.
(7-4) Texas A&M - Beating LSU would give the Aggies momentum on into the bowl game. HUGE momentum.
(6-5) Auburn - A stunning 21-point loss to New Mexico State didn’t help the bowl prospects for Auburn, but beating Alabama on Thanksgiving weekend would make Auburn the belle of the ball.