The college football season ended on Saturday night so let’s dive into our awards for the weekend and some season awards as well.
The college football season ended on Saturday night, minus one of the great rivalry games of all-time this Saturday (Army v. Navy). As expected, it ended with its typical, annual controversy. Let’s dive into our awards for the weekend and some season awards as well.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Team of the Week - Alabama - The Crimson Tide needed a miracle 4th and 31 conversion to beat Auburn the week prior, but they didn’t need one ounce of a miracle in a convincing and emphatic win over previously #1 Georgia 27-24 in the SEC Championship. The upset win moved Alabama into the CFP and on to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl against Michigan to kick off the new year.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Team of the Year - Texas - In the final season of the Big 12, Texas had a target on its chest every single week. It beat Alabama by ten on the road early in the season and succumbed just one time in an incredible Texas-OU rivalry game. However, Texas closed the door on the Big 12 with dominant victories against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, out-scoring those teams a combined 106-28. As a result, the Longhorns earned the overall #3 seed in the CFP and will play Washington in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on January 1st.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Player of the Week - Texas QB Quinn Ewers - Ewers left the game against Oklahoma State with an injury for a play, but he had already done all his damage in the first half against the Cowboys. This Texas team is on a roll and Ewers is the biggest reason why, if I’m being honest.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Player of the Year - LSU QB Jayden Daniels - It’s going to be one heck of a Heisman Trophy discussion, but Daniels did his part, putting up just ridiculous numbers. He threw for over 3,800 yards and 40 TD. He, then, ran for 1,134 yards and ten TDs. He accounted for 50 total TDs, which has typically been the ticket to winning a Heisman. Either way, he’s the Player of the Year for sure.
National Team of the Week - SMU - The Mustangs were down to their backup QB Kevin Jennings from nearby South Oak Cliff HS in a road Championship game against a 11-1 Tulane team. All he did was lead the Mustangs to the 2023 AAC Title in a convincing 26-14 win over #22 Tulane in New Orleans. Rhett Lashlee’s ‘Stangs won their last nine in a row, many in dominating fashion, to finish 11-2 and AAC Champs!
National Team of the Year - Florida State - Even with Jordan Travis in the coach’s box watching games the last two weeks of the year, the Seminoles thumped Florida 24-15 in Gainesville and then completely destroyed Louisville in Charlotte for the ACC Championship. It was close between FSU and Washington, but FSU gets this award, something it didn’t get from the CFP committee.
National Player of the Week - Liberty QB Kaidon Salter - Liberty earned an invite to the New Year’s Day Six after Salter led the Flames to the 2023 C-USA Championship game. The Flames generated 49 points as Salter threw for 319 yards and two TD and ran for 165 yards and a TD in the 49-35 win over New Mexico State.
National Player of the Year - LSU QB Jayden Daniels - See above. Stud.
…to Washington QB Michael Penix Jr for an outstanding season, two wins over Oregon and the final Pac-12 Championship. What a pair of seasons for the lefty from Florida in the Pac Northwest.
…to the University of Houston for procuring the services of one of the finest men/coaches in the business to lead them into the future Willie Fritz.
…to Texas WR Adonai Mitchell for his six catch, 109 yard, one TD performance in the Longhorns last Big 12 game ever.
…to Alabama head coach Nick Saban for perhaps his greatest coaching performance with this year’s Alabama squad.
…to Florida State and head coach Mike Norvell. 13 wins and no losses in a season is no small feat and should’ve been rewarded in a much larger way. It wasn’t and that’s a darn shame.
…to Miami Redhawks for exacting some revenge over Toledo in a 23-14 MAC Championship win.
…to Boise State interim, turned permanent head coach Spencer Danielson. Boise State was 4-5 when Danielson took over as the interim coach. He led them to four straight wins, including a MWC Championship win over UNLV.
TaxAct Texas Bowl Matchup
(9-4) Oklahoma State v. (7-5) Texas A&M - I was on record thinking that this would be Kansas State v. Texas A&M, but the Pop Tarts bowl wanted Kansas State. That decision put the Texas Bowl in a great situation, in all honesty. I LOVE this matchup and it irritates me that the Cowboys and Aggies don’t play each other, at least every other year. So, I’ll take it as Oklahoma State star RB Ollie Gordon II takes on a talented Texas A&M defensive front. The Aggies have a new leader in Mike Elko, but not 100% sure if he’ll coach the team through the bowl game. Either way, it’s a fantastic matchup coming our way on December 27th.