The State of College Football: The Only Thing Hotter is the Coaching Hot Seat
One of the craziest college football seasons had another amazing weekend. And did it without Alabama playing. This week we’ll look at the College Football Playoff - with predictions, the coaching carousel and who the top four Heisman candidates are.
Top 25 Rankings
5. Ohio State
6. Michigan State
8. Notre Dame
9. Wake Forest
13. Oklahoma State
15. Texas A&M
16. Ole Miss
19. Coastal Carolina
Offensive Player of the Week: Kenneth Walker, Michigan State: 23 carries, 197 yards, 5 TDs
Defensive Player of the Week: Zakoby McClain, Auburn: 14 tackles, 2 sacks
Freshman of the Week: TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State: 28 carries, 152 yards, 1 TD
Coach of the Week: Mel Tucker, Michigan State
Sam Hartman, Wake Forest: 24/37, 402 yards, 2 TDs
Caleb Williams, QB, Oklahoma: 23/30, 402 yards, 6 TDs
Carson Strong, Nevada: 37/49, 417 yards, 4 TDs
Tyler Allgeier, BYU: 29 carries, 266 yards, 5 TDs
Tyler Badie, Missouri: 31 carries, 254 yards, 2 TDs
Sean Tucker, Syracuse: 26 carries, 207 yards, 1 TD
Andrel Anthony, Michigan: 6 catches, 155 yards, 2 TDs
Josh Downs, North Carolina: 10 catches, 142 yards
Marvin Mims, Oklahoma: 4 catches, 135 yards, 2 TDs
Josh Whyle, Cincinnati: 4 catches, 79 yards, 2 TDs
Erick All, Michigan: 10 catches, 98 yards
Peyton Hendershot, Indiana: 6 catches, 106 yards, 2 TDs
Notre Dame: 293 rushing yards, 3 TDs
Wake Forest: 266 rushing yards, 3 TDs
BYU: 385 rushing yards, 6 TDs
Jalen Carter, Georgia: 4 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 0.5 TFLs
David Ojabo, Michigan: 4 tackles, 2 sacks
DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky: 5 tackles, 1.5 TFLs
Nakobe Dean, Georgia: 7 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD
Nick Herbig, Wisconsin: 6 tackles, 2.5 sacks
Micah McFadden, Indiana: 8 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFLs
Charles Brantley, Michigan State: 4 tackles, 1 INT
Tyrique Stevenson, Miami: 2 tackles, 1 INT
Lewis Cine, Georgia: 8 tackles
—Who replaces Gary Patterson at TCU? Where will Patterson end up next year?
Patterson was a surprise in-season firing. But from a university point of view I like it. Ideally, Patterson would have finished out the season but elected not to - which I understand. The hot name in the streets for both TCU and Texas Tech is Sonny Dykes of SMU. Dykes has led a solid program at SMU but the ever changing college football landscape leaves SMU out of the big power shift which could lead to him trying to get to the Big 12 on his own. As far as Patterson goes...maybe he takes over at SMU? I don’t see any Power 5 schools going after Patterson and he has proven that he can recruit Dallas/Ft. Worth, as well as, the state of Texas.
—Harbaugh will lose to Ohio St. Please tell me, you think he's gone after this season? Please say yes!
Starting the year 7-0 silenced a lot of the doubters in Ann Arbor but it didn’t take long for the Michigan faithful to remember he has a losing record against Michigan State and Ohio State. If Harbaugh wins every game, other than Ohio State, I think he will be safe for another season. If Michigan drops three games this year I think he could be fired. But Michigan desperately wants this to work with Harbaugh and things are looking better than usual with a promising young quarterback.
—Best Halloween candy?
Gotta be Reese’s. I don’t care what shape they come in, but for some reason the eggs are best, Reese’s is the GOAT of candy no matter the season.
—College Football Playoff Prediction
Tuesday we get our first look at the College Football Playoff Rankings and I am very curious to see what happens this year. The AP Poll has been giving Cincinnati a lot of credit and has them at No. 2 but I don’t think the CFP Committee will agree. I expect Cincy to be at five or six - even though I believe they deserve a spot in the CFP this year. The only lock is Georgia at No. 1. After that, who knows. I could see Alabama coming in second with Oklahoma and Michigan State at three and four. My official prediction:
The Heisman Trophy race is still very open but we saw our first “Heisman moment” on Saturday when Kenneth Walker rushed for five touchdowns against Michigan in a big time game. The pressure is now on guys like Bryce Young, CJ Stroud and Caleb Williams to have their own moments. Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams already had his moment against Texas but he will have to continue to put up crazy stats to be a serious contender. Bryce Young will still have a couple opportunities this season with LSU and Auburn still to come. But the sophomore QB will need a huge game. Like, five or six touchdowns to claim the top spot. Sadly, being the quarterback at Alabama is going to get him some votes but also cost him some votes because of the talent around him. The last guy on my list is CJ Stroud. Stroud struggled early and Ohio State lost but both Stroud and Ohio State have rebounded nicely and Stroud could have his own Heisman moment with Michigan State and Michigan still left to play.
This has been an absolutely crazy year for college football. Not only have we seen massive conference realignment but we also have some of the top coaching jobs already open. LSU still sits at the top of my power rankings with USC a close second. However, James Franklin at Penn State is heavily favored to take one the USC job and that would open the Penn State job - another top (blue blood?) program. With Franklin the hot name at USC, Mel Tucker is showing everyone why he was the rumored favorite for LSU. And after this weekend I get it. Tucker has done a fantastic job very quickly.
Two other programs that will probably open, maybe during the season, are Miami and Virginia Tech. Miami has had a very disappointing season but they have been very injured and head coach Manny Diaz has not been at Miami long. I could see a scenario where Miami doesn’t want to get into the job hunt this offseason - unless they can convince Mario Crisobal to leave Oregon. Then they have to do that. Justin Fuente at Virginia Tech is really feeling the heat and could be the next coaching casualty. Tech just dropped three-straight games before beating Georgia Tech and are now 4-4 on the season with not many promising young players. Depending on what happens with LSU and USC, I could see Luke Fickell taking over at Virginia Tech.
The next coaching question: Is Jim Harbaugh safe? It seemed that way until Michigan suffered another loss to rival Michigan State. Harbaugh is now below .500 against MSU and the rumors are once again starting to swirl. But who are you going to replace him with? Mel Tucker isn’t going to leave Michigan State for Michigan. James Franklin won’t leave Penn State for Michigan. And, Luke Fickell is an Ohio State grad so I doubt he would take the Michigan job. The only scenario where I could see Michigan move on from Harbaugh is if they can convince Matt Campbell to leave Iowa State - but Michigan might be the type of job to lure him away from Iowa State.
A sneaky job to keep an eye on is at Florida. Dan Mullen has been great at Florida but it seems like he is starting to wear out his welcome in Gainesville. I highly doubt Florida moves on from Mullen this season, but Dan is feeling the pressure after starting the season 4-4.
Week 10 Games to Watch
10 Wake Forest @ North Carolina, 11:00 CT, ABC
Liberty @ 15 Ole Miss, 11:00 CT, SEC Network
12 Auburn @ 13 Texas A&M, 2:30 CT, CBS
LSU @ 3 Alabama, 6:00 CT, ESPN
7 Oregon @ Washington, 6:30 CT, ABC
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