It is now at the halfway point of the college football season and there are a lot of prevailing headlines so far this year. From Nebraska making a climb all the way up into the top ten to Alabama looking like they could beat an NFL team and much more. I will only get into five of these topics, it’s been a crazy year so far, so let’s get right into it.
5. Heisman Frontrunner’s
I know that I said that Heisman winners don’t matter until about November but the difference with what I am about to say is that I’m not rewarding these athletes for what they have done but recognize that they are game changers. Some frontrunner’s from the beginning of the season are basically done; Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette because of injury, and Deshaun Watson and Dalvin Cook for lack of production. Other’s have preformed really well such as Jabrill Peppers and Myles Garrett, but most frontrunners were not even on anyone’s radar to begin the season, Lamar Jackson and Jake Browning. Jackson has been on fire with 3069 yards already on the season and 36 touchdowns, which are record-setting numbers, to say the least. Jackson shows no sign of slowing down as the hard part of his season is now over so he could most likely light the world on fire and win the trophy. Browning, on the other hand, plays for Washington who is the premier team in the Pac-12 as it is down the year and taking the conference over. Browning isn’t as much of a dual threat but his arm talent is insane as he has 1700 yards and 26 touchdowns already and only two hard games left. He has a chance to catch Jackson stats-wise but he has not dominated headlines all year so he is not as much of a front runner.
4. Pac-12 losing it’s luster
At the beginning of the year, it looked like Stanford and Oregon’s conference to lose, now? It’s Washington, Utah, Washington State, and Colorado at the top now. Four years ago who would have predicted this as the top of the conference as Oregon was riding the Marcus Mariota train and Stanford had Andrew Luck just about to leave and an abundance of talent coming in. All of the teams at the top, outside of Oregon, has been a perennial middle of the road or bottom feeder team for the conference for some years now. Now the script is flipped and the powers are at the bottom and others at the top, will this streak continue next year? Probably not, but now these teams are to be taken seriously for the next few years.
3. Are Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey protecting their futures?
Fournette and McCaffrey are projected top picks and were preseason Heisman frontrunner’s but now they are “injured”. Some people suggested that both players sit out this season so as to not get hurt, which I don’t mind because they are risking their future career for a team that doesn’t even pay them outside of an education, which the schools do not take seriously. My point though is that when both teams start playing bad and losing both mysteriously have “undisclosed injuries”. So maybe they pulled themselves out because they were actually hurt or that they don’t want to drop down the draft and secure a high pick, who knows besides them.
2. Nebraska the new Iowa?
Last year Iowa climbed all the way up to number 3 in the AP Poll without playing any top competition until the B1G title game, which is exactly what happened this year with Nebraska. The only thing that is different with Nebraska this year is that they are not receiving as much hype as Iowa did, they are only at number 7, which could go higher now that they have good competition. Nebraska plays two top ten teams in as many weeks as they play Wisconsin and Ohio State both on the road. Both games could legitimize Nebraska as a top team and possible title contender, if they win one or both, or lose them close they are legit good not Iowa last year good, but if they lose both by a wide margin they will be exposed like Iowa was last year, either is a great possibility.
1. Alabama may never lose again
I will admit I had my doubt about Alabama because they have a very weak out of conference schedule outside of USC, which isn’t a great team either. They played Western Kentucky and Kent State while facing Chattanooga later in the year as a tune up before the Iron Bowl. I was wrong, dead wrong. They beat their hardest teams this year already in Tennessee and Texas A&M, but Auburn always plays them tough however they don’t look good this year. Why I changed my thought is how they played against Texas A&M, they started off looking slow on offense and kind of bored honestly. Then A&M got a lead, albeit a one point lead but a lead nonetheless, then Alabama took over, they scored with 6:33 left in the third then with 21 seconds left they scored again on a defensive score, their eleventh straight game with one. Then they scored another touchdown 3 minutes later in the fourth and secured the game. These Bama Boys are legit, they can finish the game on offense, can lock down anyone defensively, A&M was the 9th ranked rushing offense coming into the game and were held to 114 rushing yards. The only team that I could see putting up a fight against this team is Michigan which won’t face them until the College Football Playoff and the way the rankings are shaking out it would not be until the Championship in which they would face-off, that would be a great matchup to see.