Saturday wasn’t the noon to midnight extravaganza that November 8th was but it did provide some high drama with last second comebacks, single game records being broken and three top ten teams losing on the road. We had teams earning conference wins for the first time in years, one team earning a ‘rivalry’ win while their opponent just lost a game and another unranked team scoring 28 3rd quarter points against a ranked opponent to preserve their top spot in their division. Yeah, let that one sink in for a minute. Here are some superlatives for Week 12
MVP – Melvin Gordon – RB – Wisconsin – Was there any question who the MVP would be this week? All Gordon did was break a fifteen year old record that was held by one of the greatest players to play college football. Not only did he break a fifteen year record that was set by one of the greatest players in the history of the game but Gordon did it against one of the most storied programs in the game in the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Melvin Gordon carried the ball 25 times for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns in only three quarters of work as the Badger coaching staff figured they’d sit their stud while they finished off the Cornhuskers in the 4th quarter. Saturday marked Gordon’s 4th 200-yard plus performance of the year and that performance has thrust him into the thick if the Heisman race.
Coach of the Week – Mike Riley – Oregon State – Riley has been in some hot water lately as his Beaver teams haven’t been performing that well. Oregon State entered the game Saturday night against Arizona State only 4-5 on the season with only one conference victory. Somehow, someway Coach Riley found another way to defeat an Associated Press Top 10 team in Corvallis as an unranked team again. The Beavers were down by ten heading into halftime as they had just given up 14 2nd quarter points but no one panicked. Coach Riley’s squad went out and outscored the 6th ranked team in the country 21-3 in the second half to get the win.
Game of the Week – TCU over Kansas 34-30 – First off, this shouldn’t have been nearly as close of a game as it was. Actually, the final score and how the game was won shouldn’t have even been in the same galaxy as what it turned out to be. The Jayhawks, who were fresh off of their first conference win of the season over Iowa State that resulted in fans storming the field and tearing down the goalposts, had a ten point lead late into the third quarter but the Horned Frogs scored 17 points over the final 15 minutes of the game. Somehow the Jayhawks found over 400 yards of offense against a usually stingy TCU defense but in the end TCU was able to hold off Kansas in Lawrence. If I had told you before the season that Kansas’ quarterback would out-dual one of the top quarterbacks in the conference, you would have laughed in my face but that is exactly what Jayhawks junior quarterback Michael Cummings did by throwing 332 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday.
Coach Who Doesn’t Deserve The Company Car – Dabo Swinney – Clemson – Saturday was one of those games where it was obvious that one team was ready to play but the other one was absolutely not. Well ole Dabo’s squad was the latter and things fell apart pretty quickly. Saturday, Clemson’s super freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson was supposed to return but was injured early in the game and never returned which gave senior quarterback Cole Stoudt another chance to play for the Tigers. Stoudt proceeded to complete as many passes to the Yellow Jackets as he did to the Tigers (3) and then didn’t seem to care too much afterwards. Dabo’s team looked disinterested and flat and their performance reflected that.
Uniform of the Week – Miami Hurricanes – I have always had a small infatuation with Miami’s uniforms because they have so many possibilities with their school colors and the Canes usually use them well. Saturday night was one of those times where they ventured away from their normal orange and green motif for a new ‘smoke’ grey set along with a bright orange helmet. I am fonder of the uniform than the helmet but together they all worked together in perfect harmony.
Honorable Mention – Marshall Thundering Herd – Saturday night the Thundering Herd wore helmets honoring the 75 passengers on board the 1970 plane crash that took the life of 37 Thundering Herd football players. Marshall has always shown excellent grace and tenor when honoring the players and non-players lost in the 1970 plane crash.
Dud Uniform of the Week – Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles – I get the military appreciation days and I understand how schools want to honor the military in their community but when schools go full camouflage with their uniforms, it drives me nuts. I especially hate when a team doesn’t fully embrace purple as one of their school colors. Tennessee Tech committed both heinous crimes against their uniforms on Saturday in their 17-38 loss to UT-Chattanooga.
Dishonorable Mention – BYU Cougars – I hate it when teams wear ‘Black For Black’s Sake’ and that is exactly what BYU did on Saturday night against UNLV. BYU’s light blue uniforms are one of the best uniforms sets in the country and to choose these instead…gross.
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