Early 2022 College Football Power Rankings

Early 2022 College Football Power Rankings

We have a long wait before the new season of college football kicks off, but a couple of weeks into the offseason, it’s time for very early 2022 college football power rankings. There is quite a bit of projecting with these, but it should be another exciting and unpredictable fall. The records shown for each program are from the 2021 season.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (14-1)

Kirby Smart and company have a legitimate powerhouse program that looks a lot like Alabama and should be here to stay, and quarterback Stetson Bennett is back after helping lead his team to a national title. Bennett will come in with superb experience and will turn 24 years old during next season.

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (13-2)

Despite losing to Georgia, Alabama has a case to be No. 1 in the early 2022 college football power rankings. Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young returns and profiles as the type of guy to use the CFP Championship Game loss as a learning experience that helps him improve as a player—and the Crimson Tide have supremely talented players ready to step for those leaving for the NFL.

 

3. Michigan Wolverines (12-2)

Perhaps this is too high for a Michigan program that finally got over the hump last season, as they’ll be losing big-time players including Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo, and Hassan Haskins. However, the mindset Jim Harbaugh has built with the Wolverines is dangerous in the Big Ten. This ranking is with the assumption that Harbaugh will not make the jump back to the pro game.

 

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2)

Of course, Ohio State will look to have something to say about Michigan repeating their stellar 2021 campaign. Heisman finalist CJ Stroud and star receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba return after a record-breaking Rose Bowl versus Utah, and the offense should again be excellent. The defense will need to figure some things out this offseason, though.

 

5. Clemson Tigers (10-3)

Clemson was ranked far too low last year, particularly during the latter part of the season—it might have had something to do with the media not liking Dabo Swinney much. Anyway, the Tigers had a challenging year yet found a way to finish 10-3 with a strong bowl victory over Iowa State. They will be losing their offensive and defensive coordinators, but no one should be shocked if Clemson gets back near the top of college football in 2022.

 

6. Utah (10-4)

Utah very nearly upset Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, and there should be major optimism for quarterback Cameron Rising and the offense heading into next season. Kyle Whittingham has had the Utes in the Pac-12 title game in each of the past two full seasons (2020 being heavily impacted by COVID-19).

 

7. Texas A&M (8-4)

This is a bit of an upside projection, but many are high on Texas A&M under Jimbo Fisher, and the Aggies handed Bama one of its two losses last season, giving a glimpse at their upside. Look for a productive quarterback battle in College Station this spring and summer.

 

8. Baylor (12-2)

The loss to TCU during the regular season stung, but Baylor closed out the season on a very strong note, beating Oklahoma State in the nail-biting Big 12 Championship Game before winning the Sugar Bowl over Ole Miss. In many years, Baylor easily could have been in the CFP. Dave Aranda has the Bears on the right track.

 

9. NC State (9-3)

Behind an experienced defense, what could be one of the best offensive lines in college football, and a stud quarterback in Devin Leary, watch out for NC State in 2022. Leary threw 35 touchdown passes last season and is one of the top players in the nation.

 

10. Oklahoma State (12-2)

Projecting forward, UCLA, USC, and other schools could have been included in the top ten. But Oklahoma State grabs the No. 10 slot after a great season under Mike Gundy in which they were literally inches away from having a strong argument for the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Spencer Sanders returns to lead the Cowboys offense, and it’s worth noting that Oklahoma will have a first-year head coach in Brent Venables after Lincoln Riley left for southern California.

Early 2022 Heisman Trophy Favorites

Early 2022 Heisman Trophy Favorites

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young eventually ran away with the Heisman Trophy, but it was one of the most interesting races in years throughout the season. These are the five very early favorites for the award in 2022. Odds are via FOX Bet.

 

1. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (+200)

After running away with the Heisman, Bryce Young is the obvious favorite to repeat in 2022. One notable downside is that Young will lose most of his top weapons from this season—but Alabama has uber-talented players to step into larger roles, as was evident when guys got more opportunities during the national title game. Also, Archie Griffin remains the only two-time Heisman winner in history, so Young might face an uphill climb there. But the Alabama quarterback is a great kid, and the voters should not hold back on voting for him if he deserves it again.

 

2. CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State (+400)

The performance against Michigan State and the comeback win over Utah in the Rose Bowl in particular showcased the type of talent CJ Stroud has throwing the football. He’ll lose Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave to the NFL, but that didn’t stop stroud from torching the Utes for 573 yards and six touchdowns when they sat out the bowl game. Teammate Jaxon Smith-Njigba also should get mention as someone that could be in the top five after a record-breaking bowl performance.

 

3. Caleb Williams, QB, TBD (+1000)

We don’t even know where Caleb Williams will play in 2022 (though it seems like he’ll follow Lincoln Riley to USC), but he did enough as a dual threat for the Sooners as a true freshman in 2021 to be bullish on his upside moving forward. With the assumption of him going to southern California, Williams would probably have to quickly help the Trojans get back to near an elite level for strong Heisman consideration—but it could happen in the Pac-12.

 

4. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas (+1800)

Sticking with dual threats, but this time at running back, Texas star Bijan Robinson was getting Heisman recognition for much of his sophomore season after a hot start that included a stretch of five consecutive games with 127+ yards on the ground. Robinson can build on his numbers last season of 195 carries for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns along with 26 receptions for 295 yards and another four scores as a receiver.

 

5. Will Anderson Jr., DE, Alabama (+4000)

The 2021 Heisman Trophy race was essentially wide open all season until Bryce Young locked it up with the Iron Bowl and SEC Championship Game, and we could see closer races in the coming years given the way college football is heading with the transfer portal and NIL rules. Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was second in the Heisman voting this season, and Anderson—who finished with 17.5 sacks and has a ton of hype entering next year—could be squarely in the mix for the honor as a defensive player in 11 months.

2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game Preview And Prediction

2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game Preview And Prediction

The 2021 college football season was able to get back to normal after a COVID-impacted 2020 campaign, and it concludes tonight when the Georgia Bulldogs and defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide play in the CFP National Championship Game.

 

Time: 8:00 PM ET

Channel: ESPN

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

 

Tale of the Tape

 

Georgia Bulldogs (13-1) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (13-1)

 

Scoring Offense

Georgia: 38.8 points per game (9th in the nation)

Alabama: 41.4 points per game (T-3rd in the nation)

 

Scoring Defense

Georgia: 9.64 points per game (1st)

Alabama: 19.21 points per game (T-13th)

 

Total Offense

Georgia: 444.9 yards per game (23rd)

Alabama: 494.6 yards per game (6th)

 

Total Defense

Georgia: 253.1 yards per game (2nd)

Alabama: 299.8 yards per game (6th)

 

Third Down Conversion Percentage

Georgia: .454 (19th)

Alabama: .527 (2nd)

 

Third Down Conversion Percentage Defense

Georgia: .351 (31st)

Alabama: .310 (7th)

 

Sacks

Georgia: 45.0 (10th)

Alabama: 52.0 (3rd)

 

Turnover Margin

Georgia: +3 (49th)

Alabama: +9 (18th)

 

Overview

 

Clearly the two best teams in the country this season, Alabama and Georgia will again square off in a championship game—which there have been a few of since Kirby Smart took over the Bulldogs program. This will be the second CFP National Championship Game matchup between the SEC foes, with the first coming three years ago and ending with Bama winning on Tua Tagovailoa hitting DeVonta Smith for a deep touchdown in overtime. Alabama has won seven consecutive games in the series overall, and there’s no doubt Georgia is looking to get over the hump.

 

All season, the Bulldogs boasted the top defense in the nation (9.6 points allowed per game), completely shutting down all opponents until they lost 41-24 to Alabama in the SEC title game. Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young calmly and coolly operated the Tide offense, totaling 461 yards and four touchdowns in the matchup, and his unshakeable demeanor should again shine under the bright lights with a national title on the line. Star receiver John Metchie is unfortunately out with the torn ACL suffered earlier this season against Georgia, but Ja’Corey Brooks and others have stepped up at receiver along with stud weapon Jameson Williams. Also on offense, Brian Robinson Jr. is coming off 198 yards rushing in the Cotton Bowl, so we’ll see if Alabama can get their run game going more this time around. And after shutting down Cincinnati in the CFP Semifinal, Alabama might be playing their best defense entering the rematch.

 

For Georgia, the defense is filled with sensational players on all three levels, including defensive lineman Jordan Davis, linebacker Nakobe Dean, and former Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick. The numbers speak for themselves, as does the energy they typically play with, and you can expect a much better outing versus Alabama than the first time around.

 

Offensively, senior running back James Cook is a guy that makes Nick Saban nervous, and keep an eye on him as a potential mismatch nightmare on linebackers. Another difference-maker should be phenom true freshman tight end Brock Bowers, who hit the Tide for ten receptions, 139 yards, and a touchdown back in early December. But the biggest key for the Bulldogs among their skill players might be wide receiver George Pickens, who made a great recovery from a torn ACL last spring and is still working his way back into the swing of things. The six-foot-three receiver is extremely talented and can be a major presence on the outside for Georgia’s offense.

 

Matchup to Watch

 

Stetson Bennett versus the Crimson Tide defense

You can drill it down further and get down to how the Georgia quarterback and the Bulldogs can produce on third downs and keep drives moving; but overall, Bennett’s performance will obviously be critical tonight. Bennett has taken control and leadership of the Georgia offense this season, and his teammates love playing with him, but the former walk-on has performed much better facing teams that are not Alabama. In two career starts against the Tide, Bennett has five interceptions. However, he appeared to get more confident in this season’s SEC Championship Game loss, and he’ll look to take that into the national title game.

 

Predictions

 

I am expecting a very close game, but Alabama has the Heisman Trophy winner and is led by Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide might just be too much. – Kevin Davis

 

Picking against Alabama and Nick Saban is not the wisest of moves. I’ve been surprised to see Georgia favored in the game, which actually makes me more uneasy about picking them. However, that said, I think the defense will play much better than they did over a month ago (not having to face Metchie might help there), and that Stetson Bennett will make enough plays for Georgia to finally beat Alabama and get their first national championship since 1980. – David Chappine

2021-2022 College Football Playoff Semifinals: Preview And Predictions

2021-2022 College Football Playoff Semifinals: Preview And Predictions

2021 concludes tonight; but first, the College Football Playoff will send two teams to the national title game. This year gave us one of the craziest college football seasons in history, but the four best teams clearly stood out at the end of the regular season. Let’s get right to it with brief previews and predictions ahead of today’s matchups.

 

Cotton Bowl Classic | 3:30 PM ET

No. 4 Cincinnati vs. No. 1 Alabama

 

The undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats became the first non-Power Five school to make the College Football Playoff, and they will jump right in for a date with the top program in the country and the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide led by legendary head coach Nick Saban. In terms of sheer talent, Cincinnati has not seen the type of speed and athleticism they’ll see from Bama. However, the Bearcats defense has shown it’s one of the best units in the country, with multiple star players led by Ahmad Gardner, Coby Bryant, and Myjai Sanders. Gardner and Bryant have the ability to contend with Alabama’s premier talent on the outside (headlined by Jameson Williams, with John Metchie unfortunately out for the Tide after tearing his ACL).

 

The bigger issue for the underdog Bearcats might be moving the ball and scoring points on offense, though Alabama has been somewhat vulnerable there at times this season. The good news for Cincinnati is that they are led by senior quarterback Desmond Ridder. Ridder hasn’t faced a team like Alabama, but his tremendous experience should be a major benefit in what’ll be a tough situation. On the other side, the Crimson Tide offense is led by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, who is somewhat of a magician at quarterback. One more thing to watch: Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford played his first two seasons at Alabama before transferring in 2020.

 

Overall, Luke Fickell’s squad has overcome the odds to get this far, and they might overcome the odds again to make this closer than most anticipate. But Alabama has just too much firepower and CFP experience.

 

Prediction: Alabama 34, Cincinnati 21

 

Orange Bowl | 7:30 PM ET

No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 2 Michigan

 

While Georgia is a 7.5-point favorite over Michigan, the Orange Bowl should be a closer game and more of a toss-up to conclude New Year’s Eve. Both teams are extremely physical. The Bulldogs boast one of the best defenses in recent memory, allowing just 9.5 points per game, which by far leads the nation. But Michigan is tied for fourth in scoring defense (with Cincinnati), allowing 16.1 points per game. Powered by Hassan Haskins, the Wolverines are tenth in the country with 223.8 rushing yards per game, and the Bulldogs have racked up 194.9 rushing yards per game in the SEC—but neither offense boasts a high-octane passing attack (both are outside the top 50 in passing yards per game).

 

Still, both teams can score big points. Michigan got more creative offensively this season, but they still want to play power football the way football fans are used to seeing from Jim Harbaugh dating back to his time at Stanford and in the NFL with the 49ers. And Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Todd Monken have pushed the right buttons with the quarterback position this season, riding with Stetson Bennett, who has overcome many doubters while helping lead his team to an outstanding run. Bennett’s ability to extend plays with his legs should come into play tonight. Ultimately, Georgia wants to win the game with their defense.

 

However, Michigan would not mind a defensive battle at all. And after handling Ohio State, they probably feel they can beat anyone. The pass rush for the Wolverines is probably the key, with Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo both coming off the edge. In the end, the Georgia defense—which has new Oregon head coach Dan Lanning still on as the defensive coordinator for the CFP—might just be too dominant, and Stetson Bennett might be more reliable to make key plays and keep drives going than Michigan’s Cade McNamara.

 

Prediction: Georgia 24, Michigan 21

2021-2022 College Football Bowl Schedule: Dates, Times, Channels

2021-2022 College Football Bowl Schedule: Dates, Times, Channels

College football’s regular season is officially in the books after another great Army-Navy Game. Now, it’s bowl season. Here’s the full 2021-2022 college football bowl schedule with time and channel, including the College Football Playoff matchups and the National Championship Game.

 

Friday, December 17

 

Bahamas Bowl

Middle Tennessee vs. Toledo

12:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

Cure Bowl

Northern Illinois vs. Coastal Carolina

6:00 PM ET | ESPN2

 

Saturday, December 18

 

Boca Raton Bowl

Appalachian State vs. Western Kentucky

11:00 AM ET | ESPN

 

Celebration Bowl

Jackson State vs. South Carolina State

12:00 PM ET | ABC

 

New Mexico Bowl

Fresno State vs. UTEP

2:15 PM ET | ESPN

 

Independence Bowl

No. 13 BYU vs. UAB

3:30 PM ET | ABC

 

LendingTree Bowl

Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty

5:45 PM ET | ESPN

 

LA Bowl

Oregon State vs. Utah State

7:30 PM ET | ABC

 

New Orleans Bowl

No. 23 Louisiana vs. Marshall

9:15 PM ET | ESPN

 

Monday, December 20

 

Myrtle Beach Bowl

Tulsa vs. Old Dominion

2:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Tuesday, December 21

 

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Kent State vs. Wyoming

3:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Frisco Bowl

No. 24 San Diego State vs. UTSA

7:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Wednesday, December 22

 

Armed Forces Bowl

Missouri vs. Army

8:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

Thursday, December 23

 

Frisco Football Classic

Miami (Ohio) vs. North Texas

3:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Gasparilla Bowl

Florida vs. UCF

7:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

Friday, December 24

 

Hawaii Bowl

Memphis vs. Hawaii

8:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

Saturday, December 25

 

Camellia Bowl

Ball State vs. Georgia State

2:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Monday, December 27

 

Quick Lane Bowl

Western Michigan vs. Nevada

11:00 AM ET | ESPN

 

Military Bowl

East Carolina vs. Boston College

2:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Tuesday, December 28

 

Birmingham Bowl

No. 20 Houston vs. Auburn

12:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

First Responder Bowl

Air Force vs. Louisville

3:15 PM ET | ESPN

 

Liberty Bowl

Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State

6:45 PM ET | ESPN

 

Holiday Bowl

No. 18 NC State vs. UCLA

8:00 PM ET | FOX

 

Guaranteed Rate Bowl

Minnesota vs. West Virginia

10:15 PM ET | ESPN

 

Wednesday, December 29

 

Fenway Bowl

Virginia vs. SMU

11:00 AM ET | ESPN

 

Pinstripe Bowl

Virginia Tech vs. Maryland

2:15 PM ET | ESPN

 

Cheez-It Bowl

No. 19 Clemson vs. Iowa State

5:45 PM ET | ESPN

 

Alamo Bowl

No. 14 Oregon vs. No. 16 Oklahoma

9:15 PM ET | ESPN

 

Thursday, December 30

 

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

North Carolina vs. South Carolina

11:30 AM ET | ESPN

 

Music City Bowl

Tennessee vs. Purdue

3:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

Peach Bowl

No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 12 Pittsburgh

7:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

Las Vegas Bowl

Wisconsin vs. Arizona State

10:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Friday, December 31

 

Gator Bowl

No. 17 Wake Forest vs. No. 25 Texas A&M

11:00 AM ET | ESPN

 

Sun Bowl

Washington State vs. Miami (FL)

12:00 PM ET | CBS

 

Arizona Bowl

Central Michigan vs. Boise State

2:00 PM ET | Barstool Sports

 

Cotton Bowl Classic (CFP semifinal)

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati

3:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Orange Bowl (CFP semifinal)

No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 Georgia

7:30 PM ET | ESPN

 

Saturday, January 1

 

Outback Bowl

No. 21 Arkansas vs. Penn State

12:00 PM ET | ESPN2

 

Citrus Bowl

No. 15 Iowa vs. No. 22 Kentucky

1:00 PM ET | ABC

 

Fiesta Bowl

No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State

1:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

Rose Bowl

No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Utah

5:00 PM ET | ESPN

 

Sugar Bowl

No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 8 Ole Miss

8:45 PM ET | ESPN

 

Tuesday, January 4

 

Texas Bowl

Kansas State vs. LSU

9:00 PM ET| ESPN

 

Monday, January 10

 

College Football Playoff National Championship Game

8:00 PM ET | ESPN

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Bowl Season

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Bowl Season

There was little controversy for the final 2021 College Football Playoff Rankings ahead of bowl season. Here are the final power rankings before a national champion is crowned.

 

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) | Last week: 3 (+2)

Presumptive Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young threw for an SEC Championship Game record 421 yards as Alabama rolled to a 41-24 victory over Georgia to again take the conference and secure the top spot in the College Football Playoff. Nick Saban and company will now have nearly a month to prepare for the first non-Power-Five program in the CFP.

 

Bowl game: Cotton Bowl vs. 4 Cincinnati (Fri, 12/31 at 3:30 PM ET)

 

2. Michigan Wolverines (12-1) | Last week: 2

There was zero letdown for the Wolverines in the Big Ten title game, and their dominance over Iowa even set up a discussion about whether Michigan should be ranked No. 1. The offense showed its creativity last week, and we’ll see what Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis draw up for Georgia. The Orange Bowl will obviously be a huge challenge, but it profiles as the type of game Michigan wants to play.

 

Bowl game: Orange Bowl vs. 3 Georgia (Fri, 12/31 at 7:30 PM ET)

 

3. Georgia Bulldogs (12-1) | Last week: 1 (-2)

Not that he’s been Superman in the other games, but Alabama has been somewhat of a kryptonite for Stetson Bennett over the past couple of years when it comes to the interceptions. Being behind in the game hurt, but look for the Bulldogs to get the run game going to help complement the defense—and to set up play-action to sensational freshman tight end Brock Bowers, who put up ten receptions for 139 and a touchdown in the loss to Bama.

 

Bowl game: Orange Bowl vs. 2 Michigan (Fri, 12/31 at 7:30 PM ET)

 

4. Cincinnati Bearcats (13-0) | Last week: 4

Congratulations to Cincinnati for making the College Football Playoff as a non-Power-Five school. This should silence the talk of bias in the CFP for at least a little, but it really helped that the Bearcats had Notre Dame on the schedule and beat them. It’s been an awesome season for Luke Fickell’s squad either way, but making a statement against a titan like Alabama would be quite the story.

 

Bowl game: Cotton Bowl vs. 1 Alabama (Fri, 12/31 at 3:30 PM ET

 

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1) | Last week: 5

Brian Kelly leaving for LSU—while Notre Dame had a realistic shot of making the CFP—was a stunner, but it seems the program might be OK. From the way Kelly left, to the excitement the current players have about new head coach Marcus Freeman, to this:

 

 

It all might put a chip on the shoulder of the fighting Irish for both their bowl game against Oklahoma State and heading into the 2022 season.

 

Bowl game: Fiesta Bowl vs. 9 Oklahoma State (Sat, 1/1 at 1:00 PM ET)

 

6. Baylor Bears (11-2) | Last week: 9 (+3)

Bears head coach Dave Aranda has done a great job of bringing this program back and winning a conference title to earn a New Year’s Six Bowl in his second season. The goal-line stand to beat Oklahoma State showed the type of toughness Baylor has, and their matchup versus Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl should be a good one.

 

Bowl game: Sugar Bowl vs. 8 Ole Miss (Sat, 1/1 at 8:45 PM ET)

 

7. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) | Last week: 7

Quarterback C.J. Stroud is a Heisman finalist, and playing in the Rose Bowl is certainly a fine consolation for a strong ten-win season for Ohio State, despite the disappointment of the Michigan loss. Hopefully star receivers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave play in their final game, as there’s a chance they skip it while looking ahead to the NFL draft.

 

Bowl game: Rose Bowl vs. 11 Utah (Sat, 1/1 at 5:00 PM ET)

 

8. Ole Miss Rebels (10-2) | Last week: 8

A 10-2 year in the SEC earned Lane Kiffin a nice contract extension and his team a Sugar Bowl berth. Some felt that star quarterback Matt Corral should have been a Heisman finalist, but he’ll have an opportunity to go out with a bang in one of college football’s big bowl games for the New Year’s Day nightcap.

 

Bowl game: Sugar Bowl vs. 7 Baylor (Sat, 1/1 at 8:45 PM ET)

 

9. Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-2) | Last week: 6 (-3)

Oklahoma State was literally an inch or two away from maybe making the final spot in the College Football Playoff a debate. Mike Gundy did a fantastic job with the Cowboys this year, and they’ll look to end the campaign with a win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.

 

Bowl game: Fiesta Bowl vs. 5 Notre Dame (Sat, 1/1 at 1:00 PM ET)

 

10. Pittsburgh Panthers (11-2) | Last week: NR

These final two or three spots in the top ten easily could have gone to a few different teams including Michigan State (the lone team to beat Michigan) and Utah (Pac-12 champions), but Pitt gets the nod after winning the ACC. Kenny Pickett and the Panthers will now face Michigan State in the Peach Bowl, so at least those two teams will be able to settle the rankings on the field.

 

Bowl game: Peach Bowl vs. 10 Michigan State (Thu, 12/31 at 7:00 PM ET)

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch (Final Rankings)

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch (Final Rankings)

The 2021 Heisman Trophy race has concluded, and we are likely to have a clear winner awarded the prestigious honor on Saturday night.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

The past five quarters of football for Bryce Young should have sealed the Heisman for him after he was the consensus frontrunner for most of the year. The comeback win in the Iron Bowl and then 461 total yards of offense and four total touchdowns against an elite Georgia defense made it not much of a debate that Young should hoist the Heisman Trophy on Saturday evening. Young had 46 touchdowns this season.

 

Season stats:

68.0% | 4,322 PASS YDS | 43 PASS TD | 4 INT

71 CAR | 31 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 0.4 AVG

 

2. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 4 (+2)

Personally, I am not a fan of this play at all:

 

 

Defenders are already put in a tough spot as it is, particularly when it comes to the quarterbacks. But it was still an entertaining long touchdown run for Kenny Pickett, who led Pitt to its first ACC title in history. The senior quarterback totaled 47 touchdowns while leading the Panthers to an 11-2 campaign, and he should undoubtedly be a finalist when they are announced today.

 

Season stats:

67.7% | 4,319 PASS YDS | 42 PASS TD | 7 INT

98 CAR | 233 RUSH YDS | 5 RUSH TD | 2.4 AVG

 

3. Aidan Hutchinson | Michigan DE | Senior | Last week: NR

Another strong showing from Aidan Hutchinson in the Big Ten Championship Game helps vault him up to the top three of the final Heisman rankings. Hutchinson set a Michigan single-season record with 13.5 sacks, and he showed up at the biggest moment with three sacks against Ohio State to help the Wolverines make the College Football Playoff for the first time. In a year that’s been relatively wide-open most of the way, it won’t be shocking if Hutchinson gets some first-place votes as a defensive player.

 

Season stats:

55 TKL | 15.0 TFL | 13.5 SACKS | 2 FF

 

4. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 3 (-1)

Kenneth Walker III finished second in the nation in rushing during the regular season, and he keyed an outstanding year for Michigan State that included defeating eventual CFP team Michigan and earning a New Year’s Six Bowl. Remember, Walker went over 200 yards and five touchdowns on the Wolverines.

 

Season stats:

264 CAR | 1,646 RUSH YDS | 18 RUSH TD | 6.2 AVG

13 REC | 89 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 6.8 AVG

 

5. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 2 (-3)

C.J. Stroud had an excellent first season as the starter as a redshirt freshman for Ohio State, but he finishes clearly behind Bryce Young and Kenny Pickett in the end. Stroud will be among the preseason favorites for 2022.

 

Season stats:

70.9% | 3,862 PASS YDS | 38 PASS TD | 5 INT

 

Dropped out:

Ole Miss QB Matt Corral

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 14

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 14

Everyone is expecting the same top four tonight, and things can be made easy or difficult in the final College Football Playoff rankings depending on what happens during championship week.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (12-0) | Last week: 1

Georgia shut out Georgia Tech and remain unbeaten heading into this Saturday’s SEC Championship Game against Alabama. The Bulldogs have not slipped up at all this season, and the current -6.5 spread ahead of the matchup is an indication of how dominant they have been in 2021.

 

2. Michigan Wolverines (11-1) | Last week: 5 (+3)

Jim Harbaugh finally got over the hump versus Ohio State as Michigan’s head coach, and the Wolverines did it emphatically. Hassan Haskins had five touchdowns (a record in The Game), and the tone was set from the start in the cold and snowy conditions. Harbaugh has obviously turned the Michigan program around over the past several years, and the criticism he’s gotten has arguably been over the top and unfair. We’ll see what the committee does with No. 2 and No. 3, but Michigan is now squarely in the top four for the CFP and might remain there barring a bad loss to Iowa in the Big Ten title game this Saturday.

 

3. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) | Last week: 2 (-1)

The slow start for the offense (and really a slow game overall until the end) could end up being a positive for Alabama after they survived in the Iron Bowl. Nick Saban will have his players extremely focused on executing against a tough opponent with a conference title and CFP berth on the line.

 

4. Cincinnati Bearcats (12-0) | Last week: 4

Cincinnati passed their final test of the regular season with flying colors, coasting past East Carolina to complete a 12-0 stretch. With another win over Houston in the AAC title game this Saturday, the Bearcats should become the first team from outside the Power Five to make the Playoff.

 

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1) | Last week: 6 (+1)

The potential Brian-Kelly-to-LSU bombshell aside, Notre Dame has been playing very well since their loss to Cincinnati, and with a loss to a potential CFP team as the only blemish on the record, the Fighting Irish might have a realistic shot of stepping into the top four with an Alabama loss this weekend.

 

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

However, Oklahoma State might have something to say about that after coming back to beat Oklahoma (in Lincoln Riley’s final game) last Saturday night. OK State now has a chance to win the Big 12 Championship Game and vault all the way up to one of the top four spots in the rankings.

 

7. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) | Last week: 3 (-4)

There’s been some discussion of Ohio State not being completely out of the Playoff mix if total craziness ensues this weekend, but they probably should be eliminated after a pretty convincing loss to Michigan. The Buckeyes can light it up on offense, but the defense doesn’t give the feel of a team that should be in the CFP discussion with two losses on the record and no conference title.

 

8. Ole Miss Rebels (10-2) | Last week: 8

It wasn’t a super entertaining Egg Bowl (which we missed out on last year due to COVID), but Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss will certainly take the victory over the in-state rival. Led by quarterback Matt Corral, the Rebels have had an excellent season at 10-2 ahead of bowl season.

 

9. Baylor Bears (10-2) | Last week: 9

After barely surviving against Texas Tech, Baylor is at No. 9 this week; but a win against Oklahoma State with a conference championship on the line would arguably be enough to boost them into at least the top six—and maybe even near or in the top four if Saturday is crazy enough. If certain things fall into place, we could have quite the discussion and debate on Sunday.

 

10. Oregon Ducks (10-2) | Last week: NR

How crazy can things get this weekend? Not to get too hypothetical, but losses by Alabama (particularly if it’s not a close game), Cincinnati, and Michigan could potentially get both Baylor and Oregon into the CFP despite likely being low in the top ten tomorrow night. Of course, the Ducks just need to take care of their own business and get some redemption in the Pac-12 title game over Utah after the Utes blew them out recently.

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 14

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 14

The clubhouse leader remains entering championship week, but the 2021 Heisman Trophy race is still up in the air more than it has been in recent memory.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

Bryce Young and Alabama were getting shut down by Auburn, but an incredible 97-yard touchdown drive to force overtime—and an eventual four overtime win in the Iron Bowl—helped solidify Young as the Heisman favorite with one game remaining. If Young didn’t pull off that final drive, this race would really be mind-boggling.

 

Season stats:

69.0% | 3,901 PASS YDS | 40 PASS TD | 4 INT

68 CAR | -9 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | -0.1 AVG

 

2. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 2

C.J. Stroud put up strong numbers again and did not play poorly, and he remains at No. 2 for now. But the freshman quarterback’s chances of winning the Heisman this year are probably finished following OSU’s loss to Michigan. Still, Stroud should certainly get an invite to New York.

 

Season stats:

70.9% | 3,862 PASS YDS | 38 PASS TD | 5 INT

 

3. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 3

Same goes for Kenneth Walker III, who has his regular season end with 1,646 yards and 18 touchdowns, including the epic performance in Michigan State’s win over Michigan. Walker isn’t going to be able to jump to No. 1, but he’s had an outstanding year.

 

Season stats:

264 CAR | 1,646 RUSH YDS | 18 RUSH TD | 6.2 AVG

13 REC | 89 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 6.8 AVG

 

4. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 5 (+1)

While Kenny Pickett is down at No. 4 for now, Pitt playing for a conference championship this week gives him a chance to leap all the way up to the top of the final rankings. Pickett threw another four touchdowns in the Panthers’ win over Syracuse on Saturday, and he’s up to 44 total touchdowns this season. With a stellar win and a subpar outing from Bryce Young in a loss, Pickett could be the guy.

 

Season stats:

67.7% | 4,066 PASS YDS | 40 PASS TD | 7 INT

92 CAR | 213 RUSH YDS | 4 RUSH TD | 2.3 AVG

 

5. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 4 (-1)

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson is now receiving legitimate Heisman Trophy hype, and he should be counted out by no means with the race still relatively wide-open entering the final week compared to future years—he’ll have the Big Ten Championship to make another huge impact for the Wolverines. But Matt Corral remains in the top five for now after leading Ole Miss to a 10-2 regular season capped off by an Egg Bowl victory.

 

Season stats:

68.3% | 3,333 PASS YDS | 20 PASS TD | 4 INT

145 CAR | 597 RUSH YDS | 11 RUSH TD | 4.1 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 13

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 13

No. 3 Oregon went down and went down hard in their loss to Utah last week, so there’s more movement for the latest 2021 college football power rankings before the final week of the regular season.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (11-0) | Last week: 1

As was obviously expected, Georgia was able to coast against Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs were able to get a lot of players into the rout, which is good to see in the final home game of the year. Georgia will take on Georgia Tech to conclude their regular season.

 

Next game: at Georgia Tech; Sat, 11/27 at 12:00 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1) | Last week: 2

It was a seven-point win, but it felt like Alabama was in control in their victory over ranked Arkansas on Saturday. Bryce Young lit up the Razorbacks for 559 yards and five touchdowns through the air, and he and the Tide will look to get past rival Auburn ahead of the SEC title game versus Georgia.

 

Next game: at Auburn; Sat, 11/27 at 3:30 PM ET

 

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1) | Last week: 4 (+1)

You could certainly put the Buckeyes up at No. 2 (as the AP poll did) following their complete demolition of Michigan State in a top-ten conference matchup. Regardless, OSU will make the College Football Playoff with two more wins. Quarterback C.J. Stroud is looking to stay hot after one of the best performances you will ever see last week.

 

Next game: at 6 Michigan; Sat, 11/27 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0) | Last week: 5 (+1)

Just like that, with the craziness of this college football season, Cincinnati is back into the top four. We expect that will be the case tomorrow night when the latest CFP rankings are released. SMU is a solid team, but the Bearcats won 48-14, perhaps getting some of those “style points” that are talked about with them.

 

Next game: at East Carolina; Fri, 11/26 at 3:30 PM ET

 

5. Michigan Wolverines (10-1) | Last week: 6 (+1)

While Ohio State is on fire heading into “The Game”, Michigan had a fantastic outing themselves against Maryland last week. If there was a time for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines to come away with a big win over Ohio State to finally put to rest the talk that they can’t win a big game, this is it. However, as the Buckeyes showed last week, they are undoubtedly playing with more talent than anyone in the Big Ten.

 

Next game: vs. Ohio State; Sat, 11/27 at 12:00 PM ET

 

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1) | Last week: 8 (+2)

Notre Dame blew out Georgia Tech, 55-0, to secure their fifth consecutive ten-win season. Brian Kelly is another coach that’s been unable to win the big game to some extent (though for him it’s been in the national title game and playoffs), but he deserves credit for the turnaround after a 4-8 campaign in 2016.

 

Next game: at Stanford; Sat, 11/27 at 8:00 PM ET

 

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1) | Last week: 9 (+2)

The outstanding defense from Oklahoma State continued last week, as they shut out Texas Tech to advance to 10-1. The Cowboys are second in the nation in points allowed per game (14.9) and third in total defense (267.8 yards per game). The strength of Notre Dame and Cincinnati ahead of them might make it tough, but Oklahoma State should not be counted out of the Playoff race.

 

Next game: vs. 10 Oklahoma; Sat, 11/27 at 7:30 PM ET

 

8. Ole Miss Rebels (9-2) | Last week: 10 (+2)

It wasn’t a totally perfect game and celebration, but Matt Corral and the Rebels won again to put themselves in a spot to get to ten wins when they face Mississippi State this week. We were robbed of a Thanksgiving Egg Bowl last year because of the funky COVID scheduling, but we’ll see Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach’s squads face off on Thursday.

 

Next game: at Mississippi State; Thu, 11/25 at 7:30 PM ET

 

9. Baylor Bears (9-2) | Last week: NR

There was no letdown for Baylor last week, as the defense again allowed just ten points for a second consecutive game. Despite just beating the Sooners a couple of weeks ago, the Bears will need some help to get into the Big 12 title game.

 

Next game: vs. Texas Tech; Sat, 11/27 at 12:00 PM ET

 

10. Oklahoma Sooners (10-1) | Last week: NR

Oklahoma bounced back and held on for a victory over Iowa State, and it now sets up an interesting scenario where if the Sooners beat OK State this Saturday, they’ll play again in the Big 12 Championship. Caleb Williams and the passing attack will need to get going, but it won’t be an easy task against one of the nation’s top defenses.

 

Next game: at 7 Oklahoma State; Sat, 11/27 at 7:30 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 13

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 13

Has a clear top-two emerged for the 2021 Heisman Trophy race heading into the final week of the regular season?

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 2 (+1)

Recency bias might be pushing Bryce Young out from the top of many Heisman lists and from the top spot in the Vegas odds, but the star sophomore quarterback should be the favorite. Young torched Arkansas for 559 passing yards (the second-most in SEC history) and five passing touchdowns in Alabama’s 42-35 win last week.

 

Season stats:

71.7% | 3,584 PASS YDS | 38 PASS TD | 3 INT

57 CAR | 14 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 0.2 AVG

 

2. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 5 (+3)

While Young remains at No. 1, C.J. Stroud certainly put himself squarely in the Heisman discussion after going 29/31 for 393 passing yards and six passing touchdowns… in the first half of the top-ten matchup against Michigan State. As the insane efficiency indicates, Stroud put throws on the money with stellar accuracy—including on touchdowns deep down the field. But keep in mind that the Spartans, despite a great year overall, did have the worst pass defense in college football.

 

Season stats:

71.1% | 3,468 PASS YDS | 36 PASS TD | 5 INT

 

3. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 1 (-2)

Unfortunately, Kenneth Walker III fell victim to the onslaught from the other side of the ball, as being down multiple touchdowns very early in the game and 42-0 at halftime made it very difficult for him to get going. Walker had just six carries for 25 yards. He shouldn’t be counted out of the Heisman race entirely, but Saturday was basically a worst-case scenario for his candidacy.

 

Season stats:

234 CAR | 1,508 RUSH YDS | 17 RUSH TD | 6.4 AVG

13 REC | 89 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 6.8 AVG

 

4. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 3 (-1)

In his final home game for the Rebels after announcing he will be declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft, Matt Coral threw for 326 yards and a couple of touchdowns versus Vanderbilt. Corral is up to 29 total touchdowns on the season, but he’s probably a distant fourth in the race.

 

Season stats:

67.4% | 3,099 PASS YDS | 19 PASS TD | 3 INT

133 CAR | 553 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 4.2 AVG

 

5. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 4 (-1)

And Kenny Pickett is right in the mix with Corral behind the top three. The Pitt quarterback had another big day slinging the ball around last week against Virginia, throwing for 340 yards and four touchdowns (two interceptions) to match Bryce Young’s 40 total touchdowns this season.

 

Season stats:

67.1% | 3,875 PASS YDS | 36 PASS TD | 6 INT

89 CAR | 209 RUSH TDS | 4 RUSH TD | 2.3 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 12

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 12

Down goes another top-ten team, as Oklahoma lost to Baylor last week to tumble out of our top four and outside the top ten of this week’s 2021 college football power rankings.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (10-0) | Last week: 1

Tennessee was able to hang around for a little bit, but the Bulldogs were just too much on Saturday afternoon. It’s been previously mentioned here and elsewhere that Georgia looks a lot like the Alabama teams we’ve been used to seeing over the years. Pure domination every single week and no slip-ups.

 

Next game: vs. Charleston Southern; Sat, 11/20 at 12:00 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1) | Last week: 2

Alabama didn’t have trouble with New Mexico State, putting up a 49-3 halftime lead before taking the foot off the gas relatively speaking. After a narrow win over LSU a couple of Saturdays ago, Bama is now looking to get back on track with their SEC schedule this week against Arkansas.

 

Next game: vs. 21 Arkansas; Sat, 11/20 at 3:30 PM ET

 

3. Oregon Ducks (9-1) | Last week: 4 (+1)

Oregon keeps rolling and improved to 9-1 on the season, but they’ll have one of their toughest conference opponents up this Saturday when they go to Utah. The last matchup between the Ducks and the Utes was when Oregon dominated the Pac-12 title game a couple of seasons ago.

 

Next game: at 24 Utah; Sat, 11/20 at 7:30 PM ET

 

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1) | Last week: 6 (+2)

Ohio State might have had the most impressive showing of any squad last week, completely blowing the doors off a ranked Purdue team with two top-five wins this season. The Buckeyes are hot heading into the huge Big Ten matchup versus Michigan State this Saturday at noon.

 

Next game: vs. 7 Michigan State; Sat, 11/20 at 12:00 PM ET

 

5. Cincinnati Bearcats (10-0) | Last week: 5

Because of the impressiveness of Ohio State over the past several weeks, Cincinnati remains just outside the top four still. However, they are still very much in the playoff mix, likely getting in if they remain unbeaten and the SEC or Big Ten don’t get two teams in the top four. The Bearcats can’t look past SMU this week, obviously.

 

Next game: vs. SMU; Sat, 11/20 at 3:30 PM ET

 

6. Michigan Wolverines (9-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

It was looking shaky for Michigan late in the game while behind against Penn State, but the Wolverines were able to get the victory in a tough environment to improve to 9-1. Now, they go to Maryland and must ensure that they don’t fall into a trap with Ohio State on deck.

 

Next game: at Maryland; Sat, 11/20 at 3:30 PM ET

 

7. Michigan State Spartans (9-1) | Last week: 8 (+1)

The passing attack for Michigan State got going at the right time last week, as they’ll need it to avoid being one-dimensional at Ohio State this weekend. For the Spartan defense, they’ll probably need to make stops on key situations like third down and red zone to have a shot at the upset.

 

Next game: at 5 Ohio State; Sat, 11/20 at 12:00 PM ET

 

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-1) | Last week: 9 (+1)

The Notre Dame offense has been playing great since the Cincinnati loss, but it’s the defense that’s been the story over the past couple of games—allowing just nine points combined to Navy and Virginia. The Fighting Irish now return to South Bend for their final home game of the season.

 

Next game: vs. Georgia Tech; Sat, 11/20 at 2:30 PM ET

 

9. Oklahoma State (9-1) | Last week: 10 (+1)

Since their lone loss of the year late last month, Oklahoma State is 3-0 with a point differential of 142-23. Quite impressive, and the Cowboys are low in the rankings now, but they can potentially make a move up closer to the top four with a shot at the playoffs. “Style points” might be important for OK State during the final stretch.

 

Next game: at Texas Tech; Sat, 11/20 at 8:00 PM ET

 

10. Ole Miss Rebels (8-2) | Last week: NR

Oklahoma could have remained in the top ten at this spot, and Wake Forest and Baylor are among the other schools in consideration. But Ole Miss is the pick following their impressive showing against Texas A&M.

 

Next game: vs. Vanderbilt; Sat, 11/20 at 7:30 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 12

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 12

The 2021 Heisman Trophy race remains incredibly tight, with several worth contenders. But is a top two separating itself heading into a critical late-season stretch?

 

1. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 1

Michigan State did more damage through the air in the win over Maryland last Saturday, but Kenneth Walker III still got his, with 30 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Walker is not yet getting the overall praise he should as the arguable top player in the Heisman race, but another huge outing versus Ohio State this week could remedy that.

 

Season stats:

228 CAR | 1,483 RUSH YDS | 17 RUSH TD | 6.5 AVG

12 REC | 85 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 7.1 AVG

 

2. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 2

Bryce Young calmly went 21/23 for 270 yards and five touchdowns in Alabama’s rout of New Mexico State. Next up, the competition increases again as the SEC schedule resumes when Young and the Tide take on Arkansas this Saturday afternoon.

 

Season stats:

71.0% | 3,025 PASS YDS | 33 PASS TD | 3 INT

51 CAR | 25 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 0.5 AVG

 

3. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 3

The top two should be pretty locked-in as consensus at this point, but the next few contenders are where it gets interesting—and they can all make a move up the Heisman watch to end the season. Matt Corral hasn’t had to put too much on his shoulders thanks to a strong rushing attack and defense the past couple of weeks, but he’s been a superb dual threat all year and is leading a top-ten team.

 

Season stats:

66.6% | 2,773 PASS YDS | 17 PASS TD | 2 INT

126 CAR | 523 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 4.2 AVG

 

4. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 4

The UNC-Pitt matchup maybe didn’t live quite up to the hype of two potential first-round quarterbacks in next year’s draft, but Kenny Pickett still put up numbers, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the overtime victory. Among Power Five players, Pickett’s 36 total touchdowns trail only Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman (who could also easily be in the top five) this season.

 

Season stats:

67.5% | 3,517 PASS YDS | 32 PASS TD | 4 INT

83 CAR | 223 RUSH YDS | 4 RUSH TD | 2.7 AVG

 

5. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 5

There was serious consideration to putting C.J. Stroud up one or two spots in the Heisman rankings. The freshman is coming off a five-touchdown performance in Ohio State’s rout of ranked Purdue, and he’s been excellent throwing the ball over the past several weeks. However, the rushing of Corral and Pickett keep them ahead of Stroud for now.

 

Season stats:

68.8% | 3,036 PASS YDS | 30 PASS TD | 5 INT

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 11

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 11

The insane college football season continues, with just a few weeks remaining in the regular season.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (9-0) | Last week: 1

The biggest “problem” for Georgia right now isn’t really a problem at all. Stetson Bennett, who got the deep ball going last week, is playing so well at quarterback for the Bulldogs that J.T. Daniels doesn’t feel particularly close to retaking the starting job. But it was great to see Daniels back in action for Georgia after they pulled away from Missouri.

 

Next game: at Tennessee; Sat, 11/13 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1) | Last week: 2

LSU gave Alabama all they could handle on Saturday night (with Ed Orgeron even claiming on two occasions that his Tigers were the better team). The Crimson Tide defense stepped up, but the run game could not get much going versus LSU’s front. Bama should be able to run the ball and get back on track in that department this weekend.

 

Next game: vs. New Mexico State; Sat, 11/13 at 12:00 PM ET

 

3. Oklahoma Sooners (9-0) | Last week: 4 (+1)

Oklahoma had the open week to give them a bit more time to prepare for a ranked conference matchup at Baylor this Saturday. It’s an early game, but going to a tough Waco environment won’t be easy.

 

Next game: at 18 Baylor: Sat, 11/13 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Oregon Ducks (8-1) | Last week: 6 (+2)

It was nice to see the committee give Oregon respect and recognition for their victory over Ohio State in Columbus earlier this season. Travis Dye ran for 211 yards and a touchdown in the Ducks’ win over Washington, and there’s no reason they should fall in the rankings if they keep winning.

 

Next game: vs. Washington State; Sat, 11/13 at 10:30 PM ET

 

5. Cincinnati Bearcats (9-0) | Last week: 5

Meanwhile, there was a ton of outrage over Cincinnati being left out of the initial top four. But despite the loud complaints, outside the top four feels right at the moment. The Bearcats have had some close calls versus inferior opponents. It took not one, but two goal-line stands by the stellar Cincinnati defense to hold on against Tulsa last Saturday.

 

Next game: at South Florida; Fri, 11/12 at 6:00 PM ET

 

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

The Buckeyes had some trouble themselves while facing Nebraska on the road, but they emerged from the conference showdown with an 8-1 mark. Jaxon Smith-Njigba recorded 15 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown in an all-time outing for Ohio State.

 

Next game: vs. Purdue; Sat, 11/13 at 3:30 PM ET

 

7. Michigan Wolverines (8-1) | Last week: 8 (+1)

Michigan bounced back from their first loss by playing a sharp game against Indiana, but the story for the Wolverines came from head coach Jim Harbaugh revealing that the Big Ten told him the officials made a mistake in the Michigan State loss. Nevertheless, the Wolverines still have a very real shot at making the CFP.

 

Next game: at 23 Penn State; Sat, 11/13 at 12:00 PM ET

 

8. Michigan State Spartans (8-1) | Last week: 3 (-5)

After upsetting Michigan State, Purdue now has wins over No. 2 (then Iowa) and No. 3 this season. Maybe it was a letdown for the Spartans after their emotional win, but giving up 536 passing yards in the loss to the Boilermakers is obviously cause for concern.

 

Next game: vs. Maryland; Sat, 11/13 at 4:00 PM ET

 

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1) | Last week: 9

Notre Dame was laser focused entering last Saturday’s matchup with a Navy squad you cannot take lightly. The Fighting Irish have at least 31 points in all four games and have averaged 35.3 points per game since the 24-13 Cincinnati loss last month.

 

Next game: at Virginia; Sat, 11/13 at 7:30 PM ET

 

10. Oklahoma State (8-1) | Last week: NR

Texas A&M could easily be in the No. 10 spot, but Oklahoma State gets the slight edge. The Cowboys stymied West Virginia’s offense, while Devontavean Martin caught two touchdowns on the other side of the ball. OK State will host TCU this Saturday night.

 

Next game: vs. TCU; Sat, 11/13 at 8:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 11

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 11

His team lost for the first time this season, but the No. 1 player in the Heisman Trophy race remains the same after last week.

 

1. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 1

While the Spartans fell on the road to Purdue as the then-No.-3 team in the nation, Kenneth Walker III again did his part, rushing 23 times for 146 yards and a touchdown along with two receptions for 20 yards. Walker did have a fumble in the first half, but it appeared that his knee might have been down. Regardless, the star runner continues to have an outstanding campaign.

 

Season stats:

198 CAR | 1,340 RUSH YDS | 15 RUSH TD | 6.8 AVG

10 REC | 56 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.6 AVG

 

2. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 2

Seen as the Heisman favorite by most, Bryce Young played well with Alabama finding themselves in a real battle versus LSU on Saturday night. The sophomore quarterback was under pressure from the Tigers, but he remained poised and went 24/37 for 302 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Season stats:

69.5% | 2,755 PASS YDS | 28 PASS TD | 3 INT

47 CAR | 18 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 0.4 AVG

 

3. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 3

The early Saturday matchup between Ole Miss and Liberty was billed as a game with big implications for the 2022 NFL Draft, with Matt Corral and Malik Willis featured in the contest. Jerrion Ealy broke a long touchdown run to begin the game, and the Rebels defense had a great outing, but Corral did a nice job of running Lane Kiffin’s offense and taking care of the ball while tossing for 324 yards and a touchdown.

 

Season stats:

66.8% | 2,526 PASS YDS | 16 PASS TD | 2 INT

116 CAR | 538 RUSH YDS | 10 TD | 4.6 AVG

 

4. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 5 (+1)

Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett continues to get slept on as a legitimate Heisman contender that could very well lead the pack by the end of the season. Pickett led 7-2 Pitt to a blowout win over Duke, and he threw for 416 yards and three touchdowns while adding 57 rushing yards and a score on the ground. Pickett has been putting up video-game-like numbers.

 

Season stats:

68.7% | 3,171 PASS YDS | 29 PASS TD | 3 INT

73 CAR | 234 RUSH YDS | 4 RUSH TD | 3.2 AVG

 

5. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 4 (-1)

The two interceptions don’t look great on the stat sheet, but C.J. Stroud threw the ball 54 times and racked up 405 passing yards along with a couple of touchdowns in Ohio State’s 26-17 win over Nebraska. Stroud feels like he’s clearly behind the top four as of now, but the freshman has big games coming up on the schedule.

 

Season stats:

67.0% | 2,675 PASS YDS | 25 PASS TD | 5 INT

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 10

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 10

The first College Football Playoff Rankings of 2021 will release tonight. Where should each team stand in the initial rankings to kickoff November?

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (8-0) | Last week: 1

Georgia did not have much trouble with Florida, thanks in part to a late surge to close out the first half. Through eight games, Georgia’s defense has allowed six touchdowns—and they’ve intercepted ten passes. Also, the Bulldogs offense has played well with Stetson Bennett under center. There’s little question as to which team will be ranked in the top spot tonight.

 

Next game: vs. Missouri; Sat, 11/6 at 12:00 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1) | Last week: 2

Alabama had off last week, and we’ll see where the Committee places them. There’s a loss on the resume (at Texas A&M), but consensus is probably that the Crimson Tide are a clear top-two team—that is, they would be favored over everyone except for Georgia.

 

Next game: vs. LSU; Sat, 11/6 at 7:00 PM ET

 

3. Michigan State Spartans (8-0) | Last week: 6 (+3)

There’s still a long way to go, but Michigan State has earned a spot in the initial top four after their big victory over Michigan. Heisman frontrunner Kenneth Walker III is coming off a sensational performance with 197 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the Spartan’s win over the in-state rival.

 

Next game: at Purdue; Sat, 11/6 at 3:30 PM ET

 

4. Oklahoma Sooners (9-0) | Last week: 4

The Sooners have not looked back since Lincoln Riley made the quarterback switch to Caleb Williams, who just torched Texas Tech for 402 yards and six touchdowns (seven passing scores for the Sooners after Spencer Rattler also received some action)—including 4/135/2 from Marvin Mims and 5/100/1 from Mario Williams. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Committee liked the way OU is playing and puts them as high as No. 2.

 

Next game: at 14 Baylor; Sat, 11/13 (time TBD)

 

5. Cincinnati Bearcats (8-0) | Last week: 3 (-2)

It’s somewhat surprising that Cincinnati remains at No. 2 in the AP poll. The Bearcats allowed one-win Tulane to hang around deep into the second half, and “style points” might come into play for them given that they are a non-Power-Five school. However, the Bearcats have a great defense, an experienced quarterback, and own a huge win against Notre Dame.

 

Next game: vs. Tulsa; Sat, 11/6 at 3:30 PM ET

 

6. Oregon Ducks (7-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

Oregon’s offense was able to get on track while piling up 52 points on Colorado. The Ducks might be the most interesting team and in the most intriguing situation entering tonight. They arguably have the most impressive victory of anyone this year by beating Ohio State in Columbus, and we’ll see where they land in the initial CFP rankings.

 

Next game: at Washington; Sat, 11/6 at 7:30 PM ET

 

7. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) | Last week: 8 (+1)

The feeling is that Ohio State will be ranked higher than Oregon, but should they be? It comes down to the Buckeyes being seen as a different team than the one that lost to Oregon earlier this year. The offense is clicking, and the defense has improved. Surviving against a talented Penn State team on Saturday night might help in the eyes of the Committee as they stack these squads up for the first time.

 

Next game: at Nebraska; Sat, 11/6 at 12:00 PM ET

 

8. Michigan Wolverines (7-1) | Last week: 5 (-3)

The talk about Jim Harbaugh not being able to win big games will continue probably until he wins a national title—unfortunately for him, that’s just the way things are with the media. The Wolverines still have everything in front of them this season, starting this weekend when they host Indiana.

 

Next game: vs. Indiana; Sat, 11/6 at 7:30 PM ET

 

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1) | Last week: NR

Notre Dame’s lone loss of the year is to Cincinnati, and they certainly have a shot to be in the Playoff discussion if things go the right way for them. However, the Fighting Irish obviously cannot look past a matchup with a tough Navy squad on Saturday afternoon.

 

Next game: vs. Navy; Sat, 11/6 at 3:30 PM ET

 

10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-0) | Last week: NR

Wake Forest lands in the top ten for the first time this year, and they are a team to watch tonight, as the initial rankings always seem to have some surprising rankings. The Demon Deacons have one of the best offenses in college football (43.4 points per game, fifth in the nation), and they are one of a few unbeaten Power Five teams.

 

Next game: at North Carolina; Sat, 11/6 at 12:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 10

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 10

We have a new leader in the clubhouse in the 2021 Heisman Trophy race.

 

1. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 4 (+3)

The feeling all year has been that there are a bunch of worthy Heisman candidates, but that no player has quite separated themselves into frontrunning status. That should have changed over the weekend after Kenneth Walker III ran for nearly 200 yards and five touchdowns to lead Michigan State over Michigan. Walker has paced the nation in rushing yards all year, and he had a major “Heisman moment” in the performance versus the in-state rival.

 

Season stats:

175 CAR | 1,194 RUSH YDS | 14 RUSH TD | 6.8 AVG

8 REC | 36 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 4.5 AVG

 

2. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1 (-1)

Alabama had off last week, but Bryce Young was probably set to fall to No. 2 in the Heisman race either way because of the way Walker played on Saturday. Young will do battle with LSU this weekend.

 

Season stats:

70.1% | 2,453 PASS YDS | 26 PASS TD | 3 INT

38 CAR | 40 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 1.1 AVG

 

3. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 2 (-1)

Matt Corral suffered an ankle injury in the first half of last week’s loss to Auburn, which forced him to miss time. The ankle issue first popped up against Tennessee a couple of weeks ago, but Corral is going to push through it. Ole Miss falling out of the top-ten hurts Corral’s Heisman status, but he’s obviously been one of the top dual threats in the country and remains in the mix.

 

Season stats:

66.0% | 2,202 PASS YDS | 15 PASS TD | 2 INT

110 CAR | 519 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 4.7 AVG

 

4. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: NR

C.J. Stroud lands back in the top five after throwing for 305 yards and a touchdown while avoiding mistakes going up against a tough Penn State defense. It helps having the outstanding supporting cast that he does with Ohio State, but Stroud has stood in the pocket and made strong throws this season, particularly after his return from a one-game absence due to a shoulder injury in late September.

 

Season stats:

67.1% | 2,270 PASS YDS | 23 PASS TD | 3 INT

17 CAR | 18 RUSH YDS | 1.1 AVG

 

5. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 3 (-2)

You can make an easy argument for Kenny Pickett to remain at No. 3 or No. 4 in the Heisman rankings. Pickett threw for 519 yards and three touchdowns in a close loss to Miami, and he’s thrown for 901 yards and nine touchdowns in the Panthers’ two losses this season. Perhaps unfairly, team success helps push guys up the Heisman race, particularly at quarterback.

 

Season stats:

69.2% | 2,755 PASS YDS | 26 PASS TD | 3 INT

65 CAR | 177 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 2.7 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 9

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 9

Ranked teams continue to fall in what’s been an insane 2021 college football season through a couple of months. There’s some top-four shuffling in this week’s power rankings.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0) | Last week: 1

Georgia is returning from an off week and will play rival Florida on Saturday afternoon. While the Gators haven’t had the type of season they would like, the Bulldogs obviously need to come ready to play—as they have all season.

 

Next game: vs. Florida; Sat, 10/30 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1) | Last week: 4 (+2)

You could stack these teams up from the No. 2 to No. 6 range a few  different ways. The AP poll saw Alabama move up to No. 3 this week, and we’ll move them back up to No. 2 after they routed Tennessee. The Tide have bounced back strongly from their narrow loss to Texas A&M, and quarterback Bryce Young is only getting better with experience.

 

Next game: vs. LSU; Sat, 11/6 (time TBD)

 

3. Cincinnati Bearcats (7-0) | Last week: 2 (-1)

No matter their records, winning at Navy against those tough kids is certainly no cakewalk. A strong third quarter boosted Cincinnati to a lead, and they held off a late comeback attempt by the Midshipmen to improve to 7-0. The close call should lead to a very focused Bearcats team when they take on Tulane this weekend.

 

Next game: at Tulane; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Oklahoma Sooners (8-0) | Last week: 3 (-1)

Oklahoma was shutout in the first half against Kansas, but freshman quarterback Caleb Williams and the offense didn’t panic, and they scored five touchdowns in the second half—including 21 in the fourth quarter—for a 35-23 victory. Next up, a matchup with Texas Tech.

 

Next game: vs. Texas Tech; Sat, 10/30 at 3:30 PM ET

 

5. Michigan Wolverines (7-0) | Last week: 6 (+1)

Blake Corum (19 carries, 119 yards, two touchdowns) and Hassan Haskins (23 carries, 110 yards, two touchdowns) powered Michigan’s 33-7 win over Northwestern, and expect a slugfest when the Wolverines face the Spartans on Saturday. The winner might have a strong case to move up to No. 2 in the rankings.

 

Next game: at 8 Michigan State; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

6. Michigan State Spartans (7-0) | Last week: 7 (+1)

While Michigan comes into the Big Noon matchup playing very good football, Michigan State will enter the week rested following a bye. The game will happen in East Lansing, so the Spartans will undoubtedly be counting on a raucous crowd to help with momentum on Saturday.

 

Next game: vs. 6 Michigan; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Oregon Ducks (6-1) | Last week: 9 (+2)

It was a slow start and another close finish for Oregon, but the Ducks were able to hold on against UCLA to remain squarely in the College Football Playoff race. Anthony Brown was somewhat inconsistent as a passer versus the Bruins, but he made key plays with his legs while racking up 85 yards on just six rushing attempts.

 

Next game: vs. Colorado; Sat, 10/30 at 3:30 PM ET

 

8. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1) | Last week: 10 (+2)

Ohio State’s offense might be playing better than any team in the nation right now, and you could argue they should be in the top five of the power rankings. It’s just hard to put them over Oregon after losing to them at home—even if it was early in the season and the teams are at different stages now—but things will work out within the Big Ten conference and in the rankings.

 

Next game: vs. 20 Penn State; Sat, 10/30 at 7:30 PM ET

 

9. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-1) | Last week: NR

Iowa had a bye but gets back into the top ten thanks to losses by Oklahoma State and Penn State. The Hawkeyes must obviously get back on track offensively, but they still have a lot in front of them and can get back into the CFP mix.

 

Next game: at Wisconsin; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

10. Ole Miss Rebels (6-1) | Last week: NR

There are a host of options for the No. 10 spot in the power rankings, including Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Pitt, and unbeaten Wake Forest. But the lone loss of the season for Ole Miss was to Alabama. The Rebels defense has played better after giving up 51 points to Arkansas earlier this month, and they’ll look to keep it going at Auburn this Saturday.

 

Next game: at 18 Auburn; Sat, 10/30 at 7:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 9

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 9

We have a new entrant in the top five of the Heisman Watch as we enter the final week of October in the 2021 college football season.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

The rushing statistics for Bryce Young haven’t been listed in the Heisman watch because he hasn’t been doing much running at all this season. That changed against Tennessee on Saturday night, when Young ran ten times for 42 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season to get into the positive for rushing numbers (remember, sack yardage counts against rushing yards). He also threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns as the Tide improved to 7-1.

 

Season stats:

70.1% | 2,453 PASS YDS | 26 PASS TD  3 INT

38 CAR | 40 RUSH TD | 2 RUSH TD | 1.1 AVG

 

2. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 2

LSU played Matt Corral and the Rebels tough, so it wasn’t a massive output in terms of numbers for the star quarterback last week. Still, Corral added two more touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and even added a 19-yard reception, which helped Ole Miss get going following a relatively slow start.

 

Season stats:

67.^% | 1,913 PASS YDS | 15 PASS TD | 1 INT

100 CAR | 474 RUSH YDS | 9 RUSH TD | 4.7 AVG

 

3. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: NR

Midseason All-American quarterback Kenny Pickett helped Pitt defeat Clemson, and he’s clearly been one of the top players in the ACC this season. The experienced redshirt senior has tossed 23 touchdowns and just one interception and deserves Heisman consideration a little past the halfway point in the season.

 

Season stats:

68.9% | 2,236 PASS YDS | 23 PASS TD | 1 INT

56 CAR | 187 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 3.3 AVG

 

4. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 3 (-1)

Coming off a bye week, Kenneth Walker III has a major opportunity to perhaps vault to the stop of the Heisman race when Michigan State takes on Michigan this Saturday. Walker is now second in the nation in rushing after he had off last week, but he still paces the country in rushing yards per game.

 

Season stats:

152 CAR | 997 RUSH YDS | 9 RUSH TD | 6.6 AVG

5 REC | 25 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.0 AVG

 

5. Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati QB | Senior | Last week: 4 (-1)

Desmond Ridder is playing well, but he continues to drop in the Heisman rankings because of the numbers the other top candidates are putting up. Ridder is probably thrilled to be 7-0 and leading the No. 2 team in the country, though.

 

Season stats:

63.6% | 1,620 PASS YDS | 15 PASS TD | 3 INT

42 CAR | 124 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 3.0 AVG

 

Dropped out:

Texas RB Bijan Robinson (5)

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 8

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 8

The madness of the 2021 college football season continues. How far should Iowa drop in the rankings after they were at No. 2 last week?

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0) | Last week: 1

Georgia simply doesn’t give much up on defense, and it’s almost shocking when an opposing offense is able to get into the end zone—and the Bulldogs seem to take it personally. Freshman tight end Brock Bowers had 101 yards and caught two touchdowns from Stetson Bennett in the blowout victory over Kentucky. The Dawgs now have a bye to recharge.

 

Next game: vs. Florida; Sat, 10/30 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Cincinnati Bearcats (6-0) | Last week: 3 (+1)

Jerome Ford ran for 189 yards and four touchdowns in Cincinnati’s 56-21 win over UCF. The dominance of the Bearcats throughout the season has them up to No. 2 in both the power rankings and in the AP poll, and it’ll be interesting to see where they rank in the first CFP rankings when they are out in a couple of weeks.

 

Next game: at Navy; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

3. Oklahoma Sooners (7-0) | Last week: 7 (+4)

Freshman quarterback Caleb Williams appears to have ignited the entire Sooners squad in his first career start last week against TCU. There have been many more explosive plays with Williams under center than preseason Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler, and give Lincoln Riley credit for making the switch. We’ll see if Oklahoma can keep it going, but they get a boost in the rankings and look like a Playoff team again.

 

Next game: at Kansas; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1) | Last week: 4

Alabama quickly bounced back from their first loss of the season, putting in perhaps their best defensive outing through seven games after holding Mississippi State out of the end zone in a 49-9 win. Will Anderson Jr. recorded four sacks and the Bama defense picked off three passes against the Bulldogs,

 

Next game: vs. Tennessee; Sat, 10/23 at 7:00 PM ET

 

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1) | Last week: 5

Penn State had off last week, and they remain at No. 5 in the rankings. They’re above Iowa despite losing to them a couple of weeks ago, but most agree that should be the case given that it was a tight loss on the road and starting quarterback Sean Clifford was injured early. Penn State’s schedule will pick up with ranked matchups soon, but they need to get past Illinois this Saturday at noon.

 

Next game: vs. Illinois; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

6. Michigan Wolverines (6-0) | Last week: 6

Michigan is also coming off a bye and will play at noon ET at home versus a Big Ten opponent. Michigan has won six consecutive games over Northwestern.

 

Next game: vs. Northwestern; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Michigan State Spartans (7-0) | Last week: 8 (+1)

It was not easy win, but Michigan State did not slip up at Indiana, and they’ll enter a week off unbeaten. When the Spartans return, they might be facing a stretch of four ranked conference matchups in their final five regular season games.

 

Next game: vs. 6 Michigan; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

8. Oklahoma State (6-0) | Last week: NR

Two consecutive ranked wins within the Big 12 push Oklahoma State to the No. 8 spot. The Cowboys rattled off 16 consecutive points in a comeback victory over Texas, and running back Jaylen Warren starred with 193 yards on 33 attempts. Their next opponent, Iowa State, could arguably be ranked, and this will be a tough test for OK State on Saturday.

 

Next game: at Iowa State; Sat, 10/23 at 3:30 PM ET

 

9. Oregon Ducks (5-1) | Last week: 9

Friday night could have been a trap for Oregon despite facing a one-win California team at home. The important thing is that the Ducks survived ahead of their highly anticipated showdown with old friend Chip Kelly and UCLA.

 

Next game: at UCLA; Sat, 10/23 at 3:30 PM ET

 

10. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1) | Last week: 10

Ohio State is the third Big Ten team in the top-ten to have off last week. They’ve moved way up in the AP poll, and it’s easy to see why with the way they’ve been playing as of late. However, we’ll keep the Buckeyes below Oregon for now—but there should be plenty more shuffling in the coming weeks.

 

Next game: at Indiana; Sat, 10/23 at 7:30 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 8

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 8

The 2021 Heisman Trophy race remains incredibly tight, and it only figures to heat up over the next several weeks.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

Bryce Young actually ran the ball a little more versus Mississippi State over the weekend, but he’s still at negative rushing production on the season including sacks. Through the air is where the star quarterback continues to do his damage, going 20/28 for 348 yards and four touchdowns as the Crimson Tide got back on track with a win.

 

Season stats:

69.8% | 2,082 PASS YDS | 24 PASS TD | 3 INT

 

2. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 2

Matt Corral didn’t have his best game as a passer in Ole Miss’ narrow win over Tennessee, but he did what it took for his team to get the victory, rushing 30 times for 195 yards. As the race likely remains close down the stretch, Corral might benefit by having a hype man like Lane Kiffin campaigning and singing his praises for the Heisman.

 

Season stats:

66.3% | 1,728 PASS YDS | 14 PASS TD | 1 INT

88 CAR | 450 RUSH YDS | 8 RUSH TD | 5.1 AVG

 

3. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 4 (+1)

While Kenneth Walker III didn’t have a huge rushing performance on Saturday, his steady presence in the backfield helped the Spartans win a defensive battle over Indiana to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 2015. Walker is just three rushing yards shy of 1,000 on the season.

 

Season stats:

152 CAR | 997 RUSH YDS | 9 RUSH TD | 6.6 AVG

5 REC | 25 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.0 AVG

 

4. Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati QB | Senior | Last week: 3 (-1)

Desmond Ridder slips one spot again, and he’s in danger of soon falling out of the top five. The ground game for the Bearcats did most of the damage last week, with Ridder throwing for under 200 yards. It’s safe to say that Ridder would take team success and a trip to the College Football Playoff over a Heisman Trophy, but he might need more monster individual performances to have a good shot at the award.

 

Season stats:

64.3% | 1,444 PASS YDS | 13 PASS TD | 2 INT

37 CAR | 118 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 3.2 AVG

 

5. Bijan Robinson | Texas RB | Sophomore | Last week: 5

The loss by Texas hurts, but Bijan Robinson was again electric for the Longhorns, scoring three total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) against Oklahoma State. Robinson is inching closer to Kenneth Walker’s rushing numbers, and the receiving production (14.8 yards per reception) has been superb.

 

Season stats:

146 CAR | 924 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 6.3 AVG

14 REC | 207 REC YDS | 3 REC TD | 14.8 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 7

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 7

The craziness continues in college football this season, and we have a new No. 1 in the power rankings following Alabama’s loss at Texas A&M.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (6-0) | Last week: 2 (+1)

Georgia’s defense has been completely dominant this season, allowing point totals of 3 (to Clemson), 7, 13, 0, 0, and 10. The offense isn’t bad either, no matter who is at quarterback between J.T. Daniels and Stetson Bennett. After a road win over Auburn, the Bulldogs will host Kentucky this Saturday.

 

Next game: vs. 11 Kentucky; Sat, 10/16 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-0) | Last week: 3 (+1)

Iowa’s defense secured four interceptions to help erase an early deficit and beat Penn State in the highly anticipated top-five matchup last week, and the offense came through with ten fourth-quarter points in the 23-20 victory. Perhaps it’s not quite on Georgia’s level, but this Hawkeyes defense is elite. No. 2 in the AP poll is Iowa’s highest ranking since 1985.

 

Next game: vs. Purdue; Sat, 10/16 at 3:30 PM ET

 

3. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0) | Last week: 5 (+2)

Zero letdown for Cincinnati after their win over Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago. The Bearcats coasted to a 52-3 win over Temple, as Desmond Ridder threw for three touchdowns and Jerome Ford ran for 149 yards and two scores. They must take care of business, but when looking at the schedule, Cincinnati is now in amazing shape at No. 3 as they look to make the CFP as a non-Power Five school.

 

Next game: vs. UCF; Sat, 10/16 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1) | Last week: 1 (-3)

Alabama-Texas A&M was a matchup circled on the calendar before the season, but the hype died down some after the Aggies lost a couple of games. But, as Alabama knows, it’s not easy to win in College Station, and the Tide went down, ending the defending champion’s winning streak at 19 games. Bama still has everything in front of them, and Nick Saban will use this as a learning opportunity to get his defense on track down the stretch.

 

Next game: at Mississippi State; Sat, 10/16 at 7:00 PM ET

 

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1) | Last week: 4 (-1)

Penn State was up 14-3 on Iowa, but quarterback Sean Clifford’s injury probably derailed things. The Nittany Lions showed a lot of heart in the close loss, and their bye week comes at a good time as they’ll look to get healthy. PSU should still be a top-five or borderline top-five team following the narrow road loss.

 

Next game: vs. Illinois; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

6. Michigan Wolverines (6-0) | Last week: 7 (+1)

Michigan moves up a spot in the rankings after moving to 6-0, as they have probably looked more impressive than Oklahoma overall this season. Like the Sooners, the Wolverines have found a way to win close games this season—but Michigan has also shown the ability to pull away from teams on a few occasions.

 

Next game: vs. Northwestern; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Oklahoma Sooners (6-0) | Last week: 6 (-1)

Lincoln Riley has a huge decision in front of him. Preseason Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler has not played very well this season, and Caleb Williams came in to give the Sooners an incredible spark in the comeback win over Texas in the Red River Showdown. Riley might have no choice but to go with Williams, as his offense looked better than it has all season with him at quarterback.

 

Next game: vs. TCU; Sat, 10/16 at 7:30 PM ET

 

8. Michigan State Spartans (6-0) | Last week: 10 (+2)

The SEC obviously has something to say about it, Big Ten looks like it’s arguably the best conference in college football this year—though these top-ten teams will all be playing each other in the coming weeks, which should be fun. Kenneth Walker III leads the nation in rushing by over 100 yards, and both he and Jalen Nailor (five receptions, 211 yards, three touchdowns) are coming off 200-yard performances last week.

 

Next game: at Indiana; Sat, 10/16 at 12:00 PM ET

 

9. Oregon Ducks (4-1) | Last week: 8 (-1)

Oregon had off last week, and the group should be eager to get back on the field after getting upset by Stanford.

 

Next game: vs. California; Fri, 10/15 at 10:30 PM ET

 

10. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1) | Last week: 9 (-1)

Ryan Day has Ohio State on fire, with scoring outputs of 59, 52, and 66 over the past three games. And the defense has allowed just 37 total points in that span. A matchup with Penn State is on deck, but the Buckeyes will try to keep it going and stay hot at Indiana on Saturday night.

 

Next game: at Indiana; Sat, 10/23 at 7:30 PM ET