College football winners, losers, overreactions: Playoff contenders survive, advance through Week 12 tests

All of the drama usually facilities round Rivalry Week in the case of deciding the ultimate part of the common season. This yr, nonetheless, high College Football Playoff contenders had been on skinny ice towards tough competitors in Week 12. No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU wanted miraculous subject objective drives to clinch video games towards Illinois and Baylor, respectively. no 2 Ohio State needed to stand up to a late cost from Maryland, whereas No. 1 Georgia ambled through the fourth quarter towards Kentucky. no 7 USC additionally stayed alive within the nationwide title race by surviving an upset bid by No. 16 UCLA to take management of the Pac-12 title race.

So because the Week 12 motion wrapped, the Trojans joined the Bulldogs, Horned Frogs and the winner of subsequent week’s showdown between the Buckeyes and Wolverines as overwhelming favorites to make up the College Football Playoff subject. USC has a barely harder path than the others with No. 18 Notre Dame and certain No. 12 Oregon within the Pac-12 title sport on the schedule, however win each and the Trojans are a lock.

Clemson, in the meantime, stays on the periphery, however its finest wins maintain dropping like flies. no 13 North Carolina grew to become the most recent upcoming Tigers opponent to fall towards Georgia Tech. Short of absolute chaos, which is turning into much less and fewer as the ultimate week of the common season looms, there are 5 groups combating for 4 spots.

The one workforce who did not get the survive-and-advance memo was No. 5 Tennessee, who was demolished on the highway by unranked South Carolina because the Vols watched their CFP hopes fade within the course of.

Here are extra winners, losers and overreactions from across the school football world in Week 12.

Winners

USC quarterback Caleb Williams: Williams has been one of the crucial scrutinized gamers in school football over the previous two seasons, however his capability shone through within the largest efficiency of his profession. The sophomore threw for 470 yards, rushed for 32 yards and posted three complete touchdowns in a large (*12*)48-45 victory over UCLA to successfully clinch a spot within the Pac-12 Championship Game. Williams needed to be good towards a feisty UCLA offense, and delivered with a pair of landing passes within the last two intervals. The efficiency may earn him a visit to New York City for the Heisman ceremony if USC can discover a technique to win the Pac-12 for the primary time since 2017. Regardless, it has been a particular season for the previous five-star prospect.

Oklahoma coach Brent Venables: Perhaps nobody in school football wanted a win greater than Venables. The Sooners already clinched their first dropping file in convention play since 1998 and most common season losses since 2009, however the Bedlam profitable streak is again after the Sooners shellacked Oklahoma State 28-13. Oklahoma let loose some demons within the first quarter, leaping out to a 28-0 lead it will by no means relinquish. Things received a bit of bushy down the stretch because the Sooners offense fully collapsed, however the lead was giant sufficient that Venables’ Sooners clinched the win and a bowl look. There’s loads of points to scrub up, however Oklahoma will fortunately take the state championship trophy in what has in any other case been a depressing season.

Losers

Tennessee: After beating Alabama and LSU, the Vols established themselves because the surefire next-in-line within the CFP Rankings if issues received loopy. After Oregon misplaced to Washington, Tennessee grew to become the favourite to slip in when the loser of Ohio State-Michigan fell out. Unfortunately, nobody informed Shane Beamer’s South Carolina Gamecocks. Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler threw for 5 touchdowns in maybe the perfect sport of his profession as South Carolina demolished Tennessee 63-38, dropping the Vols to 10-2. Even worse, the quarterback (*12*)Hendon Hooker went out with an obvious knee harm. It’s arduous to see him transferring into the Heisman dialog now that Tennessee’s backdoor College Football Playoff race has come to an finish.

North Carolina QB Drake Maye: The redshirt freshman had a primary alternative to place his stamp on the Heisman Trophy race with a powerful efficiency towards Georgia Tech. Instead, Maye put collectively the worst sport of his younger profession because the Tar Heels misplaced 21-17 towards Georgia Tech. Maye accomplished simply 53.3% of his passes for 202 yards and an interception, nicely beneath his season numbers of almost 400 yards of complete offense and 4 touchdowns per sport. UNC had one final probability to outlive the sport, however star extensive receiver Josh Downs dropped a large open cross ultimately zone. North Carolina can nonetheless win the ACC Championship Game over Clemson, however any probabilities of a darkish horse Heisman or College Football Playoff case are probably out of the window.

Overreactions

The Heisman Trophy will probably be determined subsequent week: All eyes will probably be on The Game as No. 2 Ohio State hosts No. 3 Michigan with a visit to the Big Ten Championship Game on the road, and whereas a College Football Playoff spot can also be up for grabs, extra {hardware} might be coming to a participant from the profitable aspect.

This stays one of many murkiest Heisman races shortly, however it will likely be selected the sphere at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud stays the betting favourite — based on Caesars Sportsbook — to win the award regardless of an inconsistent season. If the Buckeyes get better and avenge the loss from final season, Stroud will take dwelling the coveted trophy. However, if Michigan working again Blake Corum is wholesome and the Wolverines win, the award will probably be his.

The Game has carried huge stakes earlier than, at the same time as not too long ago as final season, however the 2022 iteration will go down within the historical past books as one of many largest school football video games ever — for a couple of causes.

Massive contracts proceed to stir remorse: The new period of incomprehensible school football contracts kicked off final season as Jimbo Fisher, Mel Tucker and Mario Cristobal signed contracts value a reported $250 million. One yr later, these three coaches appear to be the worst investments this aspect of FTX with a mixed 14-19 file. Miami and Michigan State misplaced in embarrassing trend to Clemson and Indiana, respectively, on Saturday. Texas A&M defeated UMass (the workforce at present on the backside of the CBS Sports 131 Rankings) however scored the fewest factors of any of the Minutemen’s FBS opponents.

The huge assured contracts carry up a extra existential query, nonetheless: What occurs when a coach wants to be fired? Under any regular circumstances, Fisher’s probably 4-8 file in Year 5 would mark the tip of his tenure. Will Texas A&M eat $85 million in buyout cash? Does the athletic division have any leverage in any respect?

There are few actually unprecedented conditions in school football historical past, however the quantity of assured teaching cash flying across the sport will put that to the check. All eyes will probably be on College Station to see how Texas A&M handles the Fisher scenario — and it might be a cautionary story that slows down the cash, at the very least for a second.

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