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CFB Insider

Let's Talk Heisman Finalists and Notable Snubs

Monday night saw the announcement of the 2022 Heisman Trophy finalists: Georgia's Stetson Bennett, Caleb Williams of USC, TCU's Max Duggan, and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud. 

However, since some of the strongest contenders — Michigan RB Blake Corum and Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker — had their seasons cut short by injury, it's no surprise that sports experts and fans have flocked to social media to express their opinions on the nominees.

Many in the college football world feel the Heisman voting process is still faulty. 

Hooker guided Tennessee to a 10-2 record, propelling the Volunteers to the top of the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time.

In reality, the Volunteers remained in the hunt until late November, when a 63-38 defeat to South Carolina affected not only their CFP chances but also the season of QB Hendon, who suffered a torn ACL.

The same can be said for Michigan RB Blake Corum, who sustained a left knee injury against Illinois late in the first half.

Corum concluded his junior season with 247 attempts for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns on 247 attempts. Except for Michigan's regular-season finale against Ohio State, he rushed for at least 100 yards in every conference game. 

The four quarterback finalists, including three participating in the College Football Playoff, will be in New York this Saturday for the annual event where they will announce the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner. 

As the season wraps ups, let's look at the top three 2022 Heisman Trophy nominees:

Ohio St. QB C.J. Stroud

The lone returning finalist from 2021, Stroud concluded this season with a completion rate of 70% after passing for 44 touchdowns in his debut year as a starter in 2021. In addition to having the highest passer efficiency rating in the league, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year is tied with Tune and Williams for the most throwing touchdowns in college football with 37.

USC. QB Caleb Williams

Williams has over 4,000 throwing yards this season and tied for the national lead with 37 touchdown passes. And this week, the USC QB was honored as the 2022 CBS Sports Player of the Year and 2022 CBS Sports All-Star. Williams scored 11 touchdowns in USC's last three games against UCLA, Notre Dame, and Utah, all against ranked opponents. Despite USC's elimination from the CFP on Friday following a defeat to Utah in the Pac-12 title game, Williams is still the betting favorite to win the award.

TCU. QB Mac Duggan

Duggan, who led TCU to a perfect regular season, passed for 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just four interceptions this season. As the quarterback of the lone FBS team to win every game against its league opponents, Duggan edges out the competition for the No. 2 spot. The Iowa senior will lead TCU against Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl, with the winner advancing to the national championship game.

CFB Insider

Rivalry Week Recap Sets Stage for Selection Sunday

There was, of course, another exciting weekend for fans. 

Several surprises occurred during Week 13, along with elaborate celebrations, emotional goodbyes, and a shift in the Heisman Trophy favorites. Thanksgiving Day, the last weekend of the regular season, began with a Mississippi State's victory over Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. 

In return, the current College Football Playoff rankings altered again due to the losses of four top-10 teams (No. 2 Ohio State, No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Clemson, and No. 9 Oregon).

Despite his 349 passing yards, quarterback C.J. Stroud could not lead Ohio State to victory. As a result, Stroud departs Ohio State with a bittersweet legacy after the Buckeyes' 45–23 loss to archrival Michigan cost them the Big Ten championship. 

Although, despite the remarkable numbers he produced during his two years as Ohio State's starting quarterback - 7,775 passing yards and 81 touchdowns – many sports pundits believe the two defeats will define his reputation with the Buckeyes. 

While the defeat to Michigan dashed his Heisman Trophy prospects, the Ohio State quarterback is projected to be a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

While the oddsmakers favored Clemson to win their rivalry against South Carolina, QB Spencer Rattler and the Gamecocks had other plans. South Carolina followed up last week's 63-38 crushing defeat of No. 5 Tennessee by defeating No. 8 Clemson, 31-30, and ruining the ACC's playoff aspirations.

The game ultimately came down to the quarterbacks. 

Clemson's DJ Uiagaleli struggled significantly during the game, completing only 8 of 29 passes for one touchdown and 99 passing yards. Meanwhile, Rattler was again spectacular, completing 25 of 39 throws for 360 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a third. 

In the end, the QB outplayed the Tigers and led South Carolina to a 31-30 victory. ESPN Stats & Information reports that amid the lousy performance, the Gamecocks blitzed on 19 of 30 dropbacks, their highest blitz rate in a game since 2015.

As expected, the shocking win by Texas A&M against then-No. 5 LSU dropped the Tigers in the college football playoff rankings. After a 38–23 defeat at Kyle Field, LSU fell to No. 14 in the CFP rankings on Tuesday. The Tigers are scheduled to take on No. 1 Georgia in Saturday’s SEC Championship Game at Mercedez-Benz Stadium on CBS at 3 p.m.

Fans have entered championship week. 

Two of the four teams contending for a berth in the College Football Playoff already have a solid case regardless of the result of their championship games, thus the picture will finally take form as teams attempt to hoist their respective conference trophies after the weekend.

Here's a look at the AP's Week 13 top 25 rankings:

  1. Georgia 
  2. Michigan 
  3. TCU
  4. Southern California
  5. Ohio State
  6. Alabama
  7. Tennessee
  8. Penn State
  9. Washington
  10. Clemson
  11. LSU
  12. Utah
  13. Kansas State
  14. Florida State
  15. Oregon
  16. Oregon State
  17. UCLA
  18. Tulane
  19. Notre Dame
  20. South Carolina
  21. Texas
  22. UCF
  23. UTSA
  24. North Carolina
  25. Mississippi State
CFB Insider

Highlights, Upsets, and More from Week 12

As we enter Week 13 of the college football season, teams still fight for playoff positions and conference titles while others gear up for big rivalry games.

Despite an exciting regular season, the Tennessee Volunteers' prospects of advancing in the College Football Playoffs ended with a 63-38 loss to South Carolina in Columbia. However, Arkansas's 42-27 victory against Ole Miss was among the many shocking results in the SEC.

After a nail-biting victory against Baylor, No. 4 TCU advanced to 10-0 on the season and remained unblemished. With 6:38 left in the fourth quarter and behind 28-30, quarterback Max Duggan led an 11-play, 90-yard touchdown drive to trim the deficit to 28-26. 

In the end, it was Griffin Kell's 40-yard field goal that clinched the victory.

Despite formidable challenges inside their divisions, Georgia and Ohio State each came out on top, while USC won a thrilling Battle of Los Angeles and Alabama dispatched an FCS opponent. 

No. 3 Michigan barely stayed alive in the College Football Playoff race thanks to a tough test from Illinois. 

The Wolverines needed a fourth-quarter rally to escape a home shock loss after losing their top running back, Blake Corum, late in the second quarter. However, Jake Moody kept the Wolverines unblemished with four second-half field goals, including a 35-yard game-winner with nine seconds left.

As the season draws to a close, college football fans have plenty for which to be grateful during this holiday week. 

Four matchups between ranked opponents are kicking off the festivities, including two classic rivalries that will impact the College Football Playoff picture. 

On Saturday, Ohio Stadium will host a matchup of unbeaten teams between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan at noon, with the Buckeyes looking for vengeance after a 42-27 loss to the Wolverines last year. And at 3:30, in a heated in-state Pac-12 rivalry, No. 10 Oregon visits Oregon State.

Fans should anticipate an exciting final weekend of the regular season.

Here's a look at the AP's Week 12 top 25 rankings.

AP Top 25

1. Georgia 

2. Ohio State

3. Michigan

4. TCU

5. USC

6. LSU

7. Clemson

8. Alabama

9. Tennessee

10. Oregon

11. Penn State

12. Washington

13. Notre Dame

14. Utah

15. Kansas State

16. Florida State

17. UCLA

18. North Carolina

19. Tulane

20. Ole Miss

21. Cincinnati

22. Oregon State

23. Coastal Carolina

24. Texas

25. UCF

CFB Insider

All Focus Is on the Heisman Trophy Race

The race continues to heat up.

Although it may be too early to predict the 2022-2023 Heisman Trophy winner, there is still time to analyze the favorites and a few rising prospects after week ten. Three quarterbacks have separated this season from the pack: Tennessee's Hendon Hooker, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, and USC's Caleb Williams Young. 

However, competition for the remaining two spots has been intense. Following their impressive performances in week ten, QB Bo Nix (Oregon), RB Blake Corum (Michigan), and QB Drake Maye (North Carolina) remain in the headlines. In addition, the Heisman hopes of many players, including then-No. 6 Alabama QB Bryce Young, were heavily affected by Saturday's surprising shocks, especially the 32-31 overtime loss to then-No. 15 LSU.

Let's examine the top six Heisman candidates entering week 11:

Ten. QB Hendon Hooker

In a 27-13 setback to No. 5 Georgia on Saturday at Sanford Stadium, Hooker and the Vols suffered their first defeat of the season. Georgia went into halftime leading 24-6 after the Bulldogs' defense had made six sacks of the quarterback and limited Tennessee to only two first-half points. Hooker's chances of winning the Heisman Trophy are probably down after he passed for less than 200 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Week 10 Result: Loss to Georgia, 27-13

Week 10 Stats: 23-for-33, 195 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT | 18 rushes, 17 yards

Ohio St. QB C.J. Stroud

At Northwestern, C.J. Stroud faced his stiffest challenge yet, as he struggled through windy and damp conditions. While the Buckeyes recovered to defeat the Wildcats 21-7, their starting quarterback had his worst game as a starter, completing only 10 of 26 passes for 76 yards. Stroud had career-lows in completion percentage and throwing yards but added a career-high 79 running yards as Ohio State's rushing attack accounted for all three touchdowns. Following Tennessee Hooker's loss to Georgia, sports commentators now replace Stroud as the Heisman favorite.

Week 10 Result: Win over Northwestern, 21-7

Week 10 Stats: 10-for-26, 76 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT | 6 rushes, 79 yards

USC. QB Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams and the Trojans beat the Golden Bears on Saturday to follow up their week 9 victory. The explosive quarterback threw 360 yards and four touchdowns in the clinching 41-35 triumph. Williams has contributed to at least 398 yards and at least five total touchdowns in USC's last three games. In addition, he's completed 204 of 316 passes for 2,742 yards and 287 rushing yards this season. With 28 touchdowns and one interception, he ties for third place in the nation.

Week 10 Result: Win over California, 41-35

Week 10 Stats: 26-for-41, 360 yards, 4 TD | 7 rushes, 38 yards, 1 TD

Michigan RB Blake Corum

This season, Corum's 1,187 yards and 16 touchdowns have placed Michigan back in the race for the College Football Playoffs. Saturday night, the RB contributed significantly to Michigan's 52-17 win against the Scarlett Knights by carrying the ball 20 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns. The explosive running back has topped the 100-yard mark in six consecutive games for the undefeated Michigan Wolverines, who are currently 9-0.  However, if Corum wants a strong chance of winning the Heisman Trophy, he must have a spectacular game against the Buckeyes to help the Wolverines reach the Big Ten championship game and move closer to a CFP spot.

Week 10 Result: Win over Rutgers, 52-17

Week 10 Stats: 20 rushes, 109 yards, 2 TD

North Carolina QB Drake Maye

Also notable from week 10 is No. 15 North Carolina's 31-28 victory, which was led by another outstanding performance by quarterback Drake Maye, who ran for 74 yards and completed 26 of 37 throws for three touchdowns and 288 yards. With his other 31 touchdowns this season, Maye leads the nation in touchdowns. In addition, the rookie quarterback's 2,964 yards rank him fourth in the country.

Week 10 Result: Win over Virginia, 31-28

Week 10 Stats: 26-for-37, 293 yards, 2 TD | 16 rushes, 74 yards, 1 TD 

Oregon QB Bo Nix

Oregon defeated Colorado 49-10, with quarterback Bo Nix completing 20 of 24 throws for 274 yards and two touchdowns. Nix has accounted for the Ducks' last four touchdowns in six of Oregon's nine games this season. Following their latest win, the quarterback has amassed 2,495 passing yards and 22 touchdowns in addition to 457 rushing yards and 13 scores, extending the Ducks' winning streak to eight games in a row. Nix, the three-time PAC-12 offensive player of the week, tops all FBS players in throwing percentage and total touchdowns this season.

Week 10 Result: Win over Colorado, 49-10

Week 10 Stats: 20-for-24, 274 yards, 2 TD | 9 rushes, 16 yards, 2 TD | 1 catch, 18 yards, 1 TD

WEEK 10 AP TOP 25 Rankings

1 Georgia

2 Ohio State

3 Michigan


5 Tennessee

6 Oregon




10 Alabama

11 Ole Miss

12 Clemson

13 Utah

14 Penn State

15 North Carolina

16 Tulane

17 N.C. State

18 Texas

19 Liberty

20 Notre Dame

21 Illinois

22 UCF

23 Kansas State

24 Washington

25 Florida State

CFB Insider

At the midpoint of the season, the unbeaten teams are faltering.

And then there were two, but after this week, there will be just one.

The most significant development of the past weekend was TCU's victory against Oklahoma State in overtime by scoring 43-40 to go to the Big 12 Championship Game as the favorite. 

The Horned Frogs are one of two surviving Big 12 teams with an undefeated conference record and the only remaining Big 12 with an unblemished season record.

The Longhorns joined Kansas, Kansas State, and Baylor in close-quarters warfare with Iowa State, resulting in a 24-21 win for the Longhorns. 

Quinn Ewers and Xavier Worthy connected on a fourth-and-goal from the three-yard line to complete the game-winning drive for Texas, which covered 75 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown.

A lot of teams have struggled to move the ball against the Cyclones, but it is of more concern that a struggling Iowa State offense gained over 400 yards against Texas.

The Wildcats gained a position despite having a bye week, but Kansas continued to fall. 

Kansas has not been overpowering in Big 12 action, winning Oklahoma, and Iowa State by a combined total of eight points and pulling away from Texas Tech in a fourth-quarter tie.

The Crimson Tide lost against a stronger team for the first time after coming close in previous games (at Texas and home against Texas A&M). 

For the first time since 2006 and under Nick Saban's direction, that team was Tennessee, who ripped apart the Tide secondary with alarming ease as Bama racked up a Saban-record 17 penalties.

It is easy to assume that last weekend's action-packed games have made fans even more excited for week 8.

Eight teams in the polls, including four in the top 10, were defeated over the weekend's historic slate of games, causing a significant shakeup in the rankings this week.

Here's a look at the AP's Week 8 top 25 rankings.

1.  Georgia (31 1st-place votes)

2.  Ohio State (17)

3.  Tennessee (15)

4.  Michigan

5.  Clemson

6.  Alabama

7.  Ole Miss

8.  TCU

9.   UCLA

10.  Oregon

11.  Oklahoma State

12.  USC

13.  Wake Forest

14.  Syracuse

15.  Utah

16.  Penn State

17.  Kansas State

18.  Illinois

19.  Kentucky

20.  Texas