Image By: Ohio State Football
I don’t see myself writing a more impressive top 5 performers this year. Now, sure there may only be one week left in the regular season, but what we saw on Saturday is what we like to call “A weekend to remember.”
Honorable Mention – Big Hawk
5. The Cincinatti Bearcats
There may not be a team in America that has been disrespected as much this season then the Cincinnati Bearcats. With a record of 11-0, one would think the national narrative surrounding them would be that they are deserving of being the first group of five team to make an appearance in the CFP. However, for whatever reason, the Bearcats have been followed by a critical microscope all season long, and have been held to a different standard than some of their power five peers. College football is a business, don’t ever forget it.
So why do I tell you all of this? Because as the Bearcats took the field on Saturday afternoon, against a very talented SMU team, it seemed as if all the anger that was built up inside this program, was unleashed in what I am calling “The fuck you game.”
As the clock hit zero and the score read 48-14, Cincinatti’s 26th straight home win, I couldn’t help by wonder…..What else does this program have to do to garner some national respect? This is a team that is one win away from finishing back to back perfect regular seasons. A team, that has a senior QB who has never lost a home game and a program that has two of the best CB’s in the nation in Sauce Gardner and Cobe Bryant. It is time to accept that a group of five team belongs in the CFP.
4. Braelon Allen – RB; Wisconsin
To say that the Wisconsin Badgers have been having a roller-coaster type of season would be a drastic understatement. Starting the year at a 1-3 mark, many thought that for the first time since the Big Ten championship game was established in 2011, the Badgers would not making a trip to Indianapolis for the second straight year. Surprisingly though, the Badgers have been able to turn it around and have won their last 7 games in seemingly dominant fashion. It’s not anarchy, it’s college football.
With this being said, Wisconsin’s turn around has not come without some bumps in the road. A week ago, it was revealed that Badgers back Chez Mellusi, who has been a key component to Wisconsin’s sucess, would miss the remainder of the season due to a leg injury. To some programs, this news would result in a season of destruction, for Wisconsin however, it was time for the next man up.
Answering the call for the Badgers on Saturday afternoon was Braelon Allen, a freshman back from Fond Da Lac, Wisconsin. Allen, who came out of high school as a 4-star safety, could have never imagined the impact he was going to make on the offensive side of the ball during Saturday’s win vs Nebraska.
En route to 35-28 barn burner, the once hard-hitting safety had managed to rush for a total 228 yards on 22 carries to go along with 3 rushing scores. If that is not something written straight out of a movie I don’t know what is.
3. Malik Cunningham – QB; Lousville
It was a game that most people could care less about. A 5-5 Lousville team playing a 3-7 Duke team on a blister Thursday night in Durham. And as you looked into the stands prior to kick at Wallace Wade Stadium, you may have seen the following; both bands trying to keep warm, families of both sides showing their support and perhaps and I do mean perhaps, a couple of drunk students who thought they were going to Cameron Indoor. It would be at this point however, where Cardinal QB, Malik Cunningham decided he would give the 45 people in attendance that night, the show of their lives.
Malik Cunningham wasn’t just good on Thursday night, he was flat out dominant. The junior QB from Montgomery, Alabama had one of those nights that most players can only dream of having, going 18-25 for 303 passing yards to go along with 5 TD passes, 224 rushing yards and 2 rushing scores. Cunningham became just the second player in FBS history to throw for at least 300 yards and rush for 200 yards in a game and fell just two yards short of tying Lamar Jackson’s Lousiville record for most rushing yards in a game. Not so much of a meaningless game anymore is it?
2. Bryce Young – QB; Alabama
The Heisman Moment. It is an instant in time that almost stands still. The Manziel bobble, the Newton comeback, the Burrow bragade or even the DeVonta return. We all know it when we see it. And on Saturday, November 20th, at Bryant-Denny Stadium on a gorgeous Alabama afternoon, Bryce Young had his heisman moment. It went a little something like this.
–The Clock read 11:42 in the 3rd quarter. Alabama led 24-14 and had the ball on the Arkansas 11 on a 2nd and 10. Young is in the shot-gun and sees pressure coming from his left. After scanning multiple check downs, Young evades the pocket to keep the play alive. As he reaches the line of scrimmage, Young acts as if he is going to take off and run, drawing in both the corner and the linebacker on the play. The Sophmore QB then releases a strike across his body to Christian Leary for an 11 yard TD score. The Heisman moment. –
And sure, it may have helped Young’s Heisman case that on Saturday, the Sophomore playmaker shattered the schools single game passing record with 559 yards, or that Young tossed 5 TD passes for the second straight week, but I’m telling you all right now, when Young get’s presented with that Heisman trophy in New York come December, that is the play we will all be referencing back to.
1. First Half C.J Stroud – QB; Ohio State
As both teams ran to the lockeroom, the halftime score read 49-0. The Buckeyes of Ohio State were in full command and by looking at the scoreboard, you would think they were playing host to my old high school’s JV team. But instead, they were beating the Michigan State Spartans, who headed into Columbus on Saturday afternoon as the 7th ranked team in the nation, 49-0….at the half. I would pay to be a fly on the wall for that half time chit chat.
Now, you may be thinking, how in the hell did we get to this point? 49…..first half points….against a top 10 team in the country. And trust me, I get it. But really, the only rebuttle that I can come up with is that CJ Stroud was a man possessed on Saturday and put together one of the most impressive halves of football I have ever seen. 29-31, 393 yards, 6 TDs. Are you kidding me?
Stroud was feeling it so much in fact, that at one point in the first half, he had completed 17 straight passing attempts, breaking the school record. To anyone reading this right now, your homework for this week is to find me a more impressive stat line for a half of football than we saw from CJ Stroud Stroud on Saturday. I will almost guarantee that it is an impossible assignment. Talk about a PTPer!!