Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Things We Learned In College: Championship Weekend Edition

Observations from Conference Championship Weekend in college football

I feel like a kid the day after Christmas. You know how you try to convince yourself that it’s ok that Christmas is over, you still have a week off from school and all your presents to play with, but you’re still kind of bummed? That’s how I feel this morning. I know there are bowl games and playoff games to come, but it’s just not the same. Before we move on to the playoff and bowl games, though, we should review the awesome football from Championship Weekend.

-Actually, one of the most interesting games was still a regular season game. Baylor, already starting their third-string quarterback after injuries to both Seth Russell and Jarrett Stidham in the last month or so, saw Chris Johnson go down with a probably concussion early in the game. Enter emergency quarterback Lynx Hawthorne, a junior wide receiver who last played quarterback in high school. Hawthorne completed 10 of 22 pass attempts for 64 yards and two interceptions. Running back Johnny Jefferson threw one pass as well, but it was incomplete. It’s a shame that Baylor basically lost out on a Sugar Bowl bid because of something like this, but Longhorn fans must be relieved that the team avoided their first eight-loss season since 1956.

-Moving Lynx Hawthorne to QB meant leading receiver Corey Coleman had to replace him returning punts. That had to be scary for coach Art Briles, but obviously when you’re down to having a wide receiver at quarterback, you don’t want to risk going any further down the depth chart (if there is anybody further down the depth chart).

-Coleman, a junior, has announced he’ll be entering the NFL draft. Congratulations to him on a fantastic college career,

-Has there ever been a weirder, more inconsistent team than this year’s Texas squad? Seven losses, yet they beat #10 Oklahoma and #12 Baylor, and lost by a field goal to an Oklahoma State team that started 10-0?

-Florida has the sixth-best total defense in the country, and yet Derrick Henry rushed for 189 yards and a TD on them yesterday. I watched the first three-quarters or so of that game, and actually remember thinking that the Gators were holding him in check better than a lot of teams had managed to.

-Until yesterday, Alabama hadn’t allowed a punt return for a touchdown since 2008. That’s obscene.

-I see what the fuss is about with regards to Houston quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. He’s incredibly elusive and able to extend plays well, enabling him to become the only FBS player this season with at least 15 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns. His only flaw that I noticed was a tendency to throw slightly too high for his receivers, something the TV crew mentioned as well.

-I was less than impressed by Temple’s tacking. Too many players taking poor angles and missing tackles as a result. (Cue my father ranting about how in HIS day, players knew how to wrap up and bring a guy down, not this arm-tackling crap they do now).

-Courtesy of Michigan State-Iowa, here’s your bizarre play of the week.

-I knew that Iowa cornerback Desmond King versus Spartans’ receiver Aaron Burbridge would be a battle to watch. Something I didn’t know until I heard it on the broadcast last night? King and Burbridge are cousins. Their family must have had an interesting Thanksgiving.

-Wow, Hawkeye fans travel well. That was an impressive showing in Indianapolis.

-I think Chris Fowler put it best when he described Deshaun Watson’s role in Clemson’s offense, particularly in the red zone: “It may be predictable, but it’s hard to stop”. Watson is unbelievably shifty and hard to tackle; he can cut and change direction quickly, and he’s deceptively strong for just 6’2″, 205 lbs.

-I love North Carolina’s unis. Powder blue is a very underrated color for sports jerseys.

-Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey racked up 432 all-purpose yards last night- 207 rushing, 105 receiving, and 120 on returns. And there’s my Heisman vote.

-Seriously, doesn’t this kid ever get tired?

Remeber to look for our LWOS Top 25 later today, and to stay tuned for our coverage of the bowl games and the College Football Playoff. Thanks for reading- I hope you all enjoyed the season as much as I did!

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