Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 14 hrs ago
The last full weekend of the regular season is upon us.
For some players on this list, it might be the last chance to impress the Heisman voters, while others will get a couple more chances to punch their tickets to New York.
While we’ve listed five people in our Heisman race, there are really just two jockeying for position: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.
These two players essentially have been going toe-to-toe for the past few weeks matching each other’s stellar efforts. Gordon will need to help his Badgers beat Minnesota this weekend to get another weekend of play and another weekend to impress voters. Mariota already has another shot in the Pac-12 title game.
Other players on the list are hoping Mariota and Gordon stumble to open the door for a dark horse. It’s a longshot, but stranger things have happened.
Here’s a look at Dr. Saturday’s Heisman Watch heading into Week 14:
For the first time since the College Football Playoff rankings first surfaced five weeks ago, the top of the rankings are unchanged.
After a lackluster weekend where some teams didn’t play, and others played and blew out weaker competition, the committee dug its heels in with its top seven and will let rivalry week and championship week sort out the top 4.
Alabama, which beat Western Carolina last weekend, held on to the top spot, while Oregon, Florida State, Mississippi State, TCU, Ohio State and Baylor all followed. UCLA moved up to the No. 8 spot with its win against USC. The Bruins are the highest ranked two-loss team and could make a case for getting into the playoff if they win out. However, that would include a win against the Ducks and might have to jump several one-loss teams ahead of it.
The most interesting thing about this week’s rankings weren't at the top, but rather the bottom where two teams from outside the Power Five conferences emerged for the first time since the first week of these rankings . Boise State appeared at No. 23 and undefeated Marshall showed up at No. 24.
Until now, East Carolina had been the only non-Power Five team to appear in the rankings.
Ten years ago, former Florida coach Ron Zook was carried off the field on his player’s shoulders following an upset of a ranked Florida State team.
It was Zook’s final game as Florida’s coach and his unranked Gators did something no one thought was possible.
Could history repeat itself a decade later?
Saturday’s rivalry game against the Seminoles will be Will Muschamp’s final game as the Gators’ coach. An upset of the No. 3 Seminoles would be the fitting ending to what has been a tumultuous four seasons in Gainesville.
During Muschamp’s tenure, he’s taken the Gators to the Sugar Bowl and he’s also notched the first losing season since 1979. He’s had wins against Ohio State, LSU and Florida State, but he’s also lost to then-FCS team Georgia Southern.
Muschamp knows this game means little more than bragging rights and perhaps a slightly better bowl game. The Gators earned their bowl eligibility with a win against Eastern Kentucky last week, but Muschamp won’t coach in that game.
So, like Zook, the Florida State game will be Muschamp’s last chance to end on a high note.
Still, players already have expressed what getting this improbable win would mean to them and to Muschamp.
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The Mid-American Athletic Conference has suspended 11 players from Norfolk State and 10 from South Carolina State after a sidelines-clearing brawl during the fourth quarter of last week’s game.
Since that was the final game of both seasons, the players, who were not named, will be suspended for their respective 2015 season openers. Any seniors involved faced no punishment.
The altercation began with 12:35 left in the final quarter after Jalen Simmons’ 4-yard touchdown run gave South Carolina State 29-17. No one is sure exactly what started the melee, but after the touchdown, pushing and shoving ensued and punches were thrown.
No players were ejected, but South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough told media after the game he voluntarily removed two of his players.
"I don't know what I saw," Pough said. "The only thing I saw is that kids were just out roughhousing, fighting, that sort of stuff. It was a mess, I can tell you that. It was ugly."
It took more than 15 minutes to clear the field and restart the game.
South Carolina State won 30-20.
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Welcome to the Dr. Saturday Podcast!
Throughout the season we'll be talking weekly about whatever is going on in the world of college football. This week, join Graham Watson and Nick Bromberg as we break down the out of conference bodybag games and whether there needs to be a rule about playing those games so late in the season.
We'll also hit on:
• Oklahoma's Samaje Perine and Melvin Gordon and whether records really are meant to be broken.
• Missouri's improbable run to potential back-to-back SEC East titles.
• Whether Will Muschamp or Brady Hoke can end their regular season's on a high note (yeah, go ahead and start laughing now).
• Of course, we'll pick all of the big games this weekend, including the Thanksgiving matchup between TCU and Texas and the always entertaining Iron Bowl.
• And Graham will throw down what Gary Patterson, Jerry Kill and Dennis Frachione have in common with Nick's tickets to the D-II championship game.
We know it's hard to see the regular season of college football end, but we're here for you.
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Press conferences can be boring.
It’s usually the same questions about players and plays, so when a middle school student, 12-year-old Charlie Pape, from a Catholic school came into Oregon’s postgame presser and started talking about “Jesus, girls and Marcus Mariota,” well, it made for Internet gold.
Initially Pape asks Oregon coach Mark Helfrich whether Mariota, the Ducks’ star junior quarterback, is going to come back next season.
“That’s the talk around school,” he states.
"What is the talk around school?" Helfrich asks. "How have you broken it down? What do you think he'll do?"
“Well, there’s three things that go on at O’Hara Catholic — or four — OK?" Pape replies. "There’s Jesus, there’s girls, and there’s Marcus Mariota.”
Of course, the entire press conference starts laughing and Helfrich can't keep a straight face. He does tell Pape he doesn't know about Mariota's future, but that he's enjoyed the interview.
The only disappointing part about this video is that we never learned what the fourth thing was that goes on at Pape's school.
For more Oregon news, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.
At what point do we call Florida State seems to have a flair for the dramatic because it's gotten into the habits of making things far more interesting than they should be against weaker opponents.
And Saturday’s 20-17 win against Boston College was yet another example.
Florida State and Boston College were tied late in the fourth quarter when the Eagles put together a stellar drive that put them in field goal range. However, Joey Launceford missed the 43-yarder that would have given Boston College the lead with 4:37 remaining.
Florida State got the ball back, went down the field and the ever-steady Roberto Aguayo knocked in a 26-yard field goal as time expired.
If it feels like you’ve seen this scenario involving Florida State before, well, you have; maybe with a different play and a different margin, but always with the same outcome — a Florida State win.
The Boston College win marked the sixth time the Seminoles either had to rally from a deficit or a tie to seal a victory. And most of those rallies have come in the second half.
That’s not a knock on those teams, it’s just fact.
For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.
The single-game rushing record that last week took 15 years to break has been broken once again.
Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine rushed for 427 yards and five touchdowns on 34 carries against Kansas on Saturday, breaking the record of 408 yards set just last week by Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon.
TCU’s LaDanian Tomlinson set the original record of 406 against UTEP in 1999.
Perine, a freshman, made and surpassed the record on a 42-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter. The Sooners called timeout, got the game ball and celebrated the accomplishment on the field.
Perine was then taken out of the game.
“I really didn’t have [the record] at the forefront of my mind,” Perine said in the postgame television interview with Fox Sports 1. “I just went out there, played the game and we did a really good job up front and on the perimeter with our blocking. And, you know, it just so happens that I came up with the record.”
While many were in awe of Gordon’s performance last week, Perine’s was perhaps a little anticlimactic because of the competition.
That said, Tomlinson’s record came against a 5-7 UTEP team that finished the season ranked 100 th nationally against the run.
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Indiana running back Tevin Coleman has quietly made Hoosier history.
Coleman’s 90-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against Ohio State gave him 143 yards on the day, which also gave him the Indiana’s single-season rushing record.
Coleman only needed 128 yards on Saturday to best Vaughn Dunbar’s record of 1,805 set in 1991.
The touchdown was Indiana's longest touchdown run in 102 years and it was the longest run against Ohio State since 1960.
Coleman was the nation’s second-leading rusher heading into the weekend, but has received relatively little fanfare because Indiana has struggled to win this season and because Coleman is in a conference with Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, who also is having a record-breaking season.
Still, Coleman deserves a lot of credit for the numbers he’s been able to put up this season, especially since he’s essentially the entire offense for the Hoosiers and he’s still managed to find ways to best defenses and put up great results.
Coleman has rushed for at least 122 yards in every game but one so far this season.
For more Indiana news, visit Peegs.com.
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Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 5 days ago
It’s hard to believe that there are only two full weekends of college football remaining.
It seems like only yesterday we were championing Texas A&M as the next great SEC challenger and calling quarterback Kenny Hill the next Heisman winner. Now, A&M has four losses and Hill isn’t even the starter anymore.
Time sure does fly, but even with two weeks remaining very little is solved. So many conferences have division titles up for grabs and while some of that might get solved this weekend, a lot of it will be left to the final week of the year.
Sadly, this weekend doesn’t have a lot of marquee games. Several SEC teams are taking their FCS breaks and there are a lot of other ranked teams playing some of the weaker teams in their respective conferences.
Still, we’ve tried to highlight the better games this week for your viewing enjoyment.
Here’s what to watch in Week 13:
[More Week 13:College football picks against the spread]
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