Postscripts: Week 13 Update


Postscripts is my weekly wrap of the week that was on the road and in college football. Look for my travel news and notes here each Thursday, along with some of my opinions about what’s happening in the college game we all love. – Matthew Postins

My predictions for this weekend’s conference championship games and the College Football Playoff final rankings:

ACC: Clemson over Miami (FL)

Is Wisconsin’s 2017 unbeaten run under Paul Chryst about to come to an end?

Big Ten: Ohio State over Wisconsin

Big 12: Oklahoma over TCU

Pac-12: Stanford over USC

SEC: Georgia over Auburn

American: UCF over Memphis

Conference USA: North Texas over FAU

Mid-American: Toledo over Akron

Mountain West: Boise State over Fresno State

College Football Playoff Final Four: No. 1 Clemson; No. 2 Oklahoma; No. 3 Georgia; No. 4 Alabama.

Yes, I think the committee will find a way to get Alabama in the Final Four.

My adventures in media. A quick look at the weird stuff that happened to me as I covered my game this week (Baylor at TCU):

I’m not on board with the pre-game speakers pumping workout music on the field. Especially when you walk by them while trying to take pre-game photos.

No weirdness at TCU this past weekend. I’ve been to so many games there I know the place like the back of my hand. And it’s a great experience.

My post-trip quick note. We have plenty of content coming at College Football America and RoadTripSports.com from our Week 13 travels. But for me, here are my quick notes on the stadium I visited last week (note: I went back to Amon G. Carter Stadium, the home of TCU, so the notes below are from my October visit):

TCU’s Amon Carter Stadium

TCU: I’m very familiar with Amon G. Carter Stadium. I’ve been going to games there since the 1990s. But if you haven’t been there in the last 10 years you wouldn’t recognize the place. The facility underwent a complete overhaul several years ago and the Horned Frogs did it right. They took a facility that had been around since 1930 and was starting to look it and transformed it into a revitalized marvel of a stadium that evokes the western heritage of its home city. The outside of the stadium is Texas limestone, with western carvings inside and outside the stadium, plus a trophy case with LaDainian Tomlinson’s jersey, among other artifacts. The student section is right on top of you on the visitors’ side and they’ve created a club area on the home side and another in the end zone connected to the athletic center. They’ve also worked in some TCU athletic history around the concourse, so you get to learn more about the program. TCU certainly could have gone the new stadium route. But by renovating Amon G. Carter they’ve provided the football team a structure that will serve players and fans well for another half-century. I recommend you check it out.

Meanwhile, check out the galleries from some of the stadiums I’ve visited this season (more are coming):

Abilene Christian

Hardin-Simmons

Princeton

Yale

Iowa State

Wartburg

Army West Point

Cincinnati Christian

Arkansas

Central (IA)

William Penn

UNT

Coe

Villanova

Cornell (IA)

Stadium counts. According to our handy FBS Stadiums We’ve Visited list at RoadTripSports.com, I am now up to 52 FBS stadiums visited with the visit to OU.

My photos. My galleries from my last game covered is below. Plus, to see all of our game and stadium galleries, click here to go to our Facebook page.

Baylor at TCU

Will Lamar Jackson make it back to New York as a Heisman finalist again?

Heisman candidate of the week. It’s time to take a look at Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, the defending Heisman champ who really doesn’t have much of a chance of winning the award again. But, his numbers this season are worth examining — as the Louisville Courier-Journal points out, many of Jackson’s numbers are better than a year ago, including his completion percentage and yards passing per game. He also leads the nation in total offense and has reduced his interceptions this season. However many, including myself, have written off Jackson as a contender. Now he will be in New York City as the defending champion, but it’s possible he could be there as a finalist again, too. As I pointed out in our College Football America Yearbook this summer, it is almost impossible to repeat. In fact, most Heisman winners who come back the next year see their numbers go down. Jackson’s appear to have gone up. But he also plays for a team that didn’t improve in the win column this year. When you look at Archie Griffin’s back-to-back Heisman seasons, his rushing numbers went down in his second Heisman season. But the differentiator was that he played for a national title contender both years. Had Louisville been in that picture this season, I think Jackson’s claim of a repeat would have far more bite.

Previous Heisman Candidates of the Week profiled: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (Week 1); Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (Week 2); Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph (Week 3); Penn State RB Saquon Barkley (Week 4); Stanford RB Bryce Love (Week 5); San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny (Week 6); Arizona QB Khalil Tate (Week 7); Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor (Week 8); Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett (Week 9); Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield (Week 10); West Virginia QB Will Grier (Week 11).

Hot seat coach of the week. We may get a few more coach firings in the coming days, but most of the hot seat coaches I profiled earlier this season are either fired (Sumlin, Bielema, Riley and Jones) or appear to be safe for now. But I’ll be writing weekly analysis pieces as long as the coaching carousel is spinning.

Previous hot seat coaches profiled: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M (Week 1); Bret Bielema, Arkansas (Week 2); Mike Riley, Nebraska (Week 3); Steve Addazio, Boston College (Week 4); Ed Orgeron, LSU (Week 5); Brad Lambert, Charlotte (Week 6); Matt Wells, Utah State (Week 7); Kalani Sitake, BYU (Week 8); Butch Jones, Tennessee (Week 9); Bob Davie, New Mexico (Week 10); Paul Haynes, Kent State (Week 11).

In just one season, Lane Kiffin has turned around the FAU program.

Hot coaching name of the week. Lane Kiffin. Lord. Tennessee wants him (even though he left them like a homely prom date for the prom queen that was USC). Mississippi State may want to kick the tires, too. What Kiffin has done at FAU is incredible. He took a horrible program and made them a 9-3 Conference USA Division winner in one year. Now, he’s been trolling the SEC a lot this week, so I’m not sure how much attention he’s paying to his game plan (part of why I picked UNT to win that Conference USA title game, despite being on the road). But Kiffin had to prove he could run a program as a head coach again, and he’s done that. My suggestion to him would be to be choosy, like Kirby Smart was when he was at Alabama. And look where Smart is now?

Previous hot name coaches profiled: Mike London, Howard (Week 1); Tim Rebowe, Nicholls State (Week 2); Frank Wilson, UTSA (Week 3); Dave Clawson, Wake Forest (Week 4); Neal Brown, Troy (Week 5); Scott Frost, UCF (Week 6); Mike Houston, James Madison (Week 7); Al Bagnoli, Columbia (Week 8); Matt Campbell, Iowa State (Week 9); Blake Anderson, Arkansas State (Week 10); Chad Morris, SMU (Week 11).

A special thanks. Each week College Football America Yearbook is on the road covering college football games, and we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of the sports information directors that work for those schools. We just want to thank the following SID departments for their graciousness and help in doing what we do — TCU (Matthew Postins), Tulsa (Chuck Cox), and Houston, Texas and Rice (Kendall Webb).

Our work on other sites. The great thing about what we do with College Football America is that it enables us to support other partners that we work with, such as the American Football Coaches Association, CowboysHQ.com and HeartlandCollegeSports.com. Our photos are used in AFCA newsletter and publications on a regular basis. I cover the Cowboys for CowboysHQ and am putting together scouting pieces on potential 2018 draft picks. I also cover the Big 12 for HCS. Below you’ll find links to some of our work with those entities in the past week.

 

 

 

Where I’ll be this week. I’ll be tailgating at the Big 12 Championship game in Arlington, Texas, with the HeartlandCollegeSports.com staff.

We’ll see you down the road.

Matthew Postins is the editor-in-chief of the College Football America Yearbook. Catch up with him on Twitter at @PostinsPostcard.


 

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