NCAA Football Report (Week 4)

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Once again the sports world is under a microscope and it never seems to come to an end with leagues continuing to deal with off-field issues. The MLB had their issues with Ron Washington while the NFL continues to put out fires constantly. The NCAA is no stranger to controversy as they have been one of the leagues that has dealt with more controversy than most. They have seemingly never seen an end to this controversy with boosters providing illegal compensation and players getting into trouble. They have been through the fire in a number of issues and they continue to move on into more controversy every year. Last year the centre of controversy was also one of the biggest names in college football. The man known as Johnny Football was the most electrifying player in college football and was the defending Heisman Trophy winner. He came into the season after an offseason that saw him constantly seen at parties and being booed out of parties. He would also spend the offseason reportedly signing memorabilia for profit, a clear violation of NCAA rules. It was never proven to be the case as the NCAA lacked solid proof that Manziel had accepted payment for signing memorabilia. For the accusation he received a two-quarter suspension for the first game of the year and did not make things better with his touchdown celebration in the second half of his opening game. It was a stupid decision by Manziel to do the things that he did in that offseason but he was essentially just being a college student and never did anything much more serious than allegedly breaking NCAA rules. When Manziel prepared to leave the NCAA many were wondering who would replace him as the most exciting player in the NCAA. Many looked to a young quarterback from Florida State that was making a run at the Heisman candidacy of Manziel in his last year. Jameis Winston seemed to be that player that could electrify the fans and provide that playmaking ability that Manziel had. As he became the favourite to win the Heisman and end Manziel’s attempt to repeat as Heisman champion. Then it began to falter though as, like Manziel, Winston began to get in trouble but unlike Manziel it was of a much more serious nature. In November the Florida State Attorney’s Office opened an investigation into sexual assault charges against Winston. The charges did not change much for many as they waited for due process while Winston won the Heisman Trophy and helped the Seminoles to the National Championship. In April the charges against Winston were thrown out due to inconsistency in the victim’s report. Although the charges were dropped many looked to the young QB to see how he would handle the controversy that surrounded him and the microscope became larger on the Heisman winner. The issues did not stop though, as Winston was caught on tape in April stealing crab legs from Publix. It was his second shoplifting incident in what seemed to be a pattern for Winston of making terrible decisions. That continued to be the case this week when Winston stood on a table and yelled an obscene phrase in front of anyone within earshot. The phrase was vulgar and in light of his sexual assault case was extremely insensitive. It was enough for the Seminoles to suspend him for the first half of the game this week, a punishment that was later changed to the full game. It was just the latest in a series of terrible decisions by the quarterback and one that has put him even closer to an early end to his career. They are giving him yet another shot at Florida State, one that may think he doesn’t deserve, and if he makes another stupid decision his football career could be over before it even began. It is another issue for the NCAA to deal with and despite the fact that he will suit up again for Florida State he is no longer the face of the NCAA as they would prefer he remain out of the headlines and simply stop making stupid mistakes.

 

Heisman Watch

1. Marcus Mariota, QB (Oregon)
In a week full of change in the Heisman race one player stands above the rest and is the clear choice if the Heisman was handed out today. Despite a game that was too close for comfort for Oregon Mariota had a great day. A 5 touchdown day helped the Ducks get past Washington State and will keep him above the rest of the contenders. With Heisman candidates falling this year Mariota could run away with this if he continues to perform at this level.
Stats (4 Games):
74.0% cmp (33 att)
1,135 yds (214 rsh yds)
13 TD (3 rsh TD)
0 INT
218.0 rtg

2. Kenny Hill, QB (Texas A&M)
The Texas A&M Aggies are looking like they will be fine post-Manziel as Kenny Hill has taken over and helped the Aggies move up the rankings. Now with Todd Gurley having a subpar few weeks and Winston clearly out of the race after another off-field issue Hill has jumped to the top challenger. With a potent offence around him Hill has a shot and if he keeps putting up numbers like his 265 yard 2 touchdown day against SMU he could put some pressure on Mariota.
Stats (4 Games):
69.8% cmp
1,359 yds
13 TD
1 INT
181.3 rtg

3. Todd Gurley, RB (Georgia)
It was another lackluster week for Gurley in a week where he was supposed to go off for big numbers. Against Troy, Gurley was supposed to take over but 73 yards and no touchdowns fell far short of the expectation. Despite a big win by Georgia Gurley was not needed and he continues to lose ground on the rest of the players in the hunt. If his numbers don’t improve soon he may find himself falling completely out of the race despite a promising start to his season.
Stats (3 Games):
41 att
402 yds
9.8 avg
4 TD

4. Everett Golson, QB (Notre Dame)
Stats (3 Games):
64.6% cmp (29 att)
780 yds (83 rsh yds)
7 TD (4 rsh TD)
0 INT
156.9 rtg

5. Ameer Abdullah, RB (Nebraska)
Stats (4 Games):
92 att
625 yds
6.8 avg
5 TD

 

AP Top 25:
1. Florida State Seminoles (1)
2. Oregon Ducks (2)
3. Alabama Crimson Tide (3)
4. Oklahoma Sooners (4)
5. Auburn Tigers (5)
6. Texas A&M Aggies (6)
7. Baylor Bears (7)
8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9)
9. Michigan State Spartans (11)
10. Ole Miss Rebels (10)
11. UCLA Bruins (12)
12. Georgia Bulldogs (13)
13. South Carolina Gamecocks (14)
14. Mississippi State Bulldogs (–)
15. Arizona State Sun Devils (15)
16. Stanford Cardinal (16)
17. LSU Tigers (8)
18. USC Trojans (17)
19. Wisconsin Badgers (19)
20. BYU Cougars (21)
21. Nebraska Cornhuskers (24)
22. Ohio State Buckeyes (23)
23. East Carolina Pirates (–)
24. Oklahoma State Cowboys (25)
25. Kansas State Wildcats (20)

 

Key Scores:
#5 Auburn Tigers 20 – 14 Kansas State Wildcats #20
– The tigers seemed to set the tone for the rest of the week as they barely escaped an upset loss against the Kansas State Wildcats that seemed to happen often in Week 3 where top teams barely escaped the trap games

Mississippi State Bulldogs 34 – 29 LSU Tigers #8
– The Tigers were one of the only top teams to fall in a trap game as they took on Mississippi State in a game that they should have won easily against an unranked team but instead they fell in a close game hurting their chances of making the playoff

#1 Florida State Seminoles 23 – 17 Clemson Tigers #22 (OT)
– With Jameis Winston on the sidelines for the entire game the Noles’ looked to their backup QB and an experienced defence to lead them but they did not get the performance they expected barely getting by the Tigers in a near massive upset

#2 Oregon Ducks 38 – 31 Washington State Cougars
– The Ducks were another team that almost fell to the trap game as they were supposed to walk through Washington State but struggled out of the gate until Mariota helped them to the win to keep the Ducks at #2

Next Week:
#11 UCLA Bruins vs. #15 Arizona State Sun Devils (Thursday September 25th; 10:00 pm ET)
– It is a test game for the Bruins and Sun Devils as they will try to show the NCAA that they do belong at the level they are ranked with the Bruins trying to show that their preseason hype was well worth it

#1 Florida State Seminoles vs. NC State Wolfpack (Saturday September 27th; 3:30 pm ET)
– Jameis Winston returns to the Seminoles and finds himself back in the spotlight after his one-game suspension in Week 3 as he hopes to prove that he is the key to this offence by walking through the Wolfpack

Missouri Tigers vs. #13 South Carolina Gamecocks (Saturday September 27th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Tigers and Gamecocks are fighting it out in the SEC trying to stay relevant in the fight as the Gamecocks continue to return from their opening loss to Texas A&M while the Tigers try to unseat a ranked team

New Mexico State Aggies vs. #17 LSU Tigers (Saturday September 27th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Tigers were ranked in the top 10 only a week ago as they seemed to be close to a run at the playoff but a loss has put them out of the running for now and they try to climb their way back to the top of the rankings against New Mexico State

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