Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 11:34 AM
PLUS OUR JIM SEZ HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST
THE NFL MID-WEEK REPORT: BEARS-COWBOYS THURSDAY NITE PREVIEW
Can you imagine if the inaugural season of the College Football Playoffs goes off without the one-and-only undefeated team in FBS play?
Hey, now that the Florida State Seminoles - 12-and-oh while heading into Saturday night’s ACC Championship Game against Georgia Tech - have been dropped to #4 in the current CFP rankings you do have to wonder if the following scenario played out:
Let’s say the ‘Noles trim G-Tech by only a point or two and #5 Ohio State thumps Wisconsin by twenty-something points in this Saturday’s Big 10 Championship Game - do these committee folks have the gall to push yet another one-loss team past Florida State?
Gotta admit we don’t think that will happen - in fact, we’re pretty sure that if the Seminoles win by any amount against Georgia Tech this weekend they’re assured one of the four playoff berths but no doubt the announcement on Tuesday night had everyone in college football-land sitting up and taking notice.
The updated rankings read #1 Alabama, #2 Oregon, #3 TCU, #4 Florida State, #5 Ohio State, #6 Baylor and #7 Arizona and, folks, those are the only teams that have a shot to participate in the national semifinal games this year but it’s getting a little nutsy in that this committee that we staunchly defended a few weeks ago now has the land’s only unbeaten team sitting on proverbial pins-and-needles this week.
Guess that’s what happens when you allow folks such as Condeleeza Rice to make football decisions!
Okay, so nobody’s asking but our top four would look like this ... Oregon, Alabama, Florida State and TCU.
Let’s see what kind of madness we get come Sunday at 12:45 p.m. ET when the final CFP announcement comes down the pike ... geez!
THE JIM SEZ HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH LIST
We’re back with the latest Installment of the 2013 Heisman Trophy Watch List where we offer up our top five weekly contenders for college football’s most coveted individual award.
Note that we’ve really some major shakeups since we first began our “Watch List” as this is how it looked back on October 15th: Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott was our early leader followed by Georgia RB Todd Gurley, Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah but only two of those names remain in our top five ... and Prescott (who led for five consecutive weeks) didn’t even make the cut here!
1 - MARCUS MARIOTA, QB, OREGON: Third week in a row that this versatile signal-caller has topped our Heisman charts and right now we’d say he’s a near lead-pipe cinch to bring home the coveted hardware. Mariota’s latest starry performance - that’s 367 yards passing with four scoring strikes along with a pair of touchdown runs - catapulted the Ducks past Oregon State 47-19 in the Civil War and so the year-long numbers now feature 3,470 yards passing with 36 TDs and 2 INTs plus he’s contributed 11 rushing scores and 636 rushing yards.
2 - MELVIN GORDON, RB, WISCONSIN: This Badgers’ back has played bridesmaid for the past three weeks in our “Watch List” and we know there will be some folks extra angry that a back with 2,260 rushing yards (and counting) likely won’t win this year’s Heisman but them’s the breaks! Last week Gordon rushed for 151 yards and a score in Wisky’s 34-24 non-cover win against Minnesota - can he do major damage this Saturday to Ohio State and steal this thing late from Mariota? We shall see.
3 - TREVONE BOYKIN, QB, TCU: Hats off to this Horned Frogs star who’s stuck around in this year’s Heisman Trophy race the past few weeks. His Thanksgiving Night - 233 yards passing with two TDs against Texas and shoddy showings by the aforementioned Prescott and Florida State’s Jameis Winston - moved Boykin into the third hole in this race. The up-to-date stats include 3,254 yards passing with 20 passing TDs and another 598 rushing yards with 8 scores. Up next is 5-TD pup Iowa State.
4 - AMARI COOPER, WR, ALABAMA: First time we’ve included this ‘Bama star in our top five but we couldn’t keep ‘em out any longer following that epic 13-catch, 224-yard, 3-TD performance in the 55-44 Iron Bowl win/cover against Auburn. Cooper’s now caught 103 balls for 1,573 yards and 14 TDs.
5 - GEROD HOLLIMAN, S, LOUISVILLE: Hey, we’ve put a defensive player into the “Watch List” for the first time this year and why not ‘cause this soph star has a nation-leading 14 INTs for a Cardinals club that figures to play in a New Year’s Day bowl.
Note: Don’t get left out in the cold - win all week and cash in big with both Football and Basketball when you check with us here at Jim Hurley’s Network either here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Get all the College Football Conference Championship Games this Friday/Saturday plus the NFL Week 14 action and great NBA/NCAA Basketball action ... pile up those profits this holiday season!
NFL WEEK 14 -- THURSDAY NITE PREVIEW
DALLAS (8-4) at CHICAGO (5-7) - 8:25 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Okay, so Turkey Day wasn’t a whole lot of fun for either the Cowboys or the Bears - they were beaten by a composite score of 67-17 in their holiday losses to Philadelphia and Detroit, respectively -- but now Dallas looks to stay unbeaten on the road (5-0) while the Bears look to show some long-lost pride and allow us to inform you that Chicago’s actually won/covered back-to-back home games after losing its first three home tilts.
The ‘Boys are keeping fingers crossed that QB Tony Romo (back) is better than it was last Thursday off the short week but keep in mind Romo was sacked four times in that tilt while among the Bears’ biggest problems is a ground attack that rushed for just 13 yards in that 34-17 loss at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day and that low total wasn’t all because the Bears were playing from behind. Remember the Bears did lead that NFC North game 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Spread Notes - Chicago is 3-9-1 against the odds at home since the start of last year. Dallas enters this prime-time tilt at 3-9 vig-wise as betting favorites since late 2013.
NOTE: There’s more NCAA Football and NFL Week 14 news/notes in the next edition of Jim Sez!