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5 Things Learned From College Football Week 13

5 Things Learned From College Football Week 13

College football week 12 is in the books. After every week fans can take away things from what happened on the field. Here are 5 things learned from college football week 13.

1. Jim Harbaugh Can Beat Ohio State

For the first six seasons Jim Harbaugh coached Michigan, he was on the hot seat. He had posted a 49-22 record, but that wasn’t good enough for Michigan. Harbaugh was on the hot seat a few different times during his tenure and it had to do with his record in big games. That included his 0-5 record against Ohio State.

That all changed on Saturday. Michigan used their potent rushing attack and great pass rushers to defeat Ohio State in a snowy game in Ann Arbor. Hassan Haskins rushed for 169 yards and five rushing touchdowns, the latter of which is now a record for the game against Ohio State. The pass rush combined for four sacks on the day to make things hard on the Buckeyes who were trying to play catch-up.

2. Ohio State’s Defense Needs Some Work

Ohio State was favored to beat Michigan by 7.5 points, but ended up losing. The main reason they lost is their defense, who couldn’t stop the run, even when they knew Michigan was running the football. While the offense was the strong point of the team, the defense was playing opportunistic football over the last several weeks of the season.

The problem with the defense happened all season long. Defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs was stripped of his play-calling duties. Things have improved defensively since, but now it looks like Ohio State needs to start from scratch. While there were some injuries on the backend of the defense, the defensive line did not step up as they have in past years. Losing to Michigan will sting and now Ohio State will have to clean some things up before they can improve next season.

3. Alabama has Problems

The most important thing for Alabama is that they won. It took four overtimes for the Crimson Tide to finish off a 6-5 (now 6-6) Auburn team. Running back Brian Robinson was banged up and left the game and Jameson Williams was ejected for targeting while in punt coverage, which made things more difficult, but Auburn’s defense really came to play in the game and deserves a lot of credit.

Alabama’s defense has been underwhelming this season, by their standards at least. They stepped up in this game, but the Crimson Tide’s high-powered offense was stalled. As Nick Saban mentioned at the half, they weren’t blocking well. Bryce Young was getting pressured too much and the game was close because of it. Now, with their season riding on the SEC Championship, Alabama has to make sure the defense can keep it up and the offense can refind themselves. That’s a tall order.

4. Oklahoma State and Baylor are in the Big 12 Championship Game

Oklahoma State clinched their spot in the Big 12 Championship Game before the weekend. They still had a lot of say in who their opponent would be. If they defeated Oklahoma, and Baylor won their matchup, their opponent would be Baylor. If not, they would play Oklahoma in two straight weeks. After rivalry week, Oklahoma State will play Baylor.

The Cowboys had a weird game against Oklahoma in Bedlam, but they left with a victory. They had not won a close and high-scoring game all season, but their talented defense stepped up when they needed them the most. Baylor played Texas Tech, who hired their former assistant coach Joey Maguire, and were able to win by three after a field goal by the Red Raiders was missed to tie the game late.

5. This Has Been a Crazy Year

While 2007 still holds the mantle of chaos in college football history, the 2021 season didn’t disappoint. It will take a huge win next week for Alabama to make the College Football Playoff. Ohio State is likely out and Clemson is definitely out. Some fans were clamoring for different matchups and they are going to get them. Assuming these teams win, the playoff will likely consist of: Georgia (they’ll be in even if they lose), Michigan, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State. But just like it has gone all season, things could get crazy and those names could change after conference championship week.

On top of the CFP picture being unexpected, after the regular season, there still is no clear Heisman favorite. C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young have done enough to deserve invites to New York, but both underwhelmed in week 13. Heck, Spencer Rattler and D.J. Uiagalelei were Heisman favorites when the season started. If the award should ever go to a defensive player (Jordan Davis?), small conference player (Bailey Zappe?) or a non-traditional position (Evan Neal?), this would be the year to do it. The award will still go to either Young or Stroud, but usually by conference championship weekend, things are more clear.

 

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