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 in college football conference championship week.
1. Cincinnati is in the CFP
Cincinnati had one more test to complete their undefeated season. They defeated Houston in the AAC Championship behind a great performance from running back Jerome Ford. After starting slow, they scored 21 points in the third quarter and held the lead the rest of the game to win 35-20.
With the win, Cincinnati is now very likely to make the CFP. Not only did they go undefeated, but they also got help in the form of an Oklahoma State loss in the Big 12 Championship Game. It would take some mental gymnastics for the committee to leave the Bearcats out of the CFP.
2. Bryce Young Will Win the Heisman
Alabama won the SEC Championship over Georgia in a big way, 41-24. The Crimson Tide offense was explosive against an elite Georgia defense. Bryce Young passed for 421 yards and three touchdowns in the game. He also rushed 40 yards and a touchdown.
The game was a Heisman-level performance from Young. He not only has had a great season, but doing that against Georgia has cemented his status as a Heisman finalist. With other players in contention falling off late in the season, Young should win the award. His biggest competition might be his own teammate Will Anderson, who leads the country in sacks.
3. There Will be Two SEC Teams in the CFP
With the Alabama win over Georgia, two SEC teams will now be in the playoff. Had the Crimson Tide lost, they would’ve been out. They did lose to Texas A&M this season, but rebounded well. Beating Georgia also will likely give the Crimson Tide the top seed.
Georgia went the whole season undefeated, but the loss in the SEC Championship will sting. They will likely move to second or third in the rankings, which will prevent a rematch with Alabama in the first round of the CFP. The drop from the top spot will also cost Georgia the decision of which venue to play at in the CFP.
4. Kyle Whittingham is One of the Best Coaches in the Country
When talk of the best college football coaches comes up, it is very rare that Kyle Whittingham will be mentioned. He is one of the longest-tenured coaches in the sport and has really kept the Utah program steady. The program showed their might when they defeated Oregon on Friday for the Pac-12 Championship.
After Utah started the season 1-2, Whittingham righted the ship and only lost one game the rest of the season. In his 17 seasons as a head coach, Whittingham has posted a 144-69 record. He helped transition the program to the Pac-12 and has made 13 bowl games. Whittingham doesn’t get a lot of national recognition but is one of the best in the business.
5. Patience With Jim Harbaugh Paid Off
Through the first several years of the Jim Harbaugh era, there were a lot of rumblings about him being on the hot seat or possibly fired. He had done well, but failed to beat Ohio State, win the Big Ten or make the College Football Playoff. Harbaugh even took a pay cut this year. After he defeated Iowa, it proves that the patience with him was warranted.
The win puts the Wolverines firmly in the CFP. It has taken time to build Michigan up to this point, but Harbaugh, a Michigan man, was the right man for the job. If he does well enough to win Michigan a National Championship, he will have proven that patience really can pay off.
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