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College Football ’18: The Good and Bad

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The college football season is in the home stretch. Conference races have already heated up, and bowl eligibility still remains a goal for some squads.

There has been plenty to like about the 2018 college football season, but also moments, games and even coaches that fans of certain teams would like to forget.

So, as the college football season winds down, let’s look at some of the good and bad.

The Good

Northwestern, Pittsburgh, SMU. At the beginning of the college football season, not many – or any – thought this trio would be in the hunt for a conference championship.

Northwestern opened 1-3, which included a home loss to Akron, but has gone 4-0 against teams from the Big Ten West and already wrapped up its first division title. The Wildcats (6-4) have succeeded amid the shocking medical retirement of leading rusher Jeremy Larkin.

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Pitt (6-4) has suffered ugly losses to Penn State (51-6) and UCF (45-14), but leads the ACC Coastal Division thanks to a three-game winning streak that includes a victory at then-No. 23 Virginia.

SMU (5-5) was outscored 133-55 while opening 0-3, but Sonny Dykes’ squad has turned things around. It made noise with a 45-31 victory over then-No. 17 Houston. The Mustangs still must get bowl-eligible, but are tied for the lead in the American Athletic Conference West Division.

Washington State. When 2018 began, the Cougars’ program was rocked by the suicide death of quarterback Tyler Hilinski. While the grieving continues, the fact that Washington State (9-1) is having great success this college football season is quite impressive.

These young athletes at Washington State have shown a tremendous amount of perseverance and determination.

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Purdue’s super fan. By now, most college football fans know Tyler Trent, the former Purdue student fighting an aggressive form of cancer, who seemingly inspired the Boilermakers to stun then-No. 2 Ohio State on Oct. 20

He’s become an inspiration not only to Purdue’s team and student body, but also to anybody with a soul. It’s the most special story of the college football season, and one we all can take something from.

The Bad

The Maryland situation. While the present state of the Terrapins program is in shambles, the future might not be much better. Maryland football could possibly make a bowl, but it’s tainted at the moment.

The next coach must be a straight shooter, someone with a clean past willing to put morality and common sense ahead of winning. If there is such a person?. And what about recruits? What parent will allow a son to play for a school that can’t take care of its players?

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Bobby Petrino. Many college football fans would argue that Petrino should have never been hired at Louisville a second time, but that’s not how some friendships and old-boy networks go. Thankfully for real Cardinals’ fans, Petrino was finally fired as the team sits 0-7 in the ACC and will miss a bowl for the first time in nine seasons.

The sad part about this situation is that Petrino will likely resurface as a head coach again. There really isn’t a school, team or league we would wish that upon. But that’s a lofty wish.

Targeting rule. Safety at all levels of football should be the paramount concern. However, players, coaches and even on-field officials still seem unsure of what targeting really is. The heat of the action can cause a player to be in a position he never intended to be in, and maybe the rule should be written to take that into consideration.

Let’s give players the benefit of the doubt that they are not intentionally out to hurt an opponent with a hit to the head, which in most cases could in turn hurt them. Perhaps the rule and penalties enforced need to be furthered developed as suggests.

We all can agree that educating and teaching players the proper way to tackle or throw a block remains vital to the survival of the game.

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