Five things we learned from conference championship week

Teams are preparing for bowl season or for next season depending on how their season finished. Heading into bowl games, more coaching carousel drama, here is what we learned:

1. Oklahoma locks up CFP, Baker Mayfield locks up the Heisman

Conference Championship week

Baker Mayfield (

Oklahoma dominated in the Big 12 Championship, beating TCU 41-17. The Sooners were ranked third in the most recent College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings, so this win virtually locks up their CFP spot. With a record of 12-1 and a Big 12 Championship at hand, Oklahoma will be watching the selection show just to see who they are playing in the first round of the CFP.

On top of the Sooners winning the Big 12, their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, has cemented himself as the Heisman winner. In the Big 12 Championship Game, he threw for 243 yards and four touchdowns. With over 4,000 yards passing and 40 total touchdowns on the season, Mayfield is the obvious choice.

2. UCF has completed a great turnaround, but lose coach

Scott Frost was announced as the new head coach of the UCF Golden Knights after the 2015 season. UCF had just gone 0-12 and needed a lot of work. In his first season as head coach, Frost led the team to a 6-7 record, which included an appearance in the Cure Bowl. It was a great start to the turnaround, but Frost wasn’t done yet.

This season, UCF was not favored to win the conference, with teams like USF and Houston stealing the headlines. They were expected to take another step forward, however. They surprised everyone and ripped off 12 wins (one was cancelled due to a hurricane) and won the AAC Championship. The Golden Knights have earned the right to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl. The complete turnaround has been completed.

Unfortunately for UCF, Frost has reportedly taken the job at Nebraska. While it is a bittersweet moment for the Golden Knights, I don’t think they would trade the undefeated season and AAC Championship.

3. Georgia fans can relax….for now

Conference Championship week

D’Andre Swift (Photo by

Georgia has been a team that looks like a contender early in the season, but nearly always blows it. The administration fired Mark Richt for his failures to compete at the highest levels. They hired Kirby Smart, who in his second season, has led the Bulldogs to a SEC Championship and the chance to win the whole thing.

The Bulldogs will be in the CFP and will be waiting to see how they play. They may have overcome the thought that they would choke, but they have to prepare for more big games if they want to win it all. Their wins over Auburn and at Notre Dame prove they can play with anyone in the country.

4. Clemson is battle tested

Clemson has put together another great season. They won the ACC Championship Game and are going to be in the CFP. Can the Tigers repeat as champs?

While the Tigers did lose to Syracuse, they beat a lot of good football teams this year. They won nine games against bowl eligible teams, including big wins over Auburn, Louisville, Miami, Virginia Tech and N.C. State. There were questions to start the season about Clemson, but they have answered most of those questions.

Does anyone want to play Clemson in the first round of the CFP?

5. J.T. Barrett is one of the toughest players of all time

J.T. Barrett re-aggravated a knee injury against Michigan and had to exit the game. Dwayne Haskins Jr. was able to take over and lead the team to victory. Barrett had surgery on his knee on the day after the Michigan game and was questionable to play in the Big Ten Championship.

He was able to start and play the whole game against Wisconsin. It wasn’t the prettiest performance, but he once again got the job done and led the Buckeyes to victory. He had 271 total yards and three touchdowns while playing so banged up. While he may not go down as one of the greatest players in the history of Ohio State, he certainly is one of the toughest.


You can like The Game Haus on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from great TGH writers!

To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon


Cleveland Can't Pass on Watson

Cleveland Can’t Pass on Watson

Cleveland can’t pass on Deshaun Watson. It is that simple. We all know the sad story that is the current Cleveland Browns. Their history is littered with unfortunate events and bad decisions. Their biggest success came in 1964 when they won the NFL Championship. Since then, there has been little to cheer about in Cleveland.

Cleveland Can't Pass on Watson

(Photo Credit:

Cleveland came close to glory twice in the 1980s. The first unfortunate event was later called “The Drive” that took place in the 1986 AFC Championship game. With just a little over five minutes left in the game, the Browns led the Denver Broncos 20-13.

The Broncos had the ball at their own two-yard line. John Elway proceeded to lead the Broncos on a 15-play 98-yard drive to tie the game at 20 with only 37 seconds remaining. The wind had been sucked out of Cleveland and the Broncos won in overtime 23-20.

The second unfortunate event is labeled “The Fumble” and took place the following year in a rematch with the Broncos in the AFC Championship game again. The Broncos jumped out on the Browns early with a 21-3 halftime lead.

Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar threw four second-half touchdowns, but the game was tied 31-31 in the third quarter. With six minutes remaining in the game, John Elway threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to give the Broncos a 38-31 lead.

Cleveland Can't Pass on Watson

(Photo Credit:

With only 1:12 remaining in the game, the Browns had driven down to the eight-yard line. Earnest Byner took a handoff and looked like he was about to tie the game when he was stripped at the 1-yard line and the Broncos took an intentional safety and won the game 38-33. For the second season in a row, the Browns were devastated in the game prior to the Super Bowl.

One of the last major unfortunate events for the Browns franchise was “The Move.” Browns owner Art Modell announced in 1995 that he was moving the franchise to Baltimore and thus, the Baltimore Ravens were born.

The history of the franchise would remain in Cleveland, but what hurt the most for the city is that the Ravens would go on to win the Super Bowl just five seasons later. Cleveland fans have always felt that that championship should have been theirs.

The Browns returned to Cleveland in 1999 and have had 28 different starting quarterbacks. 28 is a ridiculous amount of quarterbacks in just an 18-year span. There has been zero stability at the position and they need a franchise quarterback badly.

The Franchise Savior

It is laughable that Deshaun Watson is getting such little respect in the draft. So-called experts say he lacks accuracy and good decision making for a quarterback. What tape or games are they watching of Watson?

Cleveland Can't Pass on Watson

(Photo Credit:

Watson had a legendary college career. He was the first player in college football history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. He went 32-3 as a starter and led Clemson to two straight national championship games. Both were against Alabama and the legendary Nick Saban.

In his entire career at Clemson, Watson threw for 10,168 yards, 90 touchdowns and only 32 interceptions. Where people go wrong in analyzing Watson is saying he runs too much, or that he is a run-first quarterback. That is absolutely false. Yes, he did rush for 1,934 yards and 26 touchdowns in his career, but Watson only runs when he needs to. He keeps his eyes down field while extending plays.

One thing Watson must work on is his down field accuracy. At his young age, he has time to develop that aspect of his game. Where Watson excels most is when the game is on the line. If there are less than four minutes in the game and you need a touchdown, Deshaun Watson delivers.

Cleveland Can't Pass on Watson

(Photo Credit:

He is the most clutch quarterback in college football history. He has proven it time and time again and his latest example was against one of the greatest defenses in college football history on the biggest stage. This is one of the greatest traits a quarterback can have, and it can’t be taught.

For so long, the Browns have been stuck at the bottom of the barrel. Their franchise has made so many head-scratching moves. They have overthought decisions and jumped at quarterbacks that had no business leading a franchise. Cleveland has had a lot of bad luck in the process as well. They can end all that by getting a franchise quarterback.

This one is right in front of their face. Do not make the mistake that the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers made. Dabo Sweeny is absolutely correct, any team that passes on Deshaun Watson is passing on Michael Jordan.



You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles written by other great TGH writers along with Matthew!

Way Too Early College Football Final Four Picks for 2016

The College Football season has just ended, but it is never too early to start thinking ahead to next season. There is a lot that still has to happen before teams are fully formed, such as National Signing Day and spring practice, but based on what is known now, here are the teams that will be in the College Football Playoff next season.

Courtesy of,

The Tigers get back the best running back in college football next season. Courtesy of,

  1. LSU Tigers- LSU had a successful season with plenty of talent left on its roster. In addition to the talent of the players, Head Coach Les Miles was brought back for another season. His leadership will help LSU reach its goals for next season. Running back Leonard Fournette, one of the most talented players in college football, returns after rushing for 2,000 yards in this season. The Tigers may return two to four offensive linemen to block for Fournette, depending on who leaves for the NFL Draft. The returning players will be tasked with protecting quarterback Brandon Harris. Harris showed improvement in his second season and can take pressure off of Fournette with his arm and his legs. Most people believe wide receiver Travin Dural will come back for his senior season to lead the Tiger receiving corps and Malachi Dupre will also be back for his junior season. The defensive line should remain in tact as there are no highly sought after prospects or significant seniors. All of the linebackers are graduating, besides Kendell Beckwith, who has to decide whether he wants to go pro or stay for his senior season. He can bring stability to an otherwise young linebacker core by coming back. The secondary will be good no matter who leaves for the draft. Jalen Mills will have exhausted his eligibility and Tre’Davious  White may go pro, although he has made comments leading people to believe he will stay for his last season of eligibility.  The Tigers will return defensive backs Kevin Tolliver and Jamal Adams, who are defensive play-makers. With all of the returning players LSU has coming back, they also have the number one recruiting class according to ESPN, which has a chance to get even better after National Signing Day.

    Running back Tarean Folston missed this season with injury, but will be back next season for the Irish. Courtesy of

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish- Notre Dame lost two games in the 2015 regular season by a combined three points. They had plenty of injuries, which makes their season very impressive. Quarterbacks DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire are back and will most likely have to fight for playing time. Running Back C.J. Prosise has decided to leave for the NFL, but the starting running back Tarean Folston returns after missing the whole season with a torn ACL. Wide receiver Will Fuller decided to come back for his senior season and will have talented receivers around him, with the Irish only losing Amir Carlisle and Chris Brown. Freshman tight end Alize Jones will also be featured more next season. The offensive line will lose Ronnie Stanley, who will be a high draft pick in the 2016 NFL draft, and Nick Martin, but return everyone else for what should be a solid group. On defense Notre Dame loses Sheldon Day and Romeo Okwara from the defensive line, who will be tough to replace, but bring back a lot of experience in Jarron Jones and Isaac Rochell. Linebacker Jaylon Smith has made his decision to leave for the NFL. The Irish also lose Joe Schmidt at linebacker, but they have a very talented group who have experience behind them and are more than capable of stepping in. The secondary is going to lose Kevare Russell, Elijah Shumate and Mathias Farley, but return Cole Luke, Max Redfield and Drue Tranquill, who all have significant experience. The Fighting Irish currently have the fourteenth best recruiting class according to ESPN.

Courtesy of,

Baker Mayfield returns for a potent Sooners’ offense. Courtesy of,

3. Oklahoma Sooners- The Sooners return a lot of players from their College Football Playoff team this season. Quarterback Baker Mayfield will return and be a front-runner for the Heisman. Running back Samaje Perine will also be back and has a chance to go down as one of the best running backs in Big 12 history depending on how he finishes his career. They do lose their top wide receiver and some of their offensive linemen, but should have enough with Perine and Mayfield to have a successful offense. The front seven loses end Charles Tapper and Eric Striker, but the rest of the seven should stay in tact. To go along with that the secondary all has eligibility remaining and corner backs Jordan Thomas and Zack Sanchez are extremely talented. Oklahoma has the twenty-seventh best recruiting class in the country according to ESPN.

(Courtesy of

Deshaun Watson can lead the Tigers back to the College Football Playoff next season. (Courtesy of

4. Clemson Tigers- The Clemson Tigers just got to the National Championship Game and can get to a second straight College Football Playoff next season. They lose two starting offensive linemen, but return the most important player, Deshaun Watson. His running back Wayne Gallman, who compliments him very well, is also back for at least one more year. His leading receiver Artavis Scott is also coming back after a successful year and will likely be with Mike Williams at receiver who got injured in the first drive of the season and never returned. The defense’s success relies heavily on who comes back. There are only two seniors leaving, but if more leave for the NFL, it could be detrimental. Defensive end Shaq Lawson has an NFL decision to make and can be the third returning starter on a very good defensive line. The Tigers lose linebacker B.J. Goodson, but return Ben Boulware and Travis Blanks. The secondary could have players leave for the NFL as well, but all of them are very talented and have eligibility remaining, which could make the Clemson defense even better next season. Clemson currently has the tenth best recruiting class according to ESPN.

Hit me up on twitter @ditulliojoe or post on the forums!

New Year’s Eve Bowl Preview

Peach Bowl: #18 Houston Cougars (12-1) vs.  #9 Florida State Seminoles (10-2), 12:00 P.M.

Houston became the automatic qualifying team from a team not in a power five conference by only losing to UConn this season. Their quarterback, Greg Ward, played limited snaps in that game due to an injury. Ward is one of the best dual threat quarterbacks in college football and had over 2500 passing yards and over 1000 rushing yards. With Ward at quarterback the Houston offense was able to average 40.6 points per game on the season. The offense for Houston gets most of the publicity, but the defense only allows 20.5 points per game, which is the tied for nineteenth best in the country. They are particularly good at stopping the run, giving up only 116 yards on the ground per game.

Courtesy of,

              Courtesy of,

Florida State was one freakish play away from being in consideration for the College Football Playoff. They lost to Georgia Tech and Clemson this year, but got still has a chance to have its fourth straight year of twelve wins. The starting quarterback will be Sean Maguire because Everett Golson will not attend the bowl game due to personal reasons. Maguire doesn’t have much experience, but will have running back Dalvin Cook to help him out. Cook was hampered by a hamstring injury all season, but still managed to gain 1658 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. He will be a frontrunner for the Heisman trophy next season. The Seminoles have great defense that only allows 15.8 points per game. Safety Jalen Ramsey is the most talented player on the defense and has the potential to be a top five pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Courtesy of,

 Courtesy of,

The Seminoles will be able to contain Ward just enough to halt their drives. Ramsey and the defense will show why they are one of the best in the country.

Capital One Orange Bowl: #4 Oklahoma Sooners (11-1) vs. #1 Clemson Tigers (13-0), 4:00 P.M.

Oklahoma lost to Texas, but still managed to make it to the College Football Playoff game. Quarterback Baker Mayfield is the best walk-on in the country and was snubbed by not being invited to the Heisman Trophy Presentation. The Sooners have three great players on offense with, Mayfield, running back Samaje Perine and wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Mayfield threw 3389 yards, 35 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. He also creates problems for defenses with his mobility. Perine is a great power running back who rushed for 1291 yards and 15 touchdowns. Shepard is a smaller receiver, but was still able to get open and have 1201 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns. Defensively the Sooners turned their horrible pass defense from a year ago into a strength. Cornerback Zack Sanchez has helped hold opponents to 201 passing yards per game, which is impressive considering the number of teams that like to throw the ball in the Big 12. Their rush defense is average, but linebacker Eric Striker will make plays all over the field.

Courtesy of,

                 Courtesy of,

Clemson went undefeated, but now has to deal with three players being sent home from this game due to failed drug tests. The most notable player is wide receiver Desmond Cain, who was the team’s second leading receiver. The Tigers still have quarterback Deshaun Watson, who accounted for 4399 yards and is also a good dual threat quarterback. Running back Wayne Gallman has helped the offense by rushing for 1332 yards and 10 touchdowns. Without Cain for this game the team’s leading receiver, Artavis Scott, will have to step up even more than usual and have more than the 61 receiving yards he averages per game. The Tigers have a slightly better scoring defense than the Sooners, giving up 20.2 points per game. Defensive end Shaq Lawson has been very disruptive and has played his way into being a likely first round pick in the NFL Draft. Safety Jeyon Kearse covers a lot of space with his 6’5” frame and his 4.4 second 40-yard dash time, which is reminiscent of Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor.

Courtesy of,

                   Courtesy of,

Oklahoma has had a lot of things that have happened, which has brought them together as a team. They came together after there was racism on their campus and supported Mayfield when he got snubbed from the Heisman Trophy Presentation. Clemson has the distraction of losing three players for the game. The Sooners will take advantage of this and Mayfield will outplay Watson for the win.

Final Score: Oklahoma 32 Clemson 26


Cotton Bowl: #3 Michigan State Spartans (12-1) vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1), 8:00 P.M.

Michigan State lost to Nebraska, but beat two top five teams in their last three weeks to make the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Connor Cook has been on fire this season throwing for 2921 yards and 24 touchdowns. He did injure his shoulder this season and miss a few games, but it should be fully healed for this game. Cook’s favorite receiver is Aaron Burbridge, who has 1219 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. The Spartans have used a few running backs this season, but the position isn’t a weakness, but rather a deep position group. Michigan State’s offensive line wasn’t good to start the season, but came on strong in the end of the year. The defense gives up 20.5 points per game this season, but still has people thinking that it isn’t as good as defenses in years past. Defensive end Shilique Calhoun has had as good of a season as possible with 10.5 sacks. Their rush defense has been great and their pass defense has been pretty good as well.

Courtesy of,

Courtesy of,

Alabama may not be the number one seed, but they are the favorites to win the National Championship. Their defense is what makes this team so impressive. They have the best run defense in the country, as they only allow 74 rushing yards per game, which is the best since the 2011 Alabama team allowed just 72 rushing yards per game. Their pass defense is also good, giving up the seventeenth fewest passing yards per game in the country. Moving cornerback Eddie Jackson to safety this season has improved their pass defense to new heights. On offense running back Derrick Henry has had the greatest rushing year in SEC history by rushing for 1986 yards and 23 touchdowns. The question is still quarterback Jake Coker, who is the least accomplished, but highest recruited quarterback in the Playoff. He passed for 2489 yards, but threw eight crucial interceptions.

Courtesy of,

Courtesy of,

This game is a matchup of what college football looked like in the 1980s. It is going to be a physical game that features a lot of running the ball. Alabama will win because their defense is better than Michigan State’s defense. Henry will not be stopped in this game.

Final Score: Alabama 38 Michigan State 28

Post a comment on the story, the forum or contact me on twitter @DiTullioJoe.