Texas product Jalen Hurts leading ‘Bama
Alabama is a football machine, churning out talent as a well-lubricated assembly line of gridiron success. The latest product is quarterback Jalen Hurts — a Channelview High School product that became the first Crimson Tide player ever to post over 300 passing yards and 100 rushing yards in one game, including five touchdowns. He also set another marker for his 11th rushing touchdown, the most in a career by an Alabama quarterback under coach Nick Saban.
With offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, Alabama transformed from a strictly pro-style offense to a loose, dual-threat spread offense — the true freshman is the perfected archetype of the program’s transformation that hit a peak last season with their first College Football Championship conquest (64 Bowls overall).
This year’s unit is better.
The 2016 program hasn’t lost, is averaging 41.2 points per game (in comparison to 35.1 last season), and is allowing a mere 12.2 points per game against (in comparison to 15.1 last season). The frightening notion is having Hurts for another three years.
Since his high school playing days, the Channelview grad has improved in every facet of the game since starting as a junior.
— Ferrari Foster 🏎💨 (@ferrarifoster) November 8, 2016
TCU boasts most fascinating schedule moving forward
Following their complete dismantling of former No. 17 Baylor in a 62-22 beat-down, it appears the Horned Frogs are clicking on all levels — anticipating a possible Bowl berth with competitive fervor previously encapsulated by coach Gary Patterson’s former teams of the past two years.
— CJS (@cselldin) November 14, 2016
The three remaining games on the schedule are the most intriguing of any Texas FBS; the Horned Frogs take on OSU this weekend in a potential impressive showing against a top-15 ranked opponent. They close the Longhorns’ season in coach Charlie Strong’s probable last game with the “burnt orange” and finish their year against Kansas State’s defensive front.
The bye gave TCU some recovery time for key players, especially for an offense that’s been unhealthy for a good portion of the year. Against the Bears, the offense looked like what it was billed to be in the preseason, when the Frogs’ were ranked No. 13 in the AP poll; coach Patterson’s unit set season highs in points, yards, and rushing yards against a Baylor defense that ranked the best in the Big-12 statistically. A week removed from a quarterback controversy — in which Kenny Hill was benched — the junior had his first turnover-free game; running back Kyle Hicks continued to impress as the second best tailback in the conference (after D’Onta Foreman), coasting through the Bears overwhelmed defensive line for 192 rushing yards and five touchdowns; star receiver KaVontae Turpin returned after a lengthy absence and helped spread the field.
The toughest challenge will be a oppressive OSU team that edged Texas Tech — a program TCU fell to last October by a late field goal kick; the Cowboys are currently ranked second in the Big-12.
— Connie rash (@connie_rash) November 11, 2016
AP-25 excludes nearly all of Texas
The Top-25 rankings in the NCAA have been a rorschach of different teams — constantly shifting into whatever translation the AP envisions for that week.
For the first time this season, Texas representation in the AP Top-25 poll was limited to one program in Texas A&M. After peaking at No. 6, the Aggies lost three of their last four, dropping down to No. 23 — their lowest mark of the season. The rest of the Lone Star schools have vanished from the rankings — Houston received forty-nine votes and barely missed inclusion.
Trevor Knight pls pic.twitter.com/yw3o3OvEuI
— Nick (@Nick_Runyon) November 13, 2016
The future looks grim: Aggies quarterback Trevor Knight is out for the season with an injured throwing shoulder. The defensive line looks lousy against the SEC in the last three games, out-rushed 804 yards to 360 yards. Houston has a tough one against Lousiville Thursday which will make or break their ranking aspirations. Baylor looks emotionally spent, and will probably get slapped around against a Sooners team destined for another Big-12 title. The rest of the Texas teams are currently scrounging for lower Bowl games.
Could any make major bowl appearances this season? Probably not. However, keep an eye on the potential move of coach Herman from Houston to Texas next year.
You read it here first.
— WVU on Sports Illustrated (@SI_WVU) November 13, 2016