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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Ohio State disaster takes the cake in this week’s NCAA takeaways

Adam Cairns
Ohio State running back Mike Weber (25) walks off the field as Penn State fans celebrate a 24-21 win against the Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa. (Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)

Alabama rolled on and left ranked Texas A&M in the dust as the question “can anyone stop the Tide?” will continue to be asked. Beyond that, there was a sudden upset that caused the College Football Playoff to take a new shape, a dream died and records continue to break in Louisville where the next Heisman winner is enrolled. Here are the takeaways from week eight.

The winner of the Heisman Trophy is …

Lamar Jackson should be a household name by now. The debate continues of whether the Louisville quarterback should be the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner. After this weekend’s performance, the debate is all but decided.

Barring a complete meltdown, Jackson has this year’s Heisman in the bag. Besides putting up 44 points on North Carolina State in the first half, he opened the school’s history books and rewrote more of its records.

It was the record for total touchdowns in a season on Saturday. Already—in week eight. The quarterback has delivered a jaw-dropping 34 touchdowns, and we’re just past the halfway point in the season. College football hasn’t seen a player take over and dominate every single game like this in some time.

Currently sitting at No. 5 in the polls and set to face teams that have a combined record of 20-16 in the last five games of the season, Jackson’s numbers may rise so much that he’ll have his own record book after this season.

It was but a dream

As the game clock at Gerald J. Ford Stadium showed zeroes and SMU recorded a win over a ranked opponent for the first time since 2011, a positive tone fell over the small Texas school. But a glimpse at the visitor’s sideline showed a different mood, one of disbelief and the reality that the University of Houston’s football program is just another program.

There are two ways to view the Houston Cougars’ second loss in three weeks. Short term, Houston is not only completely out of the playoff picture, but it will likely fail to win the West division in the AAC and won’t be featured in a New Year’s Six Bowl this season. The long-term outcomes of both loses this month will carry much more weight.

Houston’s time in the spotlight of college football is over. Its head coach Tom Herman will undoubtedly leave for a more prominent program this offseason. In just one month, the Cougars went from a dark horse to make college football’s playoff to yet another pretender from a non-Power Five Conference.

Make no mistake, despite wins over programs such as Florida State in the Peach Bowl and Oklahoma at the beginning of this season, this year is not what Herman and his team had planned for. His departure is something that will be monitored from now until he officially leaves Houston, and once he does, the program will only have dreams of what its 2016 campaign could have been.

Happier Valley

Entering the game as underdogs and trailing 21-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, Penn State’s backs were against the wall in a matchup with bitter ranked rival Ohio State. Through some major plays on special teams, the Nittany Lions suddenly found themselves with a 24-21 lead over the No. 2 team in the country, eventually pulling out what could be the upset of the year.

With the loss, Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are ranked outside of the top four after weeks of being one of college football’s most dominate teams. This weekend’s upset over Ohio State is a win that brings Penn State back into conversations of college football.

Seated at No. 24 in the nation and through a process of time, healing and the hiring of new coach James Franklin, it appears the program will remain relevant and successful moving forward.

Follow Noah Sonnet on Twitter.

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