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Week 13 College Football Recap And Top Performers

The most anticipated week in any college football season is Rivalry Week. The edition from this year was no different.

This past week was unforgettable, whether it was the historic Big Ten rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State or the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn.

More importantly, we were given the matchups for this year's conference championship. From this, we should gain a better idea of which four teams will be selected for the college football playoffs.

So many things transpired this week, so let's dive into everything we learned from the week that was.


What Did We Learn After Week 13?

The Big Game - Ohio State vs. Michigan

One of the questions we had coming into this contest was this: if Ohio State was incapable of beating Michigan with C.J. Stroud as the quarterback, how were they going to manage to beat them this year with a quarterback like Kyle McCord?

At first, it didn't seem that way as McCord threw the game's first interception, which Michigan eventually turned into a touchdown. Then you had Michigan's second touchdown, though it was a little controversial; the throw executed by J.J. McCarthy was the type you see on Sundays in the NFL. Then, McCord responded on the next series with a beautiful touchdown drive to put Ohio State back in the game. By halftime, McCord had 156 passing yards and the momentum.

In the second half, Ohio State tied the game and was in control. For those who have watched this game in the last two years, there always seems to be a moment where the momentum swings to the opposing team. That moment came at the expense of Michigan's All-American lineman and leader, Zak Zinter, who was carted off the field with a serious leg injury. After an emotional few minutes, Blake Corum responded with his second rushing touchdown of the game to take the lead. From that point on, you knew Ohio State was going to lose.

True enough, they scored to make it 27-24, and they had a chance to make a late run, but Michigan put an end to that with an interception with a few seconds remaining to seal the win. What makes this loss demoralizing for Ohio State is the fact that Jim Harbaugh was not on the sidelines.

Thus, Michigan advances to the Big Ten championship game for the third year in a row. After the Selection Committee announces the playoff teams again on Tuesday, Ohio State will once again be a spectator like everyone else, hoping they don't lose their spot in the postseason. What will happen to Ryan Day after this defeat, one must wonder?

  • Speaking of a playoff spot, Jalen Milroe's last-minute heroics against Auburn are why Alabama has an opportunity to make this happen. All they have to do now is somehow beat Georgia in next week's SEC title game, a task that is easier said than done. 

  • Another team that should not be disregarded in the playoff picture is Florida State. Even though they loss their Jordan Travis for the season, they still pulled off a big win over Florida. Now at 12-0, a win in the ACC title game next week could place them back in their old playoff spot.

  • If any head coach is deserving of this year's Paul "Bear" Bryant Award, it's Steve Sarkisian. Not only did he guide his Texas team to a spot in this year's Big 12 title match, he completely turned around a program that had been on the decline for more than a decade. Had it not been for their loss against Oklahoma in October, they would have a spot in the college football playoff.

  • Speaking of Oklahoma, they may not see a playoff game this season, but they do merit a chance to play for the Big 12 title against Texas. Plus, Dillon Gabriel is an incredible talent at quarterback that we deserve to watch at least one last time.

  • Bo Nix and his Oregon Ducks defeated Oregon State to secure a berth in the Pac-12 championship game this year. If you saw that game, you should be completely convinced that Nix deserves to win the Heisman Trophy this year.

  • Miami's win over Boston College ensures Mario Cristobal a winning season. Yet, one has to wonder what could have been if they had not had that three-game losing streak late in the season or the mishap at the end of the Georgia Tech game. Better question: what is happening with Tyler Van Dyke?

  • The only reason why this year's "Egg Bowl" between Ole Miss and Mississippi State is even being mentioned, is because it was one of the worst games of the season. Ole Miss won, moving on!

  • Despite finishing 10-2, Penn State's season was arguably a disappointment as they failed to beat the two teams that could have given them real credibility: Ohio State and Michigan. As a consequence, they won't be featured in this year's Big Ten title game, let alone this year's playoffs. For head coach James Franklin, it's another offseason to re-evaluate where this program is going.

  • Missouri may not be participating in this year's SEC title game, but their overall performance this season bodes well for next season when the playoff expands to 12 teams. They will be one of those teams that have a chance of getting in.

  • Considering the fact that the Toledo Rockets finished their season at 10-1, they deserve more respect than a poultry No. 23 ranking. They are good enough to match up against any team ranked from 11th to 22nd. That said, they are a team to watch next season.

  • We should always commend a team that finishes the season with a 9-2 record. In the case of the Iowa Hawkeyes, the way they did it was so underwhelming, we don't know what to make of it.

  • Worth noting, the Liberty Flames are 12-0 and deserve their flowers for a phenomenal season.


2023 Conference Championship Matchups

Pac-12 Championship Game: #6 Oregon vs. #4 Washington

SEC Championship Game: #1 Georgia vs. #8 Alabama

ACC Championship Game: #10 Louisville vs. #5 Florida State

Big Ten Championship Game: #3 Michigan vs. #16 Iowa

Big 12 Championship Game: #20 Oklahoma State vs. #7 Texas

Sun Belt Championship Game: Appalachian State vs. Troy

Conference USA Championship Game: New Mexico State vs. #25 Liberty

MAC Championship Game: Miami OH vs. Toledo

AAC Championship Game: SMU vs. #23 Tulane

Mountain West Championship Game: TBD vs. TBD


Week 13 Top Performers

Gold Level

QB Noah Fifita - Arizona

RB Ollie Gordon - Oklahoma State

QB Jalen Milroe - Alabama

RB Audric Estime - Notre Dame

WR Tetairoa McMillan - Arizona

CB Terrion Arnold - Alabama

QB Dillon Gabriel - Oklahoma

QB Bo Nix - Oregon

QB Joe Milton III - Tennessee

RB Abu Sama III - Iowa State

QB Jayden Daniels - LSU

CB Jason Marshall Jr. - Florida

LB Javontae Jean-Baptiste - Notre Dame

WR Rome Odunze - Washington

RB Gavin Sawchuk - Oklahoma

LB Marist Liufau - Notre Dame

DB Dillon Thieneman - Purdue

LB Chuck Hicks - Missouri

RB Cody Schrader - Missouri

LB J.J. Weaver - Kentucky

QB Josh Hoover - TCU

DE Nic Scourton - Purdue

RB Peny Boone - Toledo

DE Judge Culpepper - Toledo

LB Abdul Carter - Penn State

Silver Level

- Offense -

WR Amad Anderson jr.- Temple

WR Marvin Harrison jr. - Ohio State

RB Blake Corum - Michigan

QB Preston Stone - SMU

QB Taulia Tagovailoa - Maryland

WR Malik Nabers - LSU

WR Ramel Keyton - Tennessee

QB Hudson Card - Purdue

QB TJ Finley - Texas State

WR Ashtyn Hawkins - Texas State

QB E.j. Warner - Temple

WR Jacob Cowing - Arizona

RB Emani Bailey - TCU

WR Tai Felton - Rutgers

WR Drake Stoops - Oklahoma

RB Henry Parrish jr. - Miami

RB Jaydon Blue - Texas

QB Seth Henigan - Memphis

WR Troy Franklin - Oregon

WR Tez Johnson - Oregon

QB Tyler Van dyke - Miami

RB Kaytron Allen - Penn State

QB Thomas Castellanos - Boston College

QB Drew Allar - Penn State

- Defense -

LB Jamoi Hodge - TCU

DT Aeneas Peebles - Duke

DB Rod Moore - Michigan

LB Dallas Turner - Alabama

DE Cameron Robertson - SMU

DB R.j. Oben - Duke

DL Jack Sawyer - Ohio State

LB Mohamed Toure - Rutgers

DL Mason Graham - Michigan

DB Will Johnson - Michigan

LB D'eryk Jackson - Kentucky

S Kam Pedescleaux - Tulane

S James Williams - Miami

LB Curtis Jacobs - Penn State

LB D'andre Ragin - Toledo

LB Adisa Isaac - Penn State

LB Francisco Mauigoa - Miami

DL Keith Cooper Jr. - Tulane

DL Patrick Jenkins - Tulane


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