Texas Tech Red Raiders

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 09:  Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a touchdown by running back Wayne Gallman #9 (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Deshaun Watson claims back-to-back Manning Awards

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Deshaun Watson may be off to the NFL, but he’s taking one more piece of collegiate hardware with him.

Thursday, the Allstate Sugar Bowl announced that Watson, one of 10 finalists, has been named as the recipient of the 2016 Manning Award.  The Clemson quarterback won the Manning after the 2015 season, making him the first player to win the award in back-to-back seasons.

The other finalists for this year’s Manning Award were: J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), Jake Browning (Washington), Sam Darnold (USC), Luke Falk (Washington State), Jalen Hurts (Alabama), Lamar Jackson (Louisville), Patrick Mahomes II (Texas Tech), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) and Zach Terrell (Western Michigan).  Seven of those 10 finalists (Barrett, Browning, Darnold, Falk, Hurts, Jackson, Mayfield) will return in 2017 with another opportunity to claim the Manning.

The award, named in honor of the quarterbacking Mannings — Archie, Peyton and Eli — is the only one to take into account a player’s performance in the postseason.  And what a postseason performance it was for Watson.

In the national championship game win over defending champ Alabama, Watson accounted for 463 yards of offense and four touchdowns against the vaunted Crimson Tide defense.  It was the perfect ending for a stellar collegiate career.

“Over the years, we have seen so many tremendous performances in the postseason, and this year we saw Deshaun Watson turn in an amazing two-game playoff performance,” said Archie Manning in a statement. “When the Allstate Sugar Bowl created the Manning Award in 2004, one of the key components was to recognize achievements throughout the entire year, including bowls, and now the playoff. This year is a prime example of why we do that.”

A Heisman finalist each of the past two seasons — some would say if the Heisman followed the Manning lead and voted after the postseason he would’ve won at least one — Watson also claimed the Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas quarterbacking awards.  He also won the former in 2015.

Texas Tech suspends QB Jett Duffey for spring, summer

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 25:   The Texas Tech Red Raiders flag flies outside the stadium before the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys September 25, 2014 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys defeated the Red Raiders 45-35.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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Before it’s even really gotten started, the competition to replace Patrick Mahomes under center at Texas Tech has, for the foreseeable, been whittled by one.

A Tech spokesperson has confirmed that Jett Duffey has been suspended and will remain that way through the spring semester and on into the summer semester.  The unspecified punishment was levied by the university and not the football program.

Duffey would be eligible to return from his suspension for the fall semester, although even that doesn’t guarantee he will be back with the Red Raiders.

“That, I couldn’t tell you,” a school official told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal when asked about Duffy’s future at Tech as both a student and football player. “I can tell you he is suspended only for those two semesters.”

A three-star member of the Red Raiders’ 2016 recruiting class, Duffey was rated as the No. 17 dual-threat quarterback in the country. He took a redshirt as a true freshman after enrolling early at the school and taking part in spring practice.

Mahomes’ backup, Nic Shimonek, is the favorite to be the Red Raiders’ starter, although Duffey was expected to, at least initially, be a part of the competition. JUCO transfer McLane Carter and Xavier Martin, an incoming 2017 recruit committed to Tech, are also expected to be a part of whatever battle transpires for the starting job.

Mahomes announced Tuesday that he would be leaving Tech early for the NFL.

NFL calls, Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes picks up

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 12: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes II #5 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders looks to pass as offensive lineman Paul Stawarz #76 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders blocks against Oklahoma State during the first half of a NCAA football game November 12, 2016 at Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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You can add another talented junior quarterback to the 2017 NFL draft pool.

As most had expected, Patrick Mahomes announced Tuesday that he has decided to forego his remaining eligibility at Texas Tech and will instead take his talents to the next level.  According to Mahomes, he received a second-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee, making it an easier decision than it may have otherwise been.

Mahomes will be represented by Leigh Steinberg, who was in attendance for the announcement in Lubbock.

Mahomes’ 5,052 yards passing this season were first nationally while his 41 touchdown passes were tied for third. He was fourth (4,653) and tied for sixth (36) in those two categories in 2015.

The 6-3, 230-pound junior finishes his Red Raiders career with 11,252 yards passing, 93 touchdowns and just 29 interceptions in over 1,300 pass attempts.

Ex-Texas Tech RB Corey Dauphine confirms transfer to Tulane

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 10:  Running back Corey Dauphine #21 and wide receiver Jonathan Giles #9 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders huddle up before the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Eight weeks after leaving Texas Tech, Corey Dauphine has found a new college football home.

On his personal Twitter account Wednesday night, Dauphine (pictured, No. 21) confirmed that he will continue his collegiate playing career at Tulane.  The running back will have to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws.

In 2018, Dauphine would then see the field for the first of his two remaining seasons of eligibility.

A four-star 2015 recruit, Dauphine was rated as the No. 18 running back in the country and the No. 31 player at any position in the state of Texas. He was the highest-rated Red Raider recruit on the offensive side of the ball.

Dauphine chose Tech over offers from, among others, Baylor, Florida, Michigan, TCU, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Dauphine had two carries for 25 yards and a touchdown in 2016. He appeared in a total of three games.

Big 12 reveals 2017 schedule, sets Big 12 championship game for Dec. 2

NORMAN, OK - DECEMBER 3: Members of the Oklahoma Sooners hold up the Bedlam Trophy after the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys December 3, 2016 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State 38-20 to become Big XII champions. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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The Big 12 pulled back the curtain on the 2017 conference schedule, a nine-game conference scheduling format now complete with a conference championship game. The 2017 Big 12 schedule has set the date for the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday, December 2.

Because the Big 12 does not have a division format, the Big 12 will place the top two teams in conference play in the conference championship game, which will return to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (AT&T Stadium will host the Big 12 title game through 2021). So, if this model was in place for the 2016 season, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would have played two weeks in a row. The Sooners and Cowboys played the regular season finale in a de facto Big 12 championship game as the top two teams in the Big 12, which Oklahoma won. So the Sooners would have had to win the outright regular season championship and then beat the same team once more the following week in order to officially be crowned Big 12 champion. But hey, one true champion. Right?

Some notes from the Big 12 conference schedule for 2017:

  • Big 12 play opens on September 23 with West Virginia at Kansas, Oklahoma at Baylor and TCU at Oklahoma State
  • Oklahoma-Texas is on October 14
  • Texas vs. Baylor on October 28 (New coaches Tom Herman vs. Matt Rhule for the first time since 2015 AAC Championship Game)
  • Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State on November 4. No more Bedlam in the final game of the season? Boo.
  • Texas vs. Kansas on November 11. The extremely rare revenge game for the Longhorns.
  • Oklahoma vs. West Virginia on November 25.

You can see and review the entire 2017 Big 12 schedule HERE. Once TV partners start to get involved, some dates are likely to change once games are selected for Thursday or Friday night broadcasts.