Marshall Thundering Herd

BOWLING GREEN, KY - DECEMBER 5:  Brandon Doughty #12 and Nacarius Fant #1 of the WKU Hilltoppers celebrates with the Championship Trophy after a game against the Southern Miss Golden Eagle at Houchens-Smith Stadium on December 5, 2015 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  The Hilltoppers defeated the Golden Eagles 45-28.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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Western Kentucky to host Louisiana Tech in C-USA title game

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Not surprisingly, Western Kentucky will get the opportunity to add to its conference hardware collection.

As we entered Week 13, all Western Kentucky needed to do was take care of business against 3-8 Marshall to get back to the Conference USA championship.  Saturday evening in Huntington, the Hilltoppers did just that, outscoring the Herd 28-0 in the first quarter on their way to a 60-6 woodshedding.

Old Dominion would have represented the East with a win over FIU Saturday, which they checked off their to-do list, and a WKU loss.

This will mark WKU’s second consecutive East division title, and its second straight appearance in the league title game. WKU beat Southern Miss in last year’s championship game, so the Hilltoppers have the opportunity to join East Carolina, now in the AAC, as the only Conference USA teams to repeat as champions since the conference went to the title game format in 2005.

WKU will face West champ Louisiana Tech, which will be making its second title game appearance the last three years and will be looking for its first win in the game.

Thanks to Tech’s loss to Southern Miss earlier Saturday, this year’s game will, again, be played at WKU’s home stadium in Bowling Green.  The game is scheduled to kick off next Saturday at noon ET.

2016 College Football Bowl Projections after Week 12

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 12: The Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate after defeating the Maryland Terrapins, 62-3, at Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium on November 12, 2016 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Week 12 in college football is in the books and, while it was not quite as wild as the week before, it still had a number of big upsets that shook up the postseason picture. Everybody is deservedly talking about the playoff path for several teams but numerous rivalry games and a handful of conference title games mean there are a ton of key games left on the docket.

With all that in mind, CFTalk decided to peer into our crystal ball and see how every game the rest of the year plays out and which teams wind up in certain bowl games. Running through all the scenarios, here’s how the bowl picture could play out from the final four to the very first one on December 17:

College Football Playoff

Bowl Teams
Peach Bowl No. 1 Alabama No. 4 Washington
Fiesta Bowl No. 2 Clemson No. 3 Ohio State

New Year’s Six

Bowl Teams
Rose Bowl Wisconsin USC
Sugar Bowl Oklahoma Tennessee
Orange Bowl Louisville Michigan
Cotton Bowl Penn State Navy

2016 FBS Bowl Games

Bowl Teams
New Mexico Bowl UTSA New Mexico
Las Vegas Bowl Arizona State San Diego State
Cure Bowl S. Alabama No. Illinois
Camellia Bowl Appalachian State Toledo
New Orleans Bowl Arkansas State Louisiana Tech
Miami Beach Bowl UCF Central Michigan
Boca Raton Bowl Western Kentucky Memphis
Poinsettia Bowl BYU Wyoming
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Colorado State Miami (OH)
Bahamas Bowl Ohio Old Dominion
Armed Forces Bowl Tulsa Army
Dollar General Bowl Troy Western Michigan
Hawaii Bowl Middle Tenn. State Hawaii
St. Petersburg Bowl South Florida N.C. State
Quick Lane Bowl Maryland Eastern Michigan
Independence Bowl South Carolina Boston College
Heart of Dallas Bowl North Texas Vanderbilt
Military Bowl Georgia Tech Temple
Holiday Bowl Iowa Stanford
Cactus Bowl Baylor Boise State
Pinstripe Bowl Northwestern Pitt
Russell Athletic Bowl Florida State West Virginia
Foster Farms Bowl Indiana Washington State
Texas Bowl Texas A&M TCU
Birmingham Bowl Kentucky Houston
Belk Bowl Ole Miss Wake Forest
Alamo Bowl Oklahoma State Colorado
Liberty Bowl LSU Kansas State
Sun Bowl North Carolina Utah
Music City Bowl Minnesota Georgia
TaxSlayer Bowl Miami (FL) Auburn
Outback Bowl Nebraska Arkansas
Citrus Bowl Virginia Tech Florida
Arizona Bowl Idaho Air Force

With seven more, Lamar Jackson has more TDs than all but ONE FBS team

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) awaits the snap during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Huntington, W. Va., Saturday Sept. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Walter Scriptunas II)
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With the final games of the first month of the 2016 season being quickly put to bed, we can officially hand the September Heisman Trophy to Lamar Jackson.  In an utter and absolute landslide.

The Louisville quarterback’s ridiculous, video game-like month has officially come to an end, with Jackson accounting for seven touchdowns in a 59-28 win over Marshall in Huntington.  The true sophomore threw for five touchdowns and ran for another two in a performance that did nothing but show how remarkably easy the game is for Jackson right now even as he “struggled” early on.

With this showing, Jackson has now accounted for 25 touchdowns on the season — 13 passing, 12 rushing.

Remarkably, Jackson now has more touchdowns individually than all but one team — aside from his own — playing at the FBS level.  That one team?  Michigan, with 28.  USF, with 25 as a team that played this week, is tied with Jackson as an individual.

I guess you could technically add an asterisk to the “one team” theme as Texas Tech (25), Ohio State (23) and Miami (21) were all on byes this weekend.  And I’m also going under the assumption that Washington (19 entering Week 4) won’t get beyond 25, even as they are currently tied 14-14 with Arizona at halftime.

Still, the numbers Jackson is putting up are historic and epic, and that was even before he added Nos. 6 and 7.

I have no clue how Jackson will close out the season, but I do know that, at the moment, there’s the Cardinals’ signal-caller and then there’s everybody else when it comes to the 2016 Heisman race.  Just as it was exactly a week ago.

Concussion to reportedly keep Marshall starting QB out vs. Louisville

BOWLING GREEN, KY - NOVEMBER 27: Chase Litton #14 of the Marshall Thundering Herd looks to pass while under pressure from Jontavious Morris #3 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the first half of the game at L.T. Smith Stadium on November 27, 2015 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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If Marshall is live up to the awe-inspiring hype video released earlier in the week, the Thundering Herd will be forced to do so without the triggerman of their offense.

While there’s nothing yet official from the school, ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy is reporting — or tweeting, if you will — that Chase Litton will not play in tonight’s game against Louisville because of a concussion.  The quarterback sustained the concussion during last Saturday’s loss to Akron.

Litton is currently ninth in the country with a 181.7 pass efficiency rating.  That number is tops amongst Conference USA quarterbacks.

Rumors of an issue with Litton surfaced earlier in the week, speculation that was reflected in the wagering lines.

With Litton apparently sidelined, the Herd will turn to Garet Morrell.  A true freshman, Morrell has attempted eight passes the first two games of the season.

At least one bit of good news for Morrell in making his first career start against the third-ranked team in the country is that it will be played in the friendly confines of home in Huntington.

If hype videos meant anything, Louisville wouldn’t stand a chance against Marshall

HUNTINGTON, WV - DECEMBER 06: Remi Watson #8, Kevin Rodriguez #35, and Stefan Houston #3 of the Marshall Thundering Herd take the field before their game against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Joan C. Edwards Stadium during the Conference USA championship game on December 6, 2014 in Huntington, West Virginia. The Thundering Herd defeated the Bulldogs 26-23. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Oddsmakers don’t give Marshall much if any chance of hanging with Louisville much less upsetting them later on today, with Bovada.lv installing the Cardinals as a four-touchdown road favorite.  The television networks don’t think much of the Thundering Herd’s chances, either, with ESPN employees already confirming that their College GameDay traveling road show will originate from Clemson for their huge Week 5 ACC Atlantic showdown with the U of L.

Don’t tell that to the Herd, or at least their video department Wes Wilson (follow him on Twitter HERE).

The football program earlier this past week unleashed a very emotional hype video ahead of the non-conference matchup, with the three-minute clip invoking the sights, sounds and words from the “We Are Marshall” film that pays tribute to the plane crash that gutted the football team’s roster and the university’s psyche.  Most pointedly, the clip makes mention of Marshall’s 2003 upset of sixth-ranked Kansas State; Louisville enters this game ranked third in the country.

Watch, and enjoy.

That masterful piece of cinema will do nothing to stop the Lamar Jackson juggernaut, but, if nothing else, it should serve to fire up a home crowd that will do its damnedest to help pull off the upset.

(Writer’s note: I just want to personally apologize to Wes Wilson for not realizing initially that was his work, not the school’s.  Also, job very well done, Mr. Wilson.  That was tremendous.)