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
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
No. 1 Alabama
No. 4 Washington
No. 2 Clemson
No. 3 Ohio State
New Year’s Six
2016 FBS Bowl Games
New Mexico Bowl
Las Vegas Bowl
San Diego State
New Orleans Bowl
Miami Beach Bowl
Boca Raton Bowl
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Armed Forces Bowl
Dollar General Bowl
Middle Tenn. State
St. Petersburg Bowl
Quick Lane Bowl
Heart of Dallas Bowl
Russell Athletic Bowl
Foster Farms Bowl
Music City Bowl
With seven more, Lamar Jackson has more TDs than all but ONE FBS team
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.
Lamar Jackson (@UofLFootball): responsible for 5 TD tonight, giving him 23 through 4 games, more than any other FBS player since 2005
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.
Our current Heisman Top Three:
1.) Lamar Jackson
2.) Jackson, Lamar
3.) That Louisville QB
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.
Louisville price has quietly leaked out all week for their trip to Marshall (-23.5 to -30.5) which makes sense w/Chase Litton updated status
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 departmentWes 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.)