As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.
A righteous salute
Daniel Rodriguez earned a Purple Heart and was awarded the Bronze Star for his military service in Afghanistan several years ago. Rodriguez moved on to become a wide receiver at Clemson, walking on to the Tigers football team after serving two tours of duty. For those of you who aren’t familiar with his heartwarming story, you should be. For those who are, there’s another chapter to add to it. In the Tigers’ home finale Saturday, Rodriguez caught the first touchdown of his career, a two-yarder from backup Cole Stoudt less than a minute into the fourth quarter. The best part? The touchdown came on a Senior Day that also doubled as Military Appreciation Day. A bona-fide war hero scores a touchdown on a day that honors the military? It doesn’t get much better than that. And, dammit, it got dusty in here when that highlight came across my television screen. God bless Rodriguez for his service. And God bless Dabo Swinney for not only giving Rodriguez the opportunity to write this story, but for allowing him to add this on-field chapter to it.
OSU wins, as does OSU
Thanks to a team with the same acronym, Ohio State can stuff the phrase “style points” back in the closet for at least another year. With Oklahoma State’s win over Baylor, the Buckeyes are now the clear-cut No. 3 team in the country, perched just outside of the Top Two and awaiting a stumble — either on the field or off — by Alabama or Florida State to clear a spot in the BCS title game — provided they remain perfect, of course. The Bears had been poised to leapfrog the Buckeyes in the BCS rankings with a win over the No. 10 Cowboys, standing just .0013 percentage points behind OSU entering Week 13. Now, not only has BU lost out on what most certainly would’ve been a No. 3 slotting in this week’s BCS rankings, but they’ve given up control of the conference as well. That honor, of course, now falls to the “other” OSU. If the Cowboys can upend Oklahoma in the annual Bedlam matchup Dec. 7, they would claim the Big 12’s automatic BCS bid. If the Cowboys loses, the winner of the Texas-Baylor game the same weekend — if the Longhorns handle Texas Tech on Thanksgiving and the Bears do the same with TCU two days later — would claim the conference title and the BCS berth. And if there were a three-way tie? Oklahoma State, on the strength of head-to-head wins over Baylor and Texas, would win the tiebreaker and the conference title.