Can Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray win a Heisman Trophy and become an MLB All-Star? Should Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa comedy this anniversary adjoin The Citadel? And what about Anniversary 12’s must-watch games? Adam Kramer explores what’s accident in academy football in his account notebook, the Thursday Tailgate.
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Kyler Murray shouldn’t be accomplishing this. He shouldn’t be disturbing Big 12 defenses on a account base or barging into the Heisman Trophy conversation. He shouldn’t be aggravating to somehow blast the Academy Football Playoff. And he absolutely shouldn’t be authoritative the assignment of replacing Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 all-embracing aces in the 2018 NFL draft, attending as accessible as he has.
But two-plus months into the season, Oklahoma’s inferior starting quarterback has done aloof that. Murray, not Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, is the highest-rated QB in the nation. In 10 games, Murray has accounted for 39 touchdowns, befuddled abandoned bristles interceptions, anesthetized for 3,038 yards and run for 640 more.
As ablaze as Tagovailoa has been, Murray is advanced of him in aloof about every statistical category. And Tagovailoa is not alone. Murray is additionally on clip to blast the single-season casual ability record, a mark Mayfield set aftermost season.
Still, some catechism whether he has any business accomplishing this to activate with.
This accomplished spring, Murray, an outfielder on Oklahoma’s baseball team, was called by the Oakland Athletics with the No. 9 all-embracing aces in 2018 MLB draft. While that concluded his academy baseball career, NCAA rules allows an amateur to accumulate accommodation in added sports.
The top-10 abstract cachet netted him a signing benefit of $4.66 million, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis.
“He will be one of the best athletes in our bold aback he enters,” the carnality admiral of amateur cadre for one MLB aggregation told B/R. “He will accomplish some highlight plays with his cuff in the outfield. He additionally has top-of-the-line bat acceleration and avenue acceleration for abeyant home run and extra-base production.
“He looks like a Heisman applicant and a approaching MLB All-Star candidate.”
When Murray was called in the MLB draft, the acceptance was he would never comedy addition bottomward of football. Afore he accustomed at Oklahoma, Murray accomplished 43-0 as the starting quarterback for Allen High Academy in Allen, Texas. But aftermost season, he was featured predominantly in cleanup assignment abaft Mayfield.
His accommodation to abide arena football was met with surprise. Not aloof by those who wondered whether he should accident it, but additionally by some in baseball who were afraid to see if the A’s selection was a acute one.
“I don’t anticipate it is a astute best for his baseball career,” says an MLB advance of Murray’s accommodation to focus this division on a altered sport. “He needs ABs. I anticipate it will bassinet development.”
While that could prove true, it does not assume to affair Murray. Few football players action the affectionate of action he does on every rep. A mix of architecture and attenuate athleticism, Murray has anesthetized for at atomic 300 yards all but three amateur this year.
When asked, NFL scouts could action little on the quarterback. Simply put, they see no acumen to bankrupt assets on a amateur they accept they won’t accept to appraise for their sport.
Before the season, Murray’s agent, Scott Boras, told The Able-bodied that Murray would comedy quarterback at Oklahoma abandoned for the 2018 division and that his baseball career had a “very authentic path.”
Murray has been mum on his future. Whether that includes addition year at Oklahoma or conceivably an abrupt detour to the NFL—a aisle far altered than the one his abettor laid out—will acceptable be bent in the months ahead. That is, continued afterwards the Big 12 Conference is absitively and the Heisman is awarded afterward chase that aback feels added aggressive than it has in months.
At a time aback some of the sport’s stars are accomplishing whatever accessible to absolute acknowledgment to injury, Murray, whose baseball signing benefit rivals the annual bacon of Lincoln Riley, who will accomplish $4.8 actor to drillmaster Oklahoma this season, is arena out of adulation for his academy and position.
That ability not be the case for abundant longer. So until it changes, adore him while you can.
So…Who Should Be the Next Drillmaster at Louisville?
On Sunday, Louisville kicked off its apprenticeship chase in ardent by battlefront Bobby Petrino, beneath than two years afterwards he guided above Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson to the Heisman.
Given the 2-8 almanac and the actuality that the Cardinals had accustomed up 291 credibility in their accomplished bristles games, a change acquainted inevitable. Louisville will be on the angle to pay Petrino a buyout that is “estimated in the $14 actor range,” according to Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports.
So who should alter him? That’s easy. It should be Purdue’s Jeff Brohm.
This is not a bad idea, alike if it’s an accessible one. In fact, it’s a accomplished idea.
Even admitting Brohm’s aggregation aloof absent 41-10 at Minnesota in one of the added camp after-effects of the year, adorable the Purdue arch drillmaster aback to his hometown would be a ablaze move. He was there. He played quarterback there. And afore he became one of the sport’s best coveted coaches, he formed there.
The Cardinals would acutely be captivated to acceptable him home, although they apparently won’t be abandoned in gluttonous his services. (And the amount tag for an able-bodied administration on the angle for a ample buyout in football while additionally ashore in a acknowledged action with above basketball drillmaster Rick Pitino over banking advantage could become an issue. Or conceivably not.)
Other arch coaches who’d be account pursuing: Dino Babers (Syracuse), Luke Fickell (Cincinnati), Mike Norvell (Memphis), Neal Brown (Troy) and Clemson arresting coordinator Brent Venables.
Should Tua Tagovailoa Comedy This Week?
No. That should be the end of it. Tagovailoa should be kept in balloon blanket until the Iron Basin on Nov. 24.
Against Mississippi State, afterwards actuality pressured throughout abundant of the aboriginal half, Tagovailoa was hit low and agape out of the bold in the third quarter. The adapted knee abrasion that’s bedeviled him throughout abundant of the year seemed to be the account of his departure. And while Alabama arch drillmaster Nick Saban has played bottomward the injury’s severity, he additionally fabricated it assume like Tagovailoa will comedy this anniversary adjoin The Citadel, the Crimson Tide’s grossly overmatched Anniversary 12 opponent.
You could comedy quarterback for Alabama this week. Yes, you. And Saban’s aggregation would be fine. As Jalen Hurts recovers from accessory abate surgery, third-string quarterback Mac Jones, who has completed bristles throws this year, should booty every rep.
Could this abnormally appulse Tagovailoa’s Heisman candidacy? Perhaps. But alike if he played, would two or three touchdowns in beneath than a bisected accomplish any difference? There will affluence of added opportunities for Tagovailoa to allowance the accord in the weeks ahead.
Five Amateur to Watch This Weekend
Historically, the weekend afore Thanksgiving is ablaze on arresting matchups. That is a affable way of adage the all-embracing slate of football amateur is about bad, and this year is no exception. Still, it is football, and we are active out of weekends. Cherish every one. Plus, while the all-embracing slate ability be lacking, a bold with above Academy Football Playoff implications will booty place.
Here’s what you should watch in Anniversary 12, abbreviated in tweet-length form. (All bold times Eastern, and all rankings address of the Academy Football Playoff alternative committee).
No. 12 Syracuse vs. No. 3 Notre Dame (Saturday, 2:30 p.m.): They will comedy in Yankee Stadium, an odd accomplishments for the second-to-last leg in Notre Dame’s playoff push. Washington State, Oklahoma and West Virginia admirers will accept a abutting eye on this. Win and Notre Dame is (almost) in.
No. 16 Iowa State at No. 15 Texas (Saturday, 8 p.m): Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger is putting up the best division that not abounding are talking about, accounting for 29 touchdowns while throwing abandoned two interceptions. The Longhorns, meanwhile, attending reborn, although a few added wins would go a continued way adjoin acknowledging that.
No. 24 Cincinnati at No. 11 UCF (Saturday, 8 p.m.): The best bold that far too abounding won’t watch will affection teams with a accumulated almanac of 18-1. Maybe a lighter agenda will accord these two the adapted spotlight they deserve. Also, did you apperceive the aftermost time UCF absent was December 17, 2016? Yeah. That was a long, continued time ago.
No. 9 West Virginia at Oklahoma State (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.): It’s apparently activity to get weird. There will apparently be 75 to 100 credibility scored. And in Stillwater, the Pokes are a blackmail to derail West Virginia’s advance to the playoff. Oh, and the corresponding arch coaches’ unique, amazing hairstyles will be on abounding display. This will be fun.
UAB at Texas A&M (Saturday, 7 p.m.): There are cases to be fabricated for added amateur in this fifth spot, but at 9-1 and two years removed from not accepting a football program, UAB warrants as abounding eyeballs as possible. The Blazers arch to the SEC for their toughest bold of the year. An agitated seems absurd but still feasible.
What Else to Watch This Weekend
First, the Camp State of the Action for Los Angeles
At 2-8, UCLA is arena for the future. At 5-5, USC is arena for basin eligibility. Oh, and the Trojans’ Clay Helton ability be apprenticeship for his future. (Though some would altercate that this has already been decided.)
UCLA has looked bigger in contempo weeks, but its almanac is difficult to ignore. USC, beginning off its third accident in four games, looks like it’s bottomward added and added abroad from what it already was. That is not absolutely a campanology endorsement for a bold that should feel abundant bigger than it does, but there you accept it.
The acceptable news? These are some of the best-looking uniforms in football, and the challenge will attending abundant on television behindhand of the affection of play.
Second, the Sneaky-Good Bold of the Week: Arizona-Washington State
Somewhat quietly, afterwards a adverse start, Arizona is 5-5. Coming off his best bold of the year and a bye, quarterback Khalil Tate ability be award his way in drillmaster Kevin Sumlin’s offense.
Cougars drillmaster Mike Leach, meanwhile, acclaimed a achievement at Colorado by throwing on a affected mustache in his postgame interview. He had a little advice from his starting quarterback, Gardner Minshew II, whose mustache is actual absolute and spectacular.
Given the likelihood of a ample cardinal of credibility and the actuality that Wazzu’s playoff possibilities are still on the line, this late-night affray (Saturday, 10:30 p.m.) is account blockage up for.
Gambling Locks of the Week
Last Week: 3-4
Season to date: 34-29-2
I would like to acknowledge LSU active aback Nick Brossette for alienated scoring a touchdown backward in the bold adjoin Arkansas. It helped me deliver a accident anniversary that could’ve been worse.
As for this week, it’s time to get right. Actuality are this week’s (winning) picks, application curve provided by OddsShark.
Wake Forest ( 7) vs. Pittsburgh: Acknowledge you, Pitt, for the awning aftermost week. However, this is area we go our abstracted ways.
Missouri (-6) at Tennessee: I pulled Tennessee out of the picks at the aftermost additional aftermost weekend, and I affliction it. This week, we’re acrimonious adjoin the Vols, accustomed the able achievability of a letdown.
Oklahoma State ( 4.5) vs. West Virginia: This could able-bodied be Bedlam 2.0. Final score: Oklahoma State 48, West Virginia 45.
UCLA ( 3.5) vs. USC: Addition able agitated achievability here. Booty Chip Kelly and the points.
Fresno State (-13) vs. San Diego State: Despite Fresno’s accident to Boise State aftermost week, I am a huge accepter in the Bulldogs. They’ll win big at home.
Minnesota ( 2.5) vs. Northwestern: Yes, I best Iowa aftermost week. Yes, Northwestern covered and won outright. Yes, I am activity aback to the well.
B/R’s Scott Miller contributed to this report.
Adam Kramer covers academy football for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @KegsnEggs.
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