ICYMI: 5 college football games and storylines you missed this weekend

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 16: Running back Jonathan Taylor #23 of the Wisconsin Badgers escapes the tackle of linebacker Mohamed Barry #7 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 16: Running back Jonathan Taylor #23 of the Wisconsin Badgers escapes the tackle of linebacker Mohamed Barry #7 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

In case you missed it, these are the five biggest college football games you likely didn’t see in Week 12 because you were fixated on Tua’s hip injury.

Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt

A game featuring two bottom-tier SEC teams is not exactly the most riveting football. Despite both team’s losing records prior to this game, Kentucky (4-5) and Vanderbilt (2-7), there was a whole lot of action, specifically for a young man named Lynn Bowden Jr

Bowden has evolved into the face of Kentucky football.

Following Terry Wilson III’s season-ending injury, Kentucky experimented with a revolving door of quarterbacks, landing on none other than… a wide receiver? Despite playing quarterback in high school, Bowden was Kentucky’s leader in receiving and returning yards and is now one of the leading rushers in the SEC.

Quite a mind-boggling thought, eh?

In Kentucky’s 38-14 win over Vanderbilt this Saturday, he showed why “Lynn Bowden” is a name you will be hearing again, likely in April. Lynn racked up 110 rushing yards and 104 passing yards to help the Wildcats amass 528 yards (401 of which were rushing) on 57 plays. All of this led to a QBR that would rank third in the SEC on the weekend, behind Heisman candidates Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow.

Let’s get to the point.

Bowden Jr. is a premier player in the SEC and the country and going unnoticed.

In the SEC, the former receiver/returner ranks seventh in total rush yards (822, 723 coming in the last five games at quarterback), fourth in yards from scrimmage (1,170), second in runs over 10 yards and first in all-purpose yards (1,423).

Long story short, Lynn Bowden is the single most valuable player to their team in all of NCAA football and while he is going largely unnoticed now, expect to become quite familiar with him soon.

USC vs. California

Regardless of record or how they finish out the season, the 2019 campaign has long since ended for the USC Trojans. USC’s season has become infested with “next year’s our year” and “we’ll be good once we give Helton the boot.”

Hey, maybe they’re right.

In fact, for the sake of Pac-12 football, I hope they’re right.

But when it comes down to it, what makes us believe it? Well, if anything, Saturday’s victory over California will serve as a glimmer of hope and a consolation prize for this season’s uninspired play.

As USC fans will eagerly tell you, their squad is young and talented.

Freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis notched four touchdowns on a Golden Bear’s defense that had only allowed nine prior to Saturday. His 406 yards is the third time in four games that he has eclipsed the 400-yard mark, a figure that Sam Darnold only accomplished once. At a minimum, Slovis’ performance shows the Trojans have talent, but most importantly, young talent.

Unfortunately, this talent will have to hit the pause button.

Upon the hiring of Cincinnati’s Mike Bohn as the new USC Athletic Director, it has become a foregone conclusion that after a decade Clay Helton has seen his last season in cardinal and gold. Names like Urban Meyer and James Franklin have been buzzing around Los Angeles, providing fans optimism for the future.

However, Saturday’s 41-17 rout over California offered a glimpse of what the Trojans should’ve, could’ve, and probably will be.

It was their third conference win by over 24 points. In any other season, the Trojans are clicking at just the right time. But for now, it doesn’t matter.

Will Mike Bohn recognize Helton’s season-ending efforts? Yes.

Does it matter? Yes, no, uh…maybe?

It’s a tough position for both Bohn and Helton. It is important to recognize a coach begins to click with his squad, a young, elite group, but this may be a case of too little, too late.

If you missed USC’s game this weekend, you probably don’t want to miss the drama surrounding Helton’s future.

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin

What should an athletic director do after their football team loses five out of their last six games?

Extend their head coach, obviously.

While you probably missed this Big Ten matchup, you probably saw the headline ‘Scott Frost extended two years through 2026′.

It is a headline as perplexing as it foolish.

Frost is 8-14 through his first 22 games as Nebraska’s head coach. His Cornhuskers conceded 482 yards on Saturday, 320 coming on the ground including a 204-yard performance from Heisman candidate Jonathan Taylor.

As mentioned above, the last six games have resulted in five losses: 7-48 vs. Ohio State, 7-34 vs. Minnesota, 31-38 vs. Indiana, 27-31 vs. Purdue, and Saturday’s 21-37 defeat vs. Wisconsin.

It seems as though the move from Nebraska is almost loyal to a fault. Frost has yet to prove himself both on a national stage and in the Big Ten.

For an outsider, it will be an interesting storyline to follow as the Cornhuskers close out their season.

For a Cornhusker, “In Frost We Trust.”

After all, he is a national championship coach, right?

Oklahoma State vs. Kansas

In Stillwater, there is little news other than Mike Gundy potentially missing the team’s flight for next weekend’s battle against West Virginia.

The good — Gundy’s drama finally doesn’t involve his hair.

The bad- you probably missed out on their game this weekend.

On Saturday, the No. 22 Cowboys moved to 7-3 after defeating Kansas in convincing fashion, 31-13. With a win, Oklahoma State extends their win streak to 3 after being temporarily derailed by Baylor and Texas Tech.

Saturday’s game reminded folks that Oklahoma State’s gritty, versatile attack is effective — barring a defensive catastrophe, the Cowboys can win games. As the season veers to its end, the Cowboys hold on to Big 12 Championship game hopes, sitting in third place.

If you missed it, this game was not teeming with drama. Defeating a 3-6 Kansas squad, even with Les Miles, isn’t exactly the most difficult task, however, this game has implications for the future.

Although it was against Kansas, the Cowboys proved they are not going anywhere. Every team has peaks and valleys, and Oklahoma State is peaking at the right time.

On November 30, the Cowboys will meet in primetime for a matchup with #8 Oklahoma.

Coincidentally, as you probably know, the Sooners also showed their prowess. They were the first team in the College Football Playoff era to come back from a 25-point deficit at halftime after 162 previous attempts. They have a veritable Heisman hopeful in Jalen Hurts and have a legitimate offensive powerhouse, racking up 368 yards on 58 plays in their second-half comeback against Baylor.

Keep your eyes on the Cowboys, especially in Week 14.

Louisville vs. NC State

The state of Kentucky has done a complete 180.

One year after a 10-3 season, the Kentucky Wildcats have yet to become bowl-eligible.

As for the Cardinals, one year after an abysmal 2-10 season, a bowl game is returning to Louisville.

Not enough can be said about Scott Satterfield’s job at Louisville this season. For a team picked last in their division in the preseason and Vegas setting the over/under at 2.5 wins prior to the season, Satterfield has exceeded expectations and then some.

The Cardinals are 2nd in the ACC Atlantic all while juggling injuries, oh, and they just beat NC State 34-20 to become bowl eligible.


While it doesn’t mean much for a layman, a turnaround of that magnitude, especially in a conference like the ACC is staggering. The Cardinals have games left against Syracuse and Kentucky,  two winnable games. There is a serious chance that Louisville can win out, improving to 8-4 and a chance to win a ninth game in the postseason, again, only a season after winning just two games.

There is still football to be played, but it looks like the Cardinals’ future is bright. Keep tabs on Scott Satterfield, because I guarantee you his name will be mentioned in coaching carousels in the coming years.

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