It is that time again. Welcome to another edition of The Junkie Awards. Each week we try to identify those who are most deserving of praise, and those most deserving of ridicule, while trying to have a little fun in the process.
Best Win of the Week Award
The Tigers probably should have jumped to the top of the polls a couple of weeks back. They already had the nations best resume heading into the weekend, then went out and added to it by beating ninth ranked Auburn. In that game the LSU offense got its biggest test of the season so far, and passed with flying colors. After some early struggles, including two goal line stands by the Auburn D, the offense found some balance. QB Joe Burrow finished with over 300 yards passing, many coming just as he was about to be drilled by Auburn defenders. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for over 150 yards. Question is, can they do it on the road in Tuscaloosa in two weeks?
Biggest Statement of the Week Award
For weeks the Tigers have been on the receiving end of every hot take the talking heads have been able to manufacture. The criticism and the doubt has been coming from all sides. From the media, and even from some of their own fans. The biggest question has been, “What is wrong with the Clemson offense?” Against FSU the Tigers came out firing on all cylinders, jumping up on the Noles 28-0, before backing off the gas in a 45-14 win. It wasn’t enough. Neither was a 45-10 road win over a much improved Louisville. 59-7 over Boston College won’t be either. Not in the minds of the media anyways. Nothing ever will be. Having said that, this Clemson team showed any future opponents that this offense is fully operational. It was by far the Tigers most complete game of the season. This team is starting to find its groove, and that is bad news for anyone standing in their way.
Biggest Loser of the Week Award
In case you didn’t already know, Texas isn’t back. Expectations were high after the Sugar Bowl win over Georgia, but here we are, the same old Longhorns. After needing a late FG to get by lowly Kansas last week, they turned in their worst performance of the year in the 37-27 loss to TCU. Sam Ehlinger had the worst game of his career, going just 22-48 for 321 yards and 4 INTs. The Horned Frogs would turn those picks into 13 points. It wasn’t all on Ehlinger though, as the Texas defense once again got shredded. TCU QB Max Duggan piled up over 350 total yards and took advantage of a depleted Texas secondary.
Choke Artist of the Week Award
Coming into the weekend, Michigan had never won as an underdog under Jim Harbaugh. Thanks to the Irish that is no longer the case. Notre Dame went into the Big House and not only gave away the little respect they’d earned in a close loss in Athens, they also gave away what little respect they had prior to that matchup with Georgia. This was a bad loss. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Even in a driving rain storm, you can’t get beat 45-14. The Irish knew Michigan was going to run the ball and still gave up over 300 rushing yards. They ran it so well that Shea Patterson only had to throw it 12 times. Speaking of throwing it, Ian Book was terrible. With a chance to etch his name into Notre Dame folklore by winning in Michigan, he went out and laid an egg, going 8-25 for 73 yards. Let’s face it, this isn’t a great Michigan team. Their offense has stunk it up most of the season, but the Irish made it look like it was full of All Americans.
Wal Marters of the Week Award
What in the world is going on with some of these voters. First Clemson gets jumped multiple times after 30 plus point wins. We won’t even get into one voter having them 13th on his ballot last week. Let’s discuss how they refuse to vote LSU number one over Bama, despite the fact that LSU has a much better resume and it’s not even close. LSU has knocked off three teams that were in the top ten at the time they played, while Bama has yet to even face one team of that caliber. It’s nice to see that the Bama bias is alive and well, and this year they aren’t even being coy about it. Can’t we just let this poll die? It has no bearing on the sport these days and is no longer needed. If we’re going to keep a poll, let it be the Coaches Poll. Members of the media have no business deciding on who the best teams are.
That’s it for this week. As always, if you see something during the weekend that you think should make the list, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just tell us who or what deserves the award, a few sentences on why, and the name of the award.