GAMES OF THE WEEK
There are showdowns this week between teams ranked in the top 25: No. 9 Tennessee plays at No. 8 Texas A&M in a battle of unbeatens; No. 17 North Carolina follows its big win over Florida State with a tough home game against No. 25 Virginia Tech; and Florida State, now ranked 23rd after losing two of its first three games, tries to stay in the rankings with a trip to No. 10 Miami.
Reports from Eugene this week have indicated the Ducks plan to start true freshman Justin Herbert at quarterback against the Huskies instead of fifth-year senior Dakota Prukop. Why? Good question. Prukop has decent numbers and has led an offense that averages 40 points and 512 yards per game. In making a change at this point, are Oregon’s coaches caving to pressure from the most reactionary portion of the Ducks fanbase? Plus, Oregon won’t see a defense as good as Washington’s for the rest of this season. Not exactly an ideal circumstance for a true freshman to make his first start.
TALKING PLAYOFFS … AND UW
It’s starting to feel a little like the 1990s on Montlake these days. After the Huskies’ 44-6 thrashing of No. 7 Stanford last week, UW has become a popular pick to make the College Football Playoff. Sports Illustrated’s most recent projections have the Huskies as the No. 4 seed in the playoff, facing No. 1 Alabama in a national semifinal in Atlanta. One ESPN analyst projects the same, and another predicts that the Huskies will play in the Rose Bowl.
BROWNING FOR HEISMAN?
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson remains at the forefront of the Heisman Trophy conversation, and he should be, regardless of the Cardinals’ loss to Clemson last week. But keep an eye on UW quarterback Jake Browning. He’s completing more than 70 percent of his passes, he’s thrown 17 touchdown passes in five games, and if UW is unbeaten (or, say, 11-1) at the end of the regular season, it’s not a stretch to say that Browning could receive an invitation to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
COOPER KUPP IS A BALLER
Want to watch the best receiver in the country? Find a way to watch Eastern Washington play. Cooper Kupp, a fifth-year senior from Yakima who was overlooked by … well, everybody, leads all of FCS with an average of 163.3 receiving yards per game. He’s caught seven touchdown passes in four games this season, and holds the Division I career records for receiving touchdowns and yards. He snagged 12 passes for 274 yards and two scores last week against UC Davis. And he’s done it against Pac-12 competition, too, totaling 206 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 1 victory over Washington State.
Christian Caple: firstname.lastname@example.org