Week 13 gave us two full days of football with its extended Friday slate. There were upsets and there were wins that cemented teams’ placements near the top of the rankings.
But above all of that, there were a few truly great individual performances.
Now, as we move on to Week 14, the big question is just where to look for the next big performance. I’ll try to point out a few places to look.
It’s not quite as compelling as last season, but Alabama will travel to LSU for their final game before the SEC championship game. Mac Jones is a Heisman Trophy candidate and has elevated his draft stock from a zero to a potential first-round draft pick. He has 2728 passing yards, 23 TDs, and just three INTs while completing more than 75% of his passes. In recent seasons, an adjusted yards per attempt over 9.0 was a meaningful threshold for first-round draft picks. Jones currently has an AY/A of 13.4. Of the four player group in competition for QB3 in the class, he’s likely my second choice because he has an apparent high floor.
Jones’ top receiver is Devonta Smith and he’s proven that he wasn’t just the fourth option in the talented Alabama WR room of 2019. Smith is on his way to a breakout season with a current 37% market share of Alabama’s receiving yards and a 50 percent share of TDs. Smith is a near-lock to be a first-round draft pick because of his pedigree and production. With a strong combine, Smith could end up being the top WR pick in the draft.
The most important game in the conference for determining the college football playoff is when Texas A&M travels to Auburn. The Aggies were ranked fifth in the initial College Football Playoff rankings and have an outside chance at the playoff if the committee decides to pass on Ohio State, who may be ineligible for a conference championship. At the center of Texas A&M’s success has been their pair of RBs: Isaiah Spiller and Ainias Smith. Spiller leads the team with 784 rushing yards and six TDs. He looks like one of the best RBs in a weak class of 2022. Smith is the Aggies’ leading receiver with 384 yards and five TDs, but he’s also rushed for 187 yards and two TDs. The NFL has found a place for these Swiss Army Knife players, so he looks like a player that will find his way to an NFL roster.