Week 15 of the college football season has already been a busy one, and we’re just now to Saturday.
We lost one of the great rivalry games when Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State had to cancel. No. 5 Texas A&M lost its game against Ole Miss, too. Everyone wanted them to play, even a Texas district judge who issued a court order via Twitter (more on that later), but that was never a thing that was going to happen.
Then on Thursday, Pitt and Georgia Tech brought the heat in the postgame handshake after the Panthers’ 34-20 win.
After their game last night, Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins ripped his hand away during a handshake with Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi, who responded with some words for Collins. pic.twitter.com/DA7Cov60Fl
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 11, 2020
Michigan State fans are even happy that they’re gruff, as you’ll see. Everything is topsy-turvy, but we’re here for you. We’ll have the Top 25 analysis, as well as the best (or worst) of what the day has in store.
Top 25 games
All times Eastern; lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
No. 1 Alabama (-32) at Arkansas, noon, ESPN/ESPN App
No. 9 Georgia (-13) at No. 25 Missouri, noon, SEC Network/ESPN App
Illinois at No. 14 Northwestern (-14), noon, ESPN2/ESPN App
Utah at No. 21 Colorado (-2.5), noon, Fox
No. 13 Coastal Carolina (-13.5) at Troy, 3 p.m., ESPN+/ESPN App
No. 17 North Carolina at No. 10 Miami (-3), 3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN App
Wisconsin (-2) at No. 16 Iowa, 3:30 p.m., FS1
LSU at No. 6 Florida (-23.5), 7 p.m., ESPN/ESPN App
No. 15 USC (-2.5) at UCLA, 7:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN App
San Diego State at No. 18 BYU (-17), 10 p.m., ESPN2/ESPN App
Arizona State accomplished a lot in a 70-7 rout of rival Arizona but none was more important than the touchdown that concluded the night’s scoring.
The Sun Devils’ Jackson He became what is believed to be the first Chinese-born player to score a touchdown in the FBS.
😈 JACKSON HE FOR SIX 🔱
THE FIRST CHINESE BORN PLAYER TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN IN FBS HISTORY.
🎥 https://t.co/ai5cgW0WIH pic.twitter.com/cAJoY90Jao
— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) December 12, 2020 It’s a major award
Mac Jones is one of the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy. But Alabama has launched a campaign for another national award: the Mortell Holder of the Year Award. This is not the first time a star Alabama QB has lobbied for the award, either.
𝗔𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗿𝗮𝗳𝘁. pic.twitter.com/aAE33wvO3F
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) December 10, 2020 Gruff but lovable
Back in March, during a Twitter Q&A, a Michigan State fan asked new Spartans coach Mel Tucker if there would be a “Gruff Sparty” helmet this season. That logo is a rendition of Sparty — but, you know, gruff — and is a longtime fan favorite. Tucker replied, “Let me look into it.”
It appears that he did, and the fans got their wish.
𝗚𝗥𝗨𝗙𝗙 😤 #GoGreen pic.twitter.com/4BRTxB2oUK
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) December 10, 2020 Pitt remains appropriately excited
After all the handshake drama, Vincent Davis, who had 247 rushing yards, had to temper his enthusiasm a bit.
PITT IS LITT
(not too lit tho) 🤣 pic.twitter.com/S2VW8a3kDL
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) December 11, 2020 A history lesson
Because of the pandemic, Army and Navy are playing America’s Game at West Point for the first time since 1943.
The teams each have special uniforms for the game. Army’s honor the 25th Infantry Division from the Korean War.
We honor the past by re-telling the story of #TropicLightning, a story of valor, courage and sacrifice.
Inspired, humbled and motivated by the soldiers that came before us.
🔗 https://t.co/YRjoP37EqW#GoArmy | #BEATnavy pic.twitter.com/AIsTpBgNFF
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) December 1, 2020
Navy’s are meant to evoke the school’s chapel and Bancroft Hall, the massive academic dorm that holds 4,000 midshipmen. They call the design on the helmets and shoulders “ocean camo.”
175 years of history, tradition, and honor all lead to this.
The 2020 Army-Navy Uniform#BeatArmy | #BuiltDifferent pic.twitter.com/Ffc5SIkeAZ
— Navy Football (@NavyFB) December 1, 2020 The legal notices
No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Texas A&M are not playing each other this weekend after their respective games (against Michigan and Ole Miss) were canceled and fans clamored for a College Football play-in game of sorts. It was always a pipe dream. But just know that the lack of a game does not please the court.
Or, at least, one judge, who just happens to be an Aggie. Judge Tom Nowak of the Texas 366th District Court, near Dallas, tried to use the long arm of the law to make college football miracles happen.
Let’s see if this works to solve the “issue.” @AggieFootball @OhioStateFB @TexAgs @CFBPlayoff @SECNetwork pic.twitter.com/VgwN0TkRwt
— Tom Nowak (@VotingForTom) December 8, 2020
We launched into investigative mode this week and asked the judge about his (not-at-all serious) motivation and the minutes that he spent typing up this order. Here’s what transpired:
How legally binding is this order?
“About as far as my nose goes, I think. I wish I had some jurisdiction over all this to make some changes. But I don’t know that the Texas constitution actually gives me the authority to tell the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Aggies what to do and how to do it.”
Is there legal bias because he’s an A&M grad?
“I’m not asking to be in the replay booth. I’m just telling the teams they have to play. So I think it’s pretty fair.”
What happens if Ohio State doesn’t follow the order?
“I don’t really have any jurisdiction over them, but the College Football Playoff committee does meet in Texas, in Grapevine, so I’ll have a little more ability to do some things there if they’re not willing to come down here and play the game.”
Is that a threat?
“Oh, no. No. I’m just discussing jurisdiction.”