With Rivalry Week behind us, the focus shifted to Conference Championship Week and the weekend’s impact on the College Football Playoff. With Alabama taking down #1 Georgia and Florida State winning with their third-string quarterback under center, the CFP Selection Committee found itself in a lose-lose-lose situation.
Undefeated Michigan and Washington were considered mortal locks, but fans, pundits and CFP committee members heavily debated the last two spots. Do you punish an undefeated Florida State for quarterback Jordan Travis getting injured? Do you ignore the Texas head-to-head victory over Alabama? Or do you dare leave the SEC on the outside looking in for the first time in CFP history?
The CFP Selection Committee chose the first option, and the four-team playoff is now set. #1 Michigan plays #4 Alabama at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., while #2 Washington plays #3 Texas at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Before we get there, let’s get to this week’s devy fallout.
- 2024 NFL Draft Guide
- 2024 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch: QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL | DL | EDGE | LB | S | CB
- 2024 NFL Mock Draft: First Round Picks & Predictions
Devy Fantasy Football Risers & Fallers
If you’re unfamiliar with the format, devy (developmental dynasty league) is a type of fantasy football league that goes deeper. In these leagues, you draft and stash potential NFL prospects years before they enter the league. Scott Fish, the creator of the massively popular Scott Fish Bowl tournament, is also credited with creating devy back in the 1990s, and the format has gained popularity ever since.
Regarding risers, we refer to players whose perceived value has increased based on their on-field performance. However, when we talk about fallers, we consider several factors, such as on-field performance, injuries, playing time and even some extenuating circumstances, which can impact a player’s value.
Anytime you throw for 400+ yards and win your Conference Championship by 28 points, you’ll get recognition from me. That’s exactly what Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers accomplished in the Longhorns’ 49-21 victory over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game.
With Texas needing to win and get help to sneak into the CFP, the sophomore quarterback from Southlake, Texas, strutted into nearby AT&T Stadium and played his best game of the season. Ewers had 452 passing yards and a 4-1 TD-INT ratio while completing 76.1% of his pass attempts.
The recent scuttlebutt suggests that Ewers is more likely to return for his redshirt junior season than enter the 2024 NFL Draft. However, if Ewers keeps this momentum going in the College Football Playoff, don’t be surprised if that conversation starts to change. Ewers could certainly use another year of polishing, but with top playmakers Xavier Worthy, Ja’Tavion Sanders and Adonai Mitchell likely headed to the NFL after this season, Ewers has to consider striking while the iron is hot.
With the season on the line and the Alabama offense needing a miracle, someone had to step up and be the hero. Alabama wide receiver Isaiah Bond said, “Why not me?” and has been the Crimson Tide’s best offensive weapon ever since.
First came Bond’s miraculous game-winning touchdown grab in Alabama’s Rivalry Week showdown with Auburn. With Alabama facing a fourth and goal from the 31-yard line, Bond made one of the most sensational touchdown grabs you’ll ever see.
After hauling in a touchdown on a play affectionately known as “Gravedigger,” Bond kept that momentum going in the SEC Championship. Bond was Alabama’s leading receiver and helped lead the Crimson Tide to a 27-24 upset victory over #1 Georgia.
One game doesn’t define a player’s career or future, but Saturday’s American Athletic Conference Championship Game wasn’t fun for Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt. His overall statistics aren’t terrible (21/36, 238 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but SMU’s ferocious defense gave the quarterback fits all day long.
SMU’s dominant front held Tulane’s usually-potent rushing attack in check and sacked Pratt seven times. With Tulane’s offensive line struggling for much of the game, it’s hard to blame Pratt, but it could also be a potential red flag.
Pratt hasn’t faced a defense like SMU’s all season, and it makes you wonder how he’ll fare against the defenses he’ll face weekly in the NFL. Was Saturday’s performance solely on the offensive line, or is this a sign that Pratt disappears when matched up against elite competition?
After dominating the regular season, Oregon wide receiver Troy Franklin expected to keep the train rolling in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Instead, Franklin picked an unfortunate time to have his worst statistical output of the season.
In Oregon’s 34-31 loss to Washington, Franklin finished with a season-low 34 receiving yards on four receptions. To put things in perspective, just look at Franklin’s game logs this season. Franklin finished with 100+ receiving yards in eight of 12 regular season contests and at least 79 receiving yards in all 12 games.
It’s hard to hold one game against a prospect in a season like that. Frankly, I came away more impressed by Washington’s defense and game plan than anything else. Franklin is a terrific wide receiver likely to come off the board sometime on day two of the 2024 NFL Draft. He’s a notch below the Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers tier, but he’s right in the mix of the WR4-6 range.