Week 12 Booms
LSU QB Joe Burrow -- 489 yards passing, five touchdowns, two interceptions -- at Ole Miss: It wasn't as good as the effort against Alabama, but, that's a tough standard to reach. There were two silly interceptions, but enough negatives: Burrow was great. Again. His ability to zip the ball in while adding touch when necessary -- plus underrated speed -- make him the best quarterback in college football right now (we'll get into why that's true in a second). Burrow is certainly going to New York, and he's probably going home with a couple of shiny new trophies.
Washington State QB Anthony Gordon -- 520 yards passing, five touchdowns, one interception -- vs. Stanford: If you like watching quarterbacks sling the ole pigskin around -- and why wouldn't you? -- you enjoyed this game. There were 1,026 yards passing combined with Davis Mills also throwing for 504 yards. A nice day for Mills, for sure, but it was Gordon who truly impressed; showing the accuracy that has made the switch from Gardner Minshew a relatively seamless one. If only his defense was as good as the one Minshew had behind him.
Ole Miss QB John Rhys Plumlee -- 123 yards passing, one interception; 212 yards rushing, four touchdowns -- vs. LSU: Goodness gracious is Plumlee fast. Look at this young man go:
Plumlee has a lot of work to do as a passer, but the athleticism is ridiculous. He has a chance to be a star.
Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor -- 204 yards rushing, two touchdowns -- at Nebraska: Taylor would have made this list anyway, but making a little bit of history while having a big game helps. With his big effort -- and many more before it -- Taylor passed Herschel Walker for the most rushing yards for a player through his junior season. Pretty impressive considering Wisconsin still has two games and a bowl left. Taylor will have a legit chance to break the NCAA record for most rushing yards if he stays for his senior year. He's probably not staying for his senior year.
Northwestern RB Evan Hull -- 220 yards rushing, four touchdowns -- vs. UMass: Raise your hand if you thought that Evan Hull would lead the FBS in rushing on Saturday. You are lying. Let's get something out of the way: UMass is terrible; they just lost by 39 points to a 1-8 Northwestern club. All that being said, Hull was outstanding against the Minutemen, and he offers a glimmer of hope in a season where there haven't been many reasons to smile in Evanston.
New Mexico State RB Jason Huntley -- 174 yards rushing, touchdown -- vs. Incarnate Word: Sometimes, we don't give the little guys enough love. All of the times, we don't give the little guys who are terrible much attention. New Mexico State is a little guy who is terrible, so, yeah, there haven't been many reasons to write about them. Huntley, however, is a very solid player; one that could get looks at the next level because of his speed and ability to make plays as a receiver. Yes, it came against an FCS school. No, we probably won't mention New Mexico State again. But Huntley deserves your attention/respect.
LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase -- eight receptions, 223 yards receiving, three touchdowns -- at Ole Miss: Another sensational game for Chase, who has really seen his stock improve with his monster 2019 campaign. He continues to show the ability to make plays with the ball in his hands, but he can also high-point the football with the best of them. Burrow deserves as much credit as you can give him, but don't forget about the fact that he has some great weapons to throw the ball to this year.
Notre Dame WR Chase Claypool -- seven receptions, 117 yards receiving, four touchdowns -- vs. Navy: This is an impressive game from Claypool -- obvious point is obvious -- but it's even more impressive when you consider it came in a little more than a half. He helped Ian Book have his third five-touchdown passing game of the year, and he's up to nine scoring receptions on the year. Claypool isn't the next great Notre Dame wideout at the next level, but it's not hard to see him playing on Sundays starting next year.
USC WR Michael Pittman Jr. -- 11 receptions, 180 yards receiving, touchdown -- at Cal: Mr. Pittman is having himself a heck of a season, and he had no issues finding openings against a pretty talented Cal secondary. In his last two games, he has picked up 24 receptions for 326 yards, and he's gone over 140 yards in three-of-four contests. There are a lot of quality players that Kedon Slovis can throw the ball to right now, but at this moment, it's Pittman who is putting up the unrealistic numbers.
Oklahoma State WR Dillon Stoner -- five receptions, 150 yards receiving, two touchdowns -- vs. Kansas: Stoner has become the top target for the Cowboys with Tylan Wallace, and he's handled it quite well. After not picking up a receiving score the entire year through the first eight games, Stoner has scored two touchdowns in back-to-back games. He doesn't have the same kind of athleticism as Wallace -- very few do -- but Stoner is a reliable wideout who should continue to be a reliable target for Oklahoma State through the 2019 campaign.
Week 12 Busts
Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa -- dislocated hip -- at. Mississippi State: Calling this a bust seems weird. It seems to imply that this is Tagovailoa's fault, and that couldn't be further from the truth. But, we have to mention this, because this is not just the biggest story of the weekend, it's the biggest story of the college football/NFL draft year. On top of the playoff implications, one top of how this could change the draft, this is also just a major bummer. Watching Tua Tagovailoa play is a treat, and we may not be able to see that again for a while. This stinks.
Navy QB Malcolm Perry -- 36 yards passing, 117 yards rushing, three fumbles lost -- at Notre Dame: There were many analysts who predicted this to be one of the best games of the weekend, and it's easy to understand why. These were two ranked teams and Navy had looked dominant in their seven wins against one loss. Instead, they were dominated, and Perry had an awful game; missing on his few throws, and fumbling away three opportunities. It's a big loss for the Midshipmen, as it may prevent them from qualifying for a New Year's Six game. That's a bad day.
Baylor -- blew a 28-3 lead -- vs. Oklahoma:
Yep. That says it all. Thanks, Atlanta Falcons, for doing the work for us.