2 0 1 9 S E A SON I N R EVI EW:
WHO WOWED US, WEEK BY WEEK
BY TOM NONDORF
Welcome to your bowl game! I bet you’re someplace delightful and stimulating, with a fair
amount of football excitement in the air. If you’re reading this, maybe you have your bowl
program in hand, and maybe you’re getting ready to watch the game while reading about the
teams involved and the history of the game you are attending.
It’s also possible you are playing in the game. (Players are often given their programs at the
events leading up to the game.) If so, congrats, and I hope your season ends on a positive note.
Beat that other team!
Or maybe you’re the kind of person who buys a program, skims through to glance at all the
info and the sweet advertisements, and then packs away the program in a nice souvenir case and
doesn’t look at it for years to come. Maybe it’s the year 2039 and you’re going back through all
your bowl programs to reminisce, and here you found this little season recap, a snapshot of the
2019 college football season.
What were the big stories of 2019? Well, we didn’t know this when we picked each player of
the week, but one big change was that for the first time, Alabama was not a part of the College
Football Playoff. Nick Saban’s crew dominated early in the season, but ultimately couldn’t
overcome a rising LSU team led by quarterback Joe Burrow and an injury to their own superstar
QB, Tua Tagovailoa. Elsewhere in the SEC, South Carolina’s upset of Georgia was certainly the
head-scratcher of the year.
Ohio State dominating the Big Ten was another big deal. Defensive devastator Chase Young
helped the Buckeyes shut down all opposition along the way to an undefeated regular season
(a feat shared with LSU and defending champs Clemson), and QB Justin Fields put up record
numbers on offense.
Due to a slow start (aka, all their games weren’t blowouts) and a rebuilding ACC, Clemson
and sophomore phenom quarterback Trevor Lawrence flew under the radar much of the season.
He wasn’t one of our players of the week, but the guy had yet to lose a game in his college career
at the time of this writing.
The Pac-12 was written off when some early losses mounted, but Oregon and Utah stayed in the
mix for a playoff berth right down to the wire. Oklahoma and Baylor did the same for the Big 12.
The AAC had a banner year, with Memphis, Cincinnati, Navy, SMU and UCF all spending time
in the rankings.
Appalachian State gave the Sun Belt a steadily ranked squad, and Boise State and Air Force
represented the Mountain West well.
There were plenty of other stories and individual achievements, but for those you can consult
whatever passes for Wikipedia in the year 2039.
Meanwhile, enjoy a look back at our players of week for every week of the 2019 season.
PHOTOS (LEFT TO RIGHT): HAWAI’I ATHLETICS; WASHINGTON STATE ATHLETICS; SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETICS; SMU ATHLETICS