Jesse’s Hot Takes

Jesse Bellamy, Sports Director

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Anyone who knows me, knows three things: I love Post Malone, I play football, and I can’t get enough about sports; this column is an opportunity for me to share some of my ideas and my hot takes on sports issues. I welcome any response letters, rebuttals, or ideas you may have. A lot has happened in the sports’ world recently, whether it’s the chatter of teams that want the College Football Playoffs expanded, the controversial Heisman winner or the struggles of our beloved Carolina Panthers.

 

Despite recent arguments, the College Football Playoff does not need to be expanded–the four team structure of the playoffs is efficient for showcasing college teams. Teams that feel they deserve a playoff spot–like Georgia that had 2 losses this season–are ridiculous because the fact of the matter is that if they could hold a lead against Alabama, then they would be in. Teams like UCF don’t even deserve to be in the conversation to be in the playoff because when you fail to schedule top tier non-conference opponents when you don’t play in a Power 5 conference, you’re not going to get in, plain and simple. When a team’s resume doesn’t meet the committee’s criteria, they should not and will not make the playoffs. Because of dominating powerhouses, like Clemson and Alabama, lower-tier teams with good records would be obliterated in playoff games; the four team structure should stand as is.

 

The Heisman is the prize of all prizes for college football. The fact that Kyler Murray won the Heisman is a joke and a disgrace to the sport as well as an insult to the runner up, Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa plays in arguably the best conference in the nation, especially when it comes to defense, and he put up unbelievable numbers while Murray plays in arguably the worst power 5 conference when it comes to defense and put up only slightly better numbers. Tagovailoa, who plays for the Crimson Tide battled a knee injury for part of the season and still finished with numbers just behind Murray’s.This isn’t the first time the Heisman has been given to the wrong quarterback, recall 2016 when Lamar Jackson won the award over Deshaun Watson. This will definitely be a topic of discussion going in to the College Football Playoffs when the players’ two teams face off, as number 1 Alabama goes against number 4 Oklahoma.

 

Despite having a Heisman quarterback at the helm, the Cardiac Cats have not been finding as much success as expected. After a great 6-2 start to the season, the Carolina Panthers have suffered 5 straight losses and have looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL. This is largely due to the dysfunction of the defense and the lack of clutch factor from Cam Newton. Newton has repeatedly come up short during the Panthers 5 game slide with a missed pass on the goaline versus the Detroit Lions in week 11 and the ridiculous 4 interceptions versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 13. The Panthers are still in the hunt for a wildcard spot, but it’s not likely with them closing the season out playing division rivals the Saints twice, in week 15 and 17, and the Falcons, in week 16. The Panthers would likely not do much in the playoffs if they did end up making it in unless there is a drastic change in the defense and the quarterback play. So many Panther greats’ last season has been tainted by the miserable play of the team. Maybe next year?

 

In summary, Clemson and Bama should face off again in the finals of the playoffs, Tua should have won the Heisman, and the Panthers need a drastic program shift in order to be successful again.