Week 12

Houston 36, Louisville 10: What Does It All Mean? (Hint: Nothing Really Changes)

Houston destroyed Louisville 36-10 to bounce it out of the College Football Playoff chase. What does it all mean?

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Houston 36, Louisville 10: What Does It All Mean?

Look, Louisville wasn’t really in the College Football Playoff hunt, anyway. It might have had a shot if Clemson loses to Wake Forest this Saturday or if utter chaos reigned supreme, but the overall resume wasn’t going to be good enough. However, this ends any and all doubt, even if something crazy does happen and the Cardinals get to the ACC title game. The ACC still has to send a team to the Orange Bowl, and Louisville will go as long as Clemson wins the conference championship.

If Louisville absolutely destroyed Houston and Kentucky to close things out, maybe it would’ve made an eye-test case, but all that’s obviously gone now.

So nothing really changes.

This was a fun win for Houston. It was another statement win for the program, and it was another gigantic moment for head coach Tom Herman, but the Cougars lost to Navy and SMU, and now it’ll take something big for them to take the American Athletic Conference West, much less the conference title. You can’t get to the New Year’s Six as a Group of Five team unless you win your conference championship.

So nothing really changes.

It wasn’t Lamar Jackson’s fault. The Houston defensive front played at a whole other level of greatness, with eleven sacks as a team thanks to Ed Oliver – who got hurt – and Steven Taylor destroying everything the Cardinals tried to do. It was a miserable performance by the Louisville offensive line, and the team as a whole came up with 15 penalties, mostly from the front five.

Jackson was swarmed over all game long with no room to breathe. He threw for 211 yards and a score, and he finished with 33 rushing yards – a low total thanks to all the Houston sacks and the next-level awful O line game.

But there just aren’t any obvious Heisman choices. Baker Mayfield, Desean Watson, Jalen Hurts, Jabrill Peppers, D’Onta Foreman, and Jake Browning are all in the mix for a trip to New York City, but it might be too late. As long as Jackson is good against Kentucky next week, he’s going to win the Heisman.

So nothing really changes.

Oh yeah, Greg Ward, Jr. With all the focus on Louisville’s issues, and Houston’s amazing defensive front, Ward’s performance will be lost in the shuffle. But he threw for 233 yards and two scores, ran for 24 more, and made the big plays early to put the game away before halftime. He didn’t have to press like Jackson did, and he wasn’t under the same pressure, but on his Senior Night, he outplayed the eventual Heisman winner. Ward was special on a huge stage, but that’s what he does.

So nothing really changes.