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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

College football winners and losers: Week 12

Photo by Cameron Johnson

LSU QB Jayden Daniels (5) runs with the ball during A&M’s game against LSU at Kyle Field on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (Cameron Johnson/The Battalion)

Winner: Jedd Fisch
Since Jedd Fisch took over as head coach at Arizona, the Wildcats have progressively improved. With its Week 12 dismantling of No. 22 Utah, 42-18, Arizona has reached eight wins for the first time since 2014.
Fisch went 1-11 with the Wildcats in his first season and then followed that up with a 5-7 year in 2022. After a Week 2 loss against Mississippi State, Arizona looked as if it was headed towards a similar season.
Since then, Fisch and the Wildcats have won seven of their last nine games with the losses coming from Washington by only a touchdown and a triple-overtime thriller against USC. Four of those seven wins have come against Top 25 teams, including the win against the Utes.
There’s no doubt Fisch’s name will come up in the coaching searches this offseason and it would be a smart idea for Texas A&M to give him an interview.
Loser: Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown
For the 15th straight year, Kansas State has knocked off in-state rival Kansas with a 31-27 victory in Week 12. Jayhawk fans have to be getting tired of seeing the Royal Purple come out on top.
Granted, Kansas was playing with its third-string quarterback in freshman Cole Ballard after injuries this season to junior Jalon Daniels and redshirt senior Jason Bean. However, the Wildcats’ domination still stands.
The Jayhawks have hired five different coaches, their basketball team has reached the Final Four three times and George W. Bush was still the president of the United States the last time they were victorious over Kansas State.
Kansas coach Lance Leipold has done well turning the program around, becoming bowl eligible in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2007-08. However, he still has yet to get the Jayhawks the win over their biggest rival in his three attempts.
Winner: Texas (in the AAC)
There is a decent chance the American Athletic Conference championship is an all-Texas affair.
SMU is 7-0 in conference play after holding off a fourth-quarter comeback against Memphis. Unless the Mustangs lose to Navy, and UTSA beats also-undefeated Tulane, SMU is locked into the title game with a chance to win its first conference title since before the program received the death penalty in 1987.
And while SMU is off to join the ranks of the ACC in 2024, the American has another program from the Lone Star State who will be more than happy to take the Mustangs’ place.
There were questions about how UTSA would adjust to the tougher schedule of the AAC after winning back-to-back Conference USA titles, and the Roadrunners have silenced all doubters. UTSA is the third AAC school undefeated in conference play this season, and if the Roadrunners beat Tulane, they’ll be locked into the title game as well.
And while the other Texas schools in the AAC haven’t been as impressive, both new additions, North Texas and Rice, picked up wins this week. The Mean Green improved to 4-7 in coach Eric Morris’ first year, and the Owls are one game away from hitting six wins for the first time since 2014 — and that’s with a much tougher schedule than in years past.
Loser: Hugh Freeze against Jerry Kill
A Jerry Kill-led New Mexico State team just played on the road at a Hugh Freeze-led team and — despite being multiple touchdown underdogs — ended up winning by 21+ points.
Sound familiar? It should. Not only did New Mexico State beat Auburn 31-10 in Jordan-Hare Stadium this week, but last year, Kill’s Aggies went on the road and did the exact same thing, beating Freeze’s Liberty squad 49-14 in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Kill’s time at the helm of NMSU is an NCAA 14 dynasty mode come to life. The win over Auburn is the first SEC win in program history and secures the Aggies’ first nine-win season and back-to-back bowl bids since the Eisenhower administration. NMSU will play Liberty for the CUSA title in two weeks time, and a win would be the program’s first conference title since 1978.
To add insult to injury, Auburn paid $1.85 million to NMSU only to lose. Hot takes at the time Freeze was hired thought he would be the man to bring the Tigers back to the top of the SEC in his return to the conference, but so far, those are looking ice cold.
Winner: Jayden Daniels and the Heisman honors
Even though LSU will not be making an appearance in the SEC Championship this year, that did not stop senior quarterback Jayden Daniels from solidifying his Heisman candidacy against Georgia State.
The California native broke an LSU record of six passing touchdowns coupled with two rushing touchdowns while gaining over 500 yards of total offense in the 56-14 win.
With that game, Daniels improved to 36 passing touchdowns, 10 rushing touchdowns and 4,591 yards of total offense on the season. Before Week 9, Daniels was a sleeper choice for many rankings but now he has passed every other quarterback in nearly all of the major categories except fewest turnovers.
Daniels’ competition for the Heisman now rests in Washington senior quarterback Michael Penix Jr., Las Vegas’ favorite according to betting odds for most of the season, and Oregon senior quarterback Bo Nix, who is coming off a program record of six touchdown passes in a game.
With the trophy still up for grabs, the Tigers’ quarterback needs to have an incredible showing against A&M in the final week of the regular season to prove he should be the sole candidate.
Loser: Florida State’s College Football Playoff chances
Despite going 11-0 so far in the 2023 season, Florida State’s chances to make an appearance as a top-four finalist for the CFB playoffs are now in doubt, after losing senior quarterback Jordan Travis to a lower-leg injury in the first quarter of last week’s game against North Alabama.
Travis was a huge asset to the Seminoles’ offensive scheme, as he accounted for 2,755 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns.
FSU now heads into the final game of the season against in-state rival Florida in the Swamp off the back of junior quarterback Tate Rodemaker, who has yet to start a game for FSU.
The final week will be a true test for the Seminoles to try and appease the College Football Playoff committee by not only winning on the road, but also in the ACC Championship against No. 10 Louisville to secure a spot in the Final Four.

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