Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.
Many NFL eyes will be on NRG Stadium on Sunday for Watson’s return
For the Houston Texans, there have been two big storylines to follow in what has been an expected season of losing.
One is what pick the Texans will have in next spring’s NFL Draft, but the answer to that question won’t come until the last game is played.
The other is how crazy the scene will be at NRG Stadium when Deshaun Watson makes his return to the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, and that question will be answered on Sunday.
When Watson’s 11-game suspension was announced by the NFL at the beginning of the year, it just so happened that the “scheduling Gods” had his first game back to be when Cleveland played at Houston on Dec. 4.
After months of anticipation, that moment has arrived, and NRG Stadium figures to be the center of the NFL’s attention on Sunday.
Watson hasn’t played in and NFL game since 2020 following accusations of sexual misconduct by more than two dozen women.
He didn’t play at all in 2021 before being traded to Cleveland in March for three first-round draft picks.
Watson played in Cleveland’s first preseason game, but hasn’t seen game action since.
TCU might already have playoff ticket punched, not matter what happens in Arlington
TCU will play Kansas State for a second time this season on Saturday in the Big 12 championship game, but while it’s uncertain that the Horned Frogs will win the conference title, a spot in the College Football Playoff might already be punched.
With six road wins and victories over two teams in the College Football Playoff rankings, Kansas and Texas, the Horned Frogs might already have a resume good enough to get in.
Losses by Clemson and LSU this past weekend that eliminated those two teams entirely from playoff discussion certainly might have given TCU some margin for error.
But just in case, it would be better for TCU to not take any chances and knock off Kansas State to leave no doubt.
Aggies end season with upset of LSU
Texas A&M certainly had more fans rooting for it than usual on Saturday, with fans of playoff contenders hoping the Aggies could knock LSU completely out of the playoff discussion.
The Aggies obliged, earning a 38-23 win over the Tigers to end an otherwise awful 5-7 season on a high note.
Fans from TCU, Alabama, USC and Ohio State certainly were happy with the result, which the Aggies can hope can at least be a launching pad into a better 2023 season.