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College Football Week 12: Too Cold or Too Bold?

Each week, fans around the country react to big games and disappointing ones alike. Each week, our writers decide which reactions are legitimate and which aren’t.

Every Saturday is filled with breakout performances and disappointments alike in college football. Here, our writers react to some takes around the CFB world to help distinguish between recency bias and take lock.

Too Cold (agree with the take) or Too Bold (disagree)

1. Caleb Williams is devy QB1

The USC Trojans have launched themselves into the playoff discussion, and QB Caleb Williams has established himself as a Heisman candidate in the process. His athleticism and upside are on display week in and week out. Meanwhile, Bryce Young and CJ Stroud are not lighting it up as some thought they would. Caleb has been crowned the devy QB1 by many. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Tyler (@FF_TJHernandez) – Too Cold. Williams has practically been the 2024 QB1 since he took over at Oklahoma, and I think it’s time to place him there overall. Following Lincoln Riley to USC was a no-brainer for Williams, and it has paid dividends quickly. Whether the 2023 QBs are still in your devy QB rankings or not, Williams is standing on top of the hill with his incredible arm talent and improvisation skills. Williams is just polished enough to dominate the college football landscape and the NFL, but he still can play some backyard ball and make a lot of something out of nothing. Lock him in and get ready for a future #1 pick. 

Dwight (@ffpeebleschamp) – Too Cold. I’m moving Stroud and Young out of the devy ranks and even keeping them in; Caleb is the real deal. He elevates an entire team and makes simply ridiculous throws. Williams should win the Heisman and has USC poised to be a possible playoff team. Lincoln Riley knows how to highlight what QBs do, but Williams would be great in any system. He is the real deal. 

Brandon (@hayeb3) – Too Cold. He is the whole USC offense and has shown that he can put up huge numbers. He has gone stretches without Jordan Addison and still had great numbers. Even if they get to the NFL sooner, CJ Stroud and Bryce Young have not put up big enough numbers to stay ahead of him.

The Verdict: Too Cold (3/3)

2. Spencer Rattler still has NFL starter potential 

Not too long ago, Spencer Rattler was considered the 1.01 of his draft class. It’s been a long fall from grace, but Rattler just reminded everyone what he is capable of at his best. His 6 TDs in an upset win against #5 ranked Tennessee was a career-high, as were his 438 passing yards. His play is undoubtedly erratic, but the upside is still there – some still think he has a shot at starting in the NFL. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Tyler – Too Bold. Rattler is the definition of a Boom or Bust player, but the Boom games come a lot less than the Bust games. I remember the hype when Rattler got to Oklahoma, and I think just about everyone can hear the crickets now. Spencer Rattler has shown flashes that remind people why he was the #1 dual-threat QB in the 2019 recruiting class, but the inconsistency has been the only constant in his career. I don’t think he will be an outright starter in the league.

Dwight – Too Bold. Rattler had games that showcased what he could do but followed them up with several stinkers. He needs to work on consistency and leadership. I would not remove what SC did to the Vols, but Rattler was throwing to receivers that were more open than a 7-Eleven. He’s still got work to do, but it was nice to see him have a strong game. 

Brandon – Too Bold. Rattler needed to rebuild his stock at South Carolina and just hasn’t been consistent enough. He only has three games this year with multiple passing touchdowns. There obviously is talent there, but until he can be more consistent, I cannot see him being a starter in the NFL.

The Verdict: Too Bold (3/3)

3. Xavier Hutchinson is a Day 2 prospect

The Cyclones WR has been a super consistent WR despite being in a weak offense over the past few years. He is big and athletic, has a well-rounded skill set, and is running on six 100-yard games in his last seven outings. Even though the 2023 class is a strong one, fans think a team may take a bet on the athletic upside with Hutchinson on Day 2. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Tyler – Too Bold. This class is too strong for a player like Hutchinson to be taken before Day 3. This isn’t to say he hasn’t put up consistent numbers throughout his time at Iowa State; he doesn’t stand out as a prospect that would require a pick before Day 3. I believe Hutchinson can be successful at the next level; I don’t think he’ll get the call before Round 4. 

Dwight – Too Bold. Hutchinson will land on an NFL team, but nobody has to go that early to grab him. He’s in the WR10 range for me, and I see 5-7 of those WRs going in the first three rounds. It’s such a deep class, and Hutchinson isn’t overwhelmingly athletic and doesn’t have elite traits. He’s a solid WR2/3 and will be an excellent complementary WR in the NFL. 

Brandon – Too Bold. Xavier Hutchinson has had good production in three years and is an intriguing prospect. I think the other WRs in this class is too good, and Day 2 will be too early. I could see a team taking him in round 4 early on day 3.

The Verdict: Too Bold (3/3)

4. Tyjae Spears will have a role in the NFL

The Green Wave are a surprise appearance in this year’s AP top 25 so far, and their offense has run through redshirt junior RB Tyjae Spears. His 1,219 scrimmage yards in 12 games are more than double the next best on the squad and mark his second straight year with over 1,000 scrimmage yards. He has 14 TDs so far to go with that. While he is undersized, many are projecting him as a solid scatback at the next level that will see enough snaps to be relevant. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Tyler – Too Cold. Spears isn’t extremely undersized at 5’10”, 195 lbs, and I think he has shown enough in his time at Tulane to earn a role in an NFL backfield. He may not be a star at the next level, but I think Spears can carve out a few quality touches here and there. I don’t have high expectations for his fantasy stock, though we could be hearing of Spears in RB committees for a long time. 

Dwight – Too Cold. I love watching Spears play, and he will get an opportunity to make his name more well-known at the Senior Bowl. He’s electric with the ball in his hands and excels as a receiver. Spears can run inside but won’t be asked too much. Some team will take a shot on him, and he will find a role. He may not be fantasy-relevant, but Spears will be in the league for a while. 

Brandon – Too Cold. Spears has two years of good production catching and running the ball. I do not think competition concerns will stop NFL teams because we have seen players from the American Conference play well. More teams are using an RB committee, so I could see Spears having a role in the NFL.

The Verdict: Too Cold (3/3)

5. Kenny McIntosh is a top 15 2023 RB

Senior RB Kenny McIntosh has never been the flashiest player nor the biggest producer. He’s just been consistent and reliable for the Georgia Bulldogs, catching passes out of the backfield and providing a solid change of pace when needed. He was asked to do more than ever before on Saturday against Kentucky, and he delivered. His 19 carries and 143 yards on the ground were both career highs, and for the first time, we got to see what he could do with a starter’s workload. This RB class is loaded, but that performance was all fans needed to see to slot him into the top 15. Too Cold or Too Bold?

Tyler – Barely Too Cold. I have McIntosh around RB14 or 15 in this class. With many stars expected to rise out of the 2023 RB class, it’s hard to work yourself into the top ranks without being outstanding in most facets of your game. Kenny McIntosh holds down the back end of the top 15 2023 RB class, but he still has shown some traits and effectiveness to garner some attention. I think McIntosh will be a fine RB in the NFL and could follow a Tony Pollard-esque role to success.

Dwight – I was going to smash Too Bold, but I will go Too Cold, he is top 15, but that’s not much of an accomplishment because I have him in the RB12-15 range. McIntosh will be selected on day three and have a third-down back role, but I don’t see him sticking around long and being fantasy relevant. I’d rather have Spears. 

Brandon – Too Cold. Before the season, I would never have thought this, but Mcintosh has played well and could be considered similar to James Cook last year. He will not have the rushing numbers, but he has more receptions and receiving yards than Cook did last year. The RB class is deep, but the Georgia pedigree will mean a lot to NFL teams.

The Verdict: Too Cold (3/3)

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