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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
College Football Thursday: Johnny Heisenberg
By Matt Horkman

The best show currently on television (and maybe ever) is AMC’s Breaking Bad. The show tells the story of a high school chemistry teacher named Walter White, who‘s diagnosis’ of lung cancer puts his life at a crossroads. Dying isn’t what scares Walter. He’s more fearful of leaving his family in debt from the medical costs. Too prideful to accept money from his friends, Walter takes matters into his own hands by using his expertise of chemistry to make methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal meth.

Throughout the show’s history, Walter works with a former student of his named Jesse Pinkman. Together the duo produces the purest form of meth on the market. The purity of the product entangles them with other criminals, including the drug cartel. As the show progresses, Walter becomes more ambitious and his narcissism reveals itself. In the beginning, he was a sympathetic figure in over his head, who was just trying to provide for his family. You rooted for this character, despite the fact he was knowingly breaking the law. However, no longer providing for his family was enough. Walter instead wanted to form his own drug empire, where he was atop the food chain.

Along the way, he’s provided many options. One usually involves him getting out of the business, while the others involve compromising his morals. Walter always chooses to compromise himself, causing you (the viewer) to lose sympathy for the main character. Eventually there comes a point where Walter crosses one line too many and the show‘s brilliancy comes to realization. Walter White is the show‘s true villain. Even worse, he knows it and embraces it. 
Johnny Manziel
This is where Johnny Manziel comes into play. He was an underdog just as Walter was. Last year, Texas A&M was not supposed to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa, but Manziel led the Aggies to an upset victory. No freshman had ever won the Heisman Trophy until he overcame those odds last December. Recent revelations, though, has cast him in a negative manner.

He left the Manning Passing Academy early with what he claims to of been dehydration. However, rumors suggest he may have been hung over from a night of partying. Shortly after that, reports alleged that Manziel received money in exchange for his autograph. He denies both allegations. What he cannot deny, however, is that he balked at his head coach’s attempt to get his attention after being flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct against Rice. The aftermath’s negative reaction had me come to the realization that, like Walter White, Manziel’s no longer a figure you root for in college football.

Football is television’s best entertainment and the media plays the role of its casting director. Right now, they’ve cast Manziel as the villain. Like Walter White did, Manziel should break bad and embrace his role as the villain of the 2013 college football season. It may just give Texas A&M and their fans something to rally behind. Plus, good form of entertainment needs a great villain. 

Draft Watch

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd
During last week’s telecast, Brent Musburger mentioned that NFL scouts are comparing Boyd to Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. It’s an interesting (and obvious) comparison -- given both are dual-threat quarterbacks. At this point in their careers, Wilson was more accurate, but Boyd possesses more escape ability in the pocket. It’s also worth noting that Boyd’s probably an inch or two taller than Wilson is. Regardless, any comparisons to Wilson will bode well for Boyd’s draft stock. Right now, he and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater are the top two projected quarterbacks for the 2014 NFL Draft. Most seem content with Bridgewater going before Boyd, but the debate between the two is far from settled. 

Stock: Up

Couch Potato Lineup

No. 12 Florida at Miami (FL)
Time/TV: 12:00 PM EST, ESPN
Prediction: Florida gave a rather lackluster performance in their opening week victory over Toledo. The defense did hold the Rockets to just six points, but the offense mustered up just 24 points. The conventional wisdom is they held some things back for this week. In addition, the return of running back Matt Jones should boost the running game. For Miami (FL), it’s all about their offense moving the ball against a stingy Florida defense. Running back Duke Johnson dazzled as a freshman and he’s off to a strong start in ‘13. A big game from Johnson would be enough to lead the Hurricanes over Florida, but the Gators have allowed just one 100-yard rusher in their last 16 games. The odds are still with the Gators.

Florida 23 Miami (FL) 10

No. 6 South Carolina at No. 11 Georgia
Time/TV: 4:30 PM EST, ESPN
Prediction: It’s rare for a week two game to hold so much meaning, but Georgia’s national championship aspirations hang in the balance. Only one team (2007 LSU) has played in the national championship with two losses. Georgia put up a valiant effort in their 38-35 loss at Clemson, but a missed field goal in the fourth quarter doomed them. Historically, Aaron Murray doesn’t play well versus top 25 teams, so look for the Bulldogs to take pressure off their senior quarterback by attempting to utilize running back Todd Gurley early. That’ll keep South Carolina‘s pass rush on their toes. The Gamecocks are all about defense, but their offense also showed a little spark against North Carolina. With 192 total yards and a touchdown, quarterback Connor Shaw was impressive. There’s a big difference, however, between hosting North Carolina and traveling to Athens to play a Georgia team with their backs against the wall.

Georgia 23 South Carolina 21

No. 14 Notre Dame at No.17 Michigan
Time/TV: 8:00 PM EST, ESPN
Prediction: After this Saturday, there’s only one more meeting between Michigan and Notre Dame in the foreseeable future. The two teams will end their series in 2014 after Notre Dame struck a deal to play five ACC schools each year. Because of their romping in last January’s national championship, Notre Dame has their doubters, but their defense is still first-rate, and quarterback Tommy Rees played well last week. Michigan enters this game representing the Big Ten‘s pride. The conference looks as if it was on its way back before an awful bowl season (2-5) put things into perspective. This conference needs a big win. As it should be, the game’s marquee matchup is in the trenches, where the Fighting Irish are athletic, big, and experience up front, while Michigan boasts three new starters on their o-line. If Michigan’s young offensive line can establish its authority, then quarterback Devin Gardner and running backs Steven Green and Fitz Toussaint should grind out a narrow victory.

Michigan 27 Notre Dame 24

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