Auburn Freshman Named 'Bo' Wrecked The College Football Playoff in 2019, But Not Jackson

Bo Jackson has his fingerprints all over the Auburn University football program and landscape of both the Southeastern Conference and college football. Then there's a kid named Bo in 2019, a freshman quarterback at Auburn who diced up the 2019 College Football Playoff landscape.

Bo Nix has played tricks that have affected two heavyweights. The college playoff changed once again after a Pac-12 game on Friday night, and another team will get left out of the mix because of Auburn's power of Bo.

Before the Nix story, there's the Pac-12 Championship game from Friday, in which No. 13 defeated No. 5 Utah, 37-15. A win for Utah would have put the Utes up for a spot in this year's College Football Playoff of the top four teams.

But they lost to Oregon, a team that is haunted by two losses this year, including the season opener against Auburn, in which Auburn won, 27-21, at a neutral site in Texas.

Should Oregon have won that game in Week 1 when they were favored, and the Ducks lost just one game this season (31-28 to Arizona State), then Oregon would have been 11-1 entering Friday night with a chance to get into the CFP mix. But Auburn won on a late Nix pass in a game that lurks on Oregon's schedule.

Then there's Alabama. The Crimson Tide lost only to No. 2 LSU at home, but looked otherwise invincible before Auburn knocked them off, 48-45, in the Iron Bowl last weekend. Had Alabama won beaten Auburn, they would have most likely stayed pat at No. 5 in the rankings—ahead of Utah, which moved up to fifth after Bama's loss. Alabama dropped to No. 12 behind No. 11 Auburn. And before this championship weekend, Oregon was behind Alabama.

Auburn only lost at No. 10 Florida (24-13), at No. 2 LSU (23-20) and at home against No. 4 Georgia (21-14). Though Auburn's defense carried the Tigers in those losses, it was Nix who rallied Auburn in the wins this season.

Nix scored the game-winner against Oregon in the final minute at AT&T Stadium with a touchdown pass. He ran for the first touchdown of the game against Alabama last weekend, then made crucial completions on key drives to beat the Tide.

After the game, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn called Nix a quarterback who will win a championship.

"He's got something special to him. He'll win a championship—I told you that this week—before he gets out of here," Malzahn said after the win over Alabama. "With his leadership, the moment's not too big. He's got real good command. When he makes a mistake, he owns up to it: 'Hey, I'll make up for it.' He's got the special traits.

"I think the future is going to be a lot of fun with him leading us."

Nix is the only true freshman quarterback from Auburn to ever beat archrival Alabama and only the second-ever true freshman quarterback to beat an Alabama team under coach Nick Saban. The other also happened this calendar year when Clemson's Trevor Lawrence beat the Tide in the national championship game.

The only other quarterbacks to beat Alabama in the last five years are: Deshaun Watson (Clemson), Chad Kelly (Ole Miss), Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) and last month by Joe Burrow (LSU).

Bo Nix Auburn Football
Bo Nix #10 of the Auburn Tigers scrambles with the ball against the Oregon Ducks in the fourth quarter during the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images