THE Ohio State Buckeyes knew that it had to end at some point. Makes sense it was against a really good team like Michigan State. Too bad the Spartans had the lead for all of NO SECONDS in the game and won it on a last second field goal. That makes two games where the Spartans never had the lead during the game but won it at the end. And it may be enough to get them into the College Football Playoff. Then again, who knows because now things are going to possibly get a bit crazy. This Friday and Saturday the CFP rankings could honestly change each hour depending on what is happening on the field. And I am looking forward to every minute of it. Oh, and on another note from this game, I totally get Ezekiel Elliott’s frustration. Only getting the ball 12 times in that weather? He should have got double the carries. Saying all that, what he did afterwards was a dick move and I am almost 100% positive he decided not to come back for his senior season at that very moment out of spite. NFL teams should watch that because for every player who has an attitude issue that turns out fine, there is one that is a complete shitshow. There is no denying Zeke has the talent, but that interview has to leave a bad taste in some people’s mouths (especially many in Columbus as I speak).
And now the rest of the recap from a relatively disjointed Saturday (on my end at least):
Well there goes Oklahoma State’s chances at the CFP. They still have a great shot at the New Year’s Six but absolute insanity would have to occur for them to get back into the top four. And despite the fact Baylor won, their chances of getting into the top four are slim as well (not as slim as OK State’s but slim nevertheless). Basically, the Big XII has to rely on…
BOOMER! SOONER! Yes, Oklahoma is probably the Big XII’s only chance of getting into the CFP and stopping expansion talk for at least another season. And the only reason they pulled it out is because Gary Patterson decided to go for two instead of overtime. Did he not notice his team had come back from way down to get to within one and that the Sooner defense was gassed. He should have tied it up and took them to overtime. I mean it probably would have iced any Big XII CFP chances but still it would have been fun to see.
It’s always fun to see the SEC sweat during Garbage Schedule Week (ESPN should have coined that). I hate the SEC’s penultimate regular season week schedule and I have hated it since they started doing it years ago. I don’t think you need to eliminate FCS games. Far from it. I do believe that they should be played before November though. November is, for the most part, conference game time. To have these cupcake games smack dab in the middle of very important football is a slap in the face for fans.
Which makes what Florida and Georgia went through much more hilarious. I was hoping beyond hope that Florida Atlantic, of all teams, would ruin Florida’s chances at the top four. If the Gators had lost that game, they could have beaten FSU by 40 and Bama by 50 and still have been left out because are you fucking kidding me it’s FLORIDA FUCKING ATLANTIC! As for Georgia, at least they faced a very good Sun Belt team. Georgia Southern ain’t no slouch. And that option offense can be frustrating to defend. Saying all that, if the Dawgs had lost, I am sure Mark Richt would have been lucky to get out of Sanford Stadium alive. And don’t even get me started on South Carolina’s loss to The Citadel. Oh and on another note, if you want a good book to read, Pat Conroy’s My Losing Season is fascinating as it outlines his time on The Citadel basketball team. That place sounds rigid. And fucked. Makes sense for a military school.
Iowa wins out, they’re in. If they don’t, they’re out. Simple. Iowa, more than any other team in the top 10, has to win out. One loss and they have no shot at the College Football Playoff, period. I still believe Nebraska is going to give them fits this Friday. Let’s be honest, the Huskers have nothing to lose. Win and they go bowling, lose and they are home for the holidays and Mike Riley gets forty For Sale signs on his front lawn (isn’t that how it works?). So they will be emptying the playbook for sure. The Hawkeyes cannot be complacent. Luckily for them they have been arguably the steadiest team in the nation this season so they seem fairly unflappable.
It’s all on Stanford now. After UCLA beat Utah, the Pac-12 had to hope Stanford beat Cal in the Big Game. They did and now they play Notre Dame in their one true opportunity to make a serious move up the rankings. With a Pac-12 Championship game against either UCLA or USC coming up in two weeks, they have to win the Notre Dame game if they hope to get into the CFP. Enough things go their way and they may just do it.
They almost sent the home crowd home happy. The Hokies had a spirited comeback against North Carolina fall just short in overtime. Would have been nice to have them win in Frank Beamer’s last home game. Honestly though, they have played like hot garbage for a good part of this season. I sincerely hope they win the Commonwealth Cup against Virginia so they can go bowling to send Frank out the right way. Plus, a Hoos win means almost nothing since they are 4-7 and Mike London should be getting the axe shortly after the season concludes.
UConn? UCONN?!?!?!?!?!? I wonder if Bob Diaco will want a trophy for this rivalry now. The Huskies played really well against Houston and cost the Cougs their undefeated season. I don’t think anyone saw this coming although UConn has quietly put together a really good season. Diaco has shown he can really coach and has brought the program back to respectability. As for Houston, in terms of the AAC West it didn’t fully matter, but when it comes to their NYS hopes, that was a huge blow. They have to beat Navy and then beat the East champ in the AAC Title game and hope Toledo doesn’t go nuts in their final game and the MAC Championship to overtake them. Should be interesting.
And back to coaches getting the axe…Scott Shafer was fired at Syracuse and Paul Rhoads will be done after the season at Iowa State. If you are a halfway-competent coach in FBS (or even a good coordinator) this has to be considered a goldmine. There are so many coaching opportunities out there that ESPN has already locked in 200 hours of future coverage to this (and I believe I am seriously lowballing here). So even though Tom Herman now makes $3 milly at Houston and Justin Fuente was offered even more at Memphis, it may not matter, especially if a bigger school like USC, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, or Miami comes calling. Prestige, a lot of times, means more than a bigger contract since if you do well it will lead into a better contract. OK so yes, the money means the most still but it’s more of a short-term pain for long-term gain kind of focus now.
Can we just have UCF face Kansas and get it over with? I know conferences are SUPER picky with how they are aligned but I almost wish they had relegation/promotion like I outlined in a previous post (you can find it…I am too lazy right now). Just have UCF play Kansas in the Toilet Bowl and loser goes to FCS. Or have them face FCS teams for the right to stay up or move up. I am sure North Dakota State could mop the floor with at least twenty of the current FBS teams and not break a sweat.
Possible coach to sign that no one is talking about. No one is discussing the possibility of hiring Willie Taggart. He has done an amazing job at USF, one of the better turnarounds in the nation. He is also a recruiting master. Miami would be wise to get this guy since he knows Florida very well.
OK as of right now we have 71 bowl-eligible teams. There are 80 bowl slots in total available. The following teams can become bowl-eligible this week (with their next game in parentheses):
- Missouri (at Arkansas, Friday)
- Nebraska (vs. Iowa, Friday)
- San Jose State (vs. Boise State, Friday)
- Washington (vs. Washington State, Friday)
- Buffalo (vs. UMass, Friday)
- Tulsa (at Tulane, Friday)
- Old Dominion (vs. Florida Atlantic, Saturday)
- Indiana (at Purdue, Saturday)
- East Carolina (vs. Cincinnati, Saturday)
- Virginia Tech (at Virginia, Saturday)
- Kentucky (vs. Louisville, Saturday)
- Minnesota (vs. Wisconsin, Saturday)
- Illinois (vs. Northwestern, Saturday)
So out of these 13 teams, I would say 5 of them are favoured. My guess is no more than 7 will clinch this week, meaning there should be at least a couple bowl-eligibility spots left to fill in the final regular season week. As far as I can tell, the NCAA still doesn’t know how they will select a 5-7 team to fill a bowl slot if it’s needed. What a shitshow. This should have been figured out before the season started! It should make the bowl selection process very interesting which I guess brings ratings (and a lot of frustration).
There are two games on tomorrow night. As far as I can tell, they should be on the specialty pack but as of Sunday night I saw no indication of that. UPDATE: I feel stupid. First off, one game (BGSU-Ball State) is on ESPN3 and, thus, we won’t get it here. Second, I just checked online schedules and Ohio-Northern Illinois will be on the specialty pack at 7:30 tomorrow night. They should appear sometime today especially now that TSN now wants to show a lot of college basketball. That’s fine but I wish they waited until mid-January to go all-in with those games rather than college football but they’ve stepped up so that is good. The College Football Playoff Top 25 show airs on TSN2 at 7:00 tomorrow night for those that want to see that.