College Football Bowl Games and NFL Action Highlight Saturday Lineup

Saturday’s football lineup has both NFL and college as the NFL enters Week 16 and college football starts its bowl season.

While the first round of college bowl games does not have the marquee names or matchups, every game can be riveting when there is a wager on the line.

According to data taken from Bovada and sportsbook.com, Saturday’s lineup includes two NFL games and five bowl games.

College Bowl Games

New Orleans Bowl – Louisiana Lafayette vs. Nevada

According to topbet and betonline, this matchup is a pick’em with the point total at 62. This is a neutral site, but ULL has a big edge playing in their home state. On any other neutral field, Nevada is a 3.5-point favorite.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl – Utah State vs. UTEP

The Utah State Aggies are 10-point favorites with a point total sitting on 44.5. The Aggies will start a fourth string quarterback but nevertheless will likely cover.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl – Colorado State vs. Utah

Utah is favored by 3 points with the point total at 58. Colorado State will be without Jim McElwain it head coach, but it will be the strong pass rush of Utah that will be the game changer. Utah looks too tough for CSU.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Air Force vs. Western Michigan

Western Michigan is favored by 1.5 points with a point total sitting on 56.5. Both teams will run and run effectively in this matchup. A number of points will be scored in this matchup and the OVER is the way to go.

Camellia Bowl – Bowling Green vs. South Alabama

South Alabama is favored by 2.5 points with the point total on 54. South Alabama will feel like this is a home game. Rain is expected which will push both teams towards a running game.

NFL Saturday Lineup

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins

The Eagles are favored by 7.5 points with the point total sitting on 50.5. Philly has the edge in motivation as they try to maintain pressure on the Dallas Cowboys and find a way to secure a wildcard berth if not the NFC East title. The Eagles will look to shut down the Redskins offense and use their up-tempo offense to put a number of points on the board.

San Diego Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are favored by 1.5 points with the point spread on 41. The defense for the 49ers is always tough. The San Diego offense is not the best. The Chargers have not lived up to expectations, nor have the 49ers. The play here is the UNDER.

Wednesday Bullets to Power You Through the Day

Floyd
Floyd
Is unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr finally headed for a showdown with Manny Pacquiao?

It’s been a few weeks since I gave you my patented bevy of random bullets from the sports world so without further ado let’s get on with it.

-While it appears that we are a step closer to the long awaited match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr, I still can’t help but wonder what might have been. Five years ago this could have been a bout that could have saved boxing but instead, arguments over money continue to hamper a once-proud sport. Ya, this will draw money if it happens but it will be a shadow of what it could have been.

-The Dallas Cowboys are 10-4 and have a game advantage on the Philadelphia Eagles. Sunday night though star running back DeMarco Murray suffered a broken hand that led to surgery on Monday. The question is, should they rest Murray or play him with a playoff spot still not yet sealed? If it’s me, I rest him. You have more than enough talent to get a win over Indy or Washington without him.

-For all of the things that the National Basketball Association has going right for it, once thing that needs to be addressed is tanking. There is no way the Philadelphia 76ers haven’t been built for total futility this season. This isn’t to say the current players aren’t trying but this team could have been better and it isn’t.

Harbaugh
I just don't think Jim Harbaugh will pass up the huge payday awaiting him in the NFL.

-I have a feeling Michigan fans are in for really bad news. Despite rumors yesterday that with Jim Harbaugh out of the playoffs he’d be coming to Ann Arbor, I’m not buying it. His services will never be more in demand by NFL teams than they are now and that means a pretty price tag. I just don’t see him giving that up to return to college coaching.

-Yankees’ General Manager Brian Cashman says that as of right now Alex Rodriguez will be penciled in as the team’s designated hitter. A-Rod is of course coming off his year-long suspension.

-There were two plays in the NFL on Sunday that epitomized just how pathetic the league has gotten in their protection of quarterbacks. In Seattle, a 49ers players unloaded on Russell Wilson as he let the ball go. The tackler put his helmet right in the chest of Wilson and was flagged. This was nothing however compared to the Steelers’ Jason Worilds who sacked Atlanta’s Matt Ryan with what can only be described as a “perfect form tackle.” Ryan should have been flagged for not seeing Worilds coming to his play-side in my opinion.

-Watching Army-Navy never gets old. It isn’t just the tradition and the rivalry either. If you’ve been around long enough, then you know how exciting option football can be.

-I had a lot of people laughing at me for picking the Bills to beat the Packers last weekend but I could just see it coming. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers had been so hot, especially at home and with Buffalo’s very strong defense I just thought it was a perfect storm. A blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile right?

-Michigan State Junior Quarterback Connor Cook Stated yesterday that he will be returning to East Lansing for his senior season. Cook has been considered one of the top junior QBs in the country since his rise last season in leading the Spartans to the Rose Bowl. In my opinion, I think this is the right move for him.

-I’m old enough to know that everyone has different tastes and likes and dislikes but I don’t know how anyone can watch ESPN’s First Take. Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless are like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Mariota a Deserving and Welcome Sight as Heisman Winner; Jobs Still Open

Mariota
Mariota
Mariota is a humble and deserving winner of the Heisman Trophy.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota deserved the Heisman Trophy. Anyone denying that is an Alabama or Wisconsin fan or has no clue what they are talking about. I would have been more than glad to listen to arguments for either Amari Cooper or Melvin Gordon but at the end of the day, the correct selection was made.

Personally I could not have been more happy with his selection. I am not an Oregon fan and I’m not a fan of their plethora of uniform changes and styles either. What I’m a fan of is guys who play hard, take success in stride and aren’t a consistent problem off of the field for their university.

I know right? What an unbelievable concept!

Last year’s Heisman Trophy celebration featured Florida State’s Jameis Winston wining the award. While his on-field success was more than worthy of the award, his issues off the field were troubling and continue to be so today.

The man who won the award the year before Winston did was Johnny Manziel. Again, a guy whose accomplishments on the field of play were more than enough to warrant him getting the award. but like Winston, he was less than a true role model off of it.

I don’t expect every guy that plays college football to be an angel. I don’t have that expectation at all and not even the Heisman Trust has stipulations on character or being a perfect gentleman off the field in its’ award document either. I do however think if we are going to be presented with the best college football player in America it would be nice if they were in fact deserving for overall conduct.

Mariota
Mariota's win is refreshing in light of recent Heisman winners Winston and Manziel.

Go back and watch the video of Mariota accepting the stiff-arming trophy and then compare it to video of Manziel and Winston receiving their trophies. In Mariota you’ll see a humble and almost embarrassed looking young man who can hardly believe what he is achieving while with the other two you say faces of kings being crowned.

Mariota can be demonstrative on the field but he doesn’t have a signature “money” sign like Manziel does because he acts like he’s been in the end zone before. I have no problem with guys celebrating but do it with teammates. Having your own “look at me” celebration is pathetic.

I’m glad that Mariota won the Heisman and for the record, both Gordon and Cooper would have been worthy winners as well based on everything I’ve seen and heard of them. Whether Mariota’s Ducks go on to win the title or whether he goes on to NFL stardom doesn’t matter – what matters is that good guys can finish first.

Michigan, Wisconsin Remain Open

Two big college football vacancies remain open today in Ann Arbor and in Madison but I think you’ll start to see some movement as early as this week however. For Michigan, their number one target is of course Jim Harbaugh. Despite reports that he wants to stay in the pro ranks, word has it that Michigan isn’t going to away quietly.

With Harbaugh’s 49ers officially out of the playoffs now, look for some more information to come out this week. One way or another, Michigan cannot wait to long for Harbaugh because they have to get back to business sooner or later.

Further West in the Big Ten, it looks like Wisconsin is ready to bring former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst back to take over. Chryst has been running things at the University of Pittsburgh where he hasn’t exactly gotten anyone excited for college football. The Panthers continue to draw pathetic crowds and fans are less than pleased with Chryst’s coaching and recruiting.

Either way, don’t be surprised if Athletic Director and former coach Barry Alvarez goes with the familiar Chryst although I don’t think it will be a warm welcome.

NFL Has Weekend Betting Spotlight as College Football Takes a Breather

It is Week 15 of the NFL and the public is heavy into teasers with their same teams.

After 15 straight weeks of college football, this Saturday saw just the Army vs. Navy classic filling the scorecard in college football.

On Saturday morning, betting on Bovada and betonline for football was quiet, or worse than quiet, it was dead.

With the bowl season a week away from kickoff and college basketball still not in the mindset of bettors, the boards were quiet Saturday.

However, that will quickly change as football will reheat on Saturday’s starting next week and basketball will carry on through March Madness.

According to topbet and sportsbook.com, during the next four weeks there will be college football bowl games and NFL Saturday games that will keep the public bettors on their toes and at the betting cage.

By then, the college basketball season will start capturing the attention of even the casual bettor.

However, by late Saturday bettors were beginning to make their first bets for Sunday’s NFL lineup.

Many books saw a great deal of straight bets on the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets game with a number of big bets for Minnesota on the money line and at +8.

A number of sports books have said this week there is not any one big action game that has taken the betting world. However, with the high volume that comes each week from locals who are regular bettors on the NFL, there is plenty of risk out there on some teams with teasers and parlays.

Four big teams have seen a great deal of action on teasers. The four – Broncos, Colts, Lions and Patriots – will be key to the public or the books winning this week.

On the parlays side, the action is on the Lions, Broncos, Packers, Patriots and Colts.

Despite Denver only covering in 2 of its past 6 games and looking for a running game heading towards the postseason, the public loves the team each week at the betting window.

The big NFC games pits Dallas against Philadelphia and action has been on the Cowboys at +3.5 and on the Eagles at -3.

With a number of parlays and teasers on the board, the late Sunday game will be an important one for both the books and the public.

Regardless of how the day works out, the slow Saturday gave the bookmakers a short respite from what is to come with bowls games, the NFL postseason and college basketball.

Wisconsin Situation Should Serve as a Wake-Up to the Rest of the Big Ten.

Alvarez
Alvarez
Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez finds himself looking for a coach for the second time in three years.

People change jobs for any number of reasons. Tops among those reasons is of course more money. There are very few among us who wouldn’t take a similar job to the one we currently have if it offered more money.

But there are other scenarios that factor into a person’s decision to take a job and I believe those are what caused Gary Andersen to leave Wisconsin.

Coaching changes at Florida, Michigan and even Nebraska were not surprises, but very few on the outside or the inside for that matter saw Andersen leaving the Badgers. His decision to leave for Oregon State has not only raised questions about the situation in Madison but in the entire Big Ten as well.

Andersen is believed to have left because he and his assistants didn’t care for Madison. They are mostly west coast guys who prefer living out there and that’s good enough for me. I get that… We also have heard Andersen was not pleased that he couldn’t bring many of the players he wanted into his program because of the academic standards.

This is where our problem begins…

No one denies that the most powerful football conference in America resides in the Southern and Eastern parts of this country. The past eight to ten years speak for themselves in terms of success on the football stage.

Andersen
Gary Andersen's surprising move to the West Coast may expose more about the Big Ten then anything just at Wisconsin.

For eight straight years a team from the Southeastern Conference has played for the college football championship. The Big Ten meanwhile, the conference that Andersen has left, has played for just two titles in that same span.

So why the sudden shift after so many years of sharing power? There was a long time where teams from the Big Ten, SEC, old Southwest conference and Pac-8 used to consistently vie for titles and bowl games.

Even with expansion, the SEC has continued to pull away from most of the other conferences and most obviously left in the dust has been the corn-fed folks in the Midwest.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany has some powerful things to consider going forward and Andersen’s departure will hasten those issues.

If the Big Ten wants to compete on the national stage and gain the respect they once had, then something has to be done to allow lesser academic athletes into its’ institutions. This will not be an easy thing to accomplish and there is growing sentiment that it might never happen.

I say “never” only because I would have thought the cash would have convinced them to jump on board the collegiate football money train by now. No one in the SEC will argue their academic standards don’t match those in the Big Ten.

They are all quality schools but do any actually compete with a Michigan, Northwestern or Purdue when it comes to academics? The answer is “no” and you won’t hear anyone apologize for it either.

The argument I consistently hear is about Ohio State. The Buckeyes belong to the Big Ten yet seem to have athletes similar to those in the South. My take is that OSU has figured out how to get these kids into the University.

If you look at the majors by not just OSU but also schools in the South you’ll notice plenty majoring in “exploring” and “general studies.” Get it?

Andersen’s leaving also brought out the issue of Wisconsin not paying assistants very well and that’s a viable cause for leaving but it’s obvious to me the Big Ten needs to decide if it wants to compete for football glory or continue to be the red-headed step-child to the SEC and beyond.

Marcus Mariota Heavy Favorite to Win Heisman Trophy This Weekend

The Heisman Trophy chase is coming to an end. Three finalists have been named and Marcus Mariota the talented quarterback from the Oregon Ducks is far and away the favorite.

During the chase for the Heisman this season, many players came upon tough times that made them fall off the pace.

Kenny Hill the quarterback for Texas A&M had the second-best odds on Bovada and topbet during late September. However, he ended his season as the backup quarterback for the Aggies.

Dak Prescott the signal caller for Mississippi State was one of the three top contenders for over two months. However, he lost his chance after suffering three interceptions in a loss to Alabama.

Jameis Winston the reigning Heisman Trophy holder could not stay out of the news for incidents off the field and unrelated to football and was intercepted 17 times while on the field.

Usually four and at times five players are selected as finalists and invited to the ceremony in New York City. However, this weekend only three will be in the Big Apple for the announcement.

Marcus Mariota

The Oregon quarterback is -900 chalk. If he does not win, it would be a huge shock. The junior quarterback led the Ducks to the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed.

Mariota has completed 68% of his passes, thrown for 3,772 yards and has 38 touchdowns passes to just 2 interceptions.

Mariota also had 669 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.

Amari Cooper

The talented wide receiver for Alabama is 20 to 1 to win according to betonline and sportsbook.com. Cooper, in three seasons has shredded the receiver’s record book at Alabama.

He has helped the Crimson Tide to the No. 1 seed for this year’s College Football Playoff. In three games, he had 200 or more yards receiving. He caught 8 or more passes in 11 of the team’s 13 games. He ended the regular season with 115 receptions.

Melvin Gordon

The running back for Wisconsin is 25 to 1 to win. Gordon was huge down the stretch. However, his team lost in the Big 10 championship.

Gordon broke the NCAA single game rushing mark with 408 yards rushing against Nebraska in only three quarters of playing.

He had 122 yards or more in 11 of the team’s 13 games. He ran for 5 touchdowns in one game. His 2,336 yards led the country. He added 26 touchdowns.

However, Mariota has performed at a high level in each of his team’s game this year. Even in a losing effort earlier in the season to Arizona, Mariota played well and was able to avenge that loss in last week’s Pac-12 championship by routing the Wildcats 51-13.

Playoff Committee Shows System is Still Flawed

CFP
CFP
The Committee has selected the four teams but the decision does not come without issues.

The College Football Playoff Committee was supposed to clean up most of the problems that haunted the Bowl Championship Series for 17 years. By having a playoff, even just a four-team playoff, was supposed to give us the best teams in the country squaring off for the title on the field.

The committee has failed miserably and frankly it has little to do with whether Ohio State belongs in or not because we could place (Fill in the blank) in this spot and little would change. Let me lay out for you where the committee screwed this up.

1. With the addition of the Buckeyes, the College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC) essentially said that their decision could be determined by just one game. What other reason would they have chosen OSU over TCU or Baylor than based upon the Buckeyes’ 59-0 win over Wisconsin?

Big 12
Being left out in the cold has the Big 12 looking for answers.

2. The committee took the easy way out with Ohio State thus avoiding the conflict over TCU getting ahead of Baylor. With every point the Buckeyes scored on Saturday night, a loud exhale was heard from the CFPC conference room.This was because they knew that they could choose OSU and despite wins on the final day, leave TCU and Baylor out in the cold.

3. Name recognition played a huge part. CFPC Chairman Jeff Long can tell us all day and all night that the name and power of the Ohio State brand had nothing to do with them being selected but I won’t believe him and I’m pretty sure the kids in Fort Worth and Waco feel the same.

They knew full-well that the first playoff needed as much star power as possible. With unbeaten and defending national champ Florida State in, Nick Saban’s dynasty-laden Tide in and Heisman winning Marcus Mariota and Oregon in it only made sense to have one more of college football’s upper echelon teams in the final four.

The Buckeyes travel as well as any team in college football. Baylor and TCU couldn’t have sold even a nugget of the tickets that Ohio State fans will purchase. Truth time; if TCU and Baylor were Oklahoma and Texas don’t you think one of them would have been chosen? The answer there is yes.

4. By selecting a team outside of the top four heading into the final rankings, the CFPC rendered their earlier rankings totally moot. There is absolutely no excuse for the CFPC not to have selected Baylor or TCU based upon this. They did exactly what they needed to do on Saturday and were punished because of OSU’s performance and ultimately strength of schedule.

No one can dispute the fact that Baylor had the least-difficult non-conference schedule in the country but my question then is this; why wasn’t that factored in previously?

This committee was political from the start and then proceeded to grandstand on the final day. The kids at Baylor and TCU were guilty of one thing this past weekend; they didn’t play for bigger name schools.

Looking Ahead

Florida State (+9) vs Oregon – The Rose Bowl will be filled with green as the Ducks’ faithful roll in. Often overlooked is the Oregon defense which will look forward ot the challenge of stopping Jameis Winston.

Ohio State (+10) vs Alabama – It’s a good thing the Buckeyes travel well because the Tide are playing in their backyard in the Superdome. This game will come down to who can control the trenches.

Early Line Has Alabama and Oregon as Heavy Favorites

The selection committee for the inaugural College Football Playoff has spoken and the four teams that will battle for the national title have been picked.

The selection committee did not have an easy task this season, as there were a number of teams vying for the fourth and final berth.

One of the biggest debates that took place prior to the final selection was whether the selection committee would pick Baylor or TCU in their final four.

Both were ranked near one another all season and Baylor just squeaked by TCU by three points 61-58 when they met head to head.

Each team ended up as co-champions in the Big 12 as the conference does not use a tiebreaker.

Ohio State was another team that made a charge following an early season loss against Virginia Tech. The Buckeyes with a third string quarterback, routed Wisconsin 59-0 to win the Big 10 championship.

Florida State had close calls all season, but ended their regular season 13-0. Alabama and Oregon dominated in their conference championship games to solidify their spots.

In the end, the selection committee left the Big 12 schools Baylor and TCU out of the top 4 rankings and selected instead Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State.

Alabama and Oregon have opened as big favorites in the opening two games on New Year’s Day.

Both are favored by over a touchdown in their respective games on New Year’s Day.

Alabama was chosen as the top seed by the committee and will face Ohio State in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl.

Oregon was chosen as the No. 2 seed and will face Florida State in Pasadena, California, in the Rose Bowl.

Alabama opened as 10-point chalk on Bovada and sportsbook.com against Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, but that was bet down slightly to 9.5 points early on. The total points for that game was moving between a low of 57 and a high of 58.5.

Oregon opened at -8 over Florida State in the Rose Bowl on both topbet and betonline. The total for that game bounced between 70.5 and 71.5, which is more suited to the Ducks type of game.

The first season of using the College Football Playoff has proved that picking the top 4 teams to battle for the National Championship is not an easy task.

Current odds for National Championship January 12, 2015

Alabama +100

Oregon 8 to 5

Ohio State 7 to 1

Florida State 8 to 1

How the College Football Playoff Selection Unraveled for Me.

Mariota
Mariota
Marcus Mariota helped his Ducks into the playoff and himself into a Heisman Trophy.

By the time you read this, one of two things will be happening; either the College Football Playoff Committee will have chosen its’ four teams for the first-ever playoff or they will be about to do so.

Saturday 12/6/14 10am Eastern

Here’s what we know on the eve of the committee’s final selections. Oregon is in and then some. The Ducks avenged their only loss of the season by whipping Arizona 51-13 to win the Pac-12 Conference Title. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has made his final bid for the Heisman Trophy and along with Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and Alabama’s Amari Cooper, is headed to New York City for the announcement of the award.

12/6/14 4pm Eastern

As I write this portion just past 1pm Pacific Time, the TCU Horned Frogs are also in the playoff. They made quick work of a pathetic Iowa State team and won going away 55-3. Keep in mind, Baylor plays this evening and knowing what the Frogs have done, the pressure will be on the Bears to not just win, but win convincingly.

Briles
Art Briles' Baylor Bears have staked their claim to a payoff spot. Will the committee finally agree?

What if Baylor does just that though? It’s too late in my opinion. The committee has held TCU in higher regard than Baylor since the initial rankings were announced. It would make absolutely no sense for the committee to flip-flop them now.

12/6/14 815pm Eastern

Alabama has captured the SEC Title with a 42-13 win over Missouri and has punched their ticket into the four-team playoff. The Tigers struggled from the get-go while Alabama took advantage of a struggling Missouri offense.

By my record, three teams that have been in the top four most of the season have now set themselves up well to be in the playoff. As I look up at the television, I see Florida State, Ohio State and Baylor are all underway and looking to make their respective cases.

12/6/14 11pm Eastern

Baylor has taken care of business by defeating K-State 38-27. Let the comparisons begin between the two Big-12 champs… TCU defeated the Wildcats 41-20 and definitely has the better resume in terms of non-conference schedule. The problem is that Baylor won the head-to-head with TCU and that should be the deciding factor.

I think TCU is better overall, but Baylor won when it mattered.

12/7/14 826am Eastern

Well, well, well…. Things are going to be interesting today for the committee as they now have to consider Ohio State and Florida State wins in their respective conference championship games.

The Seminoles survived the the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 37-35 and again the question of whether winning ugly matters as long as you’re winning. My opinion here is that FSU is 13-0 and when you start your season your goal is to win every game. Regardless of how, Florida State has won all of their games and they have done that.

We can’t totally dismiss Ohio State who has finished at 12-1 and a with Big Ten title after destroying Wisconsin 59-0. They accomplished this behind a third-string quarterback and held former Heisman Trophy hopeful Melvin Gordon to 76 yards on 26 carries. I say “former” because that performance all but gives the trophy to Mariota.

While the Buckeyes did everything they could to get into the playoff, they will be hurt by that horrible loss to Virginia Tech and a weak Big Ten.

My Four-Team Playoff is 1. Alabama 2. Oregon 3. Florida State 4. TCU

My prediction for the committee will be 1. Alabama 2. Oregon 3. Florida State 4. Baylor

Let the screaming commence. Oh and it’s 852am Eastern…

 

Nebraska Makes a Curious Choice Plus, Does the Playoff Committee Get it?

Riley
Riley
Mike Riley is off to Lincoln and Nebraska fans aren't overly thrilled about it.

Ironically, I wrote an article just a couple of days ago about the firing of a coach who had a winning percentage of .713 yet was fired for not winning the big games. That coach was Bo Pelini of Nebraska of course.

Knowing that Pelini commonly won nine games a season during his seven season in Lincoln, it only makes common sense that the University of Nebraska was looking to improve upon that. What that would mean is that the Cornhuskers would presumably be looking for a coach with a track record of winning above just about all else.

It would also help if the new coach were not a hot-head whose comments and on-field behavior wasn’t completely out of control but in Nebraska, winning matters first right?

Apparently the phrase “not so fast my friend” is quite applicable here. Nebraska announced yesterday that Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley would be taking over the Huskers program for the 2015 season. Riley comes to Lincoln with an overall record of 93-79 which is a winning percentage of .541.

Let’s see here; .713 vs .541…. OK, there’s more to winning then right?

From 2006-2008, Riley’s Beavers finished with records of 10-4, 9-4 and 9-4. That’s very respectable for a Pac-12 team not named USC or Oregon. Riley’s last four seasons however have looked like this; 2014 5-7, 2013 7-6, 2012 9-4, 2011 3-9. If you’re keeping score at home, Mike Riley is under .500 over his last four seasons.

As you might imagine, this hire has not been well-received by the Big Red faithful. The most common theme among those commenting on message boards and in articles is “Why fire a guy who wins nine games a season and replace him with one who wins about six games a season?”

It’s an incredibly difficult question to answer because it’s legitimate. However, if you go back to that “other” reason for the change, this is where Riley excels. At 61, Riley is not a screamer and doesn’t blow his top at the drop of a yellow flag or fumbled football. He will bring a stable presence to the football team and no one questions that he’s a solid coach.

The problem is going to lie in recruiting and in winning over the faithful. Bring top athletes was never as easy as Tom Osborne once made it seem and it has only gotten more difficult with the decline of the program in the last 15 years.

Can Riley win at Nebraska? Yes, he certainly can but can he win championships? I’m much less confident about that and so is most of the state of Nebraska today.

Long
Jeff Long has done a nice job with the committee but he's missing a crucial element.

The Playoff Committee’ Big Gaffe

The College Football Playoff Committee has done a very good job to this point in selecting teams each week for it’s top four. There’s been a few curious predictions, chief among them placing TCU ahead of Baylor. Overall though, they’ve done a good job.

Unfortunately they’ve now backed themselves into a corner by ignoring the one, most important thing we all wanted from this playoff during the horrible years of the BCS. Head-to-head play should be the first and most important tie-breaker among two teams who have the same record.

This could all be a moot point if either Baylor or TCU lose this weekend but if both finish 11-1, the Bears need to be elevated higher than TCU simply because they won the head-to-head match-up. If things break perfectly for the committee, they’ll get losses by Ohio State and Florida State then they can just add Baylor and be done with it.

For their sake I hope it works. We wanted things settled on the field, not in a conference room and that’s been accomplished. Now they need to just recognize it.