Odds on Next Year’s College Football National Champion Are Already Here

Meyer
Meyer
Can Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes repeat as champions?

The confetti from Monday night’s College Football Championship Game hasn’t even fallen to the ground yet and already we are looking ahead to who the tops teams in college football will for the 2015 season.

Below, you will find the latest odds on the teams favored as well as a reason why I think they could win the title and a reason why I think couldn’t.

Ohio State 5/1 -Why? Because regardless of who starts at QB they will have a solid playmaker. Why Not? Hangover. Will the hunger be there for another title run?

TCU 15/2 -Why? They have 10 starters back on a prolific offense including their QB. Why Not? They are clearly in the crosshairs now of every opponent.

Alabama 9/1 – Why? It’s Nick Saban and the cupboard is far from bare. Why Not? Who steps in at QB to replace Blake Sims?

Baylor 14/1 – Why? The Bears bring a lot of guys back and Art Briles has proven he can flat-out coach. Why Not? Bryce Petty is off to the NFL and a step down is only natural to project.

Auburn 18/1 – Why? The addition of Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator will bring added stock to the defense. Why Not? Nick Marshall moves on and can his replacement be as good at QB?

Oregon 16/1 – Why? Why Not? New QB and trips to East Lansing, Seattle, Tempe and Stanford await.

Michigan State 16/1 – Why? Why Not? Home date with Oregon plus trips to Ann Arbor, Lincoln and Columbus.

USC 18/1 – Why? The Trojans should have more depth this season and QB Cody Kessler returns. Why Not? Trips to Tempe, South Bend and Eugene will not be easy.

LSU 18/1 – Why? Les Miles returns a lot of guys who will have valuable experience and provide depth. Why Not? Simply put, it’s quarterback play. It has to be better.

Florida State 20/1 – Why? It’s the ACC and the Seminoles will reload. Why Not? The loss of Jameis Winston and Rashard Greene may be too much to replace.

Notre Dame 20/1 – Why? The Irish have a lot of guys back and will ride the wave of a bowl win. Why Not? The schedule is daunting with Texas, Georgia Tech, and USC at home and road games at Clemson and Stanford.

Oklahoma 20/1 – Why? Bob Stoops always has good recruiting classes so the cupboard is full. Why Not? Will the QB play improve and can Stoops shake off a couple of regular seasons?

Clemson 25/1 – Why? This could finally be the year the Tigers get past the Seminoles and their huge bowl win provides great momentum. Why Not? Clemson always seems to slip up where it shouldn’t. Can they avoid that?

Georgia 25/1 – Why? The SEC East is still struggling and can be had by the Bulldogs who have many players back. Why Not? It’s Mark Richt! He hasn’t gotten over the hump to this point so why would I expect any different?

Long Shots I Love

Georgia Tech 50/1 – The defense has improved and the offense is a royal pain in the rear to prepare for and defend.

Penn State 100/1 – James Franklin has a very good QB returning and his recruiting class is among the top in the country.

 

 

 

My Winners for Today’s Semifinal Games and More.

Winston
Winston
A win in the Rose Bowl would make Jameis Winston's career record at Florida State 28-0.

Normally a piece like this would be featured in the research area of the website but I’m “blogging” it today because I just have to break down these New Year’s Day games.

Florida State (+8) vs Oregon (O/U 71) – Despite being the only unbeaten team left in college football, the Seminoles are the three-seed in the first-ever college football playoff. Frankly, there’s a couple of reasons for that and those are the relatively weak schedule and the constant need to come from behind against much of that competition.

The Ducks are out to prove a couple of things; first, that they aren’t a finesse team and second, that their Heisman winning QB is better than Florida State’s. While may will make this a game between Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, I believe the defenses will play a significant role in who advances to the title game.

FSU has struggled defensively compared to last year and that’s giving lots of people reason to lay their money on the Ducks but there is one major concern I have here. Oregon struggles to score touchdowns in the red zone because they tend to go east and west more than north and south and they run out of room near the end zone. Offensive coordinator Scott Frost will need to make proper adjustments there.

Trends: The Ducks are 5-0 straight up in their last five games… Florida State is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games…The total has gone UNDER in four of FSU’s last five games.

The Pick: As badly as I want to take FSU here because of their penchant for comebacks this season, I have a feeling the Ducks are going to run them out of the building with an offensive pace they haven’t seen all year. Take the Ducks to cover and take the OVER.

Jones
The Buckeyes' fortunes will rise or fall behind QB Cardale Jones tonight.

Ohio State (+9) vs Alabama (O/U 58) – Ohio State comes to New Orleans with a team led by a quarterback who has started just one game in his career. Granted, Cardale Jones tore up Wisconsin in the Big Ten Title game 59-0, but he’ll face a much greater challenge in terms of both defensive talent and defensive coaching from Alabama.

The Tide under Nick Saban have always been a run-first team but behind new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, the offense has exploded. The key will be whether the Alabama offensive line can handle a very good defensive line from Ohio State. If the Crimson Tide control the line of scrimmage then it could be a long day for the OSU defense.

Trends: Alabama is 4-10-1 against the spread in their last 15 games… Ohio State is 5-0 straight up in their last five games… The total has gone OVER in 11 of OSU’s last 12 games… The Crimson Tide is 5-0 in its’ last five contests.

The Pick: With six national titles between the two of the them, Saban and Urban Meyer will have their teams ready to play. I think Bama wins but I like the Buckeyes getting the points and I like the OVER as well.

Other Bowls

Wisconsin (+7) vs Auburn – Take the Tigers to cover as the Badgers are in a bit of disarray right now.

Michigan State (+3) vs Baylor – I can’t get Sparty’s second half collapse against Oregon’s high-octane offense out of my head. Take the Bears to cover.

Minnesota (+5) vs Missouri – Are you sensing a trend? Every Big Ten team playing today is an underdog. With good reason too, take the Tigers to cover.

Michigan Gets Their Man; More College Football Thoughts

Harbaugh
Harbaugh
Jim Harbaugh is the next head coach at Michigan but how long will he stay?

University of Michigan Interim Athletic Director Jim Hackett made it very clear in the days following the firing of Brady Hoke; having a “Michigan man” was no longer a top priority.

There was always an exception to that rule and his name was Jim Harbaugh. Yesterday, Harbaugh became the 20th head football coach of the Wolverines. There is no one more “Michigan man” than Harbaugh who started at quarterback from 1984-1986 for the Bo Schembechler -led teams who were so successful.

I must admit I’m surprised Harbaugh spurned the National Football League and especially for less money than what he could have gotten from just about any of those teams. I think that two things played a major factor in his decision however.

Number one is that of the available NFL jobs, none had a quarterback that Harbaugh really wanted to work with and that’s vitally important for the old QB because as we know he can flat-out coach quarterbacks (see Andrew Luck). The Raiders and Jets both have young signal-callers but neither was enticing enough for Harbaugh.

The argument could be made that both Atlanta and Chicago have good, veteran quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler but each have their issues.

The second reason Harbaugh chose to leave the NFL is because I really feel he was tired of seeing what was happening to his alma mater an the call to come home and fix it was too great.

Michigan fans will once again pack the seats at Michigan Stadium to see the prodigal son return and he will make the program prominent once again but I caution them this; the desire to win a Super Bowl never leaves you as a player or coach if you’ve had a taste of it and Harbaugh has. I believe his stint in Ann Arbor will be five years or less because that desire will be too strong to avoid.

Stoops
The OU faithful are starting to wonder what's going on with Bob Stoops.

Bowl Game Bullets

-What on Earth has happened to Bob Stoops and Oklahoma? They were a preseason top five team who ended up finishing with five losses following a humiliating 40-6 loss to Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl. That score wasn’t indicative of how poorly Oklahoma played either. It was 40-0 after three quarters and Clemson pretty much emptied the bench in the final stanza. I have a feeling Stoops falls into that category of having been in the same place too long.

-I could be way off base here, but I think the Pac-12’s success in these early bowl games is a sign that Florida State better strap it up tomorrow when they face Oregon in the Rose Bowl. After Stanford’s 45-21 drubbing of Maryland last night in the Foster Farms Bowl, the Pac-12 moved to 4-0 in bowl season making them the only unbeaten conference remaining. Let’s face it – the level of competition between the ACC and Pac-12 wasn’t really a discussion topic anyway was it?

-As if I needed any more proof for my personal war against instant replay reviews in football I give you the LSU-Notre Dame game. Mad Hatter Les Miles went for a fake field goal and replays clearly showed the ball breaking the plane of the goal line but officials concluded it was disputable because of where the knee was. Here’s the thing, if the knee was down the play is over based on where the ball is when the knee touches right? The ball was over the goal line. If you can’t get replay right that you shouldn’t use it.

-Have a great New Year’s Eve and be safe people.

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…

 

Predicting the Committee’s Penultimate Playoff Rankings in College Football

Yeldon
Yeldon
T.J. Yeldon and the Tide survived Auburn. Can they now get past Missouri in the SEC Title game?

It’s really hard to put into perspective just what the College Football Playoff Committee is facing this week and in the week to come. On Sunday, December 7th, the committee will announce the four teams that will play in major college football’s first-ever playoff.

Let’s address this week and what we can expect from the committee first.

Alabama will remain the top-seed with their win over Auburn. It was the highest-scoring Iron Bowl in history and despite giving up a boatload of points and passing yards, the Tide will remain in the top spot heading into the SEC Championship Game.

While it would not surprise me to see Oregon jump into the top spot following their blowout win over rival Oregon State, I think they’ll stay put at number two. The Beavers were not nearly the level of competition that Auburn was so look for the Ducks to stay at number two.

Jameis
Despite four picks by Winston, the Seminoles hung on to beat Florida.

At number three, I expect the committee to stick with Florida State. To be really, really honest here I can actually see them dropping to number four because they continue to win ugly against lesser competition. Jameis Winston has not played well but the team keeps surviving and the name of the game is to win so look for the ‘Noles to stay at three.

The fourth and final spot is again filled with intrigue. I feel that TCU will stay because the committee has favored strength of schedule over head-to-head competition. The Horned Frogs destroyed a Texas team that was thought to be improving while Baylor survived Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are arguably the worst team in the Big 12.

TCU finishes at home against a pretty bad Iowa State team while the Baylor Bears finish with a very good Kansas State in Waco.

I expect to see Ohio State at five and Baylor at six, but the injury to Buckeyes’ QB J.T. Barrett could be a factor at least this week in the opinion of the committee.

So how will things shakeout?

Next Saturday could reveal a lot of status quo or we could see massive changes to the playoff participant list. Alabama plays a very good Missouri team in the SEC Title game. Oregon plays the only team to beat them this season, Arizona, in the Pac-12 Title game and Florida State will play in the ACC Championship game against a very hot Georgia Tech team who just beat Georgia in Athens.

Let’s imagine for a second that Bama, Oregon and Florida State all lose. With Ohio State playing in the Big 10 Title game against Wisconsin, a win by them immediately vaults them into the playoff but who else would join them?

Arizona would have to get a spot right? They would have been a top four team twice in the same season. With just one loss would Florida State be given a reprieve? I doubt it because the committee hasn’t been impressed with FSU all season. The most interesting question to me is what happens if TCU and Baylor both finish with just one loss.

Would the committee seed them ahead of a two-loss Alabama team?

Obviously there’s a lot that can still happen. Should total chaos ensue, can we rule out teams like Mississippi State, Wisconsin, Georgia Tech or Missouri? I don’t think so simply based on who they would have beat this coming Saturday.

For tomorrow, plan on Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and TCU. For next week, plan on just about anything.

Alphabet Soup Today as I Hit on the NFL, MLB and the NCAA.

Beckham
Beckham
Was Odell Beckham's catch Sunday night the greatest ever? I'll leave that to you.

I can’t remember a time when one individual play, in a losing effort, garnered so much attention. But that was the case Sunday night when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants in Sunday Night Football.

The Cowboys winning should have been the story but instead it was the one-headed, falling backwards into the end zone grab by Giants’ rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.

I’m going to spare all of you as to whether or not I believe it was the greatest football catch of all time but I will tell you it has to rank right up there among the top five. I leave the debating to you.

The one question I have for you is this; does Beckham make that catch without the use of gloves?

Panda
Pablo Sandoval looks to be headed to the Boston Red Sox.

MLB

Clearly the Boston Red Sox were not thrilled with their last place finish in the American League East this past baseball season. The BoSox appear to have infielder Hanley Ramirez ready to sign for five years and $90 million and now it seems they will lock up third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

Sandoval is fresh off of another World Series Title with the San Francisco Giants and reportedly turned down offers from the Giants and San Diego that were very similar to what Ramirez is getting from Boston.

The Red Sox are also reportedly interested in bringing back lefty Jon Lester who went to the Oakland A’s in a mid-season trade this past season.

Should all three, or at least the first two happen, Boston is making it clear they are all-in for 2015.

NCAA Football

Because of his connections with the University of Florida going back decades, former Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins’ Head Coach Mike Shanahan has been rumored to be a favorite of Athletic Director Jeremy Foley. My gut feeling tells me there is nothing here more than conjecture.

At 62 years old, I can’t see a major program like Florida starting over with Shanahan. If the program is much more damaged than we have been led to believe then I can see the hiring of Shanahan as a “stabilizing force” type of hire who cleans things up and then moves on. Still, I find his hiring difficult to believe.

The college football playoff committee will announce their latest rankings this evening and at this current point, the teams ranking five through eight might be more important. The top four should be Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State. The Seminoles and Ducks have already established spots in their respective conference title games and the Crimson Tide can punch their ticket with a win on Saturday over Auburn.

The teams that will be watching closely are Ohio State, TCU and Baylor among the one-loss teams. Of these teams, only Ohio State will have to play a conference title game. The real controversy of course is between Baylor and TCU. The Bears own the head-to-head win but the committee is more impressed by TCU’s level of competition and of late has had them ranked higher.

The Buckeyes continue to be the most intriguing one-loss team looking up in the rankings. Their level of competition is pretty weak compared to other teams and their lone loss (to 5-6 Virginia Tech) looks worse and worse every week. Ultimately it could keep them out of the four-team playoff.

Of the tw0-loss teams still holding out hope, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA would seem to be the front-runners. Each of those teams is going to require a lot of help however.

Traditional Powers are Reeling in College Football Plus My Latest Playoff Prediction

Kelly
Kelly
Brian Kelly's Irish have dropped four of five and Irish fans aren't happy.

It wasn’t that long ago that both Notre Dame and Nebraska were sitting in good shape for a potential playoff spot if things broke right for them. Both teams had started their respective seasons undefeated and even when both finally lost their first games, they were still in contention for some really good postseason news.

Nebraska’s loss was at Michigan State. The Cornhuskers fell behind but rallied late and nearly pulled off the comeback in East Lansing before losing by five points. It was a loss, but it was widely regarded as a “good loss” because at that point, Michigan State had lost only to Oregon in Eugene so losing to the Spartans was nothing to be ashamed of.

In South Bend, the feeling was that the Irish had been robbed in Tallahassee when their late, game-winning touchdown was called back because of a controversial pass interference call. So much like Nebraska, the Irish were still very much in play for a playoff berth should they run the table.

Things change quickly in collegiate athletics and college football is the prime example.

Pelini
I imagine the Huskers will see lots of this face this week at practice.

Just weeks later, both of these traditional powers find themselves searching for answers. Nebraska has now dropped two straight games to Wisconsin and to Minnesota. Ironically, those two teams will be playing for the Big Ten West Division title next week in Madison while the Huskers will be playing for pride and bowl position against Iowa.

For the Irish, it’s been even worse. They struggled to put away Navy following the FSU loss since the win over the Midshipmen, Notre Dame has lost three in a row. The first of those was a sloppy loss at Arizona State and the last two have been at home to Northwestern and Louisville yesterday. The Fighting Irish are now 7-4 and still have USC to deal with.

Questions were already swirling about Bo Pelini’s fate in Lincoln and that will intensify this week. Brian Kelly can only ride the trip to the National Title Game so long before he starts to feel more pressure as well. His last two losses will not sit well with the Irish faithful.

Another traditional power on the outs is of course Michigan who dropped to 5-6 following a fourth quarter collapse and eventual loss to Maryland in what is sure to be Brady Hoke’s final game in Michigan Stadium.

The Wolverines now face the prospect of having to go to Columbus and defeat the Buckeyes in order to go to a bowl game and that ain’t happening. Michigan has suffered from horrible quarterback play and untimely defensive failures all year.

Interim Athletic Director Jim Hackett announced yesterday that the decision on Hoke’s future would be his to decide. Firing Hoke isn’t easy because he’s a likable guy and a ‘Michigan Man’ through and through but the evidence is overwhelming in favor of terminating him. The only thing that can save Hoke is a win over the hated Buckeyes but I can’t see it happening.

I expect Hoke to join Will Muschamp on the unemployment line very soon.

My Playoff Predictions for this week

1. Alabama – Revenge week begins as Auburn comes to Tuscaloosa.

2. Florida State – Yes, they struggled again but the name of the game is winning and they are doing that.

3. Oregon – Another ho-hum blowout this time over Colorado.

4. Mississippi State – The Bulldogs bounced back from their loss to Alabama by crushing Vanderbilt 51-0.

Still in the running… TCU, Baylor, Ohio State

Gurley Injury, Bama Beats the Bulldogs and Florida Will Send Muschamp Packing

Gurley
Gurley
This was not the season Todd Gurley envisioned having and it got worse on Saturday.

It was huge win for Georgia. They defeated Auburn 34-7 after spotting the Tigers a 7-0 lead but a cloud hung over Sanford Stadium Saturday evening as news spread that Bulldogs’ Running Back Todd Gurley had a very serious injury. It was confirmed yesterday that Gurley will miss the remainder of the season with an ACL tear. This was Gurley’s first game back since admitting he took money for signing autographs and this wasn’t how his Bulldogs’ career was supposed to end.

Gurley will still get drafted but this has to hurt his stock. It’s another tough blow for kid who admitted his mistake, served his punishment and returned only for this to happen.

Ironically, it was a Todd Gurley-less Georgia team that seemed to have saved Will Muschamp’s job at Florida. The win was sorely needed by both school and coach but now none of that matters as the university announced yesterday that Muschamp would not return.

It seems likely that the Gators will reach a bowl. At 5-5, Florida will play host to Eastern Kentucky which should provide them their sixth win and common sense would have to tell us that they’ll fall to rival Florida State in the finale. It’s doubtful he would coach in a bowl game if the Gators even accept a bid.

As has been the problem all season, what big name is out there for the Gators to go get? I would have to think Dan Mullen will get a call and heck, maybe even Urban Meyer (kidding)? I think Muschamp put forth great effort but between injuries and just flat-out poor play, his fate was sealed.

Bulldogs
The Bulldogs should't hang their heads for long because I believe they are still in the top four.

It came as no surprise to me that Alabama beat Mississippi State Saturday. Bama has played in games of this magnitude for years and the fact they were at home was just icing on the cake. The Crimson Tide defense sacked Bulldogs’ QB Dak Prescott just once but they harassed him all day forcing him into one poor throw or decision after another.

I don’t feel like this is a typical Nick Saban team but they still find ways to win and it all starts with Saban. With a cupcake in Western Carolina coming in next week and a reeling Auburn the following one, I see no reason why the Tide won’t be in the four-team playoff.

Where we stand now in the race for the playoff

As usual, we are left with more questions than answers as we await the college football playoff committee’s rankings on Tuesday night. The first question will focus on Mississippi State. With a five-point loss in Tuscaloosa, is that enough to keep them in the top four? I believe it is.

The second question is whether the committee will punish TCU for barely beating a Kansas team that Baylor destroyed. The Bears beat the Jayhawks 60-14 while the Horned Frogs escaped 34-30. The debate between both Big 12 teams has been strong but perhaps even in victory it is no longer up for discussion. The committee rewarded TCU ahead of Baylor (even though the Bears beat the Frogs) because of their more impressive schedule.

I think, based upon TCU’s close call and Arizona State’s blunder at Oregon State, Baylor will move up to #5 and wait for someone to fall above them. Therefore I believe the committee will come out with the following top-four;

1. Alabama 2. Florida State 3. Oregon 4. Mississippi State

With the committee elevating an Alabama team to number one even though they weren’t in the top four will create the talking points this week. Let’s face it; talking points are what this whole thing is about anyway right?

 

The Bickering Over the Top Four in College Football is Pointless

CFB Trophy
CFB Trophy
Eventually, four teams will fight for this trophy. Arguing about what four they are now is a fruitless endeavor.

One thing that many college football pundits and fans worried about with the demise of the BCS was that the talking points would be gone. That is to say, sports talk radio and sports television wouldn’t have nearly the guesswork and hyperbole to dwell over for the final six weeks of the season.

Common thought was that with four teams making the final four playoff, there would be no need to have endless discussions about who would be in and who would be out. I think we can safely say that this notion has been crushed. In fact, I would go so far as to say the discussion of the new playoff system is already more intense and more interesting than it ever was in the BCS.

Look no further than this past week’s committee unveiling of the latest top four teams. For me personally, the whole thing is essentially a waste of time. What sense is there in getting all worked up over a “projected” final four when there are so many games yet to be played?

The big argument this week stems over the committee’s decision to place 8-1 TCU ahead of fellow one-loss team Alabama and to have once beaten Oregon jump over unbeaten Florida State. What is clear beyond any doubt is that the committee could care less about a team’s record right now and is much more enamored in a team’s strength of schedule.

While the Seminoles have remained unbeaten, their victories have been less than impressive. While I see the committee’s thinking, isn’t the one, over-ridding objective to win football games? Should and will “style points” matter?

Perhaps the more fascinating dilemma facing the committee will be with TCU and Big 12 rival Baylor. The Bears and Horned Frogs each have one loss. Baylor suffered theirs on the road at West Virginia while TCU suffered their only loss at Baylor in a close shootout. Normally the head-to-head is the clincher and this discussion would go no further.

Baylor-TCU
Baylor's 61-58 win over TCU would seem like enough to give the Bears an edge over TCU but apparently not.

Head-to-head does not appear to be the number one concern for this committee at the current time with TCU ahead of Baylor. The only logical explanation is strength of schedule which clearly favors the Frogs. If we assume both teams win out and finish 11-1, will the committee stick to its’ current platform which puts strength of schedule ahead of head-to-head.

This notion will be tested again this coming weekend when top-ranked Mississippi State travels to fifth-ranked Alabama who has one loss. If the Bulldogs lose a close contest to Bama I have to believe that the committee will keep both the Crimson Tide and the Bulldogs in the top four. That would likely mean TCU would get the boot and would put to rest any debate over whether the Frogs or the Bears should get a top four nod.

All of this conjecture, as I stated in the opening, is futile. Fans in Arizona will have arguments as will fans in Ohio and on and on and on… Eventually the college football playoff will be set and the debate will rage not on who is in but on who is out.

The next step of course will be calling for an eight-team playoff and then 16. I believe the eight-team playoff will come in the future but that’s as far as it will go in my opinion. For the next few weeks anyway, enjoy all the arguing and dissecting of every team. In the end, it really won’t matter much.

 

The Cavs are Struggling; College Football Playoff Week Two

Love and LeBron
Love and LeBron
Love and LeBron will eventually get things together in Cleveland.

Welp, there it is. We may as well go ahead and cancel the rest of the National Basketball Association’s season. The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1-3 now despite having three of the game’s best players. A few more losses and we’ll likely see the riverfront once again on fire and people looting in the streets.

The whole thing is quite comical mind you and have no other way to look at than that. It’s four games people, four games!!! They have 78 more games to go and they play in the one conference where just about every team resembles the Washington Generals.

Before you “LeBron fans” have a heart attack let me remind you that his first year with the Heat didn’t exactly provide a quick payoff either. That team started 9-8 before ripping off 12-straight wins. That team made the NBA Finals where they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.

It just doesn’t matter how many great players you pull together on the same team. It takes time to coalesce at both ends of the floor and right now the Cavs are having problems at each end.

Star guard Kyrie Irving had 34 points Wednesday night yet had zero assists. As a team, they had just six assists for the entire game. Kevin Love isn’t shooting the rock very well yet and he isn’t getting the looks he’s used to getting either.

The defensive end isn’t much better right now. The Cavs are 23rd in the league in points allowed (101.5ppg) and they are the third worst team in the league in field goal percentage allowed. Teams are shooting just under 50% against them through the first four games.

Head Coach Dave Blatt is not an idiot. This guy has proven he can coach but can he coach this group of players? That is the most honest question we can ask right now.

I believe Cavaliers’ fans must be patient and so does the rest of the “LeBron Nation” as well. I have every expectation that this team will start meshing and the wins will start coming. When, I do not know but in the NBA Eastern Conference, things are not as tough as they would be in the West.

Yeldon
Will T.J. Yeldon and the Tide be able slide past LSU again?

The College Football Rankings Mean Nothing

Tuesday night the 12-person college football committee released their rankings for the second straight week. There were no surprises in the top three positions with Mississippi State, Florida State and Auburn holding down the top three spots. Where the completely unnecessary sets in is  in reference to the fourth spot.

For this week, the Oregon Ducks have been selected as the fourth best team. This of course sent fans from Alabama and TCU into social media tantrums and for the life of me I cannot figure out why? This is not the final standings nor is in even the final weekend of the regular season. What the committee knows and what many fan bases already recognize is that the current top four is unlikely to remain the top four in several weeks.

Alabama has a road challenge Saturday at LSU and still plays at Auburn as well. TCU still has a schedule that consists of #7 Kansas State while these same Wildcats still have road trips to West Virginia and Baylor. Michigan State and Ohio State play an elimination game Saturday night so what I’m getting at is quite simple.

Teams are still going to lose games and that means a shake-up within the rankings. Root all you’d like for your team but these teams will figure out things on their own as the season comes to a close. In closing, these rankings mean nothing right now.