Play­off com­mit­tee fac­ing po­ten­tial prob­lem

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Ralph D. Russo

With their re­spec­tive Big 10 vic­to­ries on Satur­day, Ohio State and Penn State are set­ting up for quite the po­ten­tial prob­lem for the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.

Ohio State and Penn State are set­ting up for quite the po­ten­tial prob­lem for the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off se­lec­tion com­mit­tee.

The sec­ond-ranked Buck­eyes and No. 8 Nit­tany Li­ons each won Satur­day, send­ing Penn State to the Big Ten cham­pi­onship game as East Divi­sion win­ners and Ohio State into wait-and-see mode. Both teams look play­off wor­thy for now.

The other race that changed on ri­valry Satur­day was the one for the Heis­man Tro­phy.

And, oh, Texas and LSU hired new coaches, just like that.

Thoughts, take­downs and take­aways from week 13 of the col­lege foot­ball sea­son.

1. There were some de­bat­able calls but Jim Har­baugh came across like a sore loser . And you have to won­der if the phone call Ur­ban Meyer got from his wife dur­ing his postgame news con­fer­ence, and his “bring a gal­lon of milk home on the way home” com­ment was not just a lit­tle bit of a shot at the whole-milk lov­ing Michi­gan coach.

2. Shel­ley Meyer is a coach’s wife who def­i­nitely pays at­ten­tion.

3. How good was the Michi­gan-Ohio State game ? How much was there to talk about? Well, Cur­tis Sa­muel made what might have been the great­est and most im­por­tant 8-yard run in Ohio State foot­ball his­tory and it be­came a side­bar in one of the best games the Buck­eyes and Wolver­ines have ever played.

4. So now the tricky part. Penn State is 10-2 with a vic­tory against Ohio State, head­ing to In­di­anapo­lis to play No. 5 Wis­con­sin. If Wis­con­sin wins, easy de­ci­sion for the com­mit­tee. The Buck­eyes beat the Badgers in the reg­u­lar sea­son and the com­mit­tee can jus­tify over­look­ing the Big Ten champ for what looks like the Big Ten’s best team.

5. If Penn State wins, the Nit­tany Li­ons will have both the con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship and head-to-head against Ohio State. The Nit­tany Li­ons also have losses to Pitt and Michi­gan, but since get­ting blown out by the Wolver­ines they have won eight straight games.

6. The com­mit­tee chair­man made clear last week that it did not con­sider Ohio State and Penn State to have com­pa­ra­ble re­sumes and it is hard to see that chang­ing af­ter the Buck­eyes just added Michi­gan to its list of im­pres­sive wins that in­cludes at Ok­la­homa and at Wis­con­sin.

7. Two Big Ten teams maybe? That might be a tough fit if Alabama, Wash­ing­ton and Clem­son all win out. Their op­po­nents in con­fer­ence ti­tle games are as fol­lows: Florida in the SEC for Alabama; Vir­ginia Tech in the ACC for Clem­son and Colorado, which clinched Satur­day night, in the Pac-12 for Wash­ing­ton.

8. Could be a very in­ter­est­ing last meet­ing in Grapevine, Texas, next week­end for the com­mit­tee. The pre­dic­tion: Ohio State gets in re­gard­less of what else hap­pens be­fore se­lec­tion Sun­day.

9. LSU hired the de­fen­sive line coach to re­place the win­ningest coach in the his­tory of the pro­gram . If Ed Org­eron fails, it will fall on ath­letic di­rec­tor Joe All­eva.

10. Charlie Strong de­served to be fired by Texas. The re­sults just were not good enough. And he leaves be­hind a well set ta­ble for Tom Her­man .

11. And just like that, Texas and LSU slammed the brakes on the coach­ing carousel.

12. LSU is likely to be the only SEC school to change coaches — un­less Texas A&M de­cides a $15 mil­lion buy­out is not too much to part ways with Kevin Sum­lin.

13. There will likely be no move­ment among coaches in the ACC. North Carolina State came out Satur­day and said Dave Do­eren is stick­ing around af­ter the Wolf­pack beat North Carolina on Fri­day.

14. Pur­due is likely to be the only Big Ten school to change coaches , but slow down on the P.J. Fleck to the Boil­er­mak­ers . The Western Michi­gan coach could end up in West Lafayette, In­di­ana, but no deal is be­ing struck be­fore the un­beaten Bron­cos play the MAC ti­tle game. They are a vic­tory away from the Cot­ton Bowl.

15. The next and maybe only other Power Five job to open could be Ore­gon af­ter the Ducks ended their worst sea­son in 25 years by losing to Ore­gon State for the first time since 2007 . Mark Hel­frich prob­a­bly won’t sur­vive 4-8.

16. If (when) Alabama beats Florida in the SEC cham­pi­onship game, ev­ery team in the SEC but the Crim­son Tide will have at least four losses. The Sugar Bowl gets the high­est ranked SEC team af­ter Alabama and you can’t make a good ar­gu­ment for any of them.

17. Texas A&M de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor John Chavis, Ten­nessee de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Bob Shoop and Louisville de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Todd Gran­tham are among the high­est paid as­sis­tants in the coun­try, mak­ing a to­tal of $4 mil­lion this sea­son. Their de­fenses al­lowed 1,811 yards this week­end.

18. Don’t feel so bad guys. Of­fense was out of con­trol ev­ery­where. Three FBS teams (Navy, Mid­dle Ten­nessee and Pitt) scored in the 70s on Satur­day and the Pan­thers and Syra­cuse set a record for the high­est scor­ing reg­u­la­tion game.

19. So about that Heis­man, La­mar Jack­son? The Louisville quar­ter­back was both spec­tac­u­lar and sloppy in a loss to Ken­tucky. He com­mit­ted four turnovers, three when the Car­di­nals were on the verge of scor­ing. Still, Jack­son has ac­counted for 51 touch­downs this sea­son. If not him for Heis­man, then who?

20. No. 7 Ok­la­homa’s Baker May­field and Dede West­brook get to make a last state­ment next week in the de facto Big 12 ti­tle game against No. 10 Ok­la­homa State. Credit the Soon­ers sports in­for­ma­tion for sens­ing a mo­ment to seize the op­por­tu­nity and cre­at­ing a Heis­man web­site for both.

21. Want to talk Clem­son’s De­shaun Wat­son ? He was great against South Carolina, but his game against Pitt was much like Jack­son’s against Ken­tucky.

22. J.T. Barrett has been clutch for Ohio State, but not Heis­man wor­thy. Maybe Cur­tis Sa­muel? But nei­ther Buck­eye will play next week­end.

23. Wash­ing­ton’s Jake Brown­ing put him­self back in the dis­cus­sion on Fri­day against Wash­ing­ton State and has the Pac-12 ti­tle game to show off again.

24. USC’s Adoree’ Jack­son cer­tainly put on a show against Notre Dame . How about the best player on the best unit in col­lege foot­ball: Alabama de­fen­sive line­man Jonathan Allen.

25. Pre­dic­tion: Jack­son still wins the Heis­man.


Penn State’s Ma­lik Golden, mid­dle, hoists the Big Ten East divi­sion tro­phy af­ter de­feat­ing Michi­gan State 45-12 on Satur­day.

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