Sports Where the College Football Playoff stands after Week 9
Opinion: Former Houston Astros GM still doesn't get he was fired for disgracing baseball
Jeff Luhnow was suspended by Major League Baseball for year and fired by Houston Astros for fostering culture that led to sign stealing in 2017, 2018.The disgraced former general manager of the Houston Astros, fired for fostering the frat boy culture that spawned the cheating scandal involving the 2017 World Series champions, is now whining about how unfairly he was treated. Luhnow didn’t know about the trash can banging or the text messages, he insisted in his first interview since he was fired, and he’s only the fall guy because Major League Baseball and Commissioner Rob Manfred wanted a high-profile head to roll.
It’s taken Ohio State just two weeks to turn the race for the Big Ten championship into a mere formality.
The Buckeyes have put together easy wins against Nebraska (52-17) and Penn State (38-25) as quarterback Justin Fields has surged into prime Heisman Trophy contention.
Even the 13-point edge over the Nittany Lions, if impressive on its own, doesn’t do justice to the Buckeyes’ dominance of a projected Big Ten championship contender.
Combined with what’s happened elsewhere in the conference — namely Michigan's— this high level of play has Ohio State on a clear track for the College Football Playoff.
Lost amid COVID outbreak, postponement was possible loss of QB Myles Brennan for 2020
Lost in the news of the LSU-Bama postponement due to COVID-19 and other developments was the possibility that Myles Brennan may miss the rest of 2020Then he said it again on Wednesday. But it went largely unnoticed.
Typically released in early November, the debut playoff rankings were scheduled for Nov. 17 but then moved back to Nov. 24 to accommodate this unique regular season. With the Pac-12 not beginning play until this weekend, the one-week delay was suggested by commissioner Larry Scott as a way to give the conference an additional data point with the selection committee.
HIGHS AND LOWS:
The Pac-12 may factor into the postseason debate. Oregon in particular has the talent and depth to go unbeaten in conference play, though it’s impossible to predict how the committee will perceive and compare teams with varying numbers of games played — in fact, that may end up being the defining issue of the championship race.
Better late than never, the Pac-12 joins the race for the College Football Playoff
Beginning Saturday, the Pac-12 will look to squeeze in seven games in seven weeks in an effort to make up ground with the rest of the Power Five.From Friday evening through the following morning, the program's itinerary more closely resembles boot camp than your typical college football weekend:
While awaiting the entry of the Pac-12, the playoff race has started to take focus. Unsurprisingly, three national powers have already staked a spot in the field.
Here’s how the top four would look today, followed by the four teams just on the outside:
1. Alabama: Want one example of Alabama's SEC supremacy? Senior DeVonta Smith has more receiving yards (203) than Mississippi State had total yards (200) in the Crimson Tide's 41-0 shutout.
2. Clemson: D.J. Uiagalelei isn't the only five-star freshman making a difference for the Tigers. Defensive linemen Myles Murphy and Bryan Breese have combined for 46 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 6½sacks and 10 quarterback pressures.
3. Ohio State: Fields has six touchdowns and seven incompletions. Two of those incomplete throws were drops in the end zone by Ohio State receivers.
4. Notre Dame: With surprisingly little attention, the Fighting Irish own the nation's longest active winning streak at 12 games.
Is this the year for the Group of Five to crack the College Football Playoff code?
This could be the year for the best team from the Group of Five to crack the code for the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati certainly has a shot.Meanwhile, the Big Ten is already reeling after just one week of play. An outbreak of positive test results for COVID-19 forced No. 11 Wisconsin to cancel Saturday's game against Nebraska, highlighting how difficult it will be for the conference to cram a nine-game schedule into an unforgiving window.
5. Georgia: Coach Kirby Smart will again be forced to answer questions about his choice at quarterback after Stetson Bennett threw two interceptions in a sloppy 14-3 win against Kentucky. At the least the Georgia defense is playing at a championship level.
6. Cincinnati: And speaking of good defenses, the Bearcats rank fourth nationally in yards allowed per play (4.22) even after facing two teams (SMU and Memphis) ranked in the top 11 nationally in total offense.
7. Texas A&M: Sophomore running back Isaiah Spiller ranks third in the SEC in yards per game (102.4) and leads the conference in yards per carry (6.02).
8. Florida: After making 16 interceptions a season ago, Florida has allowed eight touchdowns against one pick in 156 attempts. The Gators are also allowing opponents to complete 66% of their attempts, which ranks 82nd in the Bowl Subdivision.
The projected playoff rankings are almost identical to the Amway Coaches Poll, with one key distinction: Alabama and Clemson swap places at the top.
The reasoning for this change has little to do with the Tigers’ close call with Boston College, which would not be viewed negatively by the committee due to Clemson’s. Instead, the committee would likely look favorably on Alabama’s strength of schedule, which includes wins against two of the SEC teams listed above (Georgia and A&M).
Pac-12 and Clemson-Notre Dame among five big college football questions to be answered in Week 10
Week 10 in college football will be one with significant story lines. A look at the five biggest questions heading into Saturday's matchups.The two biggest contenders to make the field — Oregon and Southern California — face divisional rivals at home and have an opportunity to get off on the right foot. But there can't be many missteps along the way with such little margin for error with a seven-game schedule.
Two games this coming Saturday will have a tremendous impact on the playoff race. Clemson goes to Notre Dame in what may be the first of two meetings this season between the two programs, should the loser reach the ACC championship game. The loser will remain a contender for the top four.
It’s a different scenario in the SEC East, as Georgia and Florida meet in Jacksonville with win-or-go-home stakes. A win for the Bulldogs would set up the expected rematch with Alabama for the conference title. Beating Georgia would make Florida tough to unseat from atop the division.
And with two losses and an unlikely path to the conference championship, the loser would be eliminated from playoff consideration.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Five games in Week 9 with College Football Playoff impact .
A major Big Ten showdown and key clashes in the ACC and Big 12 are among the games with the biggest College Football Playoff impact in Week 9.Having said that, of course, there is always the possibility of this wild and wacky sport delivering a few tricks.