Category Archives: College Football

CFB: They Got It Right

Ladies and gentleman, we have one exciting college football playoff waiting for us on New Years day. The selection committee got it right in their first season for the playoff. Alabama will play Ohio State in a familiar battle between Nick Saban and Urban Meyer. Oregon will tango with Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles. Yes, exciting College Football is coming.

These really were the 4 best teams at the end of the regular season. Alabama rolled through the SEC West gauntlet with only a loss to Ole Miss as a blemish. They beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs when they were ranked number 1. They beat Auburn in a memorable installment of the Iron Bowl. They even came back in the final minute to beat LSU in Death Valley.

Oregon played the only team that had beaten them in the Pac-12 Championship. The Ducks won 51-13 sealing their number 2 seed. Quarterback, Marcus Mariota figures to be this year’s Hiesman trophy winner.

Florida State has won 29 straight games, including an undefeated championship run last season. The Seminoles have made it interesting. 7 times they trailed and had to come back against opponents they were expected to beat handily. They, however have won every game and therefore deserve to be in the playoff.

Ohio State has shuffled through 3 quarterbacks due to injury. The season started with a narrow win against Navy and a bad loss to Virginia Tech. Since then, the Buckeyes have been dominate. In the Big 10 championship they beat Wisconsin 59-0. The shocking blowout was enough to propel the Buckeyes to the fourth and final seed.

Baylor and then TCU were the first two out, ranked 5 and 6 respectively. Its hard for the 2 Big 12 teams to complain. If their conference actually had a championship, one of them would have likely been represented in the playoff.

The selection committee got it right and we are all the winners for it. In risk of sounding like Larry Culpepper “Have you heard about the new College Football Playoff?” It sounds like one hell of a day in College Football.

Previewing Conference Championship Saturday

Its hard to believe that we are already playing conference championships as it feels like the season started just yesterday. Here is what to look forward to this Sunday.

Biggest Question Mark:
Can the Buckeyes win the Big 10 Championship with their 3rd string quarterback?

JT Barrett came in for the injured Braxton Miller and played phenomenally. Barrett is now sidelined with injury & it is up to Cardale Jones to lead the Buckeyes against Wisconsin. If Barrett could play the Buckeyes would be favorites. Now everything is up in the air. A college football playoff appearance may be unlikely for Ohio State but it is still a possibility. If the Buckeyes don’t miss a beat with Jones as the QB, it helps OSU’s chances.

What is the sure thing?
I think its safe to expect an Alabama win in the SEC championship against Missouri. This is not a knock on Missouri but rather a showing of confidence in the Crimson Tide. Alabama is battle tested coming out if the SEC West Gauntlet. The Crimson Tide are playing great football and are clearly the best team in the country.

Can Georgia Tech Upset FSU?

This is must watch, prime time football because the answer is yes. Georgia Tech is tough on defense and they have an overpowering ground attack on offense. Florida State has squeaked by all season long, Georgia Tech may be the best team they have played thus far.

Happy football weekend to all!

Analyzing the Selection Committee’s First Rankings

Chris Schisler

Last evening on ESPN, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee announced its first version of their rankings. It was the first of weekly announcements. It was an historic night but it was wildly over hyped on ESPN. The rhyming poem and dramatic voiceover was a bit much. It was the first look into the work of the all important committee; something we were reminded of ad nauseam. Here are my thoughts on the first actual rankings that matter.

There are no surprises in the top 2 slots. The remaining undefeated powers, Mississippi State and Florida State sit at 1 and 2. The 3 and 4 spots are where the controversy begins. Auburn is ranked number 3 and Ole Miss is ranked 4th. Both teams are very good so its not like we can call it ridiculous (In my personal rankings Auburn is 4th and Ole Miss is 5th).

Alabama being ranked 7th is a straight up crime (The Crimson Tide are No.3 on my list). I understand that Alabama lost to Ole Miss but since then they have destroyed 2 SEC teams. They walloped Texas A&M 59-0. Ole Miss just lost to LSU exposing the flaws of Bo Wallace. Why does Alabama’s loss to Ole Miss hurt them that much? Ole Miss lost to a good but not great LSU Tigers. They keep saying body of work is a huge factor. Alabama’s body of work is simply more impressive than that of the Ole Miss Rebels. Luckily, Alabama has plenty strength of schedule remaining; if they win out they will be a top 4 team.

The committee has contradicted itself a couple times in their first rankings. They made a clear point to not overreact to the moment with Ole Miss, who lost to LSU. They then overreacted to TCU’s 82 points against Texas Tech. TCU is ranked 7th. They only have been defeated once, to Baylor who is ranked 6 spots lower. The huge contradiction is that Ole Miss is way ahead of Alabama because of head to head results while TCU is way ahead of Baylor.

My next complaint is that Notre Dame surely gets a lot of love for doing a whole lot of nothing. The Fighting Irish have one signature win, against Stanford. Stanford now has 3 losses. Their real accomplishment was looking good enough against Florida State to hide their incredibly soft schedule. There is no team in the entire country that would get this much credit for beating Michigan, Purdue and Rice. They barely scraped by UNC giving up 43 points in the process. In my personal rankings (as meaningless as they might be) Notre Dame is ranked 18th.

There is a lot that is great about the Playoff Rankings. 3 of the 4 playoff seeds are currently held by SEC West teams. This is a good thing because the SEC, more specifically the SEC West is a cut above every other conference. In my opinion the 4 best teams are from the SEC West. The committee did not worry about over including the SEC; they put who they thought to be the best teams in the 4 spots. Its also great that 1 loss does not eliminate a team from contention.

At the end of the day the committee did a decent job so far. Its important to remember that their work is far from over as there are games into December. The committee is in the ballpark of being right and the rankings will correct themselves if the best teams win.

2015 NFL Draft: Top Quarterbacks

Chris Schisler

Assuming the Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, and Brett Hundley declare for the draft, they headline the event. Some will try to sell you others like Clint Trickett or Connor Cooks, but its all about the big 3. Here is my first evaluation of these 3 quarterbacks.
1.) Jameis Winston
Positives:

Good Arm Talent
Accuracy
Clutch, winner
Dual threat, instinctive runner
Extends Plays, wants to throw first
Hard to bring down
Teammates love him

Negatives:
Needs quicker release
Inconsistent footwork
Throws too many interceptions
Takes too many sacks
Extending plays often hurts his team
He acts like a clown, gets in trouble
Does not seem to be the brightest
Overview: Winston has the talent to play in the NFL. He will however be a bit of a project. His advocates say he reminds them of Roethlisberger. His critics would say its not worth the trouble. This quarterback, more than any, needs the right situation.

2.) Marcus Mariota
Positives:
Takes care of the ball
Rolls out of pocket, extends plays
Quick and elusive, hard to sack
Puts great zip on the football
Accuracy
Footwork and throwing mechanics
Negatives:
Needs to read defenses better
Relies on feet too much
Overview: Mariota should be a bit of a puzzle. He has every desirable attribute but the question is will his game translate to the NFL? He comes from a spread offense with a lot of dink, dunks and screen passes, and has superior talent around him.

3.) Brett Hundley
Positives:
Dual Threat
Big and tough
Good deep ball
Throws so receiver can keep running
Great leader, very poised
Big hands
Negatives:
Injury prone
Needs to work on touch on passes
Footwork can be sloppy
Needs to read defense better
Overview: Hundley reminds me of Steve McNair. I see him as a future star but there is a lot of growth his game needs.

5 Takeaways From Notre Dame @ FSU

Chris Schisler

The Florida State Seminoles beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish last night, in Tallahassee. Both teams entered the showdown with an undefeated record and hopes for the inaugural 4 team playoff. Here are 5 things to take away from the college football game.

1.) Another Close Call For FSU:
The Seminoles were dominating last season but are just scrapping by. A rare offensive pass interference penalty negated Notre Dame’s last minute touchdown. It was a lucky way to win. FSU trailed most of the night. The Seminoles win streak extends to an astonishing 23 games. The win streak survives and so does their top 5 ranking.

2.) Do These Teams Deserve Their Rank?

Until somebody beats Florida State, they will remain a top team in College Football. Computers no longer matter, style points are less important than they used to be. A case could be made though that their are 5 teams better than FSU; 4 of them in the SEC West. The number 2 team in the country should dominate opponents and certainly should not have the close calls that the Seminoles have had.

It was certainly a bad night for Irish fans. The Fighting Irish strength of schedule has not been stellar before the FSU game. Their signature win was against Stanford. Stanford just got shellacked against Arizona State, suffering their third loss. This game was a squandered opportunity for Notre Dame to prove their worth.

Florida State barely scrapped by a team that I was hesitant to buy stock in. There are still some challenging tests on their schedule. Going to Louisville after this big win looks like a trap game. Boston College and Virginia can provide a test for that defense.

3.) Winston Struggled Against Blitz

Jameis Winston was certainly fallible last evening. Against the blitz, on multiple occasions, Winston blindly launched the football over the middle of the field. Only one of these throws were intercepted and it could have gone much worse for FSU. Winston did much better in the second half.

Winston struggled when the pressure got right on him. Kirk Herbstreit, the commentator, compared him to Ben Roethlisberger. He never gives up on the play and with size and athletic ability, he loves to improvise. NFL draft scouts are going to want him to learn to throw the ball away. The way to beat FSU is to shred the defense and let Winston beat himself. It almost worked last night.

4.) Credit Where Credit Is Due
Last night we were treated to a crown jewel of a football game. A star was born in Corey Robinson. Robinson is tall, has great vertical ability and really good hands. The sophomore will be a high draft pick some day. Everett Golson was magnificent last night. He kept his eyes down field and showed great awareness. He extended plays that had no chance. The defensive line of Notre Dame was phenomenal. It was a great game against two good teams; a thought that gets lost in the “What does it mean” narrative.

5.) Really Ref?
The offensive pass interference was highly controversial. Yes the little pick play is illegal but it is seldom called. In the biggest moment of the game the referees took the spotlight. The touchdown may have occurred anyway. I hate to see that, a great game in the officials’ hands. At the end of the day, you can’t put the ref in that position. Its still a rough way to lose a huge football game.

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