Championship weekend is this weekend! The weekend of all weekends in college football! The weekend in which champions are determined, those who walk away with their conference trophies will be champions not just on this weekend but champions for life!
Here’s the big ones this weekend, and I’m only including the MAC because of Frank Solich and the fact that Western Michigan is undefeated.
- Ohio vs Western Michigan
- Colorado vs Washington
- Alabama vs Florida
- Clemson vs Virginia Tech
- Penn State vs Wisconsin
The beauty of this year’s conference championship games is that they determine little about who is actually going to be in the college football playoff. Normally you would think that the winner of a major conference would be a lock to be in the playoff. Not so this season!
Alabama is a lock. Ohio State is a lock. Clemson is a lock, if they beat Virginia Tech. That leaves the last spot open for Washington, maybe, unless Penn State or Wisconsin when in a blowout at which point there will probably be two Big Ten teams in the playoff.
There are so many different scenarios that they include the potential for Michigan to make it, or possibly even Colorado, that the media is having a field day discussing them ad nauseam on TV in print on the Internet and on social media. It’s a media dream!
There are two outstanding points with regards to this year’s College Football Playoff discussion:
- The Big Ten is the best conference in the nation.
The past few seasons, the discussions have been dominated by the SEC conference. This year, it’s the Big Ten, and it’s not even close. There are four teams from the Big Ten in the top seven in the college football playoff rankings. That is incredible and it should also give notice to Nebraska fans just how difficult it is going to be for the Huskers to achieve success in this conference.
It is fun, to a certain extent, that our conference is getting the attention that it is. It certainly better than having to hear about the SEC over and over and over and over.
- The College Football Playoff Committee’s job is to choose the top four teams
This cannot be stressed enough – the committee has one job and one job only and that is to choose the top four teams in the nation. It doesn’t matter if three of those four teams are from the same conference, if they won their conference championship game or not, and while the playoff committee has a set of published criteria that they say they follow, they’re really not required to give much of an explanation about why they chose the teams they chose.
I’ve seen reference to the idea that if Ohio State gets in without winning their conference championship that it sets a precedent on how selections will be made in the coming seasons. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are no precedents to be set because the committee is not bound by law, it is bound by whatever it wants to do, which is whatever it feels like at the time, which means it’s really bound by nothing whatsoever but picking “the top four teams.”
The College Football Playoff Committee doesn’t really have to explain how they do their job. If it’s obfuscated and the medial howls about it, all the better. It’s a beautiful thing all around.
The argument could be made that the playoff would be better if it included eight teams, but it wouldn’t. It would be worse. I’ve explained this enough times, and I think I’ve written the same thing every year that the playoff comes around. If we expand it to eight teams without including home-field advantage in the first round then cold-weather teams will be screwed forever. Think about the logistics of that – a cold-weather team having to play in consecutive weeks on the road against the team who is playing probably near their home stadium. That’s just dumb.
The second problem is that college football fans are trying to turn college football into the NFL. The NFL has specific rules that makes the team’s balanced. They all play with the same number of teams in each division, and in each conference, each team gets a specific roster size, a salary cap, and if those aren’t enough there’s the NFL draft that makes sure (or at least tries to, they can’t account for management stupidity) that every team has a good shot at getting good players.
You are never going to make college football fair for every team. Even if you constructed the conferences in such a way that the major conferences had all the same number of schools, and played the name same number of conference games, there would still be discrepancies in their non-conference schedules, their ability to recruit quality players, and even in their ability to attract and pay the best coaching staff.
Abbreviated because I am having editor problems right now.
Central Florida's Scott Frost says he isn't a candidate for the Oregon coaching job and is committed to staying at UCF. Frost said Thursday that he's happy in Orlando and wants to continue building on the strides the Knights took this year in his first season at the American Athletic Conference school.
He’s gonna be there for another year or two so he can wait for the Nebraska job to open up, you know it, although I don’t know why he thinks WE’D BE GETTING RID OF A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP COACHING STAFF at that point.
Jessica Shepard tied her season high with 25 points and added her third double-double with 14 rebounds, but the Nebraska women's basketball team faded down the stretch in a 76-67 loss to unbeaten Virginia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at Cassell Coliseum on Thursday night.
The BIG news out of the Big Ten was yesterday’s mysterious firing of Kevin Wilson, who appeared to be doing well at Indiana.
Dominique Booth’s cryptic tweets may hint at a story behind the departure.
The quarterback made headlines after announcing he was stepping away from football, saying "I need my brain"
Indiana’s Kevin Wilson reportedly forced players back from injury, leading to his reported firing on Thursday.
Our own Steven Godfrey reports at SBNation.com that Allen will take over the team going forward, but for how long is unknown and Indiana confirms.
A source with ties to the Indiana program confirms the report to CQ, and states the inquiry may have been kicked off by Zander Diamont’s public comments last week.
The truth will come out. It almost always does, especially when the platform is as public as the football program at Indiana University, and the action is as shocking as the sudden departure of Kevin Wilson, the Hoosiers’ most successful football coach in decades.
Last night Wikileaks obtained what can only be described as shocking transcripts made by the NSA spying on communications between the on-field official at the Ohio State-Michigan game and Big Ten headquarters during the now famous fourth-and-1 overtime review.
Heading into the final week before college football’s conference championships, all eyes were on Columbus, Ohio, for the epic Michigan-Ohio State duel.
Is 538 trustworthy anymore? I mean... you know...
Can the Big Ten get three teams in? Does Penn State even have a chance?
We’re down to three contenders for college football’s tastiest prize, which goes to the single best non-lineman play by a lineman.
NFL vice president Troy Vincent dropped some conveniently timed news on Thursday. Vincent said the league is planning to hire 17 full time officials and put an eighth ref on the field for games.
The idea behind full-time refs is that they’d be able to spend more time reviewing the finer points of the rule book and refining how the games are called. Right now, officials are part-time employees with day jobs somewhere else.
Maybe they should make the friggin’ rules less complex so that you don’t have to have a law degree to call a game of football. Maybe when the defensive guy jumps and causes an offensive lineman to move, it’s always the offense’ fault unless the defense touches the guy. Maybe if the ball hits the ground, it’s ALWAYS an incompletion.
Okay, maybe they should have full-time officials. It’s not like they can’t afford it. It’s doesn’t seem like it would hurt, does it?
Then There’s This
On Thursday, Jefferson had his first day of a four-day stint at the Mall of America - marking the mall's first ever black Santa, and providing some Minnesotan families with a holiday experience they felt was long overdue. One woman told Jefferson she had been waiting 25 years to see a black Santa. Other families told him they had driven hours just so their kids could meet him.