LSU upsets Ole Miss. The Playoff Selection Committee to release its first poll. North Carolina scandal report finalized. Here are five takeaways from the weekend in college football.
Ole Miss No Longer Perfect
Ole Miss’s struggling offense caught up to the team in its fourth quarter loss at LSU. A Bo Wallace interception with nine seconds left sealed the deal in this low-scoring game. While its season is far from over, the Rebels no longer control their own destiny. They will need both themselves and LSU to win out in order to have a legitimate argument come season’s end. Auburn and Mississippi State’s success give Ole Miss two great opportunities to get back in the playoff picture.
Interestingly, as happens most years, #3 Alabama has jumped Ole Miss in the AP rankings after losing to Ole Miss on the field. On the one hand, this can help CFB fans to breathe easier because a playoff will now decide the champion. On the other hand, it gives pause because the playoff is based on polls and opinion.
On Tuesday evening, the CFB playoff selection committee will release the first ever Playoff Selection Committee Top 25 rankings. The rankings will continue weekly until Dec 7, when the four semifinal teams will be announced. Unfortunately, the Selection Committee will have anonymity in their voting; their individual votes will not be made public. Anonymity was one of the major factors that brought down the BCS. The public wasn’t allowed to know most of the formulas that were used to rank teams (Of the formulas that were public, various errors were found in their rankings).
Because each of the committee members is in some way aligned with a school or conference, transparency would allow conferences, schools, coaches, players, and fans to see if the system is just. It would also protect the members, showing that fairness is possible.
Note: Before Archie Manning’s medical leave of absence, committee members were directly associated with the three teams just outside of the playoff picture: #5 Oregon, #6 Notre Dame, and #7 Ole Miss.
TCU Puts up 82 points
The TCU Horned Frogs racked up 785 yards on Saturday in an 82-27 rout of Texas Tech. QB Trevone Boykin, who threw for 433 yards and seven touchdowns, now enjoys consideration as an outside candidate for the Heisman Trophy. The Big 12, known as an offensive league, continues to show that its members can put up big points in a hurry.
Important Hurdles This Week
FSU at Louisville: Florida State’s last foreseeable test of the regular season will come this Thursday at Louisville. The Cardinals’s defense is one of the best in the nation. Playing in a hostile environment against an elite defense will test the mettle of Jameis Winston and company.
Alabama at LSU: LSU showed that they can play spoiler, but can they spoil another SEC West foe’s dreams? Alabama goes to Death Valley to face a team that has the upset formula: severely limit the passing game and pound the ball.
TCU at West Virginia: WVU upset Baylor when it was top dog in the Big 12. Now, TCU is on top and has to go into Morgantown. This will definitely be a high-scoring game.
North Carolina Report Complete
The Wainstein Report, commissioned by UNC, detailed the most pervasive cheating scandal in the history of the NCAA. Current and former UNC coaches, including Roy Williams, Butch Davis, and Mack Brown, have all denied knowledge of the fraudulent nature of the classes that gave credits to both athletes and non-athlete students.
Now that the facts have been produced, the NCAA must decide on the appropriate punishment for the school. Even in this situation where a penalty is deserved, the current model of NCAA punishment is completely unjust to the student-athletes who neither participated in the scandal nor knew that a scandal was underway. Bowl bans, decreased scholarships, etc., serve to punish the athletes. Hopefully, the NCAA will consider punishing the school using a model that would allow the athletes to participate in the postseason with the school forfeiting all profits from those games.