In the final season of the Bowl Championship Series the College Football Playoff unveils its selection committee– a 13-member group “brimming with excellence on and off the field”. A field that includes famous dads (Archie Manning and Oliver Luck) as well as early-80’s Houston Oiler quarterbacks (Oliver Luck and Archie Manning). If that doesn’t cure your 70’s-80’s quarterback fix, Pat Haden’s in the mix (they couldn’t get Vince Ferragamo?). If you want coaches with Nebraska roots, you have Tom Osborne and Barry Alvarez (no Bill Callahan?). If you want a league Commissioner who saw the ACC pick apart his conference, you’ve got ex-Big East Commish Mike Tranghese. And if you want people with Stanford ties… there’s ex-coach Ty Willingham and former provost Condoleeza Rice. Oh yes, she also was Secretary of State (Hillary wasn’t available? I mean–I’m sure she was a HUGE Arkansas fan during the Holtz and Hatfield eras). There are a few more people on this board I won’t mention because I’m realizing that the NCAA Basketball Selection Committee is 10 people for 68 spots while the College Football Playoff Selection Commitee is 13 people for 12 spots (the CFB will rotate the semifinals between 6 bowls–meaning they’ll have 8 other spots to fill, depending on league ties and at-large openings). Did they really need 13 people to make fans of the 4th best SEC team irate because their 3-loss school didn’t get into the Chik Fil A Bowl?

Alma Mater Update– I should have known it would have been a long Saturday when one of my fellow tailgaters let the bottle of Tequila drop and smash on the parking lot pavement. It got much worse for the Orange after that…a 56-0 loss to a .500 Georgia Tech that hadn’t looked good over the last month. The offense couldn’t move the ball… and the defense (switching to a 3-4 for the week) had no answers for the Yellowjacket option. Special teams saw a blocked punt and a long punt return allowed…and 9 penalties negated just about every good play they made. This one was over at the half– and then Georgia Tech tossed a 46 yard touchdown pass on their first drive after intermission. And then it rained all game. Thank goodness for Morton’s, the Waffle House, Taco Mac and the Pint & Plate. Thank goodness for good friends to share massive misery. And thank goodness basketball begins sooner rather than later.

Maryland had a chance to secure bowl eligibility and set up a potential showdown for the Atlantic Division lead an unbeaten Clemson team…but instead saw a 34-10 loss at Wake Forest. What’s worse than losing by 24 in Winston-Salem is losing starting wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long for the season with broken legs (the pair combining for 66 catches and 1,076 yards over seven games this year). Last year the Terps were ravaged by injuries at quarterback, this year it’s the pass-catchers who are cursed. Terrapin Triumphs– Levern Jacobs & Amba Etta-Tawo combined for 9 catches, 147 yards and the team’s lone TD in relief of Diggs & Long…the defense held the Demon Deacons to just 47 yards rushing…and Caleb Rowe at least stretched the field in relief of CJ Brown (12 completions for 207 yards as opposed to Brown’s 137 yards on 15 completions). Terrapin Troubles– consecutive drives in the 2nd quarter ending with interceptions setting up short fields for Wake, turning a 10-3 game to 24-3 at intermission…minimal running room for CJ Brown (5 carries for 11 yards)…and the defense was turned inside out by WF WR Mike Campanaro (11-122-1, a TD pass and a 23 yd PR to set up 1st score). Next: Saturday vs Clemson.

Virginia continues its descent with the classic come from ahead loss… slipping at home to winless in the ACC Duke 35-22. With three ranked teams in its final five games…fall does not look nice in Charlottesville. Cavalier Congrats– Kevin Parks (50 yds rushing and 2 TD’s, 88 yds receiving and a TD) CANNOT BE STOPPED. Anthony Harris continues to shine in the secondary (7 tackles, 1 interception, 2 passes broken up). And they play 1-5 North Carolina November 9th. Cavalier Concerns– allowing 35 straight points is never ideal…but one can stem the tide by moving the chains and extending possessions. First three drives of the second half: 9 plays, minus-8 yards. That is not how you protect a 15-point lead…while neither is allowing the Blue Devils to convert all 4 of their fourth down attempts. And then there’s Ross Martin’s two second half field goals for the Blue Devils– did he wear a disguise as Artemis Gordon did on the Wild, Wild West? Next: Saturday vs Georgia Tech.

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