College FB: Just a little more

FINAL FOUR
1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Clemson
4. Michigan

WHO'S HOT
1. Texas A&M--The Aggies outlasted Tennessee, 45-38 in double overtime on Saturday, elevating them to 6-0 for the first time since 1994. How good are they? We will find out in two weeks when they travel to Alabama.
2. DeShaun Watson--The Clemson QB hasn't been the best QB in his own conference the past several weeks, but a showdown victory over Louisville and still Heisman front runner Lamar Jackson was a sign that he still is in the Heisman hunt. Against Boston College on Friday, Watson had Heisman like numbers (4 TD passes for 266 yards and 34 more yards rushing in a 56-10 win. He's not the front runner yet, but he is in the discussion.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

3. Virginia Tech--Watch out for the Hokies. They are good and getting better. Their 34-3 win over North Carolina on Saturday was not a fluke. New coach Justin Fuente has the Hokies playing like... well a Frank Beamer coached team.

WHO'S NOT

  1. Boston College and Rutgers. The Eagles lost their 11th straight ACC game on Friday when Clemson came to The Heights and pounded out a a 56-10 victory. That, combined, with a 49-0 loss at Virginia Tech in their last ACC game left a two game deficit of 105-10. But that is not as bad as Rutgers which has lost to Michigan and Ohio State the past two weeks and was outscored 126-0, including a 78-0 loss to the Wolverines on Saturday. In case you were wondering, Rutgers and BC have lost their last 4 conference games by a combined score of 231-10.
  2. Stanford--Don't mention the state of Washington to any Stanford fan. A week ago the Cardinal was unbeaten and ranked in the Top 10 going into a Pac 12 showdown against unbeaten Washington. The Huskies romped to a 44-6 win, which was followed by a 42-16 loss to Washington State on Saturday night.
  3.  Michigan State--The defending Big Ten champions thought they were going to have another good season after knocking off Notre Dame three weeks ago. Now, not so much. BYU gave the Spartans their third loss in a row on Saturday, in a streak which has included losses to Wisconsin and Indiana,

DID YOU KNOW

That: When South Florida beat East Carolina 38-22 on Saturday it marked the 10th consecutive game the Bulls have scored 35 or more points, New Mexico State resumes its season next week at Idaho. The Aggies (2-2) will likely be underdogs in each of their remaining games.Wake Forest, which was 3-9 a year ago, has won 5 of its first six games. Washington took 12 years of frustration out on Oregon with a 70-21 romp past the Ducks...After Navy's upset of Houston, the Academy brass cancelled classes on Tuesday as a reward...Notre Dame's defense held North Carolina State to 10 points on Saturday. The only problem was that State's defense held ND's offense to 3 points in a game which was literally played in a hurricane.

EXTRA POINTS

There has to be more than a sense of irony that Florida State's 20-19 win over Miami on Saturday night was essentially decided by a blocked extra point. Anyone who has followed that rivalry knows of the "Wide Right'' legacy of missed field goals which decided games in Miami's favor...It continues to be a good season for the service academies, highlighted on Sunday by Navy's 46-40 upset of No. 6 Houston. Although Army lost to Duke on Saturday to drop to 3-2, and Air Force lost to Wyoming for its first loss, the combined record of the three schools through the first half of the season is 11-4...Watch 0ut for USC. After being trampled by a tough early season schedule (Alabama, Stanford, Utah) and a 1-3 start, the Trojans are 3-3 after back to back wins over Arizona State and Colorado...Texas lost a 45-40 shootout to Oklahoma on Saturday and embattled Longhorn coach Charlie Strong is still under siege. "We won the game,'' said Strong, who conceded there "was no improvement (defensively) at all.''

PLAY IT FORWARD (Games of interest next week)

1. Ohio State at Wisconsin--Another road test for the Buckeyes as the showdown with Michigan starts to come in focus
2. Stanford at Notre Dame--The loser will truly be yesterday's news
3. Tennessee at Alabama--Tide rolling to another national championship?

IN MY OPINION

We are only a few weeks away from the first formal meeting of the College Football Playoff Committee. who will have the task of placing four teams into the Final Four from a group which includes the Power Five Conference champions. What happened over the weekend with Houston losing to Navy, FSU beating Miami and Texas A&M beating Tennessee cleared the clutter in the Top 10 considerably.

Whether it is easy or difficult has yet to be determined, although it appears easier with the absence this season of Notre Dame as a contender. Houston's loss virtually eliminated the Cougars from the American Athletic Conference as a possible candidate. No matter what the committee does, someone will be unhappy.

So let us be the first to come up with a solution which will work for everyone and should be put on the table for discussion.

Tweak the system by expanding the playoffs to 8 teams. Included in this group will be each of the Power 5 conference champions and four at-large slots.

This is not a new idea, of course, but it would make the selection process smoother, while also being fair.

Making this work is simple. It would also be a huge television draw.

Here's the plan.
Have the first round of games--1 vs. 8, 2. vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, 4 vs. 5-- held on the Saturday before Christmas--this year it would be Dec. 17th. The games would be held at the site of the highest seeded team.

This would give the winners of the conference championship games two weeks to recover. It would limit the travel expenses to four teams, each of whom will have to play a road game, but it would almost guarantee a sell out for each of the quarterfinal games.

The winners would then advance to the Final Four two weeks later without a change in the current system.It would also make the regular season more important because maintaining the highest ranking would matter, since playing a quarterfinal game at home would be a huge edge.

Television would love it because it would provide meaningful college football programming on what is traditionally a light week during the holiday season.

And it would be fair. All the committee would have to do would be to pick four at large teams and seed the field. No Power 5 conference champion would be kept out of the playoffs.

If you used the latest rankings as a model, the Playoff field could be: Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan, Washington, Louisville, Texas A&M and Baylor or Oklahoma.
You could have the following quarterfinal round games. Oklahoma at Alabama, Louisville at Ohio State, Texas A&M at Clemson and Washington at Michigan, starting at noon and going to midnight Eastern time.. If you had two networks--Fox and ESPN--you would have games, starting at noon and 3:30 and then have two more games at 6:30 and 9.

Will any of this happen? Probably not. But when the next controversy about who was left out begins, this is an idea that could and would work.[/membership]

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