CFP’s FIRST DRAFT & THE BIG GAME
Just four days before the ‘Game of the Century’ featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide hosting the LSU Tigers in Tuscaloosa on Saturday afternoon, the College Football Playoff, or CFP committee has come out with the first version of their version of how the national rankings should look in Division I NCAA Football this year. Remember that this early draft is from a committee and it has been widely speculated that ‘a camel is a horse designed by a committee’.
Keeping that in mind, the committee has decided that the Ohio State Buckeyes should be the number one team in the land, even though neither the AP Poll nor the Coaches Poll has the Buckeyes in the lead. Note that the voters in these two polls are some of the most up to date, sports savvy writers and coaches in the game of football anywhere.
So, Ohio State comes in at number one in the CFP rankings and LSU holds down the number two position while the Alabama drops to number three; and a surprising Penn State team grabbing the final spot in this final four. Clemson fans must be distraught with indignation while Penn State guys are counting their blessings.
Of course all of this will change weekly with the results of the games coming up in the next five weeks of NCAA Football action. Oddly enough, the winner of the LSU-Alabama game won’t move up much, and the looser won’t move down very much. There is still a lot of football after this weekend to decide first the SEC championship, and eventually the national CFP title.
Ohio State will host the University of Maryland as 43.5 point favorites, so, the Buckeyes are likely to remain undefeated after this Saturday’s action. In the other battle of the undefeated, the #4 ranked Nittany Lions of Penn State will visit the #17 Minnesota Gophers in a contest which will take place in TCF Bank Stadium up in Minneapolis as 7 point favorites.
The #5 ranked Clemson Tigers visit North Carolina State as 32 point favorites and the #6 Georgia Bulldogs will host 5-3 Missouri as 16.5 point favorites. But the big one will be down in Tuscaloosa where dignitaries, hall of famers, famous alumni and maybe even the President of the United States will be there to watch as the #3 ranked Crimson Tide takes on the #2 ranked Tigers.
Major questions concern the availability of Alabama quarterback, and Heisman Trophy contender, Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered a high ankle sprain during the recent Tennessee game. Head Coach Nick Saban has declared Tua a game time decision and says that his team will be OK one way or the other.
The Tigers, on the other hand, have just lost the services of star starting linebacker Michael Divinity, ‘for personal reasons’, at least for the Alabama game. LSU Head Coach Ed Oregon is hopeful that his Tigers can defeat the Tide for the first time since 2011. If nothing else, this game will go a long ways towards deciding the SEC West this year.
Before the CFP rankings came out, this game was between the #1 team and the #2 team in the country according to the AP Poll. Some might think that the Buckeyes being awarded the number one ranking by the CFP committee could take a little of the glamour off the LSU-Alabama game, but don’t try to sell that to anyone in the SEC.
So, Roll Tide & Geaux Tigers! Oh what a game this shall be.