Rose Bowl Game - Wisconsin v TCU

Lone wolf coach votes TCU No. 1; was he right?


As they are a part of the cartel system used to determine a national champion, the coaches are expected to fall in line with the results of the BcS title game and vote for the winner in the final USA Today coaches poll.

For the second time in three years, one coach has bucked the system.

Auburn claimed 56 of the 57 first-place votes — two coaches could not be reached in time to place their vote — while the other vote went to unbeaten non-automatic qualifier TCU.  The identity of the coach was not revealed, but some reasonable assumptions could be made as to who may have broken ranks with the other coaches — Utah’s Kyle Whittingham and Boise State’s Chris Petersen are two of the 59 voters this year.

In 2008, Utah was the only team to receive a first-place vote after Florida laid a beat-down on Ohio State in the national title game.

While the name of the coach who voted TCU No. 1 was not revealed, he will be ultimately.  And, more than likely, he will be vilified by a good percentage of the country.  That would and will be a shame.

Almost as big of a shame that there has to be this argument in the first place, that a national champion can’t be decided on the field instead of on some subjective ballot filed by someone who simply doesn’t possess the time to make a rational decision.

As Penn State assistant Jay Paterno tweeted Tuesday morning, “Not sure TCU isn’t the best team in the Nation—someday the system must allow a team like that a shot at all the marbles.”

And that’s the thing.  A playoff would afford a team like TCU, like Boise State in 2009/2010 or Utah in 2008, the opportunity to prove their worth on the field of play.  Just like every other sport governed by the NCAA currently crowns their champions.

Not to impugn what Auburn accomplished last night or over their previous 13 games against a rugged schedule — they are indeed worthy — but there is a better way to determine a national champion.  Like it or not, teams like TCU and Boise State have earned the right to, as Paterno wrote, have a shot at all the marbles.

Plus-one, eight-team, 16-team playoffs and anything in between, teams like the non-AQs must be allowed the opportunity to prove, one way or the other, whether they deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the so-called traditional powers.

All I know is, it’d be a step in the right direction arguing about the fifth-, ninth- or 17th-best team getting screwed over for a playoff spot than the current system that only allows two of 120 schools to have a shot at hoisting the crystal at season’s end.

Until Congress acts, though, I’m not holding my breath.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah