With a late June/early July deadline officially on the horizon, the BCS committee is in the homestretch of deciding the ins and outs of what college football’s four-team playoff will look like.
And one major detail may be close to being finalized.
Matt Hayes of The Sporting News reports (tweets), citing a BCS source, that the site of the new national championship game will be bid separately from the semifinals every year of its TV contract, meaning, if true, there would be no more rotation among BCS bowls for the title. The goal, Hayes continues, is to make the BCS championship — or, whatever other title it may receive —a Super Bowl-like event with its own marketing, sponsorship, etc.
The debate among the BCS committee members has been whether to play the new championship game at a neutral site or keep it within the bowls.
Another detail up for grabs is the selection process. Most conferences, save the SEC, support a conference champion-only model, but Hayes adds that a mix of conference champs and an at-large could be used — similar to the plan Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany proposed.
While the news of championship location is far from confirmed, a neutral site with a Super bowl-like feel would make sense with the recent announcement that the Big 12 and SEC will play in a new bowl game at a to-be-determined location. The immediate benefit of the bowl game, as we’ve said countless times already, is the ability for conferences to dictate the terms of the contract to maximize revenue. A neutral site championship game with its own TV contract, marketing efforts, etc, would follow the same logic.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?