Ohio State v Michigan State

Ineligible for the postseason, OSU is the B1G’s best team


The point has been made emphatically: the Big Ten is having a down year and the gap between the top of the conference and the top of college football has gotten wider. No need to keep harping on that.

But to claim there are no good teams in the Big Ten just isn’t accurate right now. There is. The team just isn’t eligible for either the conference championship game or the postseason.

Yep, it’s Ohio State, and the No. 14 Buckeyes proved as much on Saturday on the road at No. 20 Michigan State in a gritty 17-16 win led by quarterback Braxton Miller — also arguably the conference’s best quarterback. Miller accounted for 82 percent of Ohio State’s total offense (179 yards passing and 136 yards rushing) and came back from what initially looked like a bad knee injury to finish the game.

Miller’s touches weren’t all that surprising; what was interesting was the ineffectiveness of Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell, who had just 45 yards on 17 attempts. Really, Sparty’s offense was based around the pass with first-year starter Andrew Maxwell. Maxwell played well enough, but it just wasn’t what one would expect out of MSU.

Ohio State can still technically win the Leaders Division in the Big Ten and have a physical trophy to display. If the Buckeyes can get past Nebraska at home next week, there aren’t many obstacles preventing OSU from claiming the Leaders division.

Except for that season-ending game against Michigan, but that’s obvious, isn’t it?

What wasn’t obvious, at least at the beginning of the season, was that the Big Ten’s best team might be one that can’t hoist a championship trophy.

SEC shut out of AP top five for first time in half a decade

Stephen F. Austin visits Amon G. Carter Stadium to play the No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs.
AP Photo

The polls are meaningless. Especially any poll that isn’t the College Football Playoff top 25 and even then, as the TCU learned late last season, even the penultimate ranking is as meaningless as the paper they’re metaphorically written on.

Still, they’re catnip to college football fans and observers. Place them in front of us and we can’t help but gnaw on them.

And with that said, a bit of milestone was reached in Sunday’s Associated Press Top 25, as the SEC was completely shut out of the top five.

That group breaks down as follows:

  1. Ohio State
  2. TCU
  3. Baylor
  4. Michigan State
  5. Utah

An SEC free top five hasn’t happened in nearly five full years; October 10, 2010 was the last time such a thing occurred. Oddly enough, two of the same five culprits occupied that ranking as well:

  1. Ohio State
  2. Oregon
  3. Boise State
  4. TCU
  5. Nebraska

Underscoring the lesson of the first paragraph, eventual national champion Auburn checked in at No. 6. Those Tigers moved up a spot the following week and never looked back.

None of this means anything at all, until it does. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way.

Georgia loses ILB Reggie Carter for the season

Reggie Carter, Charone Peake
AP Photo
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After battling to get on the field throughout the season’s first five weeks, Georgia is shutting down inside linebacker Reggie Carter for the rest of the year, Dawgs head coach Mark Richt confirmed Sunday evening.

Carter fought shoulder problems throughout the year, and saw action in only one of Georgia’s first five games. A junior, Carter will be eligible for a medical redshirt.

The Snellville, Ga., native recorded 28 tackles in 12 appearances in 2014 and eight tackles in eight appearances as a freshman in 2013. UAB transfer Jake Ganus started in the spot many pegged to Carter before injure ruptured his season.

Carter totaled two stops in one appearance this season.