College Football Playoff Rankings: Oregon moves past Florida State for No. 2, TCU in


Despite continuing to win games, Florida State could not hold on to the second spot in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings. The Oregon Ducks moved into the second spot in the rankings ahead of undefeated Florida State following a road win at Utah. Mississippi State remains atop the ranking this week for the third straight week.

TCU also moved into the top four to round out the top four spots in the College Football Playoff ranking. Alabama and Arizona State are this week’s first two teams out.

Here is this week’s ranking, according to the College Football Playoff selection committee.

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Some quick observations and thoughts…

Once again, a reminder this is not a finished product and there will still be some scores settled on the field before we can take these rankings as a faithful projection of which four teams will play in the first College Football Playoff. So when you see Mississippi State and Alabama both appearing in the top five, keep in mind this is very likely to change this week after Alabama and Mississippi State play. The question that may be worth asking is how far Mississippi State would fall if they lose at Alabama. Alabama would be a lock to appear in the top four with a win, but could Mississippi State all of a sudden fall out fo the top four with one loss, on the road, against a top-four Alabama?

Oregon over Florida State?

This is what happens when the selection committee respects one conference more than the other. There is not much other way to explain why a one-loss Oregon would have passed an undefeated Florida State. The Seminoles may have been lacking in consistent dominance, but they have managed to respond under a variety of situations this season to keep their perfect record going. Oregon’s lone loss was at home to Arizona, but the Pac-12 is clearly a more respected conference right now than the ACC. In addition to a handful of quality Pac-12 wins, Oregon also has a victory over Michigan State, which still carries more weight than Florida State’s neutral site victory over Oklahoma State and home win against Notre Dame.

So, about TCU and Baylor…

Clearly the selection committee is still favoring TCU after getting through the toughest spots on its schedule to this point with one loss. Of course, that lone loss came against Baylor. Baylor’s last few games likely present a tougher stretch than what TCU will play, so there could still be a chance to see the feeling about the Big 12 leaders change.

Is there time for Ohio State or Nebraska?

With the way this week’s rankings played out, absolutely. Of course, neither team can afford another loss. Ohio State moved into striking distance and now gets a game against another top 25 team according to the committee. Minnesota checking in at No. 25 gives Ohio State one more respected opponent. As long as Ohio State continues to win, they will have wins on the road against Michigan State, Minnesota and could add another against a ranked Nebraska or Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship. The Buckeyes may still need a little help from around the country though, but the path to a playoff spot is realistic enough to discuss.

The same holds true for Nebraska, although the Cornhuskers may need just a slight bit more help.

The committee loves UCLA

UCLA has been one of the shakiest two-loss teams this season, but that 62-point outburst at Arizona State sure looks better and better as Arizona State continues to climb the rankings. Ona  related note, Utah is still in the top 25 in the eyes of the committee despite losing two straight games (to Arizona State and Oregon)

Still no Group of Five

Another week, still no Marshall. Where the selection committee ranks teams like Marshall and Colorado State and Boise State and East Carolina remains a mystery to the public. This is a bit frustrating for fans of these schools, not knowing where their team stands in the race for an access bowl spot. Eventually, the committee will have to make this insight available, but there is no rush to do that just yet. We only need an official update for the final rankings to determine which Group of Five conference champion is going to a big bowl game.

Alabama: Tua Tagovailoa to undergo hip surgery Monday in Houston


There’s some additional clarity to what was the biggest college football storyline in Week 12 — or the entire 2019 season, for that matter.

After hours and hours worth of ofttimes ominous speculation, Alabama announced Saturday night that Tua Tagovailoa had been diagnosed with a dislocated right hip, an injury suffered in the first half of its rout of Mississippi State, and would miss the remainder of the 2019 season. At the time, the school stated that Tagovailoa “is undergoing further testing to determine the best course of treatment.”

Sunday night, the football program confirmed in a statement attributed to Dr. Lyle Cain, the team’s orthopedic surgeon, that the junior quarterback will undergo surgery on his injured hip in Houston Monday.

For the past 24 hours our medical team has consulted with multiple orthopedic experts across the country, who specialize in hip injuries and surgeries. Based on that research, Tua is being flown to Houston tonight to be evaluated and is scheduled to have hip surgery Monday. As previously stated, we anticipate a full recovery. The main focus has been, and will remain, on Tua, his family, and making sure we are providing them the best medical care possible.

It’s long been expected that Tagovailoa would forego his remaining year of collegiate eligibility and make himself available for the 2020 NFL Draft. At this point, it’s unclear how the injury will impact Tagovailoa’s decision.

Ed Orgeron did not stick to sports in Louisiana governor race

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There were two major events on Saturday in the state of Louisiana: LSU’s closer than expected win at Ole Miss and the hotly contested gubernatorial race that saw incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards win reelection.

And yes, those events are in order of importance to most.

It seems there’s quite the sports angle to the latter too and it not surprisingly involves the former. You can start on Wednesday where Edwards, calling himself ‘John B.’ from Amite, called into Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron’s weekly radio show ahead of the polls opening over the weekend.

“It is an easier state to govern when the Saints and LSU are winning,” Edwards also told the New York Times. “People are just in a better mood.”

While we will leave the political analysis of Edwards’ victory to others, it’s worth noting that the result was also a personal win for Orgeron, who endorsed the Democrat back in the spring and has enjoyed a good relationship with those in and around the statehouse ever since taking over the program as head coach.  It is pretty rare for a head coach to ever wander into political waters nowadays (especially in a non-presidential election cycle) it seems that’s not the case for the Louisiana-loving Cajun in charge of No. 1 LSU.

Also a quick kudos to the governor himself, who said earlier in the week on Orgeron’s radio show that the Tigers shouldn’t overlook the Rebels in Oxford. Given the fight that Matt Luke’s team put up, that was certainly spot on in big sandwich game after beating Alabama and taking on Texas A&M.

45,161 fans see Ithaca beat SUNY Cortland to set D3 attendance record at MetLife Stadium

Keenan Slusher

MetLife Stadium has been home to some awful NFL football this season but this past Saturday fans in the Tri-State region were at least treated to a far more interesting product on the field..

As we noted back in early October, this year’s Battle for the Cortaga Jug was going to be extra special because it was going to take place in the Meadowlands as Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland attempted to set a new Division III record for attendance. According to the Ithaca Journal, the pair did just that with 45,161 fans showed up to the game as the Bombers (that’s Ithaca) won their third straight Jug, 32-20.

“The electricity was unreal,” Cortland senior running back Zach Tripodi told the paper, “… When I scored, I don’t think I’ve ever felt something like that. You really felt the crowd.”

The final tally broke the previous D3 mark of 37,355 (from a 2017 matchup between St. Thomas and St. John’s at Minneapolis’ Target Field) by a considerable margin.

For what it’s worth, the D3 game at MetLife also had a bigger crowd than the ones that watched some of the FBS programs in New York, including the 16,286 down in Durham, N.C. that saw Syracuse thump Duke, the 8,450 that saw Buffalo lose at Kent State or the 25,747 in West Point that saw Army beat Virginia Military Institute.

Good football, it seems, is hard to come by in the Empire State but fans will come out for quality play no matter what level.

Louisville AD dons a bird mask, breaks out Pappy van Winkle to celebrate bowl berth

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For some teams, reaching a bowl game — even those obscure dot com-sponsored ones — is quite meaningful. Such is the case at Louisville as they have embarked on one of the better turnarounds in the country this season under new head coach Scott Satterfield. 

Following up a 2-10 disaster at the hands of Bobby Petrino last year, the new staff has revitalized the program and secured bowl eligibility on Saturday by beating N.C. State 34-20. That’s a cause worth celebrating around the city and Cardinals AD Vince Tyra certainly did not short himself on that front after the sixth victory of 2019 by donning a rather comical mask in the locker room and breaking out some very expensive whiskey to share with the head coach.

Tyra and Satterfield may indeed be the only ones to drink Pappy out of a Gatorade cup but it probably tasted even sweeter than it normally does given the accomplishment it’s celebrating. While some fans may scoff at reaching six wins in a season, the jubilation in Louisville is a good reminder that benchmarks like that have plenty of meaning for programs who sat at home in disarray last year.