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

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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.

Jerry Kill joins Virginia Tech support staff

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Jerry Kill stepped down as Minnesota’s head coach in the middle of the 2015 season, but he’s remained active as ever in “retirement.”

He spent 2016 as an assistant AD at Kansas State, returned to coaching as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers in 2017, but, after the same epileptic seizures that chased him out of coaching followed him to Piscataway, Kill stepped down after just one season. He was quickly scooped up as the athletics director at Southern Illinois, but now Kill is returning again to coaching — sort of.

Virginia Tech on Monday announced Kill as the new assistant to the head coach for Justin Fuente. In this newly-created role, Kill will use his experience to assist Fuente with “a myriad of duties.”

“Jerry Kill will serve as a tremendous resource for our football program,” Fuente said. “Coach Kill possesses over three decades of expertise and will be great addition to our staff. In addition to over 20 years of experience as collegiate and high school head coach, he’s served as a coordinator on both sides of the ball. He can dissect the game from virtually every angle and will be able to provide his unique perspective on everything from recruiting, to personnel and facilities. ”

“While it was a difficult decision to leave so many wonderful friends and colleagues at Southern Illinois, I am thrilled for the opportunity to join Coach Fuente and his staff at Virginia Tech,” Kill said. “I’ve long appreciated and admired Justin as a coach and teacher of the game. I respect his penchant for identifying talent and helping young men reach their potential. He has assembled a fabulous coaching staff and roster of talented players at Virginia Tech. I can’t wait to help the Hokies in any way I can.”

Kill will join the Virginia Tech staff effective immediately. He went 152-99 as a head coach at five different schools from 1994-2015.

 

Pac-12 admits refs botched Arizona State-Michigan State ending

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No. 24 Arizona State beat Michigan State 10-7 on Saturday, a win that was preserved by a 12-men-on-the-field penalty that wiped away a game-tying field goal for the Spartans. Matt Coghlin‘s second attempt, this one from 47 yards, sailed wide right, allowing the Sun Devils to hold on for the win.

But it turns out there should have been a second penalty called.

The Pac-12 has announced its officials missed a penalty on Arizona State on Coghlin’s second, missed attempt.

“An Arizona State defensive player took a running start and leapt over the kicking team’s line in an attempt to block the kick. In the process, he leapt into the frame of the body of an opponent. The penalty would have been 15 yards from the previous spot and an automatic first down.

In this case, it would have been administered as half the distance to the goal and Michigan State would have been provided one untimed down.”

That penalty would have moved the Spartans up to the Arizona State 14-yard line, giving Coghlin a third attempt from just 31 yards out.

The Pac-12 provided no word on what, if any, internal accountability the officiating crew that missed such a crucial penalty will face.

 

Chip Kelly won’t make QB change despite UCLA offensive woes

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Chip Kelly revolutionized college football back when he was at Oregon, becoming so successful that not one but three NFL teams tried or succeeded in hiring him.

Kelly’s return to the sidelines in the college game however… could be going better. UCLA was blown out of the water on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl by No. 5 Oklahoma and the Bruins offense is actually among the worst in all of FBS.

They’re dead last in yards per play, second to last in total offense and No. 127 in scoring offense. Oh and sophomore quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is No. 99 nationally in passer rating.

Despite those numbers, it appears Kelly isn’t contemplating a new face behind center as the team moves into Pac-12 play.

“We didn’t,” Kelly said when asked by the LA Times whether he thought of making a change at quarterback on Saturday. “…we felt confident in Dorian.”

To be fair, Thompson-Robinson did seem a little improved against the Sooners than he did in his first two starts of 2019 against Cincinnati and San Diego State. But those numbers speak for themselves with road trips to Washington State and Arizona coming up for the 0-3 side from Westwood.

Pony Up! SMU off to best start since 1984 at 3-0

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TCU may have moved into the top 25 of the AP Poll this week after dispatching Purdue on Saturday but upcoming opponent SMU is off to an equally hot start coming into Week 4 after topping Texas State.

In fact, it’s a historic one down in Dallas.

As the school noted recently, the 3-0 start to the 2019 campaign is the Mustangs’ best since… 1984. That’s just after the Pony Express days on the Hilltop and right before the program got hammered by the NCAA for major violations.

Sonny Dykes’ tenure got off to a rough start after going 5-7 last season but the team looks much improved thanks in part to the play of Texas transfer QB Shane Buechele.

We’ll see if the two can keep things rolling against the rival Horned Frogs but the AAC might just have another intriguing team in the mix after such a hot start by SMU.