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What one-loss teams have best chance to make a playoff run?

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It was just two seasons ago many around the college football world declared the Big Ten’s playoff hopes dead after just two weeks of college football action. Obviously, that turned out to be false. Ohio State went on a tear and hit a hot streak at the best possible time to sneak into the first College Football Playoff as Big Ten champion, then proceed to take out SEC champion and No. 1 seed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl semifinal and then Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and Pac-12 champion Oregon for the national championship.

So here we are once again, analyzing the thin ice a number of conferences and perceived playoff contenders continue to march forward on after two weeks of football action. The question remains, what one-loss teams still have a glimmer of hope to make a playoff run? Here are some worth watching, in no particular order.

Oklahoma

The Sooners get a chance to redeem themselves after losing the opener against Houston. Oklahoma hosts Ohio State this weekend in one of the top games of the week. Having already lost once in Week 1, it is pretty safe to suggest Oklahoma has to win this week in order to keep any hope of a second straight playoff berth alive. A win against Ohio State would still probably have to be followed up by an undefeated run through the Big 12, which is no guarantee given that will include games against undefeated West Virginia, Texas and Baylor, not to mention Oklahoma State and TCU. Even if Oklahoma does win all of their remaining games, if it comes down to handing a playoff spot to a one-loss Oklahoma and an undefeated Houston, which way would the selection committee go?

Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish have a load of key games that can help generate a playoff push. They get Michigan State this week and still have games against Stanford, Miami, Virginia Tech and USC on the schedule to help provide some likely quality wins. A road loss in overtime against Texas may not end up looking too bad if the Longhorns continue to show they are improving. But like any team from the Big 12 playing a 12-game schedule, the margin for error is very thin after taking an early loss for the Golden Domers.

UCLA

When it comes to UCLA being a legitimate playoff contender, I will believe it when I see it. UCLA can keep themselves on the radar this week with a win at BYU to generate some momentum, but losing on the road at Texas A&M and still having games against Stanford, Utah and USC after playing BYU this week means UCLA will have to be on top of its game the rest of the way. The Bruins cannot afford another loss, and running through the Pac-12 without a loss for any team (including Stanford and Washington) is no easy task. Keep in mind, UCLA might be in a position in which it has to defeat Stanford twice, once in the regular season and again in a Pac-12 championship game (or Stanford in the regular season and Oregon or Washington in the championship game). Do you like those odds? Neither do I.

And just to note, I’m taking a hard pass on USC after being obliterated by Alabama and still having to play at Stanford this week and then Oregon later on followed by road trips to Washington and UCLA before hosting Notre Dame. Nope. Not happening.

Ole Miss/LSU

Ole Miss and LSU each lost against power conference opponents away from home in not-so-neutral fields in Week 1, and each still has to play each other and Alabama. If either one of these two can go 2-0 against the other and the Crimson Tide, that is all that will be needed to get back in the playoff hunt. Of course, this is no small feat. Ole Miss gets their first crack to jump back in the fun with a home game against Alabama this week. Win that and then it is on, starting the following week at home against Georgia. Back-to-back road games against Arkansas and LSU later also pose a serious threat to Ole Miss’ playoff hopes if Alabama doesn’t crush them first. LSU has a more favorable path to making a playoff with one loss and has the luxury of getting both Ole Miss and Alabama at home, albeit in back-to-back weeks later on. If LSU has figured out its passing game and Leonard Fournette comes back healthy soon, LSU could enter those two pivotal SEC West matchups with just one loss and have momentum to work with. A road game at Florida should be the only real threat before that.

Purdue

Nah, I’m just kidding.

 

Do you think any other one-loss team through the first two weeks of the season has any real chance to remain in the playoff picture in November, or is all hope already lost?

Oklahoma State QB John Kolar announces transfer to Iowa State to play with brother

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Oklahoma State should have a bit of a quarterback competition going into the 2019 season, but John Kolar will not be a part of it. Kolar announced his decision to transfer to another Big 12 school on Sunday night. He’s heading to Iowa State, where his brother Charlie Kolar plays tight end.

“Beyond excited to announce my commitment to finish my academic and athletic career at Iowa State University,” Kolar announce din a brief statement on Twitter. “The opportunity to play alongside my brother in a program as special as this one was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Kolar appeared in just one game in his time at Oklahoma State, in which he attempted two passes with one completion for eight yards and rushed twice for a gain of 18 yards for the Cowboys in 2016. Given his history at Oklahoma State, it stood to reason he was not going to be a factor in the Oklahoma State offense in 2019. How much of a role he ends up having at Iowa State is also a question as the Cyclones are pretty set at the quarterback as well with freshman Brock Purdy showing what he can do this season and sophomore Zeb Noland still in the mix as well. But, as his statement suggests, the chance to close out his college career with his brother is pretty special too.

Charlie Kolar was Iowa State’s sixth-leading receiver this season with 11 receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell was also just given a contract extension, and should the situation present itself, it would be nice if Campbell finds an opportunity to allow the Kolar brothers to connect for a touchdown next season.

As a graduate transfer, John Kolar will be eligible to play at Iowa State next season.

Mel Tucker looks to be keeping some Colorado assistants on board in Boulder

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It is not uncommon for a new head coach to wipe the slate clean with a coaching staff once he takes on a job, but sometimes there will be some assistants retained from the previous staff. Such appears to be the case at Colorado where new head coach Mel Tucker appears to be keeping a couple of familiar faces from the previous staff in the program moving forward.

Colorado co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini took to Twitter to confirm the news regarding his status himself by expressing his pride in remaining a part of the Colorado coaching staff moving forward with Tucker.

However, it is not quite known just what role Chiaverini will be taking on with the Buffs. A report from Football Scoop on Monday morning states Tucker will add Jay Johnson as an offensive coordinator. Johnson would be following Tucker to Colorado from Georgia, where he was an offensive analyst and quality control coach with the SEC’s Bulldogs. Chiaverini also held the responsibility of coaching the wide receivers and was Colorado’s recruiting coordinator. Continuing in those roles at the very least may be a likely outcome as the staff roles are defined.

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic also reports, via Twitter, running backs coach Darian Hagan is expected to remain on the staff as well.

Hagan, a former Buffs quarterback on Colorado’s 1989 and 1990 teams, has been on the Colorado staff for a total of 14 years between multiple stops in Boulder. Hagan worked with player development from 2013 through 2015 and has worked as director of player personnel and running backs coach under multiple coaches. Having a coach that is as connected to the program as Hagan would be an asset to any new head coach at Colorado, so keeping Hagan in town would be a good move for Tucker.

Scott Loeffler hires Brian VanGorder to initial staff at Bowling Green

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Bowling Green’s new head coach now has his staff in place and ready to go. Scott Loeffler completed the final pieces of his new coaching staff with the Falcons with the additions of Brian VanGorder and Julian Campenni to the coaching staff. VanGorder will take on the role of associate head coach and linebackers coach. Campenni fills the role of the defensive line coach.

VanGorder comes to Bowling Green from a brief stint at Louisville. A head coaching change at Louisville left VanGorder on the market for a job less than a year after taking the job with the Cardinals under former head coach Bobby Petrino. Louisville added VanGorder, a former defensive coordinator at Notre Dame and defensive analyst with Georgia and Oklahoma State, in January to take on the role of defensive coordinator. Loeffler and VanGorder worked together at Auburn in 2012 when Loeffler was the offensive coordinator and VanGorder was the defensive coordinator for the Tigers under former head coach Gene Chizik.

With VanGorder as defensive coordinator, Louisville turned in the nation’s 122nd-ranked defense, allowing 483.5 yards per game this fall. The Cardinals ranked 128th in scoring defense out of 130 FBS teams by allowing 44.1 points per game. Bowling Green allowed 40.0 points per game this season.

Campenni is following Loeffler from Boston College. Campenni was a graduate assistant the past two seasons at Boston College, where he assisted with the offensive line. He previously was a defensive line coach working at Wyoming Area High School in Exeter, Pennsylvania in 2016.

Missouri defensive end Tre Williams arrested for suspected second-degree domestic assault

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Missouri defensive end Tre Williams has been suspended by the Missouri football program following his arrest on Sunday morning. According to The Kansas City Star, Williams was arrested for suspicion of second-degree domestic assault.

“We were made aware of the situation yesterday, and Tre was immediately suspended indefinitely from all team activities,” Missouri head coach Barry Odom said in a released statement. “We will provide an update if his status changes.”

The arrest was made by Columbia police at Williams’ off-campus apartment, but the details regarding the alleged incident have not been reported at this time.

Williams has been suspended in accordance with the Missouri student-athlete handbook’s policies regarding any arrests on felony charges. The charge levied against Williams is classified as a Class D felony in the state of Missouri, according to The Kansas City Star. Williams has reportedly been released on a $4,500 bond.

Williams, a redshirt sophomore from Columbia, Missouri, has played in 12 games for Missouri this season, in which he has recorded 20 tackles with 2.5 sacks. Though he has started for the Tigers this season, Williams has been listed second on the team’s official depth chart at defensive end behind sophomore Akial Byers in the last few games of the regular season.

On a much less significant note, this arrest would seemingly put Williams’ availability for Missouri’s bowl game in jeopardy. Missouri will play Oklahoma State in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.