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Inter-conference playoff part of proposed Big 12/Pac-12 scheduling alliance

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We know the proposed Big 12/Pac-12 scheduling alliance is not going to happen. There are a million reasons why it won’t, but the important thing to note is that it’s definitely not happening. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd on Thursday spoke to a Big 12 official on the topic of former Kansas State president Jon Wefald‘s idea to have the Big 12’s entire non-conference slate include nothing but Pac-12 opponents to see if it was actually going to be considered, who said, “Not at all.”

Dodd was able to get his hands on the full, 11-page proposal, and included in there was some interesting food for thought for all scheduling nerds (like myself). Wefald boiled his idea down to 10 bullet points, and No. 7 is really interesting (yes, the full report is in all caps):

AT THE END OF THE SCHEDULED GAMES, THE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS FROM THE BIG 12 AND THE PAC 12 COULD PLAY A GAME FOR THE INTER LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP. THERE ALSO COULD BE A SCENARIO WHERE THE NO. 1 TEAM IN THE BIG 12 WOULD PLAY THE NO. 2 TEAM FROM THE PAC 12 AND VICE VERSA WITH THE TWO WINNERS PLAYING FOR THE OVERALL CHAMPIONSHIP. THIS ALSO WOULD ASSURE FAR MORE TV FUNDS FROM THE CABLE AND NATIONAL NETWORKS.

So, all 10 Big 12 teams would devote all three of their non-conference games to Pac-12 opponents, and vice versa (six Pac-12 non-conference games would go unaccounted for in this proposal, since the Pac-12 has two more teams than its eastern counterpart). Each school would then play a 9-game conference schedule, and then turn around and play one (or perhaps two) games against the other conference in an inter-conference four-team playoff, whose championship game would alternate between the Rose Bowl and AT&T Stadium.

Obviously, this would be a seismic shock to the college football ecosystem. The entire schedule would have to be adjusted to make room for a 14th regular season game, and the lucky winner of the Big 12/Pac-12 alliance would then have the opportunity to play a 15th and 16th game in the College Football Playoff.

Those three words would be the stopper right there. There are a million logistical and logical obstacles to this idea (what happens if the championship game is two Big 12 teams and the title game is at the Rose Bowl?), such a brutal slog where Big 12/Pac-12 teams play 14 Power 5 opponents and the SEC champion plays 10 is a complete non-starter for every AD, coach and president who actually pays attention to college football as it’s played today. Even if the Big 12/Pac-12 champion was guaranteed one of the four golden tickets, that team would be so beaten down they’d have no actual chance to win the thing. (Counterpoint: no Big 12 or Pac-12 team has won a national title since 2005 Texas anyway.)

The Wefald Way (as I’m dubbing it here) is an interesting idea — in a pre-BCS/CFP world.

Back in the poll-and-bowl era, it would have made lots of sense for, say, the Big Ten and Pac-12 to pool their media rights, schedule as many September games as possible against the other, get the Rose Bowl on board, then sell those broadcast rights to a partner who would then clear their Saturday schedules for weekly Big Ten/Pac-12 doubleheaders. Think about it: Penn State at Michigan at 3:30 Eastern, USC at Oregon at 7… this Saturday on NBC! 

But the poll-and-bowl era is dead and gone, and we’re now in the game’s Championship Era. The best teams are still crowned by a consensus of voters, and those voters have shown that minimizing your losses is the safest path to the Playoff, not maximizing your victories. Because of that, the Wefald Way, interesting as it may read on paper, was dead on arrival.

Indiana QB Michael Penix could be a game-time decision again this week

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A week after being a game-time decision against Ohio State, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix appears to be heading to a similar fate this week. Only this time, the Hoosiers are hoping to get their starting quarterback on the field this week.

Indiana head coach Tom Allen the likely plan this week will be to leave a decision on whether or not to play Penix as a game-time decision, similar to last week. Just before the Hoosiers kicked off at home against the buckeyes, Penix was ruled out for the game. Peyton Ramsey took over the offense for the game. Ramsey would likely get the starting nod if Penix is ruled out for this weekend’s game against UConn. Jack Tuttle also played for Indiana against Ohio State and could be used as well.

“I don’t foresee it, hopefully, not being a day-to-day thing the rest of the season, but at the same time, for this Saturday’s game, we definitely aren’t going to know for several more days,” Allen said to reporters on Monday. “He probably will eventually be a game-time decision with him, but I don’t expect that to keep being the case every single week.”

The nature of the injury that has sidelined Penix has not been confirmed by Allen. Penix started the first two games of the season.

Texas Tech announces QB Alan Bowman to miss “several weeks” due to shoulder injury

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As reports were swirling around about a possible injury to their starting quarterback, Texas Tech has announced Alan Bowan will be out for “several weeks” as a result of a shoulder injury. The injury occurred during Texas Tech’s road game at Arizona this past weekend.

Bowman was examined briefly on the Texas Tech sideline during a road trip to Arizona last weekend (which resulted in a loss to the Arizona Wildcats). Bowman did not miss any playing time, so news of a potentially lengthy injury comes as a bit of a surprise. Bowman was taken to the ground by a defender. No penalty was called on the play.

The Red Raiders will now likely go with Jett Duffey to lead the offense at the position. Texas Tech is off this week. While Texas Tech has not shared an expected timeline for Bowman’s return, prior rumors surrounding the injury were suggesting it could be anywhere from six to eight weeks before Bowman returns to the field.

If Bowman is out for six weeks, he would potentially miss games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Iowa State, and Kansas. If absent for eight weeks, tack on a game at West Virginia to the mix (Texas Tech has another bye week between road games at Kansas and West Virginia. That would be quite a tough stretch for Texas Tech to be without its starting quarterback, whether for six or eight weeks.

Bowman has thrown for 1,020 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions in three games this season.

FSU loses linebacker Kaindoh to season-ending ankle injury

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As if losing a game to Virginia was not bad enough for the Florida State Seminoles, head coach Willie Taggart announce don Monday linebacker Joshua Kaindoh will miss the remainder of the season. Kaindoh, a former five-star recruit and a starter for the Seminole defense, is out for the year due to a lower-body ankle injury, according to Taggart.

Kaindoh suffered the injury in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss at Virginia. He was carted off the field. Kaindoh has appeared in every game since his arrival at Florida State in 2017. Because he has only appeared in three games this season, he is eligible to use a redshirt season this year to preserve two more years of eligibility beginning in 2020. The NCAA modified the redshirt rule last season to allow players to save a redshirt season as long as they appear in four games or fewer during the season.

With Kaindoh out of action, that will likely lead to Florida State using Janarius Robinson on more plays, as the two had been splitting playing time this season. But depth on the defensive line has become a growing concern for Florida State, who has been dealing with all sorts of issues on defense to start the season.

Kaindoh’s season comes to an abrupt end with nine tackles and a sack.

Taggart also made note that left tackle Jauan Williams is now “week-to-week” while he bounces back from an ankle injury form Week 2, the severity of which is far less troublesome than the injury to Kaindoh.

LSU safety Todd Harris to miss rest of season with injury

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LSU safety Todd Harris will miss the rest of the 2019 season, head coach Ed Orgeron announced on Monday. Orgeron did not go into specifics regarding the injury to his junior safety. Harris was injured in the first half of Saturday night’s home win against Northwestern State, and he later returned to the field on crutches.

Orgeron only confirmed the injury was a season-ending injury, but he also explained Harris will be able to preserve a year of eligibility.

“We will use this year as a redshirt,” Orgeron said, according to The Advocate.

Because Harris did not appear in more than four games this season, he is allowed by the NCAA to use the 2019 season as a redshirt season, thus giving him two remaining years of eligibility beginning in 2020. The NCAA changed the redshirt rule last year to allow players to appear in up to four games without burning a year of their eligibility just for merely stepping foot on the field.

“It’s unfortunate. It was an unfortunate accident,” Orgeron said. “He just landed on the ground wrong.”

As for who replaces Harris on the depth chart, that job appears to be heading to junior safety JaCoby Stevens, who Orgeron noted was going to be used to fill the void.