Long also said they’re also paying attention to how how balanced teams are this year. Baylor and TCU have the most prolific offenses in the country, averaging 686.1 and 616.3 yards per game, respectively. While their defenses fall near the middle of the pack, allowing about 380 yards a game each. “We have teams that are just one-sided offensive teams, one-sided defensive teams,” he said. “That combination of offense and defense and how they’ve played offensively and defensively in those games. The hardest things to judge. We’ve seen some very explosive offenses but haven’t seen the defenses tested.”
Interesting here to note Long and the committee are as little enamored by one-sided, ginormous offensive stats as we are. With this added criteria, teams like Alabama, Ohio State, hypothetically Florida or a one-loss LSU (and others who strive to be balanced) will have a bias inhere in their favor.
As No. 4 Alabama prepares to host No. 2 LSU, ESPN Stats & Info sent out a list of coaches with the best record in AP top-10 matchups. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban is fifth with a winning percentage of .750 (18-6). What's interesting is that the three coaches immediately ahead of him all coached in the last 40 years: Jimmy Johnson (10-3, .769), John Robinson (8-2, .800), and Pete Carroll (13-3, .813). We were in a golden age of coaching and didn't even realize it. No. 1 on the list, and he may be there awhile: Frank Leahy (19-2-1, .886).
That is exceptional company for Coach Saban, and, just as importantly, as head coach of the Tide, he's already coached in more Top 10 match ups than anyone in the sport.
Q: does a one loss Alabama team who won the SEC championship and a one loss LSU team who barey lost to bama both make it in? _ @CameronVinson
A: A qualifier: We are still learning about the committee so we can not predict with absolute certainty what it will do. With that out of the way, no, probably not. The selection criteria tells the committee to emphasize conference championships when teams have similar resumes, which means it will take an exceptional team and set of circumstances for one conference to get two teams into the playoff.
I don't think this is the exceptional year either for two teams from one to make the playoffs. The P12 is all-but eliminated already (depending on the Stanford-ND game, obviously.) The SEC is having a a bit of a down year with the plummeting of Auburn and UGA (and LSU's OOC schedule.) The B12 is starting its round robin of doom. The ACC is pinning its hopes on Clemson. So, we're probably looking at the winner of three P5 conferences with the B12 & P12 champs chasing ND for the last slot.
Joel Klatt: The CFP committee doesn't know what they're doing - 'The Herd'
Can I interest you in hot take, and, whoo boy, were there a ton yesterday.
"I don't even know why we have it. The only time it means anything -- the only reason why we have it is for folks like you to talk about it and write about it, that's all it is, and ask questions about it, which you did a nice job of. Other than that, what does it mean? Tell me what it means? Does that mean somebody's getting to the playoff or not getting into the playoff? It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't mean anything. "So until the end of the season, I don't have anything to say about that, I really don't, because it doesn't mean anything other than your team has done well enough to have a chance to create an opportunity for itself if they can finish the season the right way That's what it means."
You have to think, given the rather large discussion fodder and distraction that playoff rankings represent, that Saban would have preferred the first release come after this game.
We are moving in the right direction," said Ohio University President Roderick McDavis, chairman of the Division I committee on academics. "Ultimately, the real significance of this is that more student-athletes are graduating from college, and that's good news." Of the top 10 teams in the CFP rankings, only three schools — Michigan State (65.6), LSU (69.8) and Iowa (71) — had rates lower than 74 percent. Stanford (98) and Notre Dame (93.3) had the highest rates.
Good stuff here about the steady increase of athletes getting degrees. Since the APR initiative was installed, it is estimated that over 16,000 student-athletes actually got their sheepskin because of the NCAA's sizable threat of probation.
Alabama's APR you ask? It led the SEC, and student athletes had an incredibly healthy graduation rate of 92%, just below Vanderbilt's 93%.
Roll Damn Brains
The idea that the game is over when the refs say it's over is about as important to college football as the rule that you don't talk about Fight Club is to Fight Club. The only things that go higher are that you play on a rectangle field with 11 guys with end zones and a funny ball. They don't even establish scoring or tackling before this. The rulebook further specifies that Rule 1, Section 1, Article 3 is a rule which may not be altered whatsoever, not even by mutual consent of the two schools involved.
A whole lot of stupid has been floating in the ether about the end of the Duke-Miami game. Of course, former-Vol and -Rebel David Cutcliffe led the butthurt brigade yammering about national review committees, forfeits, even the conference reversing the outcome. He's apparently not up on the rules, because as Godfrey notes, literally the most fundamental rule in football is that the referee decides when the game is over and who won. It is unalterable, inexorable, and more ironclad than the alleged axiomatic certainty of death and taxes.
What could be worse than a loss to Alabama for LSU? Fournette losing his lock on the Heisman to Tide tailback Derrick Henry. The numbers are close between Fournette (1,352 yards, 15 TDs) and Henry (1,044 yards, 14 TDs), as is their critical importance since both were woefully underused in 2014. The workload increase this fall is eerily similar. Fournette went from 14 carries a game in 2014 to 25 carries a game this season (+11), and already has more yards and touchdowns with as many as seven games remaining. Henry went from 12 carries a game to 23 (+11), already has more yards and touchdowns than 2014 with as many as seven games remaining.
No, no, no, no, no. Don't start this. Don't bring it up. This team has bigger goals than individual trophies (although, Henry has had one helluva year.)
“Everybody practiced today, so we don't really have any injuries to report. We have to see how guys respond sometimes to the work that they did, so we'll do that tomorrow,” said Alabama Coach Nick Saban at his Wednesday, post-practice press conference. “All the guys that are injured have done more and more each day and gotten better and better, so hopefully they'll continue to improve."
With the return of Jackson, whose strength definitely lies in run-blocking, I'm guessing we'll see Alabama try to wear out a thin LSU defensive line. Ronnie Harrison being back is equally huge -- he's come on as a playmaker the past few weeks, joining Eddie Jackson and Minkah Fitzpatrick in creating turnovers.
Stewart Mandel previews the matchup between LSU and Alabama in a Week 10 showdown. Will the Tide be able to slow down Leonard Fournette and the Tigers?
Fournette isn't the one who gives me pause, honestly. Brandon Harris throws a very nice ball that is very difficult to intercept, and he is very mobile to boot.
Finally, after seven games, LSU expects to have its top two defensive backs starting in the same game. The Tigers have dropped from third nationally in pass defense last year to 65th this season. Being without preseason first-team All-SEC safety Jalen Mills and preseason second-team All-SEC cornerback Tre'Davious White at different points has surely played a role. Both are expected to start, though, when No. 4 Alabama plays No. 2 LSU Saturday in Tuscaloosa.
Just as Alabama is healthy, LSU's secondary is finally healthy again (although, the Tigers did lose their fullback two weeks ago, and that is somewhat disruptive to that offense.) Jalen Mills is a tremendous player, and his return steadies an LSU defensive backfield that was abused by the Gators and Starkville Bulldogs.
OMG. GET HERE, SATURDAY! That quote gives me an excuse to post the best video ever...