Happy Friday, everyone. Enjoy your weekend of hoping for the best while watching exactly zero college football, as your rooting interests are immoral and run contrary to everything that is within you.
Ohio State’s win probability: 56 percent
The conventional wisdom has been structured around what happens when Ohio State wins, not if Ohio State wins. But while S&P+ thinks the Buckeyes are indeed the best overall team in the country, the Badgers are No. 3. They’re not exactly going to need that many breaks to pull off the slight upset and go to the CFP.
Indeed, S&P+ has Ohio State as the #1 team in the country, followed by Alabama, Wisconsin, and Georgia. Of course, the F/+ rankings, which bring FEI into the equation, have the SEC dominating the top three slots, led by #1 Alabama.
In fact, should the favorites prevail tomorrow, there is a great chance that F/+ will have Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, and Oklahoma as the top four teams.
See, the advanced metrics don’t account for conference titles, which are and should be completely separate from the 128-team beauty pageant that is the CFP. By this logic, losing close to a really good team and thus losing a tiebreaker for a chance at a title is worse than losing to a bad team but winning the tiebreaker. In other words, Alabama would have been better served losing to Ole Miss and beating Auburn. Wait, did I just call that logic?
Also, I’ll just leave this here:
I mean, surely, out of the entire 14-team Big 10, someone beat a ranked non-conference opponent? Didn't they?— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) November 30, 2017
No, Cecil. They did not. The best out-of-conference victory was a three-point win over Iowa State in a clash of 7-5 titans. For those keeping score at home, unbeaten Wisconsin started the season with a gauntlet of Utah State, Florida Atlantic, and 4-6 BYU.
11-1 Alabama, who’s idle
The same resume as potentially undefeated conference champ Wisconsin, minus “potentially undefeated” and “conference champ.”
Either 3-1 or 2-1 against ranked teams, depending on whether Fresno State wins the Mountain West, meaning a Boise State win in Boise could wreck Bama’s resume.
Seven .500-plus wins (assuming a checked-out Florida State in total disarray beats ULM), but zero top-10 wins.
Like Ohio State, just lots of blowouts of mediocre teams ... albeit without losing at home, losing to an unranked team, losing by more than two scores, or doing all three, as Ohio State did. (If it comes down to it: yeah, take Bama.)
Yes, Florida State was mediocre on September 3 when they actually had a competent quarterback. No question about it. Give Jason credit for getting it right regarding Ohio State and Alabama, though.
But during the final stages of the Tide’s convincing 24-7 victory Sept. 2, Crimson Tide safety Ronnie Harrison sacked Deondre Francois and changed the course of the Seminoles’ season.
Francois tore the patellar tendon in his knee as he crashed to the turf and would not play again in 2017. Florida State then began a kamikaze-like nosedive as it plummeted out of the rankings and never recovered. The Seminoles are now 5-6 and the Tide’s win in the so-called “GOAT” doesn’t look so impressive anymore.
Also listed: Mississippi State losing the Egg Bowl after watching Nick Fitzgerald leave with a gruesome injury and LSU’s loss to Troy. The Troy loss actually looks less bad now that they have finished the regular season at 9-2. The Trojans are top 40 in both S&P and FEI, and LSU was missing star RB Derrius Guice and two starting offensive linemen plus its starting fullback, nose tackle, and a defensive end.
Injuries only matter when you lose to Syracuse, I reckon, who by all metrics is a far worse team than Troy.
Enough of that stuff. Moving on:
For the second year in a row, Jalen Hurts has been named a 2017 Manning Award finalist.
Hurts is one of 11 players in contention for the honor, which has been presented annually to the nation's top quarterback since 2004.
Some NFL stuff:
Cancer has had a big impact on my life. I’ve lost three loved ones from the disease, and that’s why this Sunday I’ll be wearing a pair of gold, black and silver cleats, painted with the American Cancer Society logo and the names of the family I lost—Aunt Brenda, my uncle Bubba, and my granddad Johnny.
I chose the American Cancer Society as my cause for My Cause, My Cleats to honor their memory and to raise awareness for cancer. I want people with cancer to know that somebody is thinking about them and praying for them.
Supremely talented, a legendary work ethic, and a heart for others. Never change, Derrick.
Reuben Foster had himself a month:
Still worried about that shoulder, front office geniuses?
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.