College football: 5 takeaways after Alabama gets last playoff spot

Published: Sunday, December 03, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

Clemson and Alabama met for the national title last season. Who will be the champion after the Jan. 8 championship game in Atlanta?
Brian Blanco/Getty Images
Clemson and Alabama met for the national title last season. Who will be the champion after the Jan. 8 championship game in Atlanta?(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

First off, let’s be clear: I don’t really think Ohio State got a raw deal being left out of this year’s College Football Playoff. 

>> Read more trending news

Neither the Buckeyes nor Alabama had much to complain about, given what they did and did not do on the field in 2017. 

Both teams were absolutely at the mercy of the committee going into Sunday, and the committee showed favor to the Crimson Tide despite a lack of compelling evidence to do so. 

>> Four teams chosen by playoff committee

The Buckeyes had more positive marks on their resume, but there were also more negatives. 

Here are five takeaways from Sunday: 

1. The announcement sounds like an early death knell for the four-team playoff. 

I don’t know how long it’s going to take for an expansion to eight teams, but I’m pretty certain it’s going to happen for the same reason Alabama making the BCS championship in 2011 killed the two-team system.

This proves again every game doesn’t matter, which was the mantra the BCS reps leaned on and the one used by defenders of the four-team playoff against expansion. 

If we’re still just guessing who are the best four teams, we might as well just go back to voting on the winner on Jan. 2. 

2. The four-team playoff’s biggest issue: Five power conferences.

The conferences are very hard to compare in any given year, and we start necessarily having to leave out one based on some assumptions that may or may not be correct. 

That’s not ideal, and it’s often going to be unsatisfying. 

But leaving out two leagues even when none were dominant (or blatantly down) is even worse. 

Ironically, if this were 2011 it would have made a lot more sense, because LSU and Alabama reasonably were considered to be a lot better than everyone else.

Now that the conference of Jim Delany, one of college football’s ultimate power brokers, has been spurned, I would expect change to happen sooner or later. 

3. The committee simply believed Alabama was better than Ohio State. 

Therefore, they used whatever justification they wanted to explain the decision to pick the Crimson Tide. That was the Buckeyes’ blowout loss at Iowa. 

I want the the four best teams to make it, but only when it’s unequivocal who those are. 

That was not this year. 

Neither team really passed the eye test, so claiming one did rang really hollow. 

That is why I still would have gone back to the resumes, and I have always felt comparing wins was better than comparing losses because if nothing else it is a larger sample size. 

I’m also more interested in what a team is like on its best days than its worst, but if the committee disagrees that’s how it’s going to be I guess. 

And yet CFP chairman Kirby Hocutt’s statement, “Alabama was clearly the No. 4 ranked team in the country as a non-champion,” just doesn’t hold water to me. 

4. Four-team idea came too late for Ohio State.

In 2015, Ohio State was probably one of the top two let alone four, but the Buckeyes were not afforded the same treatment as Alabama this year. 

That year, too, the Buckeyes could have made the argument moot by taking care of business against Michigan State, but that’s beside the point. At least they finished the season by crushing Michigan in Ann Arbor, leaving a positive last impression rather than a loss like the 2017 Crimson Tide. 

It was generally agreed upon that was a special Ohio State team even with its flaws. 

Can we say that about this Alabama squad? 

5. What would prevent expanding the playoff? 

The conferences -- which made up the BCS and comprise the group that oversees the playoff -- might still draw the line in the sand at four teams in the playoff so they can protect their garbage championship game cash cows that often don’t mean anything in the playoff discussion. 

Lots of people say every year the first weekend of December works as the round of eight, but that’s obviously not true, since 50 percent of the time a playoff participant has not even taken part. 

A move to eight teams could guarantee the importance of a conference championship by granting the Power 5 winners a spot and leave room for someone who might have had a fluke loss. Also, someone like this season’s undefeated Central Florida could get a shot to be a college football Cinderella. 

That could be fun, right? 

They left room in the calendar to do this already, and expanding just this once wouldn’t upend the bowl system as a 16-team playoff would, which is why the latter will never happen. 

It’s all fantasy for now, but I have a feeling we’re closer to it becoming reality than we have ever been. 

Trending - Most Read Stories

WATCH: Oakland A's Sean Manaea pitches no-hitter against Red Sox

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 1:46 AM

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21:  Sean Manaea #55 and Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Manaea pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 21, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 3-0.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Sean Manaea #55 and Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Manaea pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 21, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 3-0. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Oakland A's pitcher Sean Manaea threw the first no-hitter of the 2018 season Saturday, leading the Athletics to a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.

>> Watch the final out here

According to The Associated Press, Manaea also made history by becoming "the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against Boston in almost exactly 25 years." The last one, thrown by Seattle pitcher Chris Bosio, happened April 22, 1993.

>> Read more trending news 

"I didn't even think about it until I looked up in the seventh or eighth, and I was like, 'Oh my God, why is there still a zero on there?'" said Manaea, who struck out 10 batters, the AP reported.

Related

Trending - Most Read Stories

Dunbar runs away with Edwin Moses Relays boys title

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:55 PM


            The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

All Dunbar needs to do is follow Jalani Allen’s lead in its quest to ring up yet another boys state track and field team championship.

That’s the Wolverines’ goal every spring season. The names change over the years, but the goal always remains the same.

“We hope to go for back-to-back (state championships),” said Allen during the 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday. “That’s certainly the goal. It’s very exciting when it gets around to this time of the year. This will be one (team) to watch.”

Allen did his part as a member of four winning relays.

Dunbar (77 points) won six events and captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third.

Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third.

Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored. Reconstruction of the adjoining University of Dayton Arena parking lot has eliminated the discus area.

Allen ran on the winning 440 shuttle hurdles relay (1:02.91) and also helped Dunbar sweep the 4x100-meter (42.70), 4x200 (1:29.19) and 4x400 (3:28.46) relays.

Dunbar’s boys also were first in the 800 sprint medley relay (1:34.48) and 1,600 sprint medley relay (3:44.17).

Allen was among the Wolverines’ leaders in winning the 2017 outdoor state track title and adding another combined Divisions II-III indoor state title in February. That’s the kind of all-around talent that enabled Allen to sign with Malone University, where he’ll play football and run track.

“It felt like the wait was over,” he said when signing with the Canton-area NCAA Division II program. “All the searching and stressing was over. I’m just ready to graduate and get going.”

Also headed to Malone to play football and run track is Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, although he’s sitting out this season.

Springfield senior Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).

Other area boys firsts were posted by Miamisburg teammates Jason Hubbard and Tyler Johnson in the high jump (6-0), Covington’s Jett Murphy in the pole vault (14-0) and Springfield Isaiah Gibson in the shot put (46-7.50).

Area girls winners were Covington in the 3,200 relay (10:21.74), Dunbar’s 1,600 sprint medley relay (4:31.00), Miamisburg’s RaMya Woodward in the high jump (5-4), Beavercreek’s Eileen Yang in the pole vault (12-0) and Lauren Christian of Covington in the shot put (40-3.25).

• Beavercreek swept the boys (191 points) and girls (175) team titles in Thursday’s Greene County track and field championships at Xenia. Bellbrook was runner-up in both.

• The Bulldog Classic was Saturday at the Milton-Union Track complex at West Milton.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Wildcats junior among state’s best hurdlers

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:10 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:44 PM


            Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree. The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree. The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

It didn’t take long for Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree to establish himself among the state’s best hurdlers this spring. His personal best times of 39.04 in the 300-meter hurdles and 15.05 in the 110 highs shot him high on the Division I state leader board.

That kind of breakout season is just what Tyree had envisioned.

“Being a part of such a great team, I wanted to be a part of that special group of great athletes who come from Springfield,” Tyree said during Friday’s 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium. “It’s been a pretty exciting season so far.”

Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored.

Springfield senior teammate Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).

Springfield junior Isaiah Gibson added another first in the shot put (46-7.50) and senior Austin Garza was fourth (40-7).

Tyree and Scott also were on the runner-up boys 4x100-meter relay (43.22), as were Mike Brown and Jacob Yost. The Wildcats’ 4x200 relay was third (1:37.67).

Junior Tiffany Moss paced Springfield’s girls with a third in the long jump (15-11.75). She also ran on the fourth-place shuttle hurdle relay (1:09.91).

Dunbar (77 points) captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third. Springfield (41) was sixth.

Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third. Springfield (19) was 11th.

Tyree has taken over for Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, who is not running as a senior but intends on playing football and running track at Malone University in Canton.

Tyree excelled for the Dayton Wolverines AAU summer track and field team last year and even ran cross country – with the Springfield Courage – to be better prepared for this track season.

Even the extended winter-like weather couldn’t prevent Tyree from advancing in his specialties. At least four of Springfield’s meets have been canceled.

“Last year I didn’t even get out of district,” he said. “I worked harder this summer and fall with a goal of potentially reaching (37 seconds) in the (300 hurdles). I’m working on that now. Having a successful start is exciting because my goals are up there.”

Another Wildcats junior, Mike Brown, owns a best high jump of 6-4 and cleared 6-6 last season.

“We’ve got some young guys who are really good,” said Springfield coach Michael Davis.

Trending - Most Read Stories

LeBron James sends Cavaliers to Game 3 in matching suits

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 5:54 AM

LeBron James gave his teammates new suits before Game 3 of the Cavaliers' playoff series against Indiana, but didn't help as the Pacers won 92-90.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
LeBron James gave his teammates new suits before Game 3 of the Cavaliers' playoff series against Indiana, but didn't help as the Pacers won 92-90.(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Basketball superstar LeBron James has made a habit of buying his teammates gifts during the NBA playoffs.

>> Read more trending news

Previous gifts have included Beats by Dre headphones, Apple watches, Samsung Edge phones and even personalized shields. This year, James wanted his teammates to look sharp when they arrived for Game 3 of the Cavaliers’ first-round series, which shifted to Indianapolis on Friday. So, he bought matching suits for all 15 players, ESPN reported.

The Cavaliers arrived at Bankers Life Fieldhouse wearing gray suits, a white oxford shirt, a gray tie and a gray cashmere cardigan sweater, ESPN reported. Players also received black leather boots, overcoats and bags.

The Cavs looked good before the tip-off, but Indiana’s players were not impressed. The Pacers won 92-90, sending Cleveland to a 2-1 deficit in the series.

Trending - Most Read Stories