. World News – USA – College football was chaotic. So why not end up like this?


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An unconvincing Ohio State victory and some strange circumstances during the pandemic have messed up the college football playoffs.

That college football season fiasco, where no amount of coaching, testing, or contact tracing could stop the coronavirus from wreaking havoc, stumbled upon an inevitably chaotic end to what could be celebrated as a championship in a normal year on Saturday.

Instead, when Notre Dame manager Brian Kelly threatened a playoff boycott on Friday and Ohio state paved its way to the Big Ten title on Saturday, the college football playoff committee may have had to suspend 22 players – many of them believed to be in connection with the virus, a decision that is not as neat and orderly as it would have wanted.

This and other years, the playoff committee – despite its footballing spirit – has been little more than a boxing matchmaker, posting weekly leaderboards in November and December to increase interest (and outrage) before it ends up being a pretty Obvious field provided with four teams that will make the broadcasters happy.

Now in its seventh season, the committee has never had such a mess of confusion as the one it needs to resolve before announcing on Sunday which four teams will play in January. 1 semi-finals in the Sugar Bowl and (maybe) the Rose Bowl.

There are no September non-conference games to use as a barometer. There is no common number of results as the state of Ohio (6-0) has played five games fewer than the other leading competitors. And what about Notre Dame, who won their first 10 games and beat Clemson in double overtime this season when the Tigers missed Trevor Lawrence? On Saturday, Notre Dame was throttled by the Tigers with Lawrence between 34 and 10.

After this weekend, the committee may also need to consider the impact of virus test results on a team’s competitiveness.

The players missing for the state of Ohio on Saturday included star receiver Chris Olave, linebacker Baron Browning and Punter Drue Chrisman. Ohio state does not disclose whether players tested positive, but Chrisman said on Twitter that he did (and that « this virus was not pleasant »). . Under the Big Ten rules, players who test positive will have to sit out 21 days, increasing the possibility that some of the Buckeyes who missed Saturday’s game will also miss a playoff semifinal in less than two weeks.

Ohio state, which had valet parking to reach the playoffs – the Big Ten changed their rules to allow the Buckeyes to play for their championship despite three games being canceled – is looking for more allowances. Coach Ryan Day said after Saturday’s 10:10 win over Northwestern that the Big Ten were « very hard » keen to change a rule put in place to keep players safe, the players 21 days long after they test positive.

The state of Ohio didn’t finally take the lead until the end of the third quarter – or scored a touchdown. They got by when Day finally decided letting his quarterback Justin Fields continue to scattershot throws was not a good idea and only passed the ball on to Trey Sermon, who set a team record of 331 yards over 29 runs.

« I kind of knew it would go like this today, » said Day, who was also without two assistant coaches, probably because of the virus. « It’s exactly how this season went. ”

If the horse chestnuts have a raft from N. F.. . L.. . Talent, they must also hope that the playoff committee will keep their easy schedule, the relatively close wins against No.. 1, further shortened. 11 Indiana and No.. 14 Northwestern and four wallopings by teams with record losses.

Texas A&M, anchored fifth in the playoff rankings, holds its own as the second best team in the Southeastern Conference, the marquee league of college football. The Aggies, who are 8-1, superficially posted Tennessee Saturday, 34-13. Their only loss was a drubbing through Alabama, but they have a win over Florida whose only opportunity to enter Saturday’s playoff conversation was in hopes of sparking a surprise against the Crimson Tide late Saturday night.

« Seven wins in a row with the SEC, » said Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M coach, in his team’s playoffs. « Some schools don’t even play seven games. ”

When Notre Dame finds themselves in a precarious position – they only have two wins against teams with one record win – the Irish have some history on their side. In 2001, the undefeated Nebraska was moored in the old Bowl Championship Series after being raided by Colorado (62-36). And two years later, Oklahoma lost to Kansas State 35-7, but they were still playing for the title.

The Sun Belt title game was canceled Thursday due to a virus outbreak in Coastal Carolina that rose to its 11-0 record with a second win over Louisiana that throttled the Big 12 regular-season champion, Iowa State wanted to contribute to his season opener.

The Pac-12, the clown car of the Power 5 conferences, had raised his hopes of sneaking into the playoffs in undefeated Southern California for the first time in four years. When Washington, the North Division champion, dropped out of the title game because of virus cases, the conference chose not to simply declare the Trojans champions. Instead, it slashed in Oregon – which U dumped. S.. . C.. . on Friday evening, 31-24.

As a result, the Pac-12 managed to crown a champion – and a team it’ll put in the New Year’s cup – that didn’t even win its division.

Oregon is likely to go to the Fiesta Bowl, but even the bowl games are an uncertain affair. Eleven have been canceled, more than a dozen teams have announced they will forego a one, and playoff managers have been under pressure to postpone their Rose Bowl semifinals because California guidelines prohibit families from participating.

Kelly, the Notre Dame coach, suggested that if his players’ relatives weren’t allowed to watch, his team might not play.

« Please, » said Kelly on Friday. “Somebody has to wake up in this room and find out. Or you might as well call this the professional league. ”

Just like the Irish played on Saturday night, the committee could get Kelly out of this problem.

Notre Dame Fight Against Irish Soccer, Clemson Tigers Soccer, NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference Soccer, ACC Championship Game, College Football Playoffs, American Football

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Ref: https://www.nytimes.com

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