Ohio State In College Football Playoff If … Ask Fiu.

    Is Les Miles really on a flaming hot seat? Could Nick Saban really end up at Texas? What about Mark Richt leaving Georgia? These questions and more in Ask Fiu.

    December 4, 2015


    Please ask questions and I’ll get to as many as I can in future editions by e-mail, or tweet @PeteFiutak
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    Is Connor Cook really that great? What would’ve happened if Michigan didn’t screw up? Does the CFP committee have it right?


    This might sound insane, but if Michigan State wins, is there a chance Connor Cook can potentially go down as the greatest Big Ten quarterback of all-time? – John F.

    That just doesn’t seem right, but it might not be that far off.

    Drew Brees is probably the right answer as the league’s all-time leading passer, while taking Purdue to the Rose Bowl and pulling out an Alamo Bowl win, but Connor Cook might turn out to have a better overall career in terms of big games and big moments.

    Tom Brady, is the star of stars from the Big Ten, but he had to fight Drew Henson for time at Michigan.

    Kerry Collins was excellent, too, and Troy Smith won a Heisman, but if Michigan State wins, Cook’s resume would be right up there with two Big Ten championships, a trip to the College Football Playoff, a Rose Bowl win, a Cotton Bowl win, an ugly-but-effective Buffalo Wild Wings win over TCU, a phenomenal – at the moment – TD/INT of 71/19, and lots and lots of big game performances. He might not have been in the mix for the win over Ohio State, but he threw for 358 yards and two scores in last year’s loss to the Buckeyes and for 304 yards and three scores against them in the 2013 Big Ten championship. He hit the 300-yard mark against Oregon last year, against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl, and against Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

    12th all-time in the Big Ten in passing, he’ll almost certainly move into the top ten with two decent games, and he could get somewhere around No. 7 if the Spartans play three more times. But if nothing else, he’s going to be remembered as the main man in the resurgence of the Spartans over the last three-plus years.

    If Michigan doesn’t drop that punt snap, and all other results hold, would it be Ohio State and not Michigan State playing for a College Football Playoff berth? – James K.

    Yup. If everything else happened exactly the same way, but Michigan won that game instead of gag it away, the Spartans would finish the season with two losses – the other to Nebraska. Michigan vs. Ohio State would’ve been for the Big Ten East title and off to play Iowa for the championship. If 11-1 Ohio State would’ve won that, it would absolutely have been in the CFP.

    I read you all the time and I hear what you’re saying about how the committee chooses teams, but is that right? What happened to the four best teams? Why does it have to be the four best conference champions? – David N.

    I like the way they do it, because I like the idea that winning a conference championship means something and keeps the interest and the fight going throughout the regular season. But you raise an interesting point.

    If the entire idea behind this committee of experts was to use the data and numbers as tools, rely on their own eye test and scouting, and also taking into account the record and the big wins, Ohio State should probably be in the four. But that’s an opinion, and that’s not fair to someone else’s opinion that Oregon might be the best team right now. Or Baylor. Or Alabama. Or Louisiana-Monroe.

    The nice part about the conference championship angle is that it’s cut-and-dry. If you’re good enough to win your Power Five championship, and you do it with just one loss or go unbeaten, you’re fine. The other nice part about this is the option built in that says the committee can take anyone it wants to.

    The Ohio State Is One Of The Four Best Teams rant would probably work a lot better if it destroyed everything in its path, and just so happened to lose one game to a great Michigan State.

    For a non-champion to get in, a team is going to have to be something truly special and the one loss will have to be an aberration. The committee left itself a fail-safe in case there’s some goofy upset, or if it’s absolutely obvious that two teams from the same conference should get in.

    As I’ve been telling Buckeye fans all week – don’t lose at home to a Michigan State team with a backup quarterback and there’s no problems.

    Which coaching hire is the most interesting so far? I think Mark Richt going to Miami is going to be fantastic. – Pete S.

    Scott Frost will make you … jump, jump.

    I get why Frost might not have been in the mix for Nebraska last year – the obvious fit – and wasn’t a prime contender for some of the other job openings, since he hasn’t seen time as a head man, but the UCF job might be perfect for him. He’s young, he’s been deep in the mix of one of the devastating Oregon attack, he worked with Marcus Mariota, and now he gets to bring all that to Orlando where he gets the fish-in-a-barrel recruiting ground to work with. Best of all for a newbie to the head coaching world, there aren’t any expectations for him right away.

    0-12, UCF isn’t expected to make a massive turnaround in 2016, but it wouldn’t be shocking if it did – the program isn’t that far removed from being a major national player. If Frost has any sort of success, Nebraska would be the gig for him. Or, there’s a chance to take the UCF gig and make it his to dominate if he succeeds.

    It’s a joke bowl games are taking a bunch of losers why can’t they just cancel bowls with no good teams? – No Name

    These bowls aren’t just games thrown together on a whim. Along with sponsors, charity events, and a whole slew of other aspects in the planning works, the bowls have plenty going on besides just the games.
    But, of course, the games themselves are easy programming, they get watched, and the investing community is always all in with every single one of them.

    So there’s extra college football with some 5-7 teams involved. You have nothing else better to do.

    If the Big 12 did expand by two teams and went to two divisions and went to a championship game, what would they be? What should they be? – Bill C.

    It was a bit stunning the Big 12 didn’t grab Louisville and Cincinnati as easy markets to tie in with the expansion around West Virginia, but that’s not happening, at least when it comes to the Cardinals. The easy answer would be to get UCF and South Florida, since the SEC and ACC aren’t going to make a big push for two teams in a state the respective conferences already rocks in. Get those two TV markets, get into Florida – even though other programs like Houston, Tulsa, and SMU might make better geographic sense – and the Big 12 would be rolling.

    And then there’s the idea of expanding a different way, getting a Northern Illinois program that’s trying to boost up its facilities and become a bigger deal overall, but that’s more of a long shot.

    To answer your question, with the best guess being UCF and USF as the two extra teams added in, to split things up so it’s not so one-sided I’d make it one division of Baylor, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, UCF and USF, and the other being Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

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