Cokin’s Corner, Monday 11/28/16
The college football playoff picture is clearing up. Sort of.
As of now, the consensus is that the four qualifiers are Alabama, Clemson, Washington and Ohio State. Alabama is in, regardless of what happens against Florida this weekend. Clemson is a lock if they take care of business against Virginia Tech. Washington is a cinch as long as they get past Colorado.
And then there’s Ohio State, which is now apparently good to go after the controversial double OT win over Michigan. The Buckeyes don’t have to go through the rigors of a conference championship game because they didn’t make it to the conference championship game. That’s the problem for me.
I know I’ve already written this, but I’m going to repeat what my stance remains as far as this goes. If you’re asking me whether Ohio State is one of the four best teams in college football, the answer is still yes. That’s in spite of the fact that the Buckeyes haven’t exactly blown away the opposition down the stretch. They had to hold on to get past Northwestern, barely topped a mediocre Michigan State squad, and let’s just say they were a little fortunate to get the win over Michigan. Yet despite all that, my opinion is that Ohio State is still one of the four best teams.
However, I don’t believe Ohio State should necessarily be a playoff participant. I feel as though that invite should go to the winner of the Penn State-Wisconsin game. If it’s the Nittany Lions, they’re not only the conference champion, they’ll also have that regular season win against the Buckeyes. I don’t care if Penn State has two losses. Winning the title plus defeating Ohio State head to head should absolutely eliminate the Buckeyes.
If Wisconsin wins this Saturday, then it’s really muddled for me. The Badgers would be the league champs, but they did lose to Ohio State, although that was an overtime affair. Based on the better record and the head to head win, I would probably take the Buckeyes by a whisker.
Obviously, this is all conjecture at this point. If Washington loses to Colorado, I think the Buffaloes have a case to be made that they should be in. If Clemson gets upset by Virginia Tech, then Ohio State becomes a no-brainer. If both Washington and Clemson happened to lose, then Oklahoma might suddenly get consideration for the fourth spot, as in that case only Alabama and Ohio State would be in for sure.
Confusing? Not really, as if things go according to form, I’m quite sure Ohio State will get that “at large” spot along with three deserving conference champions. I’m therefore hoping things don’t go according to form and that we end up with an even bigger controversy than we appear to already have. The way I see it, that gets us one step closer to an eight-team playoff, which I’m ardently in favor of being the best format.
The NFL was very good for me, going 4-1-1. But I went 1-3 in hoops, with two nasty losses thanks to that dreaded three-point field goal. Ball State slipped inside the number by hitting three straight late treys in its loss to Valaparaiso. Eastern Washington nailed each of its last six three-pointers en route to a comeback win over San Francisco. This is one of the frustrations every college basketball bettor will simply have to accept enduring. Those threes can and will swing games in a very big way and there’s not a whole lot that can be done about it.
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The free play on Valparaiso looked to be in good shape with about one minute to play as the Crusaders had passed the number and they’re a good team at the foul line. But Ball State got hot from long distance in those final sixty seconds and ended up getting inside the spread in the process. Here’s Monday’s comp.
529 TULSA at 530 ORAL ROBERTS
Take: TULSA -1
Pride on the line tonight as neighboring schools Tulsa and Oral Roberts have their annual showdown. It’s a game that has seemingly meant a bit more to the Golden Eagles, and they’ve won three straight in the series. I’m thinking this one might go in favor the Golden Hurricane.
First off, while a good number of the current Tulsa players weren’t around for last year’s 70-68 ORU win, I imagine they all know how it ended. The Eagles got a corner three from Albert Owens that was probably the biggest basket of the game. That’s remarkably notable, because Owens only attempted seven treys over the course of the entire season. He made just one of those seven, and this happened to be that one. Oral Roberts then won the game at the horn and to say they celebrated would be a bit of an understatement.
The revenge motive should be big for Tulsa here, but it’s not like Oral Roberts is going to just surrender as they always want this game. But some personnel issues are factored into my opinion on this game.
Tulsa has improved since junior college transfer Jaleel Wheeler swung into action after missing the team’s first two games. Wheeler has been a definite plus factor and was the best player on the floor in Tulsa’s win over Oregon State.
On the flip side, it appears as though swingman Aaron Anderson might be out for Oral Roberts again. He’s missed the last two games, and while I don’t see Anderson as a vital component, his absence would certainly impact the rotation for the Eagles. Anderson is not listed in the Tulsa World projected starting lineups for this game, so that could indicate he’s out again.
Tulsa is on the uptick following two rough games to start the season. Oral Roberts is struggling, losing all four games to D-1 opposition and getting blown out in three of those outings. I make Tulsa the better team at this point and I have to think they really want to end the streak of futility against the Eagles. I’ll side with Tulsa to win this one.