Thursday, November 30, 2017

Projecting the New Year's Six for Nov. 30

Welcome to the penultimate New Year’s Six projections of the 2017 college football season.

Like last season, the projections will be based off the CSO Mock CFP committee rankings from that week.

Here are the penultimate set of projections for this season:

Sugar Bowl (CFP Semifinal):

1) Clemson vs 4) Auburn

Rose Bowl (CFP Semifinal):

2) Oklahoma vs 3) Wisconsin

Fiesta Bowl:

8) Ohio State vs 9) USC

Cotton Bowl:

5) Georgia vs 10) TCU

Orange Bowl:

8) Penn State vs 12) Miami (FL)

Peach Bowl:

6) Alabama vs 11) Central Florida

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

CSO Mock College Football Playoff committee Top 25 for Nov. 28

                                             Photo Credit: Dan Kopp- Sports Page Magazine

Thanks to my mock selection committee for coming through and making the penultimate edition of the rankings possible this season.

Biggest jump: Stanford (+6) 15

Biggest fall:    Miami (FL) (-10) 12

(##)- Number of first place votes

       Team                    W-L         Points           Last Week

1) Clemson (3)            11-1          217                    3 (+2)

2) Oklahoma (4)         11-1           215                    4 (+2)

3) Wisconsin (1)         12-0           207                    5 (+2)

4) Auburn (1)             10-2           200                    7 (+3)

5) Georgia                11-1           183                    6 (+1)

6) Alabama               11-1           168                    1 (-5)

7) Ohio State            10-2           167                    8 (+1)

8) Penn State            10-2           149                   11 (+3)

9) USC                      10-2          144                    10 (+1)

10) TCU                    10-2          140                    13 (+3)

11) Central Florida   12-0          133                    12 (+1)

12) Miami (FL)          10-1         127                      2 (-10)

13) Washington           10-2        116                     14 (+1)

14) Notre Dame           9-3           92                      9 (-5)

15) Stanford                 9-3           91                     21 (+6)

16) Memphis               10-1          89                     17 (+1)

17) Oklahoma State     9-3           84                     19 (+2)

18) Michigan State      9-3           83                     18

19) LSU                       9-3           77                      20 (+1)

20) Northwestern         9-3          58                      23 (+3) 

21) Washington State   9-3          40                      15 (-6)

22) Virginia Tech         9-3          37                       25 (+3) 

23) Mississippi State    8-4         33                       16 (-7)

24) South Florida         9-2        17                         22 (-2)

25) San Diego State     10-2       12                         NR(+3)

Others receiving votes:

Fresno State 10, N.C. State 7, Boise State 5, West Virginia 4, Toledo 3, Ole Miss 3, Michigan 1, Wake Forest 1

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Buckeyes and Badgers collide with plenty on the line in the 2017 Big Ten title game

With the Big Ten regular season in the books, the No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes and the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers hook up in the conference title game on Dec. 2,with the winner earning at worst, an automatic berth into the New Year’s Six.

Both teams come off impressive rivalry wins on the road on Nov. 25 as Ohio State (10-2, 8-1 Big Ten) defeated Michigan for the sixth straight season, 31-20 and looks for its second victory in the title game since its inception in 2011. Wisconsin (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) prevented Minnesota from becoming bowl eligible with a 31-0 win to put a cap on back-to-back West division titles.

The Buckeyes have dominated in recent years with five straight wins over the Badgers— highlighted by a 59-0 win in the 2014 Big Ten Championship game.

In order for Wisconsin to overcome its past woes, tight end Troy Fumagalli will be counted on then some to make critical plays when called on.

The senior has amassed 460 yards on 36 receptions and three touchdowns this season and could cause matchup problems for Ohio State as it was exposed by Iowa for its inability to cover in that position, which contributed to the 55 points allowed in a 31-point loss on Nov. 4.

Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook’s stats have not been your eye catching, 15-second click bait commercials on YouTube with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Hornibrook also has a chip on his shoulder after letting the game slip away in the last meeting against Ohio State in a 30-23 loss in overtime on Oct. 15, 2016.

Wisconsin star running back Jonathan Taylor could be in for a long night against a talented Ohio State defensive front led by defensive end Sam Hubbard. Hubbard made Michigan quarterback John O’Korn’s life miserable as he totaled 2.5 sacks and five total tackles in the 11-point win. Expect the junior to make Hornibrook and Taylor’s championship game a long one.

Do not count out Wisconsin’s defensive either as it has made life miserable for all 12 opponents this season and has played a key role in being the last undefeated team among the Power Five conferences. The Badgers lost senior inside linebacker Jack Cichy to a season-ending knee injury in training camp and could have easily folded things. Instead, Wisconsin rallied as a unit and has surrendered no more than 20 points once this season (33-24 W over Northwestern on Sept. 30).

Expect Ohio State/Wisconsin to be a defensive battle and a reminder as to why the Big Ten can deliver throwback, low-scoring games in an era where most fans embrace basketball on grass.

Game Itinerary:

No. 9 Ohio State (East Champion) vs No. 5 Wisconsin (West Champion)

Site: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.

Time: Saturday, 8:17 p.m. ET

TV/Online: FOX/FOX Sports GO

Commentators: Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft (sidelines)

Video recap of No. 9 Ohio State's 31-20 win over Michigan

Here is my video recap of No. 9 Ohio State's 31-20 win over Michigan from Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.


0:16- Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett
2:40- Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer
4:17- Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins

Social Media:

Follow College Sports Overload on Twitter @CSportsOverload.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Barrett plays the majority of the game with a knee injury in Ohio State's 31-20 win over Michigan

                                                    Photo Credit: Ohio State Athletics

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Exit J.T. Barrett, Enter Dwayne Haskins.

The redshirt freshman quarterback looked more like a seasoned pro going 6-of-7 for 94 yards through the air as Ohio State won its sixth straight game over Michigan in a 31-20 in front of 110,000-plus fans at Michigan Stadium.

When Barrett came out of the game with a right knee injury in the early stages of the third quarter, Haskins found a rhythm with wide receiver and roommate Austin Mack with a 27-yard reception, which led to a one-yard touchdown run from J.K. Dobbins to take a 21-20 lead with 1:34 seconds left.

"It was unreal because I was not nervous given I had my offensive line and receivers behind me the whole entire way," Haskins said. "I love my receivers, but I have a special connection with Austin and we had to make a play and delivered."

Haskins' performance ended up being overshadowed as Barrett's knee injury turned out to occur pregame with a cameraman, but revealed it was not the first down it occurred before the season opener against Indiana.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was visibly angered about how there were too many people on the sidelines and how it could have been prevented.

"I am so upset with myself because it was a non-football injury and there was too many damn people on the sideline," Meyer said with a stern look. "A guy with a camera hit him in the knee and I am going to find out who did it. I am so angry right now.

Ohio State fought through early adversity with -6 total yards in the first quarter, but Barrett steered the course and led the way from a 14-0 deficit to even the score at 14 and finished with 15 carries on 67 yards and a touchdown before leaving in the third quarter.

The Wolverines came into Saturday's game ranked third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense with 261.2 yards allowed on average, but yielded 350 to the Buckeyes.

"Our offensive line and tailbacks really did a good job rushing on one of the best defenses in the country and to get 226 [rushing] yards on Michigan is a big deal," Meyer said. 

Dobbins finished with his fifth 100-yard game of the season on the ground (101 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown).

Game Recap:

The tone would be set early as OSU’s defense put nine players in the box to focus on Michigan’s run game and worked on the first drive as John O’Korn overthrew a wide open Tyrone Wheatley Jr. across the middle on third-and-7, which forced a three and out.

With little to no signs of life on offense, Michigan struck first as Khalid Hill scored up the middle on a two-yard run, which was aided by a “Bush Push” from O’Korn to go up 7-0 at the 6:02 mark of the first quarter. Chris Evans put most of the work in beforehand with a 24-yard run to get the crowd excited, which continued with a 13-yard reception to get into a first-and-goal situation.

The confidence transferred over to the Wolverines defense as Khaleke Hudson and Lavert Hill’s tackle on Parris Campbell led to a five-yard loss, while Gary’s sack for a loss of three yards on Barrett highlighted another Buckeye three and out.

A 42-yard punt return from Donovan Peoples-Jones helped set up an O’Korn three-yard playaction touchdown pass to tight end Sean McKeon to put Michigan 14-0 at the start of the second quarter as Ohio State looked rattled on the other side of the sidelines.

With their backs against the wall, Barrett engineered a six-play, 48-yard drive on the ground, highlighted by a 21-yard touchdown off the edge as the Buckeyes appeared on the board for the first time with 9:50 left in the first half.

After a Michigan punt, Barrett continued to carry the torch with a gashing 26-yard run, which set up a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcus Baugh to even the score at 14.

The status quo looked to be back in effect for Ohio State’s offense and its defense stopped Michigan once more as it appeared ready to cash in to take the lead.

With momentum on their side on third-and-5, Barrett failed to control the snap from under center, but recovered the fumble for a loss of 17 yards, which could have ended with Michigan getting the ball from the OSU 22.

The second half began as a punt fest on both sides until O’Korn connected with Kekoa Crawford on a screen pass, which turned into a 43-yard reception to put Michigan at the OSU seven-yard line. The Wolverines used Crawford’s play as a platform as Karan Higdon scored from two yards out on the ground to take a 20-14 lead.

Up 21-20 after Dobbins' one-yard TD, Ohio State playbook appeared to look limited for Haskins, third-and-4 provided a vital moment as he went on the run and delivered a pass to a cutting K.J. Hill for 29 yards, which set up a 44-yard FG conversion from Sean Nuernberger.

The Wolverines felt the pressure down 24-20 with 10:21 left in regulation and needed an offensive spark, but could not deliver as O’Korn overthrew Chris Evans on fourth-and-4 at the Buckeyes 39-yard line as another golden opportunity to get into field goal range evaporated.

After an interception from O’Korn, Mike Weber put the finishing touches with a 25-yard run to give Ohio State more momentum going into the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin in Indianapolis on Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Pick Six- Week 13 CFB Slate

 Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Welcome to the Thanksgiving edition of Pick Six.

Gobble, gobble, gobble on those leftovers because Pick Six is heating up as Larimore led the way with a 4-2 mark last week, while Baligian and Lucas struggled with 3-3 and 1-5 records, respectively. Rivalry week will truly separate the contenders from the pretenders.

Standings:                     GB

Larimore      49-29      -

Baligian      48-30      1

Lucas         47-31      2

Week 13 picks:                                  Larimore       Baligian        Lucas

South Florida at Central Florida         C. Florida     C. Florida     S. Florida
Florida State at Florida                     Florida St.     Florida St.    Florida St.

Louisville at Kentucky                        Kentucky       Louisville      Louisville

Alabama at Auburn                           Alabama        Alabama       Alabama

Washington State at Washington          Washington    Washington   Washington St.

Wild Card:

Northern Illinois at Central Michigan    C. Michigan    N. Illinois    C. Michigan

Thursday, November 23, 2017

No. 9 Ohio State with plenty to play for as Michigan looms in the 114th edition of "The Game"

One must stay ten steps ahead of the game, rather than on pace in the game of life.
Since then coach Jim Tressel made the famous 310 days speech against Michigan in a basketball game on a cold night at Value City Arena on Jan. 18, 2001, Ohio State has managed to stay above the curve and then some by winning 12 of the last 13 meetings in the series.

The 2017 edition of the Ohio State Buckeyes came in with College Football Playoff hopes, but got railroaded thanks to an unexpected 55-point showing from the Iowa Hawkeyes on Nov. 4. Despite the loss, Ohio State's goals are still intact sans the CFP with a possible Big Ten Championship and New Year's Six slot at stake no matter the result of Saturday's meeting at Michigan.

Even with little on the line, the 114th edition of “The Game” still serves as its own season and Ohio State must beware of the wounded wolverine.

Michigan's lackluster offense has highlighted an underwhelming 8-3 record with no quality wins to show for to this point, but a win against No. 9 Ohio State can go a long way to oozing confidence for its bowl game and offseason plans. In order to realize a potential upset, the vaunted Wolverines defense will be in for a challenge as they try to stop Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett— which is not as far-fetched as one would think.

Barrett’s season has seen more ups and downs like the stock market, but the senior can finish his Ohio State career 4-0 all-time against Michigan with a win on Saturday. Despite throwing 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions this season, Barrett’s performances in Ohio State’s two losses to Oklahoma and Iowa left a lot to be desired as five of his seven mistakes proved to play a pivotal role.

As rough as things have been through the air, Barrett’s ground game has made up for some of the mistakes made with 605 rushing yards this season, which is second on Ohio State behind running back J.K. Dobbins’ 1,089 yards, to go along with eight touchdowns.

A matchup to watch out for comes courtesy of Ohio State's Dobbins and Michigan linebacker Devin Bush. Dobbins’ elusiveness against Bush’s crafty vision could be the immovable force against the irresistible object. Dobbins leads the Buckeyes in rushing, while Bush leads the Wolverines in total tackles with 89.

Michigan’s stellar depth on the defense also highlights safety Khaleke Hudson, who leads the team in tackles for loss (16) and sacks with linebacker Chase Winovich (seven). Hudson’s presence could cause problems if Barrett decides to go deep at any given point.

The Wolverines’ offense has performed at the opposite side of the equator as their quarterback carousel through injuries to Wilton Speight (back) and Brandon Peters (concussion protocol) appears to lead the way for John O’Korn to get the start against the Buckeyes once more. Most of Michigan’s struggles can be tied to the senior has thrown for a touchdown and five interceptions in eight games with a quarterback efficiency rating of 99.37.

O’Korn will have to find something similar to Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” or else Michigan’s offense will be in for yet another long day against a hungry Ohio State defense. 

Prediction: Ohio State 35, Michigan 17

Game Itinerary:

No. 9 Ohio State at Michigan

Kickoff: Noon ET

TV/Online: FOX/FOX Sports GO

Line: OSU (-12)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Projecting the New Year's Six for Nov. 22

Welcome to the 13th New Year’s Six projections of the 2017 college football season.

Like last season, the projections will be based off the CSO Mock CFP committee rankings from that week.

Here are the 13th set of projections for this season:

Sugar Bowl (CFP Semifinal):

1) Alabama vs 4) Oklahoma

Rose Bowl (CFP Semifinal):

2) Miami (FL) vs 3) Clemson

Fiesta Bowl:

8) Ohio State vs 10) USC

Cotton Bowl:

7) Auburn vs 9) Notre Dame

Orange Bowl:

5) Wisconsin vs 25) Virginia Tech

Peach Bowl:

6) Georgia vs 12) Central Florida

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

CSO Mock College Football Playoff committee Top 25 for Nov. 21

                                                      Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire

Thanks to my mock selection committee for coming through and making the 13th edition of the rankings possible this season.

Biggest jump: Boise State (+5) NR to 24

Biggest falls: Oklahoma State (-8) 19

(##)- Number of first place votes

       Team                    W-L         Points           Last Week

1) Alabama (8)           11-0          224                   1

2) Miami (FL) (1)      10-0          211                    2

3) Clemson                10-1          205                    3

4) Oklahoma             10-1          199                    4

5) Wisconsin             11-0           195                    5

6) Georgia                10-1           174                    7 (+1)

7) Auburn                    9-2          171                    6 (-1)

8) Ohio State               9-2           161                   8

9) Notre Dame            9-2           147                    9

10) USC                     10-2          136                   10

11) Penn State             9-2           132                   13 (+2)

12) Central Florida   10-0           120                   12

13) TCU                       9-2           119                   14 (+1)

14) Washington             9-2          107                    15 (+1)

15) Washington State   9-2           91                      16 (+1)

16) Mississippi State    8-3           87                     18 (+2)

17) Memphis               10-1          80                     17

18) Michigan State       8-3          62                      21 (+3)

19) Oklahoma State      8-3          59                      11 (-8)

20) LSU                        8-3           58                     20

21) Stanford                  8-3           51                     23 (+2)

22) South Florida          9-1          39                     24 (+2)

23) Northwestern          8-3           37                    NR (+3)

24) Boise State             9-2            21                    NR (+5)

25) Virginia Tech         8-3            10                     NR (+2)

      N.C. State              7-4            10                     22 (-3)

Others receiving votes:

Michigan 8, Iowa State 2, San Diego State 2, Toledo 1, Army 1