Monday, November 14, 2016

WITS: Kicking It

What I Think, Sports edition

I was going to call this the "kicking chaos" week, but so many of the top teams lost in college football that the chaos was minimal.

Dabo Sweeney had to be kicking himself after calling for two failed runs to try and put the game away when his team had thrown for over 580 yards (vs 50 rushing) during the game.  A short Pitt drive and 43 yard field goal later, and Clemson's latest tightrope walk of a game (see also Auburn, Troy, Louisville, Florida State, and NC State) ended in a loss for the Tigers.

Michigan also lost on a last minute field goal by Iowa this weekend. And Washington's decisive home loss to So Cal at home concluded the trifecta of CFP top four teams losing.  Al-a-bama rolled (Tide) on.

Despite all that, Clemson and Michigan still control their own destinies. Win out, you're probably in the playoff.  The Huskies, maybe not so much.  They can still finish the season with with one loss and a conference championship, but the committee proved in their first poll they don't think much of Washington's schedule.

The PAC-12 is far from clear. Utah, Colorado, Washington State, and Washington are all in position to win out and claim the conference crown.

Ohio State is in the unenviable position of potentially having a one loss season, beating rival Michigan and another top 10 team (Oklahoma), and not even making their conference championship game.  They could be sitting home watching Wisconsin and Penn state battle for the Big 10 title.

Which raises the question: If 3 conference champions (Big 10, Big XII, and PAC-12) all have 2 loses, and Ohio State and Louisville finish with one loss, who joins Alabama in the playoff?  (Potentially 4 conference champs if Virginia Tech beats Clemson for the ACC title.)

And the kicker for this post, the Carolina Panthers lost their 4th game of the season due to a last minute field goal, three made by their opponents and one missed by them.

Cherish your kickers, coaches; cherish your kickers.

P.S. Shout out to the John Carroll Blue Streaks for ending the 112 game win streak of Division III football powerhouse Mount Union.  The loss also ended the Purple Raiders 21 year stranglehold on the Ohio Athletic Conference title.

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