On the Playoff
Clemson is absolutely in the playoff hunt and it is the only thing keeping me sane right now after losing to Syracuse (whom I hate). I will deal with my inner demons and force myself to watch the tape a bit later (yeah bye week! an entire week of loathing and seething within the devil’s playground). Happy thoughts!
The committee will take things into consideration with a loss like playing on the road, losing your starting QB, losing by three points with a backup kicker, etc. Clemson is also losing earlier in the season, which helps in their recovery. We are also the defending national champs, which gives us credibility.
Despite the Auburn loss Clemson can hang its hat on a tough OOC schedule (this puts them over a team like UW who doesn’t play anyone in the OOC). If Clemson wins out (we need Cuse to lose once more or NC St to lose and win out forcing the three way tiebreaker, which I believe Clemson would win once you get through all the tie-breakers). Clemson can also win a conference championship, which is huge against other one loss teams.
Playoff team breakdown:
Alabama—not as good as last year, and vulnerable, but hard to see them not being in the playoff right now. The Dline isn’t near what it was last year, but unfortunately the team keeps on improving.
Penn St—enters the gauntlet of their schedule with Michigan, Ohio St. and then Mich St. in a row. All three of those teams have one loss and would be behind Clemson with another loss. Then they have to win a conference championship against Wisconsin. Remember Penn St almost lost to Iowa.
Georgia—Auburn, UF, and GT are their hardest games remaining. They could lose one with the added pressure, but that ND win is looking better and better. Still, if they go undefeated and lose to Bama it is tough to put them in over another conference champ. But if Bama is seen as the alpha dog of college football that is very possible. Root against UGA with all your heart, mind, body, and strength!
TCU—blessed be the Big 12 conference championship game. The Big 12 is going to put the two best teams together in a champs game, which will eliminate the chance of two teams ever getting in from the Big 12. TCU needs to play Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and a resurgent Iowa State team. OU and Okie St still need to play each other, and each already has one loss. Very likely that the Big 12 champ has two losses. Pull for Iowa State (who also plays Ok St)!
Wisconsin—this is starting to become a danger team. They still play Michigan and Iowa, but not much else. They will need to play in the championship game too, but they will get dinged for the weak OOC schedule. Then it becomes about the nine game conference schedule and the perception of the Big 10.
Everybody else has one loss. USCsr is still a threat from that group (their win over Utah was big). USC and Notre Dame play next week.
Teams to support:
Miami and VT.
In summary, I could see a two loss team getting into the playoff. Everything is still ahead of Clemson.
Clemson has an OOC schedule and resume that stacks up with any team. The BIG teams will beat each other up. The Big 12 teams will still beat each other up. UGA is a real threat to Clemson. The ‘U’ is totally back. And I just vomited in my mouth rethinking how we lost to Syracuse.
On Punting Late In the 4th Q
Apparently Spiers is given the option to either punt or throw the ball on a fake depending on how he reads the formation and the defense. Giving the punter the option based on the look to throw for a first down is one of the dumbest coaching decisions I have ever heard in my life (it was also a horrible decision because Syracuse was ready for a fake).
Running it if no one is there is one thing on a rugby roll out, but allowing a punter to throw is beyond ridiculous. Throwing to Tanner Muse? Who are we kidding? You can’t even begin to defend that in the 4th Q. If Clemson pins Cuse then their playcalling changes and they aren’t as aggressive. It is easier to stop them and make them punt. That kind of game altering decision should never be in the hands of a punter in the 4th Q (I would never put it in the hands of a punter period).
That is HS garbage level coaching. We could overcome this stuff in the past because of talent, but not this year. Who gives a punter the option to throw in the fourth quarter? Someone who should be fired (I’m not saying anyone will be or should be, but that level of bad coaching is a fireable offense, it is that egregiously dumbfounding). Lots of bad coaching, play calling, and players playing undisciplined, uninspired football cost us the game. This was one of those bad plays that contributed that is on the player and the coaches.