Category Archives: Football

College football championships will have implication on the College Football Playoff

By J.D. McKay

Some weeks there is so much happening in sports it is challenging to decide what to write about. This is not one of those weeks. Our boys’ basketball team has not played any conference teams and beat Class 2A Clarksville last night by 40. The NBA and NFL are both playing regular season games, and college basketball has not started conference play either. However, college football is playing conference championships this week, several of which should have serious playoff implications.  

The conference championships that could affect the College Football Playoff are the Big Ten Championship, SEC Championship, Big Twelve Championship, and AAC Championship.

The Big Ten Championship is being played Saturday at 8:00 p.m. on Fox. It is Northwestern playing Ohio State. Ohio State will win, but it will probably be close. If Northwestern can contain OSU quarterback Dwayne Haskins, they could win.

Implication- OSU has lost to unranked Purdue by 29 and beat 4-8 Nebraska and 5-7 Maryland by less than one touchdown, so I am not sure if they deserve to get in at all, and another close win to Northwestern will probably keep them out. Losing will guarantee that they are out.

The SEC Championship is on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. on CBS. First-ranked Alabama is playing fourth-ranked Georgia in a repeat of last year’s SEC Championship game. Bama will win, by at least 15 points, but if Georgia can score a lot of points and keep up the pace with Bama, they could make it interesting.

Implication- Bama has been the best team in college football by a lot this year, so even if they lose they will still be in the playoff. Georgia is what really makes things interesting. As I said, Alabama is already in, as are Clemson and Notre Dame. That means if Georgia wins they will be the three or four seed, but if they lose, it opens that fourth spot in the playoff bedlam will ensue.

The Big Twelve Championship is Saturday at 12:00 p.m. on ABC. I guarantee it will be a high scoring game, because Oklahoma has basically no defense and a high powered offense Texas may struggle to stop. However, Texas beat OU earlier this season and I think they will win again Saturday.

Implication- Texas is not really in playoff contention, but if they beat OU for the second time this year they will knock them out potential that fourth spot.

The last meaningful championship is the AAC Championship on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. For anyone who does not know, the AAC stands for the American Athletic Conference. It was home to Louisville for one year and basically replaced the Big East in football. It is also a group of five conference m which makes getting a team in from this conference significantly more difficult. However, after going undefeated last year, claiming a national championship (that really means nothing, the only people to acknowledge it are UFC fans and Florida’s governor), and now being 11-0 this season, The University of Central Florida has made a case for themselves to be in. Saturday they are playing Memphis who they beat 31-30 in their closest game this season. I expect UCF, who has only improved this season, to beat them by at least 14.

Implication- UCF does not have the opportunity to play many decent teams in the regular season, so their strength of schedule in incredibly weak. However, if they thump Memphis and OU loses, their great wins over bad teams might be valued over OSU’s good wins over Michigan and Penn State and bad wins to Maryland and Nebraska. That could slide them into the fourth seed and actually give them a chance to play for a championship instead of just saying they won one.

 

My expected CFP

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Notre Dame
  4. UCF

Louisville Cardinals football looking for new head coach

By J.D. McKay

Sunday morning the University of Louisville made the decision we all knew was coming: head football coach Bobby Petrino was fired. The obvious choice right now is Jeff Brohm, and I will explain why. But if he stays at Purdue I will predict the next three prospects.

Jeff Brohm (Head Coach, Purdue)

Jeff Brohm is the coach that almost every Louisville fan wants. He went to high school at Trinity, then played quarterback at Louisville. He coached for the Louisville Fire, an arena football team, then at Louisville, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, and the University of Alabama Birmingham as an assistant coach. Finally, in 2014, he took his first head coaching job at Western Kentucky, getting the job after Bobby Petrino took the job at Louisville. Now, four years later he has taken the college football world by storm. He has been to a bowl game every year as a head coach and is undefeated in all four bowl games. This year, he showed his value after beating Ohio State 49-20 and going undefeated against ranked teams. The only downside is Louisville would have to pay Purdue 3.3 million dollars on top of the 14 million dollars they are paying Petrino after firing him before his contract ended. The move makes sense for Brohm, because he gets to come back to home, and the move makes sense for Louisville because he is an up-and-coming head coach.

Luke Fickell (Head Coach, Cincinnati)

Luke Fickell has no connection but he is known for his defense and someone who could coach and recruit a good defense, which is something Louisville needs badly. Louisville has given up just under 47 points per game this season. In 2016, Cincinnati was giving up almost 27 points per game, but two years later his defense is giving up just under 15 points per game. His defensive mind might be just what Louisville needs.

Ryan Day (Offensive Coordinator, Ohio State)

Ryan Day runs one of the nation’s most dangerous offense at Ohio State. He also showed that he could be a head coach when Urban Meyer was suspended for three weeks to start the season, going undefeated against TCU who was ranked 15, and scoring an average of 56 points per game over that three game span.

Charlie Strong (Head Coach, South Florida)

Charlie Strong has already coached at Louisville and been successful. The fans also seemed to like him and he was just a good guy, which is something Louisville could use right now after the scandals. The move would also be a step up for Strong, who is currently the head coach for USF.

Analyzing the first College Football Playoff rankings

By J.D. McKay

This past Monday the College Football released their first top 25 rankings of the season. Not shockingly, Bama was at the top and Clemson followed at second. But after those first two there were some surprises. Kentucky was ranked ahead of Ohio State (this is football, not basketball) and there are three teams in the SEC in the top six. We still have four weeks left until the top four is pretty much set, and things can still get wild, so I will be telling you what to expect over these next couple weeks.

The top four includes Alabama, Clemson, LSU, and Notre Dame. I guarantee Bama stays in the top four. They would have to lose two games to drop out of the top four, and I do not think that they will even lose one game. Next is Clemson. They also have a pretty straight shot to the playoff. Even if they lose one ACC conference game this year, they could win the ACC Championship game and still be the two or three team. LSU, ranked third, is where a lot of craziness could happen. They play Bama this week. Bama will win by 14, Alabama is just that good. That loss will give LSU two losses and no chance to play in the conference championship which puts them out of contention. The other potentially crazy team is fourth-ranked Notre Dame. They are not in a conference, so the conference championship, which is very important to the College Football Playoff Committee, will not be possible. Not having a conference championship means one loss would be catastrophic for the Irish and push them out of the top 4 come season end.

The next most likely teams to be in are Michigan and Georgia or Kentucky. Michigan has had a good season and had one loss to Notre Dame. If they win out, it would include beating Ohio State, who is ranked tenth and probably Northwestern in the BigTen Championship game, probably propelling them into LSU slot. The craziest potential change will be coming from Lexington, Kentucky this weekend. Georgia (six) is playing Kentucky (nine) in a game that will probably send the winner to the SEC Championship to represent East against Alabama. Now, for either one of these teams to get in they will need to beat Bama, which is again unlikely, but if they do somehow beat Bama, they will be in. Kentucky’s resume is good enough that they could hop over Notre Dame if they win the SEC. They would have beat four top 25 teams and their only loss would have been to twentieth ranked Texas A&M. Georgia is in the same boat. They would have beat three top 25 teams and lost to just LSU.  

 

My expected College Football Playoff

1- Alabama Crimson Tide

2- Clemson Tigers

3- Notre Dame Fighting Irish

4- Michigan Wolverines

Football team to face challenging sectional

Before I get into the football sectionals, FC had a terrific weekend in sports. Our football team beat New Albany 17-7 and kept the Anchor up on the hill for 365 more days. Girls’ soccer finished second in their regional, and boys’ and girls’ cross country both won regionals. Junior Sydeny Liddle was the girls’ individual winner. The volleyball team also beat New Albany three sets to one before finishing as the runners up in their sectional. The boys’ tennis team had one of FC’s all tine best finishes this weekend. They lost to eventual state champion Carmel in the state semifinals.

The football team has a bye week this week, but has a tough road after that. Every team in the football sectional is ranked in the top 15 in class 5A, and one of them is Columbus East, who won state last year.

The first game for the Highlanders is against Bedford North Lawrence. Earlier in the season, FC lost to BNL 26-20 in an outragious, penalty-filled contest which saw two coaches ejected. FC’s defense came out flat early and gave up 21 of BNL’s 26 points in the first half, limiting the Stars to a field goal in the fourth quarter. FC’s offense also took a safety to give BNL their last two points. For the Highlanders to win, they will need to come out and play well in the first quarter.

If FC beats BNL then they will face either New Albany, Columbus East, or Seymour. Columbus East swept the other two teams this season, but New Albany only lost earlier to East. However, any team that comes out of that group will be a challenge. FC lost to East in what was not even a game, and lost to Seymour after the Owls drove down the field and scored a touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Five things to watch over Fall Break

Photo by Nicholas Gordon

Story by J.D. McKay

1- Dawns After Dark Sept. 29, gates open at 5 p.m.

Going to Churchill Downs is always an interesting exprience. Watching the horses creates a sense of awe because of their power and speed as they go around the track. Plus, you never know when you will see an outragous outfit or crazy hat.

2- Kentucky football vs. South Carolina Sept. 29

As much as this pains me to say, UK football is legit this year. I was able to say beating Florida was a fluke and Florida was not actually good. But after beating Mississippi State, who was ranked in the top 20, by 21 points, it is hard to argue that their wins have been flukes. UK running back Benny Snell is talented. He already has 540 rushing yards over four games and seven touchdowns.

3- Louisville City FC vs. North Carolina FC Oct. 9

Louisville City has had a good season. They are 15-6-9 and have clinched a playoff spot. If you have never been to a game, you should go, and the weather and lack of football on a Tuesday night makes this a good option.

4- Girls’ soccer sectional

Girls’ soccer is having a very good season and are expected to win their sectionals. With that being said, last year they won the sectional championship over New Albany because of a penalty kick. Adding to potential seeing drama like we did last year, the team plays Jeffersonville in their first game and could potential play New Albany again in the sectional championship.

5- Football vs. New Albany Oct. 12

FC vs. New Albany. Senior Night. The Battle for the Anchor. Need I say more?