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Three-Point Stance: Ohio St. should not be in playoff; Big 12; more

National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell’s Three-Point Stance is here with the top 10 players in the Big 12, some thoughts on whether Ohio State deserves a spot in the College Football Playoff and a look ahead to next year's field.


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Justin Fields
Justin Fields (AP Images)

I am grateful that there was a college football season this year after it was so close to being canceled, but this season has been a mess and we all know it. Now we have to deal with the playoff conundrum.

Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame should all be in, but what about the fourth and final spot? I'm sorry to say that it shouldn't go to Ohio State. Even if the Buckeyes play Northwestern in the Big Ten title game to move to 6-0, there are some serious issues that should keep them out of the College Football Playoff.

First, six games is just half a regular season. That is a huge advantage when you consider the number of games Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Florida, and Texas A&M have played. Ohio State would be relatively fresh and that’s a competitive advantage when you’re talking about playing this late in the season. If this were the NFL and the Kansas City Chiefs played eight games and everyone else played 16, would that be fair? Football is a brutal and physical sport and teams wear down the more games they play.

Second, I’ve dismissed undefeated Group of Five teams like Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina and, at one point, BYU because they “don’t play anyone”. How on Earth can I bang the drum for the Buckeyes when they’ve beaten Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers and Michigan State. Their only quality wins would be against surprising teams like Indiana and, if they win, Northwestern. How is that better than Coastal Carolina beating Louisiana and BYU? Or Cincinnati beating SMU, Memphis or UCF? Maybe if Penn State were any good at all I’d reconsider, but I’d still have a tough time with the limited number of games.

The Big Ten made this mess so now the rest of the sport has to adjust everything to let them fix it? This is coming from someone who wanted to see Ohio State in the playoff because Justin Fields could give Clemson or Alabama fits. But, c’mon now, let’s be real.

Let’s not forget, either, that teams like Texas A&M and Florida have had to play teams like Alabama, Georgia and each other while the Buckeyes cruise through less games against lesser programs.

So what’s the solution? Let’s be nimble and change the rules in the right way this season. Expand the field to eight teams. Then I can at least not feel like the Gators, Aggies, Bearcats and others are being snubbed while the Buckeyes are put in the field. Put the Buckeyes as the No. 8 seed and make them earn their way. That’s the only fair thing I can think of.



Breece Hall
Breece Hall (AP Images)

We are on to the Big 12 as I count down the top 10 players in each Power Five conference regardless of position.

1. RB Breece Hall, Iowa State — Hall finished the regular season with 1,357 yards and 17 touchdowns and has been hands down the best player in the Big 12. He’s been tough after contact as well as hard to hit.

2. LB Joseph Ossai, Texas — Ossai is a freak of nature with 20 plays behind the line of scrimmage. He's just starting to peak.

3. QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma — Rattler got better and better as the season wore on and next season he could double his numbers.

4. OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State — Jenkins opted out, but his play on the field this year lived up to his possible first-round billing.

5. QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas — Texas wasn’t good this season, but Ehlinger was and it’s a shame he never got the support he deserved in his career.

6. DE Nik Bonnitto, Oklahoma — A star has emerged from the edge as Bonnitto has become a terror as a pass rusher.

7. LB Mike Rose, Iowa State — Rose is the backbone of a solid defensive front seven with 10 tackles for a loss and four picks.

8. DB Tykee Smith, West Virginia — Smith plays the ball in the air as well as anyone and is also an aggressive tackler.

9. CB Zech McPhearson, Texas Tech — MacPhearson did a bit of everything for the Red Raiders from tackles to pass breakups.

10. DE Wyatt Hubert, Kansas State — The best pass rusher in the Big 12 this season is someone few have heard of as Hubert doesn’t get enough credit.


Spencer Rattler
Spencer Rattler (AP Images)

Finally, parity is dead in college football as the same programs seem to make the College Football Playoff every year or every few years. Clemson and Alabama are expected to make their sixth appearance this season, while Ohio State is on track to appear in its fourth.Next year will be a different story as I expect two newcomers to break through. But who? Here are the top candidates.

1. Oklahoma — The Sooners have made four CFB Playoff appearances and they will be back again next year. Mark it down.

2. Florida — The Gators are on the verge of making that jump to the playoff as evidenced by this year, but are a bit short on the defensive side of the ball. That should change next season and the running game will improve as well.

3. Texas A&M — This Aggies defense is no joke and it wouldn’t shock me to see them break through in the SEC West next season if they can find a dynamic quarterback.

4. Georgia — Let’s not count the Dawgs out because Florida took a step forward this season. This is still one of the most talented rosters in the country and if the Gators don’t push ahead, Georgia will be back in the playoff.

5. North Carolina Sam Howell is back and the offense is dynamic, so if the newcomers on defense can impact, watch out for the Tar Heels.