Nittany Lions found out Buckeyes were no Rutgers
October 31, 2017 3:00 AM
by Mark Mayer
VIP On the Mark | At least we can say there was one week of clarity for this columnist. There aren’t many 8-1 records to boast about so we’ll swig some chilled Evian spring water, hope to hold serve and smash winners inside the lines.
At least we can say there was one week of clarity for this columnist. There aren’t many 8-1 records to boast about so we’ll swig some chilled Evian spring water, hope to hold serve and smash winners inside the lines.
Before getting down to that, there is this Penn State matter to consider. Yes, Ohio State deserves full marks for coming back from 18 down and getting 16 straight completions from J.T. Barrett, but what in the name of Happy Valley happened to the Nittany Lions after leading 38-20? Did they think the Buckeyes were Rutgers? It sure looked like it.
Three and outs galore, a pass defense made of Swiss cheese when interference calls didn’t occur and some highly questionable play calling in the final minutes knocked Penn State from the ranks of the unbeaten and out of the first BCS poll, which will be released Tuesday night on ESPN.
The choke wasn’t as bad as what happened in Oxford with Ole Miss collapsing against Arkansas, which featured the Hogs’ kicker making the winning field goal four times after the Rebs called time out just prior to the first three splitting the uprights.
But that game matters little in the overall scheme unless you had money on it. Penn State-Ohio State is all about the national championship and suddenly the Buckeyes are right back in the hunt as is Oklahoma, which was able to hold a big lead in Columbus.
My BCS poll would have Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Clemson – the one Tigers loss came with their No. 1 QB Kelly Bryant injured. Yes, Miami and Wisconsin are still unbeaten but their day of judgement will come soon enough. Iowa State is a great story in the Big 12 with a midcourse correction for the ages, QB Kyle Kempf, a third-string walk-on who’s became No. 1 leading upsets of Oklahoma and TCU.
In my mind, Washington is the Pac 12’s only hope for a BCS berth and I’m not ready to swallow that one yet. TCU still has a shot in the Big 12, but the Cyclones likely finished off those Frogs. Unbeaten Central Florida is intriguing but the best they can do is a New Year’s Day bowl.
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