Cheaters, imposters, the Ohio State Buckeyes atop the College Football Playoff Rankings …
What else can go wrong with the NCAA gridiron world?
It’s suddenly all gotten so silly and stupid, hasn’t it?
And it’s all affecting the now-No. 3 Michigan Wolverines, who — with every passing day and accusation that comes with it — sure is looking like a villain these days.
We’re talkin’ can’t-come-back-from-it-like-the-Houston-Astros villainy.
Yeah … that bad.
First came the sign-stealing stuff by Michigan, with the use of electronics making for an act of fraudulence.
Now, in recent days, come photos of an imposter on the sidelines of an early-season tilt on behalf — so it’s believed — of the Wolverines.
He posed as a coach on the field for the Central Michigan Chippewas, who claim they have no idea who he is but certain that he is not a member of their coaching staff. It happened in the season-opener against the host Michigan State Spartans, who the Wolverines later played — and handily beat — this season.
And word is the imposter resembles the guy at the centre of the sign-stealing controversy, Connor Stalions.
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“We obviously are aware of a picture floating around with the sign-stealer guy,” Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain told reporters Tuesday. “Our people are doing everything they can to get to the bottom of it. We were totally unaware of it. I certainly don’t condone it in any way, shape or form. I do know that his name was on none of the passes that were (given) out. Now we just keep tracing it back and tracing it back and trying to figure it out.
“But it’s in good hands with our people. And again, there’s no place in football for that.”
As in none.
For those who truly believe, ‘if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying,’ take it someplace else. Like perhaps to hell.
And grow up.
Here’s hoping the Big Ten and the NCAA get it right and serve up proper punishment if all the ducks line up in a row to confirm foul play is at hand.
The cheating has got to stop.
Let sportsmanship reign large already.
Big Ten coaches conferenced with the conference earlier this week to let their voice be heard concerning Michigan’s alleged actions. They want justice … The first edition of this year’s CFP Rankings came out Tuesday, with Ohio State (8-0) at No. 1. That topples Georgia (8-0) from top spot into the No. 2 slot but more importantly drops OSU arch-rival Michigan (8-0) from No. 2 to No. 3. If the CFP committee has got any guts — again if this sign-stealing, imposter stuff is indeed the makings of Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh — it will drop Michigan right out of the top four no matter its record … BTW: Harbaugh could escape all this, if rumours come true that he’ll pick up a gig in the NFL next season … We’re not saying Ohio State doesn’t necessarily deserve top billing. We’re just saying we don’t think Ryan Day’s crew quite passes the eye test to be up there. Then again, who does if voting is not supposed to be based on anything ahead of this year? Two-time reigning king Georgia hasn’t been all that fabulous either, and Michigan hasn’t played anybody yet … FYI: No. 4 is Florida State (8-0), while No. 5 Washington (8-0) and No. 6 Oregon (7-1) are on stand-by to shoot into the coveted top-four. You could make a case that FLA ST could be on top after handling then-No. 16 LSU, Clemson and then-No. 20 Duke among its triumphs … UDub gets a chance to state its case for No. 1 when it visits No. 20 USC (7-2) late Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
The four additions to the Big 12 this year have a combined three conference wins so far. BYU (5-3) is 2-3, Houston (3-5) is 1-4 and both UCF (3-5) and Cincinnati (2-6) are winless at 0-5. But one of UCF or Cincy climbs out of last place to grab a first-ever Big 12 ‘W’ in Week 10, because they battle each other mid-Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET) … Just two wins overall for Cincy? Man, it was only two years ago that Cincy bucked the Group of Five snub and was a final-four squad. But that’s what happens when you get ripped for a whopping 271 rushing yards by one guy, like Ollie Gordon II did on 25 carries for Oklahoma State’s 45-21 home win in Week 9 over Cincy … FYI: Gordon now leads all FBS rushers with 1,087 yards along the ground … Funny thing is Cincy has amassed more yards per game than the top offensive program in the Big Ten. Yup, Cincy is on 444.5 yards per game, while vaunted Ohio State is on 428.8. In fact, Ohio State is just 40th of the FBS teams offensively. What does that say about the Big Ten teams’ ability to move the ball? Or do you look at it from the other end — that the Big Ten sports the best defences? We’re thinking it’s more of an offensive short-coming since history tells us the SEC more often finds a way to dominate Big Ten teams in the playoff … FYI: With 232.4, Iowa (6-2) is dead-last — by nearly 30 yards — of all FBS teams in yards gained per game. But funny enough — again — Iowa’s six wins overall are the most of Big Ten West rivals.
With No. 9 Oklahoma (7-1) moving to the SEC next year, Saturday marks the end of Bedlam (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC) — the annual battle between Oklahoma and No. 22 Oklahoma State (6-2). Barring a rematch in the Big 12 Championship Game, it’ll be the final Bedlam for the foreseeable future. The schools haven’t collaborated to schedule a non-conference tilt … The other ranked-v-ranked tilts on tap are: No. 23 Kansas State (6-2) at No. 7 Texas (7-1) early Saturday (noon ET, FOX); No. 12 Missouri (7-1) visiting No. 2 Georgia (8-0) later Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS); and No. 8 Alabama (7-1) hosting No. 14 LSU (6-2) on Saturday evening (7:30 p.m., ABC). Yes, you read that right — No. 12 Mizzou (!) … Last weekend might have spelled the swan-song of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville. With J’ville tabling a $2-billion renovation to Everbank Stadium, Party guests Florida and Georgia could accept bids from other NFL cities for rights to host the neutral game moving forward … Houston’s season-opener back in early September was likely the last time we’ll see those mighty fine NFL Oilers-inspired uniforms, because the big boys didn’t like it. The NFL, because they own the merchandising and licensing rights to the ‘Love Ya Blue’ jerseys, has told Houston not to wear them again. In the name of ‘Love Ya Blues,’ can’t we just all get along? And for the love of sports, can’t we just stop all the bleepin’ cheating?
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS
Rank Team (last week) Record
1. Ohio State (3) 8-0
2. Georgia (1) 8-0
3. Michigan (2) 8-0
4. Florida State (4) 8-0
5. Washington (5) 8-0
6. Oregon (8) 7-1
7. Texas (7) 7-1
8. Alabama (9) 7-1
9. Oklahoma (6) 7-1
10. Ole Miss (12) 7-1
11. Penn State (10) 7-1
12. Missouri (16) 7-1
13. Louisville (18) 7-1
14. LSU (15) 6-2
15. Notre Dame (14) 7-2
16. Oregon State (11) 6-2
17. Tennessee (21) 6-2
18. Utah (13) 6-2
19. UCLA (23) 6-2
20. USC (24) 7-2
21. Kansas (NR) 6-2
22. Oklahoma State (NR) 6-2
23. Kansas State (NR) 6-2
24. Tulane (22) 7-1
25. Air Force (19) 8-0
NR — not ranked
GAME TO WATCH
(-3) #5 WASHINGTON @ #24 USC
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, in Los Angeles, ABC
Sorry, Caleb … UDub and its defence shows it’s a true CFP contender here.
(-3) #15 NOTRE DAME @ CLEMSON
Saturday, noon ET, ABC
Clemson’s shuffling, Notre Dame’s the far better team and coming off a bye.
PICK: NOTRE DAME
#12 MISSOURI @ #2 GEORGIA (-13)
Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Getting knocked off its top perch should motivate Georgia — and it is Mizzou.
ARMY @ AIR FORCE (OVER/UNDER 31.5)
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET
Low number, but the under has hit — easily — in this rivalry nine straight times.
LAST WEEK: 2-2
2023 RECORD: 16-18-2