NCAA Football News

Breaking Down Tennessee's QB Recruiting Situation for Class of 2015

The immediate fate of Tennessee's football program rests in the able hands of rising junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs, but it's likely the Volunteers' future at the position arrives with the 2015 recruiting class.

UT head coach Butch Jones recruited three highly regarded signal-callers with different skill sets this year.

Jauan Jennings and Sheriron Jones, two 4-star prospects, are intriguing athletes with huge upsides. Quinten Dormady may be the most college-ready passer of the bunch.

It's uncommon to have that many quarterbacks in one class, but Jones had little choice. With Justin Worley's graduation, the transfer of Riley Ferguson and the fact that UT failed to sign a signal-caller in last year's class, the Vols had become dangerously thin at the position.

That's especially true considering the Vols have been forced to start multiple quarterbacks in 11 of the past 15 seasons dating back to 2000.

Junior backup Nathan Peterman is expected to return too, UT offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian told The Sports Animal radio station (via the Knoxville News-Sentinel's Dustin Dopirak). Given that Peterman hasn't proven dependable, all eyes will be on the freshmen.

Let's examine the trio of youngsters whose inheritance could be a roster as talented as any in the country in a couple years.

 

Jauan Jennings (6'4", 188 lbs), Murfreesboro, Tennessee, No. 6 Dual-Threat Quarterback

The biggest wild card of the group may also have the most potential.

A year ago, Jennings wasn't even classified as a quarterback, and many analysts predicted his collegiate position to be anywhere from safety to wide receiver to linebacker. Since then, the Blackman High product remodeled himself as a signal-caller.

With his reclassification as a dual-threat quarterback by 247Sports, it's obvious now people are beginning to see him as a quarterback who's a very good athlete rather than an athlete who plays the position out of necessity.

Jennings finished his senior season for the 11-2 Blaze throwing for 2,155 yards and 22 touchdowns and running for 883 yards and 17 more scores, according to 247Sports' Chad Carson.

With his stellar season came enough accolades to fill a trophy case, but doubters still abound. It's that uncertainty, Jennings told Murfreesboro's Daily News Journal's Tom Kreager, that he isn't a fan of: "I absolutely hate it," Jennings said. "I look back and 247(Sports) finally put me as a dual-threat quarterback. But I also see dual threat, then I see athlete, and I see safety. Why not just dual threat?"

Later, he told Kreager: "I wish people would just give me a chance," Jennings said. "Maybe I can play quarterback."

He'll be given every opportunity in Knoxville, and the best thing for Jennings and the Vols is he's a mid-term enrollee who'll get to go through spring drills and get a head start on learning the offense.

If he can, he'll give the Vols an elite athlete who is a top competitor and has proven he has the work ethic to develop his skills as a passer. If not, he'll excel at another position or transfer to another place where he can play quarterback.

One thing's for certain after the past year: He shouldn't be doubted.

 

Sheriron Jones (6'2.5", 192 lbs), Moreno Valley, California, No. 7 Dual-Threat Quarterback

Despite UT having two mid-term freshmen quarterbacks in the fold, the former Florida commitment decided he wanted Knoxville to be his home after decommitting from the Gators following Will Muschamp's ouster.

That throws another hat in the ring to be the man behind center once Dobbs departs.

Also being from the talent-rich recruiting grounds of California where it seems they grow quarterbacks in the fertile soil, Jones has been taught the position by people who've developed plenty of throwers.

Though—like Jennings—Jones needs to get in the weight room and work on adding bulk to his frame as well as adding strength to his throws, he displays nice touch on his passes and can make most passes.

247Sports' director of scouting Barton Simmons told GoVols247's Ryan Callahan (subscription required) that Jones gives UT a different blend of the skill sets it already had committed with Jennings and Dormady:

I think he fits well with the other quarterbacks they've got, as well, because I think he's more of the athletic type—maybe not with the upside of Jauan Jennings, but a little bit more polished as a passer. And maybe not the passing chops of Dormady, but more athletic. I think it's just another really nice option within Tennessee's quarterback class that I think allows them to have a really nice setup there.

If you're a Vols fan, you've got to like the fact that Sheriron Jones wasn't scared away by the players already in the fold. With an offer sheet that boasted Florida, Arizona, Arizona State and Ole Miss, among others, he had plenty of interest.

He's also said the right things since committing last week, seeming like a humble but confident kid.

Once Jones develops, he has the same combination of speed and throwing ability that has helped Dobbs thrive in Bajakian's system, so it'll be interesting to see how he progresses—especially considering he is the only one of the trio who hasn't enrolled mid-term.

 

Quinten Dormady (6'4", 200 lbs), Boerne, Texas, No. 13 Pro-Style Quarterback

When Dormady chose Tennessee over Alabama and others back on June 9, he was seen as the answer to UT's struggles recruiting the position in Butch Jones' early tenure.

Since then, Jennings has emerged as a viable quarterbacking option, and Sheriron Jones was added, but the coaching staff is still enamored with Dormady's ability.

"He is an accurate passer with a quick release who possesses a skill set that will help him excel in our offense," Bajakian said, according to UTSports.com. "As the son of a coach, Quinten has been around the game his entire life and exhibits all the intangibles you look for in a leader and a quarterback."

Despite Dormady's strong arm and sneaky athleticism, he missed his entire junior season with a torn labrum. The shoulder injury showed no ill effects last year, and he should be good to go this spring.

He ran a variation of UT's zone-read offense as a senior, and he enjoyed a stellar season. Instead of going to his senior prom and doing all the things most 17-year-olds like to do, Dormady instead drove 17 hours to enroll at UT.

"I just feel like as a quarterback," he told San Antonio Express-News' Ben Baby, "that swing into spring is huge to get into the offense and that kind of thing."

Rival coach Van Fuschak of Antonian High told Baby in another article that Dormady compared to two quarterbacks he faced when he was at MacArthur High School: Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury and New Orleans Saints great Drew Brees.

"Fuschak said Dormady’s bigger than those players, can throw the ball like them and is deceptively quick, too," Baby wrote.

With Dobbs entrenched, the Vols should be able to bring the young guys along slowly, integrate them into the offense and see who rises to the top of the depth chart. Even so, there has to be a sense of urgency due to the lack of depth behind the starter.

The battle between Dormady and Jennings will be extremely intriguing this spring, and when Jones gets on campus, he'll add just another talented prospect to the mix. Throw in 2016 commitment Austin Kendall, and UT appears set for the future.

Now that the Vols are dripping with potential at the position, it should give them something down the road they don't currently have: viable options.

 

All recruiting information from 247Sports composite rankings, unless otherwise noted. 

Brad Shepard covers SEC football and is the Tennessee Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow Brad on Twitter @Brad_Shepard.

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8 College Football Teams on the Rise Heading into 2015 Season

It’s finally over. Monday night, college football’s 2014 season finished with a bang as Ohio State wrapped up a triumphant run through the College Football Playoff with an emphatic 42-20 rout of Oregon in the first College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

For the Buckeyes, Tuesday was a day of celebration. For Oregon and the rest of the FBS, it was a day to reflect, look back briefly and then look forward. OK, let’s be honest. Many teams have been looking forward since the regular season wrapped up in early December, with 14 teams making head-coaching changes this offseason.

So we’re going to look forward, too. Tuesday morning, very, very early preseason Top 25 polls populated the Internet. We’re seven-plus months away from the opening of the 2015 regular season, but it’s never too early to highlight teams we think will make a bigger impact next fall. Here’s a look at eight teams that should be significantly improved in 2015.

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B/R CFB 250: The Overall Top 250 Players in College Football

Bleacher Report's CFB 250 is an annual ranking of the best players in college football. Brian Leigh and Kynon Codrington have studied, ranked and graded the top athletes in the country based on specific criteria, narrowed that list down to 250 and sorted by position. Today, we present the top 250 players.  

Other CFB 250 Positions

 

After breaking down it position by position, we've finally reached the full list of the top 250 college football players. 

Keep in mind here that a subjective call was made by the authors in cases where two or more players had the same final grade. This call was based on an abstract “Wins Above Replacement” formula: Which players most exceed a replacement-level starter at their position? 

Lastly, note that these players were graded as college athletes, not on how they project to the NFL. 

Targeted skills such as QB arm strength are important at both levels, but there is a difference between college arm strength and professional arm strength. If a quarterback slings it well enough to hit his marks in the SEC or the Big 12, it doesn't matter that he can't stretch the field against the NFC North. At least not here, it doesn't. 

This is all about his college performance. 

Note: Rankings and scores were made prior to postseason football performances. 

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Oregon vs. Ohio State: Overlooked Moments in College Football Championship 2015

These things don’t even happen in sports movies because the plot wouldn’t be believable.

Ohio State’s 42-20 national championship beatdown of the Oregon Ducks came after superstar quarterback Braxton Miller was lost for the season before the first game even kicked off.

It came after his backup, J.T. Barrett, who was smack in the middle of the Heisman Trophy discussion in November, was lost for the season with an injury in the second half of the Michigan game.

It came after star defensive lineman Noah Spence was suspended for the entire season and playmaker Dontre Wilson broke his foot against Michigan State in the biggest regular-season win of the year.

All it took to get through that incredible amount of adversity was a third-string quarterback in Cardale Jones who was most famous for an ill-advised tweet before this run, a monster of a running back in Ezekiel Elliott who once seemed like a lock to attend Missouri until coach Urban Meyer worked his recruiting magic and a dominant defensive line that kept Heisman winner Marcus Mariota in check. 

Meyer put it best, via SportsCenter:

While plenty of well-deserved attention will be placed upon Meyer for his third title and Elliott for his 246 rushing yards and four touchdowns, there were also some moments that may have been overlooked in the grand scheme of things that helped the Buckeyes win the title. 

Here are a few of them.

 

Missed Safety Chance

While it may be hard to remember considering Ohio State more than doubled Oregon’s point total, there was a time when the Ducks had a 7-0 lead and all the momentum in the first quarter. That momentum would have been astronomical had the Ducks taken Jones down in the end zone for a safety on Ohio State’s second drive of the game.

The Buckeyes were pinned at their own 3-yard line on that second drive, and Jones dropped back into the end zone on second down. An Oregon defender came hurtling toward him and appeared to have him in his grasp.

Instead of a safety, though, the 6’5”, 250-pound Jones shrugged the defender off and threw the ball away. 

Rather than a 9-0 Oregon lead, Ohio State kept possession and ended its 97-yard, game-tying drive with this, via ESPN College Football:

 

Holding Marcus Mariota to a Field Goal

While the Buckeyes controlled most of the game, there was a moment in the third quarter when it looked like everything was falling apart.

The Buckeyes had a 21-10 lead and were once again marching right down the field when Jalin Marshall let a perfect pass ricochet off his stomach and into the waiting hands of Danny Mattingly. Oregon took a whopping 10 seconds on the ensuing drive to find the end zone with a 70-yard touchdown strike from Mariota to Byron Marshall. 

This is what happened on Ohio State’s next drive, via ESPN College Football:

Suddenly, it was 21-17 in favor of the Buckeyes, and Oregon had the ball at Ohio State’s 23-yard line. Instead of wilting under the pressure and momentum, Ohio State’s defense stood tall and held the Ducks to a field goal. The score could have been 24-21 Oregon, but the Buckeyes held the lead at 21-20 and responded on the next drive with a critical touchdown. 

Perhaps the Buckeyes don’t finish the game on a 21-0 run if Oregon took the lead and overwhelming momentum late in the third quarter with a touchdown.

 

Cameron Johnston’s Punting

Punters are accustomed to getting overlooked on the field unless they mess up, but Ohio State’s Cameron Johnston made the most of his limited opportunities.

He only punted three times, but they went for an average of 42 yards per punt with two inside the 20-yard line. Pinning the high-octane Ducks offense back is one way to keep it in check, and that is exactly what Johnston did.

One of those punts that landed inside the 20 happened with just more than four minutes remaining in the game and helped virtually seal the victory for the Buckeyes.

Now it is time for Ohio State to look ahead to the 2015 season, where it will attempt to defend its crown.

While it is impossible to get a complete picture of the 2015 Buckeyes until the quarterback situation between Miller, Barrett and Jones is decided, Meyer’s squad will be loaded once again thanks to the returns of Elliott, Michael Thomas, Joey Bosa, Eli Apple, Vonn Bell, Darron Lee and Raekwon McMillan, among others.

Martin Rickman of Sports Illustrated discussed what that means for the rest of college football: “The Big Ten—and college football, by and large—needed Ohio State to be an elite program again. That happened. The only problem for the rest of the league? It has to keep playing the increasingly dangerous Buckeyes, year in and year out.” 

Buckle up, Columbus. It’s going to be an incredible ride.

 

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National Signing Day 2015: Rumors and Predictions for Top Available Recruits

With Ohio State taking home the national championship, college football fans can now look toward the future and, specifically, national signing day.

Although predicting what is going on in the mind of a teenager with almost limitless options is extremely difficult, these choices are certain to make a major impact on the sport for the next few years. Considering how many top players are still undecided, expect some seismic shifts in the recruiting rankings when the commitments roll in.

A lot can obviously change between now and Feb. 4, but here are the latest rumors concerning some of the top recruits in the nation.

 

CeCe Jefferson, DE

It has become clear the strength of the 2015 class is in the defensive line. Players like Byron Cowart, Trent Thompson, Terry Beckner and others will help shape the national landscape regardless of where they go.

Right near the top of this list is defensive end CeCe Jefferson. The Florida native is considered the No. 5 overall recruit in the nation, according to 247 Sports, and he has the athleticism necessary to be an impact player right away wherever he lands.

According to John Garcia and Yancy Porter of Scout.com, that destination appears to be Ole Miss:

Barton Simmons of 247 Sports reported Florida had been the leader for a long time, but he quoted the youngster about his change of heart at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl:

Ole Miss, I would say Ole Miss is my top school right now. Ole Miss is great man. Coach (Hugh) Freeze, what he has going is amazing. I took my official when they played Bama and it was like no other. They treated me well. The program's great. The guys are great and I just know if I go there I'll get taken care of and they'll get me prepared for the next level and I'll get a great education. And plus I know Coach Freeze is going to be there for a while, great stability.

The Rebels had the No. 1 scoring defense in the nation this season thanks in large part to former 5-star recruit Robert Nkemdiche. Jefferson can learn from the talented defensive end and play with him to help create an even more imposing defensive front.

Jefferson is still set to visit Auburn and LSU, and has already taken officials to Alabama and Cincinnati. While each of these programs represents a quality option for Jefferson, it seems like he has already seen what he wants to see in a college.

Prediction: Ole Miss

 

Aliz'e Jones, TE

The tight end spot is often an afterthought for college coaches, but Aliz'e Jones is forcing people to pay attention. The UCLA commit has the size at 6'4.5" and athleticism to be a true mismatch for defenders not only in college but possibly in the NFL.

Mike Craven of Rivals was impressed by the player's performance in practices for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl:

While this would ordinarily make Bruins fans extremely excited for the future, it seems like his commitment is not set in stone. In fact, Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports explains that Notre Dame could end up with the talented player:

Sources continue to indicate that Notre Dame is the team to beat for the nation’s top-ranked tight end Aliz'e Jones, although that one is expected to go to the end for the current UCLA commit. Jones spent a lot of time with the five Irish commitments in San Antonio, building on past experiences he’s had with those guys during two different visits to South Bend since September.

For a player considered the best at his position by 247 Sports, a flipped commitment could make a major impact for both recruiting classes. To make things more interesting, each squad has brought in a top quarterback for 2015 (Brandon Wimbush for Notre Dame and Josh Rosen to UCLA).

In the end, though, it seems most likely he stays with his decision and stars for the Bruins.

Prediction: UCLA

 

Martez Ivey, OT

Although offensive linemen don't always get the most publicity, they have a major impact on college football games. This is why everyone is trying to get Martez Ivey, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2015 class, according to 247 Sports.

At 6'5.5", Ivey has the frame to be a massive force at the next level once he puts on more strength in a collegiate weight program. He also already has the technique to be an elite blocker on both pass and run plays.

The question is which team will be able to get the game-changing player. It appeared like Florida was the front-runner, but Justin Hokanson of 247 Sports notes Auburn could be the new favorite:

One source that spent some time with Ivey at the Army Bowl thought it would be Auburn in the end, citing Ivey’s teammate in Chandler Cox, saying he believed the blue-chipper would go play with his 'brother.' At the Top Gun camp this summer in Dublin, Ohio, players that hung out with Ivey thought it would be the Tigers in the end.

Playing with Auburn commit Chandler Cox seems likely to be a big draw for Ivey, who could follow in the path of players like Greg Robinson for the run-first Tigers.

After delaying his decision, Auburn appears to have moved into the top spot for the elite player.

Prediction: Auburn

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

 

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Ohio State Winning National Title Is Worst Possible News for Jim Harbaugh

Ohio State’s playoff run has restored the luster of Big Ten football, but Urban Meyer’s third national championship victory has also amped up the pressure on Jim Harbaugh. The national storyline has shifted from Harbaugh’s glorious return to Meyer’s genius in overcoming the season-ending injuries of two quarterbacks while running the gauntlet of Alabama and Oregon to claim the national crown.

The coaching seat in Ann Arbor comes preheated, but Ohio State’s victory kicks up the temperature a few degrees and shrinks Harbaugh’s time table for turning the program around.

Prior to the game, Harbaugh said all of the right things on The Rich Eisen Show to promote conference unity:

I'm going to be rooting for Ohio State," said Harbaugh. "I'm a midwesterner. I was raised in Ohio, I went to Michigan, raised in Michigan as well. But for Big Ten football, for midwest football there's been a lot of talk about other conferences, etc , but I think it's just fabulous a team in our conference is playing in that game.

The win may be fabulous for the conference, but it could hurt Michigan on the recruiting front. Kareem Walker, a 5-star running back, who had told The Detroit Free Press that hiring “[Harbaugh] was a great move, I think he's going to be a college game-changer,” committed to Ohio State during the game.

Any glimmer of hope that his positive comments about Harbaugh might lead him to Ann Arbor dimmed with his Twitter announcement.

The loss stings after previous Michigan commitment Mike Weber flipped to Ohio State last month.

As Harbaugh and his newly minted staff head out on the recruiting trail looking to salvage this class, Ohio State’s victory will make prying any recruits away from Urban Meyer even harder.

Long term, Harbaugh will also need to contend with comparisons between his rebuilding project and Meyer’s masterful run at Ohio State.

Meyer inherited a team that staggered to a 6-7 finish in the wake of Jim Tressel’s offseason resignation. He took over a program humbled by NCAA violations that caused most of the 2010 season to be vacated and resulted in the 2012 team being ineligible for postseason play. Meyer rallied Ohio State to an undefeated campaign despite the bowl ban and was mobbed on the field as the Buckeyes defeated Michigan 26-21, finishing No. 3 in the final Associated Press season football poll.

Harbaugh takes over a team that finished 5-7 during Hoke's final season and was just the latest disappointment during a seven-season slide that began after the retirement of Lloyd Carr, whose last game, ironically, was a bowl victory over Meyer's Florida team. Michigan had its own minor dust-up with the NCAA prior to Hoke and is also dealing with a spat of recent behavioral problems. Hoke's swan song included the dismissal of defensive end Frank Clark, the alcohol-related arrest of lineman Graham Glasgow and the expulsion of kicker Brandon Graham prior to the season.

Harbaugh returns to a program that has been dominated during the last decade by its key conference rivals, Ohio State and Michigan State. Both teams are surging nationally and don’t appear to be declining any time soon.

Michigan may have pulled off the best move of the offseason by bringing Harbaugh back to Ann Arbor, but Ohio State has dominated on the field.

As the windchill dips well below zero in Ann Arbor, the pressure on Jim Harbaugh will generate plenty of heat.

He has never shied away from pressure or the spotlight, and Ohio State’s victory only increases expectations for Michigan fans who believe that all of the key ingredients are now in place for a quick resurgence.

The Big Ten is back and the clock is ticking for Jim Harbaugh—Urban Meyer has set the bar, and now it's time for Michigan to respond on the field.

 

Phil Callihan is a featured writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations obtained firsthand

Follow @PCallihan

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Tennessee Football: 5 Players Poised to Break out in 2015

Fresh off a victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes in the TaxSlayer Bowl and with a second-consecutive top five recruiting class on the way, the Tennessee Volunteers are one of the hottest teams in the country.

A big reason for that hype is the amount of young talent the Vols bring back in 2015. Jalen Hurd, Derek Barnett and Joshua Dobbs will be among the best players in the SEC next year.

But one of the advantages of Tennessee's bursting-at-the-seams 2014 class is that the players who weren't breakout stars this season get another crack at it next year.

Head coach Butch Jones's first-year class, pieced together at the last minute shortly after he was hired on Dec. 7, 2012, also returns a few playmakers who will play big roles for the Vols next season.

While Tennessee will rely on its established stars next year, here are five under-the-radar players who are poised to break out and help lead the Vols back to relevance in 2015. 

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UCLA Football: 4 Bruins Poised to Break out in 2015

The start of a new season brings much excitement for any football program, including the UCLA football team. 

It's always fascinating to see athletes emerge and impact a team considerably. Four players on the UCLA football team will fit into this category heading into 2015. 

Of the four, three play on the defensive side of the ball. While none of these players are complete unknowns, their expected roles—and levels of productivity—will continue to rise. 

A fourth player also figures to be a fixture on UCLA's offense line for the next few seasons. 

Here's a look at four Bruins poised for breakout seasons in 2015.

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Underdogs No More: Ohio State Will Be College Football's Juggernaut in 2015

Ohio State was leading Oregon, 35-20, in the final minute of the College Football Playoff National Championship with an opportunity to take a knee, kill the clock and collect its new, shiny trophy.

Instead, Urban Meyer had Ezekiel Elliott punch in his fourth touchdown of the night to put an exclamation point on Ohio State's performance and more importantly, send a message to the rest of the college football world:

Ohio State is not an underdog. Ohio State is not finished. In fact, after winning the program's first national title since 2002, the Buckeyes showed that they're just getting started.

Meyer was asked about why he kept his foot on the gas when the game was clearly in hand.

"I didn’t even think about taking a knee," Meyer said, according to George Schroeder of USA Today. "We play to win. We play to be aggressive."

And that, in a nutshell, is the perfect glimpse into the mentality Ohio State and Meyer use to approach the game. They play fast and strong, and they don't make any apologies for it. They were doubted and given long odds in each of their last three games, and they came out victorious each time.

Now that they're on top, the Buckeyes are poised to become college football's next great dynasty.

The talent coming back to Ohio State for the 2015 season is staggering. Thirty-five players from the Buckeyes' two-deep rotation will be back in Columbus next season, including key players such as Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott. Ohio State is set at quarterback regardless of who stays or goes because any of its three options—Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones—are championship-caliber signal-callers.

On top of that, the Buckeyes will return four of their five offensive linemen next season—a unit that bullied Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon and paved the way to a national title.

With this year's championship run and the talent on hand in 2015, Meyer knows that there will be a switch in perspective. The Buckeyes won't be viewed as underdogs. They'll be viewed as the top dog, which will present a whole new set of challenges.

Elliott, who could enter the season as the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, believes the Buckeyes are primed for another title run next fall.

"We've just got to stay a hungry team," Elliott said, according to Patrick Maks of Eleven Warriors. "I think we'll be the same team next year, as long as we stay humble, we grind hard in the offseason, don't let our heads get too big, I think we'll be here next year."

Early projections for the upcoming season paint a bright future for the Buckeyes. Bleacher Report projects them as the country's top team in its early look at the preseason Top 25. So do Paul Myerberg of USA TodayStewart Mandel of Fox Sports, Ty Duffy of The Big Lead and the good folks at Land Grant Holy Land and Athlon Sports.

But can Ohio State repeat as national champions with a target on its back? Will it maintain its focus and hunger without playing the underdog role?

With Meyer at the helm, the Buckeyes' chances are pretty good.

 

David Regimbal covers Ohio State football for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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From Ohio State to Houston: New Head Coach Tom Herman Hits the Ground Running

Newly hired head coach Tom Herman is having quite the week.

Fresh off his masterful play-calling performance as offensive coordinator in Ohio State’s run to the national title, Herman took to focusing on his new job almost immediately after the Buckeyes finished dismantling the Oregon Ducks 42-20 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

Herman didn’t let the media crush on Ohio State’s win go wasted in support of his new endeavor at Houston.

The Mensa member pulled a brilliant move by donning a red and white Houston hat on the sideline after the game and flashing the Cougar hand sign for the entire world to see.

The picture was almost immediately tweeted out by the official Houston Cougar Football Twitter account and subsequently retweeted over 700 times:

The move drew national attention from Yahoo Sports blogger Sam Cooper among others. Cooper noted Herman pulled the hat from his waistband as soon as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

This guy is sharp.

Clearly, Herman wanted to waste no time getting started on his new gig. On paper, he is the best hire in school history, a statement made more impressive by recent head coaching names which include Baylor’s Art Briles and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.

While both of those coaches were thought at the time to be good moves for Houston, neither of them came into the position almost universally praised as a can’t-miss head coaching success the way Herman seems to be.

If anything, neither of them were play-callers for the reigning national champions when they became Houston’s top man.

Grantland’s Matt Hinton ranked Herman No. 4 among recent head coaching hires behind Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, SMU’s Chad Morris and Pittsburgh’s Pat Narduzzi.

But Herman’s championship postgame move rubbed some of the Ohio State faithful the wrong way.

As noted by CBS Sports writer Jerry Hinnen, former Buckeye running back Maurice Clarett took to Instagram to call Herman a “weenie” in a since deleted post.

But as Hinnen points out, Herman was wise to use the moment to throw some of his spotlight on his next place of employment.

The donning of the cap both acknowledged the program that signed him to a contract to become the head coach without having him quit his post with the Buckeyes during the College Football Playoff and also allowed him a free and preemptive recruiting pitch for the Coogs.

As alluded to by Houston’s Twitter account during the game, what offensive player wouldn’t want to play in a system that wrecked solid defenses in Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon in successive games to win the title?

Houston has a long history of success on the side of the ball Herman specializes in.

Whether it was Bill Yeoman’s run-oriented Veer teams, Jack Pardee’s run-and-shoot offenses, Briles’ spread attack or Sumlin’s air raid, Cougar fans expect and appreciate high-scoring and fun-to-watch offenses on game day.

It’s likely the very reason outgoing coach Tony Levine was given the boot and why interim coach David Gibbs, the outgoing defensive coordinator who had remarkable success at a school not known for stalwart defenses, wasn’t seriously considered for the job.

Herman has his work cut out for him. While Houston’s skill players seem apt to the task, the output of the offensive unit left much to be desired over the past three years under the previous regime. Herman will need to get to work.  

And there’s no rest for the weary.

According to associate athletic director David Bassidy, Herman is already in Houston and ready to hit the recruiting trail.

Bassidy told Bleacher Report that Herman and other coaches will hit the road Wednesday night in preparation for the start of the recruitment period on Thursday and would be out for two weeks to prepare for national signing day on February 4.

So it’s a good thing Herman already has a Houston hat and is accustomed to operating on little to no sleep.

Because it looks like he’ll remain busy for the foreseeable future.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and information were obtained firsthand

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10 Recruits in 2015 Class Who Have Freakish Measurables

Statistics and measurements don't guarantee a recruit will be successful, but they sure do make some of those players stand out.

Among the hundreds of great prospects heading into college football in 2015, there are a number whose size, speed, strength and agility numbers just jump off the page. In the long run, it will be how they use these attributes to their advantage that determines how well they do, but for now, those figures are worthy of some attention.

Here are 10 guys whose measurables border on the unreal.

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Kevin Steele Named DC of LSU: Latest Contract Details and Reaction

After John Chavis left the school to take on the same role with Texas A&M, LSU has found a replacement at defensive coordinator, announcing it has hired former Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele.     

LSU Football on Twitter made it official:

Steele was the defensive coordinator when Nick Saban joined the program in 2007, though he left to become Clemson's defensive coordinator in 2009. He lasted three seasons with those Tigers before being fired in 2012. He returned to Alabama in 2013 and became the linebackers coach last season. 

He was also the head coach at Baylor from 1999 to 2002.

The reaction to Steele's hiring among some LSU fans hasn't been positive, however, as Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated noted:

Barrett Sallee of Bleacher Report tried to put a bit more of a positive spin on things:

Steele will be joining an LSU program that has established itself as an excellent defensive team in recent years, though the offense has often lagged behind. That will put even more pressure on Steele to perform, as though replacing Chavis wasn't already a pretty tall task.

One thing is for certain—if his tenure with these Tigers resembles his tenure with the Clemson Tigers, an LSU faithful that has become accustomed to elite defensive teams will lose their patience with him rather quickly.

 

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5 Takeaways from the Inaugural CFP National Championship

The first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship is complete, and it confirmed what we all suspected: College football is better off without the BCS.

After Ohio State's 42-20 win over Oregon to cap a Cinderella season at AT&T Stadium Monday, that fact—to borrow from the Buckeyes' title hats—should be undisputed.

It was only fitting that the Buckeye heroes were Cardale Jones and Ezekiel Elliott, a third-string quarterback and an under-the-radar running back, respectively, who were catapulted onto the world stage by the new playoff system.

Ohio State may not embody your prototypical underdog, but by overcoming injuries and winning it all as the No. 4 seed, the Buckeyes certainly helped justify the merits of the CFP.  

That's the conclusion, at least, that CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock drew.

Bill Hancock on No 4 Ohio State winning: "it validates what we've known for the last month. That the committee got it right."

— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) January 13, 2015

Going forward, what are the implications of the inaugural CFP for the major parties involved—Ohio State, Oregon, the conferences, the NCAA and the players themselves? Here are five big takeaways.

 

Begin Slideshow

Notre Dame Football: Ronnie Stanley's Return Key to 2015 Playoff Run

While Brian Kelly and the Notre Dame coaching staff will spend the next three weeks on the recruiting trail, they'll sign no bigger prospect than Ronnie Stanley, who they secured on Tuesday. The left tackle announced that he'll return to South Bend for his senior season, putting the NFL on hold to return for the 2015 season. 

Stanley explained his decision in a statement via UND.com:

This was a difficult decision. My dream isn't just to play in the National Football League. I want to win a national championship. I've waited to this point so I could watch the actual game and see if I felt any emotion, and I felt a great deal. I am a competitor. I want to play on the top stage so I've decided that I'm returning to Notre Dame for my senior year.

We've got a chance to have a special season next year. Many of my teammates are returning and I've made strong bonds with lots of them. If all of them weren't coming back this year it would've made it an easier decision to leave. All this, the opportunity to graduate, and much more, led to my decision to stay.

Stanley had been rocketing up draft boards everywhere, looking like a potential first-round pick after an impressive season at left tackle. Now he'll be the key cog to an Irish offensive line that will return the starting five that put together a dominating performance against LSU in the Music City Bowl. 

After being hurt by the NFL draft last season—losing Stephon Tuitt, Louis Nix and Troy Niklas with a season of eligibility remaining—the chips seem to be falling in Notre Dame's favor this time around. Captain Sheldon Day announced he would return earlier this week, and Stanley's return is even better news. 

With Stanley at left tackle, the offense is nearly fully formed—if Kelly can decide on what to do at the quarterback position. But whoever is playing behind Harry Hiestand's offensive line should have the benefit of a strong running game and excellent pass protection. 

We saw Mike McGlinchey thrive in his first start at right tackle. The trio of Nick Martin, Matt Hegarty and Steve Elmer all return on the inside, with the center position potentially up for grabs. With Stanley as the prototypical blind-side protector, he'll have a chance to anchor one of the strongest offensive lines since the Holtz era. 

Kelly discussed Stanley in the official release:

Ronnie has developed into a premier offensive lineman. With another year at the position, and gaining more knowledge under the outstanding coaching of Harry Hiestand, Ronnie could be the best tackle in all of college football.

I know this decision wasn't an easy one for him, but, as his coach, I'm proud of the manner in which he handled it. He's matured so much since he first arrived on campus, and this is just another example. Ronnie now has a chance to leave Notre Dame as both a graduate and first-round NFL pick.

There's been a strong track record of returning players at Notre Dame to improve their draft stock. Zack Martin parlayed a fifth year into a first-round pick and was the only rookie to make the NFL's All-Pro team. Michael Floyd and Tyler Eifert returned for their senior seasons and became first-rounders as well. 

In addition to Stanley and Day, Notre Dame expects KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams back, two more returning starters on a team that will only lose tight end Ben Koyack, right tackle Christian Lombard and cornerback Cody Riggs. 

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Recruits React to Ohio State Winning National Championship Game

Urban Meyer has long had a reputation of being an elite recruiter, but his job on that front got a little easier after his Buckeyes trounced Oregon on Monday night to win their first national title since 2002.

If Monday is any indicator of the momentum that Ohio State is building on the recruiting trail, Meyer is poised to restock his roster with elite recruits in the next few classes. 

The Buckeyes received a trio of commitments from top underclassmen in the 2016 (5-star running back Kareem Walker) and 2017 classes (4-star athlete Bruce Judson and 4-star corner Shaun Wade) before, during and after Monday's game.

In addition to their classes swelling in the aftermath of capturing a title, current Buckeyes commitments have responded with their thoughts on the win and the state of the program moving forward. 

For a player such as 2015 4-star athlete and Ohio native Jerome Baker, seeing his future school capture the biggest prize in the sport gave him an immediate feeling of pride, as he told Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts.

"This is the expectation when you go to Ohio State," Baker told Kurelic. "We are expected to win national championships. Proud of them guys. I can't wait to get down there so we can win many more."

The Buckeyes dominated the Ducks in the trenches, as star sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a career-high 236 yards and four scores.

That level of physical domination resonated with players such as 2015 3-star offensive line pledge Branden Bowen.

"I'm excited to say the least," Bowen told Kurelic. "Ohio State came in and, aside from the turnovers, dominated the game."

While the Buckeyes commitments rejoiced, targets in future classes were also playing close attention to the improvement the Buckeyes showed over the course of the season.

2016 4-star defensive end Kyree Campbell is one of the top early targets for Meyer and his staff in next year's cycle.

The 6'5", 280-pounder—who mentioned Alabama, Florida, Michigan and North Carolina in addition to the Buckeyes as schools that stick out to him in the early stages of his recruitment—said he was rooting for the Buckeyes heading into the game.

"Oregon was hitting them with that fast pace, so I got scared for a minute," Campbell told Bleacher Report. "They did what had to be done, which was slowing [quarterback Marcus] Mariota down. It was a job well done. Coach [Larry] Johnson, being the defensive line coach, he did a great job."

The Virginia native came away impressed at how the Buckeyes defensive line flustered the Heisman Trophy-winning Ducks quarterback.

"Most of the game, I was watching the defensive line," Campbell said. "I didn't really care for the offense. I was watching the defense and watching the schemes and seeing what they like to run and how they execute. Those guys did an excellent job on the defensive line. I like to analyze things like that."

2018 running back Ricky Slade is a prep teammate of current Ohio State commit and 4-star offensive lineman Matthew Burrell. Although Slade just completed his freshman year of high school, he's already secured an offer from the Buckeyes. 

"I kind of felt like Ohio State was going to beat Oregon," Slade said. "They had a lot of momentum from the last two games, and it carried over to the championship game."

Slade—who mentioned plans to visit Ohio State in the spring— admits that the offense has gotten his attention over the last few games.

"Their offense started clicking after the first drive," Slade said. "They maintained the ball for a long time and kept Oregon's offense off the field. They've been clicking for a minute. That game made me feel some type of way about Ohio State."

 

Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand, and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

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Miami Football: Early Look at Favorites to Replace Departing Hurricanes

The 2015 edition of the Miami Hurricanes football team must replace 12 starters from the recent year, equally split with six on both offense and defense.

Most candidates spent the 2014 season as second-stringers, though, a handful missed time due to various reasons or stepped in for unavailable players.

Starters are classified as someone who opened the most games at a respective possession, even if that number is less than seven—under 50 percent of Miami's 13 contests. Ties lean in favor of Hurricanes who would have finished the year had injury not limited them.

Additionally, only one member of the 2015 recruiting class is mentioned because he has officially signed. Any prospect not enrolled at Miami is not included at this time.

 

Offense

Returning Starters: Brad Kaaya, QB; Malcolm Lewis, WR; Stacy Coley, WR; Danny Isidora, RG; Taylor Gadbois, RT

Vacated Positions: Duke Johnson, RB; Phillip Dorsett, WR; Clive Walford, TE; Ereck Flowers, LT; Shane McDermott, C; Jon Feliciano, LG

The Hurricanes are losing a variety of offensive starters, but the most significant is Duke Johnson. His production was unmatched on the team, yet the show must go on without the record-setting back.

Joseph Yearby easily has the highest potential of any returning runner, and a 500-yard freshman campaign confirmed his highly touted abilities. Gus Edwards will certainly be a factor throughout the 2015 season, but Yearby's acceleration and one-cut talents make him the clear No. 1 choice.

"Starting wide receiver" is a fickle term at Miami considering it's largely dependent on the formation of the first play, which offensive coordinator James Coley consistently varies. Nevertheless, Phillip Dorsett is headed to the NFL, and someone needs to take the speedster's position.

Rashawn Scott was unavailable because of an "exotic injury," per Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald, while Braxton Berrios and Herb Waters started five and three games, respectively.

After tallying 512 yards as a sophomore in 2012, Scott has only appeared in four games. However, the senior is Miami's best possession target on the outside, something Brad Kaaya didn't truly have last year. If Scott can stay healthy, he's a favorite to start alongside Malcolm Lewis and Stacy Coley.

Granted, it wouldn't be a surprise for Scott, Coley and Berrios to be the top three receivers, with the latter overtaking a seven-game starter in Lewis. After all, Berrios had a clear connection with Kaaya, perhaps the best on the team.

While Standish Dobard is practically a shoo-in at tight end for Clive Walford, the Hurricanes need the 6'4", 255-pound Dobard to improve his routes out of a three-point stance. He snared seven passes for 147 yards last season.

The offensive line isn't in dire straits, but losing nearly 100 combined starts is not insignificant. Taylor Gadbois and Trevor Darling both opened five games at right tackle, and Danny Isidora was stationed at right guard for all 13.

On the left, however, it gets interesting. Kc McDermott missed the final eight games after sustaining a knee injury. A 4-star recruit in 2014, McDermott was pegged with taking over for Flowers, though, that's happening one year sooner than hoped.

While both Alex Gall and Nick Linder are leading candidates to step in for Shane McDermott and Jon Feliciano, the position is in question. Gall was actually recruited as a guard and Linder as a center, but it appears those roles will be switched.

 

Defense

Returning Starters: Calvin Heurtelou, DT; Tyriq McCord, DE; Raphael Kirby, OLB; Artie Burns, CB; Deon Bush, S

Vacated Positions: Anthony Chickillo, DE; Olsen Pierre, DT; Thurston Armbrister, OLB; Denzel Perryman, MLB; Ladarius Gunter, CB; Nantambu-Akil Fentress, S

Chad Thomas and Al-Quadin Muhammad will battle for Chickillo's position, but AQM is the better fit, so Thomas can stick to rushing off the edge and share time with McCord. Granted, Muhammad was not with the team in 2014, so Thomas certainly could take that spot.

At defensive tackle, Ufomba Kamalu is the player to watch, especially since he was statistically better than Pierre anyway. Courtel Jenkins drifted into the background after a solid opening to his freshman campaign, and Michael Wyche was mostly ineffective in limited action.

Linebacker might be a problem. Denzel Perryman's production cannot be replaced with the snap of a finger, but Raphael Kirby will tackle that challenge. Despite starting at outside 'backer in 2014, Kirby should shift back inside since that's where he'd played before dismissals forced Al Golden's hand.

Consequently, both outside linebacker positions are open. Jermaine Grace is a surefire candidate to take one; in fact, he can safely be considered a lock. Complementing Grace will likely be Darrion Owens, who received a majority of any remaining snaps in a remarkably thin corps last year.

Tracy Howard will return for his senior campaign, but the former 5-star must hold off Corn Elder. Keep an eye on Jaquan Johnson, a Class of 2015 early enrollee who may begin his Miami career at cornerback due to a solid safety corps.

Speaking of the safeties, Rayshawn Jenkins is primed to regain his starting position after sitting out 2014 due to a back injury. Lining up next to Deon Bush once again, Jenkins will give the Hurricanes a stout final line of defense.

 

Stats courtesy of CFBstats.com. Recruiting information via 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

Follow Bleacher Report college football writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.

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J.T. Barrett Didn't Look Too Happy After OSU's CFP National Championship Win

Weird happenings were afoot after Ohio State’s victory over Oregon in the College Football Playoff National Championship. 

The subject of ink arose, a third-string quarterback talked pro ball and one of the most instrumental individuals in the Buckeyes’ return to national dominance sat alone on a bench, arms crossed. 

Only J.T. Barrett knows how he felt in the moments after Monday night’s game, but it’s clear he was digesting the win in a different way than his teammates.

CBSSports.com's Jon Solomon tweeted a picture of the injured quarterback taken immediately after the Buckeyes' victory. Confetti is falling, his team is celebrating on the field and Barrett is sitting alone on the bench, looking somewhere between meditative and glum.

For what it's worth, Barrett says he isn’t conflicted over the team’s win. After the game, Barrett told NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread he was not bothered watching the Buckeyes succeed without him.

“No bitterness,” Barrett said. “I’m not bitter at all. I feel great. I’m really happy. I didn’t win a state championship in high school. I won a national championship here at Ohio State. That’s why I came here…no mixed feelings at all. None.”

Of course, any melancholy Barrett could have felt in his heart of hearts Monday night would have been entirely understandable.

Since fracturing his ankle during the Michigan game in November, Barrett has sat by and watched third-string wunderkind Cardale Jones finish the final leg of his race in spectacular fashion. This was his team—his season—and Monday night he was faced with celebrating a win that does serious damage to the prospects of him starting for Ohio State in 2015—something he plans to do.

Barrett is adamant about staying put and fighting for the starting job in Columbus next season. He told Sports Illustrated’sPete Thamel that he plans to return to Ohio State for his redshirt sophomore year.

“I’m not leaving,” Barrett told Thamel. “I don’t think Braxton is leaving. I don’t think Cardale is leaving. That’s being honest. With that, I mean, it’s just competition. It’s part of football. It’s what we’re about to do.”

 

Follow Dan on Twitter for more sports and pop culture filigree.

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Ronnie Stanley Will Return to Notre Dame: Latest Details and Reaction

Notre Dame offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley has officially announced he will return to South Bend for his senior season.

Stanley tweeted his intentions on Tuesday:

Stanley has played an integral role for the Irish throughout his career, but he saw his stock skyrocket during the 2014 season. While protecting Everett Golson and Malik Zaire's blindside this season, scouts slowly began noticing his overpowering play.

Luke Easterling of The Draft Report noted just how bright Stanley's future is:

Rob Rang of CBS Sports also offered his take on the talented lineman:

Besides size, athleticism and toughness, Stanley showed other traits that will earn him kudos with scouts, including good awareness and competitiveness. Stanley keeps his head on a swivel and looks for peel back blocks on defenders in pursuit. On multiple occasions Stanley blocked one defender before switching off to hit another.

Despite a lot of buzz surrounding his breakout season, Stanley has remained mum about his intentions. Mike Monaco of The Observer Sports provides a quote from Stanley about previously sending in his NFL draft evaluation:

Getting Stanley back for the 2015 season gives the Irish a leader on the offense. Regardless of who gets the starting position under center, they will have an NFL-caliber lineman protecting them.

Another year in college also gives Stanley time to secure his place in the first round of the draft. Having Stanley in the fold might also mean big things for Notre Dame in terms of looking to make the playoff next season.

 


Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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College Football Playoff Works to Perfection

The man who once fought against a college football postseason with every bone in his body stood on the sport’s brightest stage imaginable, smile engaged, celebrating his masterpiece.

Bill Hancock, former architect of the BCS and current executive director of the College Football Playoff, looked like a man comfortable in his new life. The beaming expression on his face was genuine; his presence, although bizarre given his evolving agendas, was strangely comforting. Even with his history taken into consideration, it felt like he belonged.

As confetti deluged Ohio State following its 42-20 win over Oregon Monday, Hancock handed over the awkwardly shaped ice cream cone to Urban Meyer. Or perhaps the new trophy is more torch-like in shape, the kind of object that fits well in one’s hand and can be easily hoisted.

Given what this moment represented, a golden torch is probably a more appropriate symbol. The way the Buckeyes passed it freely around the stage marked a significant moment in college football history; this was more than just a celebration of one particular program.

Under Jerry Jones’ spaceship scoreboard at AT&T Stadium, in front of a Columbus-heavy crowd soaking in every word and the largest viewing audience in ESPN’s record books, Hancock enjoyed a much-deserved victory lap.

“It validates what we’ve known for the last month,” Hancock said to the crowd, preparing for his full flex-down. “That the [selection] committee got it right.”

Sure it does. But this moment was far more significant than the inner satisfaction of members of the group that served up our first playoff teams. While the College Football Playoff selection committee saw its tireless work validated when the No. 4 seed stood alone atop CFB’s mountain, this was a culmination of something more.

You can start with the numbers, the most tangible way to quantify the first-ever College Football Playoff as a success or failure. Coming off two semifinal matchups that saw viewership comparable to most national championship turnouts—games that competed with and even surpassed mighty NFL viewership—Ohio State and Oregon posted the largest overnight rating in ESPN’s history.

Monday night’s inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T (8:30 p.m. – midnight ET) — Ohio State’s 42-20 victory over Oregon at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – generated a 18.5 overnight rating, the highest metered market ever for ESPN according to Nielsen. Last night’s National Championship game was a 21% increase over the 2014 BCS National Championship on ESPN (Florida State vs. Auburn, 15.3). Also, the final game of the new College Football Playoff format surpassed the 16.1 overnight rating for the 2011 BCS National Championship (Auburn vs. Oregon) which held the previous best in cable history.

None of this should be at all surprising. While the numbers will undoubtedly generate a few straggler Bristol fist pumps—the next in the line of many—these gaudy, eyeball-popping figures were almost guaranteed heading into Monday evening.

With so much momentum leading to New Year’s Day and even more emerging out of it, you knew this would be one of the most watched sporting events of the year. This was a national championship decided between two ravenous, anxious fanbases. And as for the rest of us, we were happy to tag along for the ride.

A national championship was decided, certainly. But a new era of the sport unfolded before our eyes right as the torch was passed to a dedicated man so willing to embrace it. All we could do was sit in awe and marvel at the power of an unprecedented national championship run made possible by an actual college football postseason.

Without it, none of this ever happens.

Cardale Jones never enjoys the breakthrough of all breakthroughs at quarterback, shedding a “third-string” label that is now hovering somewhere in space. Ezekiel Elliott never becomes a star, a Heisman favorite and a legend in the state of Ohio; his final three games will now be celebrated around Columbus fireplaces for decades to come.

Meyer’s legend as all-time great doesn’t take a dramatic leap forward. More significantly, Ohio State doesn’t win a national championship because it never would have had the opportunity. It never makes football history, becoming the first team to exhaust all quarterbacks en route to becoming a national champion.

The fourth seed in the BCS era got you nothing more than some bowl swag and an exhibition game. Now, if you can be just good enough, you have a chance at football immortality.

That, in its purest form, is why the College Football Playoff was necessary. A results-oriented sport got the results-oriented system it deserves. It took years to implement, a few more to plan and one more to complete the first-ever season with a bracket attached. Goodness, it was worth the wait, even if we had to wait longer than expected.

The talk now, of course, will turn to the obvious: How can we fix something that isn’t broken?

It’s a question the sport has seemingly mastered, oftentimes seeking out the appropriate next steps rather than celebrating the moment itself. There are tweaks to be made within the new system, small changes that selection committee chairman Jeff Long confirmed to Bleacher Report and that will be discussed in the coming months.

These adjustments have nothing to do with doubling the playoff field, so don’t get your hopes up (or down). These will involve the finer—but still critically important—matters that we'll surely dissect at length with nothing but time on our hands.

With perspective gained, however, our approach to the new, improved system will drastically change. Like Hancock, the former College Football Playoff brick wall, all we can do now is smile.

It doesn't matter that the moment has passed and we'll soon fall into the dark offseason abyss; the foundation for the future has never looked so bright. As a result, you should let this one linger for a while longer.

Now, if only we had a golden ice cream cone. Or, better yet, a torch.

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Ohio State's Joey Bosa Trolls Marcus Mariota, Oregon After Championship Win

Ohio State defensive lineman Joey Bosa is a national champion, and he's not afraid to show it. 

Following his team's dominant 42-20 win in the College Football Playoff National Championship against the Oregon Ducks, the promising sophomore took to Instagram to have a little fun.

Bosa posted a photo of Marcus Mariota lying on the ground with the words "O, No," likely referring to the "O" in Oregon. This is also the same play where Bosa leveled Mariota in a controversial late hit.

Nevertheless, this is some champion-level trolling. 

It seems that Joey Bosa has been reading fans comments about the late-hit, so he decided to share his own thoughts about foul play.


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