John Rowe’s 10 burning questions in college football
1. What will Rutgers’ coaching staff be doing during the program’s bye week?
Recruiting, recruiting. Chris Ash’s staff must reaffirm the commitments of players who are wavering, while also looking for more senior class talent and assessing their needs as they go after the top juniors. There are plenty of potential recruits in today’s high school tripleheader at High Point Solutions Stadium.
2. Was current Rutgers quarterback Giovanni Rescigno heavily recruited?
Michigan talked to Rescigno, a Michigan native, but didn’t offer him a scholarship. Rutgers was the only program from a power conference to do so. Barring injury or complete ineffectiveness, Rescigno will get the rest of the season to convince RU coaches he should be the starter in 2017.
3. Even with the loss to Penn State, can Ohio State make the national playoffs?
Most certainly. If the Buckeyes run the table, including beating Michigan, they’ll be one of the four programs in the playoffs. It’s doubtful they can get in with two losses. Right now, Alabama, Michigan, Clemson and Washington (all unbeaten) are probably the front-runners.
4. Could an undefeated team be shunned by the playoff committee?
Possibly. What happens if Alabama, Michigan, Clemson and Washington finish unbeaten and so does a Big 12 school (West Virginia or Baylor?). Without a conference championship game, the Big 12 unbeaten leader probably will be on the outside looking in.
5. Does interim coach Ed Orgeron have a chance to be LSU’s next coach?
Even though he’s won all three games since taking over for Les Miles, Orgeron is still not the favorite. But he could greatly improve his chances if the Tigers beat Alabama next Saturday. That might win over some big boosters who want to go after much higher-profile names.
6. What are the Las Vegas odds on who will replace Miles as LSU coach?
Bookmaker.eu lists Houston coach Tom Herman (-140) as the favorite, followed by Orgeron (+100) and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher (+400). You can also take the field, which includes Alabama assistant Lane Kiffin, former Baylor coach Art Briles and TCU coach Gary Patterson, at +600.
7. Who are Oklahoma fans blaming for the Sooners’ subpar defense?
Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, brother of head coach Bob Stoops. The Sooners rank 115th in the nation in total defense. After Texas Tech threw for 734 yards against Oklahoma, some angry fans started an online petition urging the firing of Mike Stoops.
8. Whatever became of Kevin Olsen, the highly-recruited quarterback from Wayne Hills?
After being dismissed from Miami and Towson for violations of team rules, he spent a year at a California junior college. He’s now at the University of Charlotte, where he threw six touchdown passes in five games before being benched. He’s the brother of Panthers tight Greg Olsen.
9. What’s quarterback Brandon Wimbush’s playing status at Notre Dame?
After a freshman season in which he played two games and ran 58 yards for a touchdown, he’s being redshirted. If DeShone Kizer leaves early for the NFL Draft, Wimbush, the former St. Peter’s Prep star from Teaneck, will get a chance to win the starting job in spring practice.
10. What’s the unique story concerning Utah running back Joe Williams?
The UConn transfer left the team earlier in the season, saying he didn’t want to play football anymore. Then when there were a rash of injuries among the running backs, he was asked to come back. In the last two Utes games, Williams has rushed for 511 yards, including a school-record 332 against UCLA.