Do you get the feeling things on the Ohio State campus are a bit rocky following a 17-14 loss to their rival Michigan State on Saturday? With Michigan on the radar and the much anticipated matchup of Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh, the last thing this program needs is turmoil.
It may not have needed it, but it sure got it following the game on Saturday.
Ezekiel Elliott voiced his displeasure in how the coaching staff prepared the team for the big game, adding he was disappointed in how he was used during the contest.
Elliott announced his intention to leave OSU after the game. And he certainly didn’t sound like a player with anything to lose with Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer.
“(The) coaching staff didn’t put us in position to win. That’s a team we should beat,” Elliott said.
The Buckeyes had not lost a Big 10 regular season game in 30 contests under Meyer, however this loss seems to show cracks in the team, if nothing else in how Elliott feels about the loss. Could there be a hangover heading into this weekend’s tilt with the Wolverines? The Buckeyes were squarely in the national title and CFP picture. Now, they are on the outside looking in and it is possible the Big 12 will be shut out of the playoff.
Tuesday’s CFP rankings should shed more light on how voters are leaning toward the post season and should provide plenty of conversation at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Should the Buckeyes fall for the second straight game on Saturday, it may be bigger news than who is left standing after rivalry weekend.
SUNSHINE STATE EXCITEMENT
With Florida entrenched in the top 10 and FSU trying to get back to a respectable bowl game, the clash between in-state rivals is critical for positioning in the post season.
And for Florida, who is 10-1 and barely beat Florida Atlantic, it’s a chance to find the team’s offense again. The eighth-ranked Gators face an FSU team that destroyed Chattanooga on Saturday.
It’s a good thing head coach Jim McElwain has a defense that is one of the best in the nation because the offense looks lost and in need of some adrenaline and an offensive line that plays better – especially against the fast Seminoles defense.
“I am concerned about how [the offensive line] affects each other, not in a positive way but in a negative way,” the Gators coach said on ESPN.com. “Body language, energy. You watch it, they just mope around when something bad happens.”
Playing like that will put the Gators in a hole early if they cannot move the football down field.
To the same point, FSU must find balance against a solid program and be able to run the ball at will. If not, it will be a long evening on Saturday.
IOWA CONTINUES TO ROLL
While everyone in Big 10 is talking about the Ohio State loss from Saturday, Iowa continues to shock everyone and remain undefeated.
The Hawkeyes are 11-0 and 7-0 in conference play following the 40-20 win over Purdue on Saturday. The fifth ranked team in the country is making a strong case for being included in the CFP and should get more support this week, unless the committee is hell bent on keeping Notre Dame in the conversation.
C.J. Beathard threw three touchdown passes, and Iowa clinched the West title and a spot in the Big Ten championship game with the victory. The team was helped by LeShun Daniels Jr., who ran for two touchdowns.
Should the Hawkeyes beat Nebraska next week, they will finish 12-0 in the regular season — just a year after finishing 7-6.