BOZICH | Monday Muse: Petrino won't watch Playoff Poll reveal; I - WDRB 41 Louisville News

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BOZICH | Monday Muse: Petrino won't watch Playoff Poll reveal; Is Heisman race a race?

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The college football playoff, Heisman Trophy race, Teddy Bridgewater, Charlie Strong are topics in the Monday Muse by Rick Bozich this week. The college football playoff, Heisman Trophy race, Teddy Bridgewater, Charlie Strong are topics in the Monday Muse by Rick Bozich this week.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The most eye-popping question that will be answered Tuesday at 7 p.m. when the first College Football Playoff Top 25 is posted is one that will have the full attention of University of Louisville football fans.

Will the 12-member committee vote the way their fellow observers in the Associated Press writers and USA Today coaches voted Sunday, ranking the Cards fifth?

Or will they embrace a different view, one more aligned with the way the teams shake out in the computer polls, especially the six that had a prominent spot in the Bowl Championship Series formula that was junked three seasons ago?

What’s the big deal? U of L coach Bobby Petrino said that he does not plan to watch the Top 25 poll reveal show, which airs on ESPN Tuesday.

"Let me know how it comes out," Petrino said Monday.

That’s precisely why you always begin your week with the Monday Muse. The Muse cares.

1. Predicting The CFB Playoff Top 10

Give thanks that death did come to the BCS, Louisville fans. Do it a couple times if you have time.

I’m not Brad Edwards or Jerry Palm — and didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express in Charlottesville. I’m not going to play either poll guru, even on Halloween.

But I did check five of the six computer formulas that were included in the old BCS formula. One thing hit me in the chest like a Keith Kelsey tackle:

The computer formulas don’t love Petrino's Louisville 7-1 team as much as the writers’ and coaches’ do.

Louisville is ranked fifth by the writers and coaches. The Cards are ranked no higher than seventh by Sagarin predictor, Colley Matrix, Massey, Wolfe and Billingsley, the five BCS computer numbers I uncovered. (Link to composite polls.)

Here is the rundown: 7th Sagarin predictor; 8th Billingsley; 11th Colley Matrix; 8th Massey and 7th Wolfe.

Looking at the human polls as well as the computer polls, I did what Mr. Spradley, my fifth-grade math teacher, taught me: Averaged the seven polls.

Here are the composite rankings, which will serve as my projected Top 25 that we'll learn Tuesday:

1. Alabama — The Crimson Tide collected every first-place vote.

2. Michigan — Every ranking had the Wolverines at least third.

3. Clemson — Sagarin has the Tigers fifth, behind Bama, Michigan, Ohio State and Washington. Dabo will not be pleased.

4. Washington — Beware: the unbeaten Huskies trail Ohio State in two computer formulas..

5. Ohio State — Still the team to beat in the Big Ten if you believe in the power of home-field advantage.

6. Texas A&M — The Aggies lead the Cardinals in four of five computer polls.

7. Louisville — The Cardinals will need help — and need to play better than they played at Virginia.

8. Wisconsin — The Badgers have a tiny puncher’s chance if they win out, including the Big Ten title game.

9. Auburn — Another team that needs to win out and hope for the best.

10. Nebraska — Win at Ohio State Saturday — and pray.

I asked Louisville receiver Jaylen Smith where the Cardinals should be ranked.

"If we continue doing our job, everything will take care of itself," Smith said.

2. Football Playoff History Lesson

We’re three seasons into the current college football playoff setup so I can’t dig back into the clips of Knute Rockne, Bear Bryant and Woody Hayes looking for trends.

It’s a two-year snapshot. Nate Silver wouldn’t turn his head to examine a sample size that tiny.

I’ll share this reminder anyway: Five of the eight teams that made the playoff the last two seasons were not ranked in the Top Four in the first Playoff Poll of that season. There's always movement.

In 2014, this was the initial first four: Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Ole Miss.

These were the playoff teams, with their ranking in the first playoff poll in parentheses: FSU (2); Oregon (5); Alabama (6) and Ohio State (16).

In 2015, the first four: Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, Alabama.

The four playoff teams: Clemson (1), Alabama (4); Michigan State (7) and Oklahoma (15).

Stuff happens.

3. Deshaun Watson over Lamar Jackson?

Easy. Relax. Keep reading.

The story is not as outrageous as the headline. But one paragraph of quotes jumped off the screen as I was reading Pat Forde’s story at yahoo.com about Clemson’s remarkable victory at Florida State.

The quotes were uttered by Tony Elliott. This is what he said about Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson:

“He didn’t crumble,” Tony Elliott said. “He didn’t break. He just keeps on swinging. I feel blessed to have the best quarterback in the country.”

Oh. I forgot to identify Elliott. He’s the offensive coordinator for Clemson, the guy who coaches Watson. He’s not going to say something like,  "other than Lamar Jackson, I’m blessed to have the best quarterback in the country." He is going to back Watson — even if the numbers say Watson will not win the Heisman Trophy.

Here is what the numbers say:

Rushing

Jackson — 148 carries for 998 yards, 6.7 yards per carry, 16 touchdowns.

Watson — 88 carries for 331 yards, 3.8 yards per carry 1 touchdown.

Passing

Jackson — 158 for 271, 58.3 completion percentage; 2,522 yards, 9.3 yards per attempt, 22 touchdowns, 5 interceptions.

Watson — 191 for 301, 63.5 completion percentage 2,328 yards, 7.7 yards per attempt, 22 touchdowns, 10 interceptions.

Total offense

Jackson — 440 yards per game, 

Watson — 332.4 yards per game

Jackson is still The Guy To beat, followed by Watson, Leonard Fournette of LSU, Jabrill Peppers of Michigan and Washington's Jake Browning. Next question.

4. Still Hope For Charlie?

Charlie Strong has four regular-season games remaining with the Texas Longhorns. All four — two on the road with Texas Tech and Kansas, two at home with West Virginia and TCU — are winnable, but Bevo wouldn’t be surprised if the Longhorns lost all but the Kansas game.

Strong helped himself Saturday when the Longhorns hung on to topple unbeaten Baylor, 35-34. It was the fifth time in eight games a Texas game was decided by seven points or less. The Longhorns are 2-3 in those games, the primary reason they are 4-4 overall and people are howling about Strong’s performance while questioning his future.

Is Charlie going, going, gone?

I wonder after looking at this tweet from Texas AD Mike Perrin after the Baylor game. His message was simple and 100 percent Longhorn:

Hook ‘em.

Even better, according to this story, Perrin was not reluctant to have his picture taken with the struggling coach.

When a coach is a goner, the AD usually sprints from photographers.

5. Teddy’s Not Talking

Poor Teddy Bridgewater. It’s not bad enough that he suffered a horrible knee injury during Minnesota Vikings’ training camp that resulted in major surgery. Bridgewater, the former U of L star, won’t play this season and likely not in 2017 either.

The NFL information guys can’t stop buzzing about Bridgewater’s future. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that he has spoken to sources who say they would not be surprised if the injury ended Bridgewater’s career.

What is Bridgewater saying?

Nothing.

He declined comment on the story — and declined to say when he would be available for his first press conference since he was injured during that awful non-contact play at practice.

Get better, young man. Maybe a trip to one of the University of Louisville’s final two home games would make Bridgewater smile.

6. Would You Hire Les Miles?

The next four weeks of the college football season are important for the Louisiana State football team — and for the Tigers’ former coach, Les Miles. 

LSU has won three straight since dumping Miles after the Tigers’ started 2-2 with losses to Wisconsin and Auburn. 

They’ve won the last three by 17 or more, although none of the opponents (Missouri, Southern Miss and Ole Miss) are ranked and only Southern Miss has a winning record.

That changes this weekend. LSU finishes with a daunting stretch that features Alabama and Florida at home and road games with Arkansas and Texas A&M.

Bama, Florida and A&M are Top 10 teams. If LSU wins even three of those four games, there’s ample evidence that Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were the issue in Baton Rouge.

Miles, of course, has already positioned himself for his next move How? By changing agents, hiring former Florida and Chicago Bears’ star Trace Armstrong, one of the best in the game. (Click here for Miles' agent story.)

7. D-League Draft

The surest sign that winter is near is not Halloween or the impending time change. It’s the draft for the NBA Developmental League, which went six rounds Sunday

I went to the draft board looking for local faces. I found two — both guys with Western Kentucky connections

Former Jeffersontown and Manual player Aaron Cosby (who also played at Western Kentucky) was taken with the first pick in the third round by Erie. The only local first-round selection was another former Hilltopper — A.J. Price, who went 17th to Rio Grande Valley.

What about guys like Alex Poythress (Kentucky), Nick Zeisloft (Indiana) or even Chane Behanan (Louisville)?

No.

Poythress and Zeisloft were cut by the Pacers during NBA training camp and are expected to play in Fort Wayne. A reasonable person could safely project that U of L’s Chinanu Onuaku (Houston), Sacramento’s Skal Labissiere (Sacramento) and IU’s Troy Williams (Memphis) will also ear D-League time this winter.

Neither Onuaku nor Labissiere has dressed during the first week of the season. Williams has earned 10 combined minutes in three games.

8. Durant Picks Davis Over Westbrook

Former Kentucky star Anthony Davis has scored 50, 45 and 18 points in his first three games with the New Orleans Pelicans. That’s an average of 37.7 points per game, more than James Harden, Demar DeRozen, Kevin Durant and more than nearly anybody you can name

Except Russell Westbrook, who is putting up 38.7 per game for Oklahoma City. (Link to early averages.)

Guess which guy Durant likes to win the 2017 NBA scoring title?

Not Westbook, his former teammate. It’s Davis, according to this story at Slam.

Is that Durant touting one of the NBA’s finest young players or Durant blowing kisses at Oklahoma City one more time on his way out the door to Golden State?

You decide.

9. Poll I results

Which team is most likely to be ranked fifth in the first CFB Playoff poll on Tuesday?

Louisville 76.6 percent

Ohio State 13.4 percent

Washington 7.6 percent

Michigan 2.4 percent

10. Poll II Results

Which team will win the 2016 World Series?

Cubs 70.2 percent

Indians 29.8 percent

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