From 43 teams four weeks ago in the first 2017 installment of The Eliminator, we’re down to 17 as the light of a November dawn nears and the College Football Playoff committee toils behind closed doors at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.
Each week I’m asked to react to the growing sample of production and adjust rest-of-season rankings in ESPN points leagues based on the sustainability of what we’ve already witnessed this season. As I mentioned last week, think of these rankings as a guide as if you were drafting in a points league this week. You might even take Simmons higher than 18th overall, given this is just his first two weeks in the league.
What makes the committee’s process so vastly different from the AP poll, though, is that its evaluation goes beyond those single games that highlight each résumé for better or for worse. As exciting, dramatic and meaningful as Ohio State’s win was, it’s only a fraction of what the committee will evaluate when it considers the Buckeyes.
Growing up, Matthews would spend hours at Phoenix’s Ozzie Ice studying older and bigger players, learning to navigate around them in three-on-three tournaments. Brian would show him videos of Michael Jordan pulling up from the free throw line to help his son understand the power of a quick catch-and-shoot motion.
Frazier hit three of the seven longest outs of this postseason: 403 feet, 402 and 397. This one would have tied it up if it had gone out; it didn’t, of course, but three seconds of my life were spent 100 percent convinced a game-tying home run had been hit. That is a world I lived in, briefly. For three seconds, I raised a daughter in that world, I loved and was loved in that world, I made memories and I spilled a drink.