It will work itself out
By Ryan S. Pugh
CLARION NEWS Sports
My word, people do get upset about the most meaningless things sometimes.
On Tuesday night, the first College Football Playoff Poll was released and defending national champion was left out of the initial top four spots. Ohio State, Louisiana State (LSU), Alabama and Penn State made up the initial top four. Clemson was placed at No. 5 in the poll.
I say to the Tiger faithful, "Relax because everything will work itself out."
There is no way the top four in the initial poll of the season will stay the same since Alabama and LSU play each other this weekend and Ohio State and Penn State will meet later this month. So in other words two of the top four won't be in the top four much longer.
The beauty of college football is every season has more twists and turns than the Pacific Coast Highway. The phrase "every week is a season" is used when describing college football and it is true. From week to week everything can change.
I have stated on these pages before that I am against expanding the college football playoff because of the unpredictability of the regular season. I love how every week matters when a team is chasing a national title.
There are those out there who want to give winners of conference championship games the automatic bid into the College Football Playoff. I am dead set against this idea. The reason I am against this idea is not all conference divisions are created equal. Let's say the winner of the ACC Coastal would upset an undefeated Clemson team in the ACC Championship game. You're telling me a three loss Virginia team deserves a chance at a national title? Balderdash.
I'm saying there needs to be more universal scheduling across the board in college football. My pipe dream is for Power Five conferences to realign into four super conferences. I am also for the inclusion of some of the Group of Five teams into this mix. Split the conferences into eastern, southeastern, Midwestern and western regions. The winners of those conferences would then enter into the College Football Playoff.
My plan would involve teams in each region playing against each other with teams playing a game or two outside their region. Under my plan, school athletic departments would no longer handle scheduling as it would be in the hands of a College Football Playoff governing body.
With schools no longer handling scheduling, there would be no more of the Clemson-Wofford or Alabama-Western Carolina mismatches.
Moreover, a more regionalized conference setup would mean the rebirth of dormant rivalries like Oklahoma-Nebraska, Missouri-Kansas, Pitt-West Virginia that went away under the previous conference realignments.
As I said, my plan is a pipe dream but I'm going to hold out hope.
Time for me to get to those high school picks for this week.
Last week: 2-2
District 9 Class A Semifinals
Union/A-C Valley (7-3 overall) vs. Redbank Valley (8-2) at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium, Friday (Nov. 8), 7 p.m.
When these teams met three weeks ago, Union/A-C Valley opened a lot of eyes (including mine) by thrashing the Bulldogs 28-7 on Redbank Valley's home field.
There were many factors as to why the Falcon Knights had such an easy time with the Bulldogs such as Redbank Valley was coming off a short week (the Bulldogs had played the previous Saturday night at Coudersport) and the Bulldogs had a slew of players who suffered injuries in the loss to Coudersport. This is not me trying to take away anything from the Falcon Knights; I'm just trying to explain why the score was so lopsided in Union/A-C Valley.
I think the rematch is going to be much closer.
I think the key to the game will be Redbank Valley's running game. If the Falcon Knights' defense can bottle up the Bulldogs' trio of Ray Shreckengost, Kobe Bonanno and Hudson Martz, I think Union/A-C Valley comes out on top.
The game will be played on the artificial turf at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium. Neither the Bulldogs nor the Falcon Knights have played a game on turf this year so it will be interesting to see how the teams adapt to the different conditions.
I picked against Union/A-C Valley in the last meetup between the teams and the Falcon Knights proved me wrong. I try to learn from my mistakes.
Union/A-C Valley 22, Redbank Valley 21
Smethport (6-4) vs. Coudersport (9-0) at Bradford High School, Friday (Nov. 8), 7 p.m.
The Falcons and the Hubbers also met three weeks ago with Coudersport overwhelming Smethport by a 42-0 score.
The Coudersport defense has been something else this season recording six shutouts while holding opponents to a total of 26 points. The Falcons' offense is no slouch either as they have scored 425 points.
I can't see any scenario where the Hubbers come out of this one with a win.
Coudersport 47, Smethport 0
District 9 Class 2A semifinals
Kane (6-4) vs. Clarion (9-1) at Mansell Stadium, DuBois, Saturday (Nov. 9), 6 p.m.
Kane was rolling along nicely before the Wolves hosted Clarion in Week Five as the Bobcats overwhelmed Kane 47-28 with Clarion piling up almost 300 yards rushing while Bobcat quarterback Cal German threw for three scores.
The Wolves' loss kick started a four-game losing streak for Kane which was snapped with the Wolves win last week over Brookville in the District 9 Class 2A quarterfinals.
Clarion 40, Kane 20
Karns City (8-3) vs. Ridgway (9-1), at Mansell Stadium, DuBois, Saturday (Nov. 9), 1 p.m.
Karns City survived a scare last week against Keystone as the Gremlins had to score a come-from-behind touchdown in the fourth quarter of their 28-22 win over the Panthers.
It gets no easier for the Gremlins as they will be squaring off against District 9 Large School champion Ridgway.
Karns City gave the Elkers everything they could handle in the matchup between the teams on Oct. 11. Ridgway came out of the game with a 19-13 win.
I think the Gremlins will give the Elkers a stiff challenge again but I think Ridgway is just too balanced for a Karns City team that might be a year away.
Ridgway 27, Karns City 21