It's chaos in college football

It's chaos in college football

A few thoughts from the week in sports …

If there’s one word to describe college football right now, it’s this: chaos.

And, I’m not just talking about a College Football Playoff committee that snubbed 13-0 Florida State from its four-team playoff.

The transfer portal in college football has my head spinning a lot more. With the season still underway for bowl teams, the oddly timed FBS transfer window that runs from Dec. 4 to Jan. 2, 2024 figures to be busier than the MLB hot stove season. More than 1,000 players nationwide entered the portal.

Players who enter the portal can back out of it, but only 5% of FBS athletes did that in 2020 or 2021, according to NCAA data.

College football free agency seems more rampant than ever.

Despite leading Ohio State to an 11-1 record, quarterback Kyle McCord headlined a list of seven Buckeyes who announced on Monday that they were going into the transfer portal. Of course, more could join them.

McCord completed 66% of his passes for 3,170 yards and 24 TDs and was a third-team All-Big Ten honoree, but he couldn’t lead the Buckeyes past Michigan in a 30-24 loss. Coach Ryan Day was noncommittal when asked if McCord would play in the Cotton Bowl against Missouri Dec. 29.

It was an incredibly fine line between winning and losing, glory and a transfer. Had McCord’s final pass to Marvin Harrison not been intercepted against Michigan and he led a comeback win as he did against Notre Dame, the Buckeyes would have probably been the No. 1 seed in the CFP and the quarterback would have been celebrated.

The Buckeyes were already being linked to several proven college quarterbacks, including Washington State’s Cameron Ward. Ohio State also has three other scholarship quarterbacks on its current roster: veteran Devin Brown, true freshman Lincoln Kienholz and Tristan Gebbia, a seventh-year senior who transferred in from Oregon State.

Brown or Kienholz will start for seventh-ranked Ohio State against ninth-ranked Missouri in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.

Five-star recruit Air Noland from the Atlanta area plans to sign with Ohio State as part of the 2024 recruiting class later this month.

Day has had great production and stability at the quarterback position since taking over for Urban Meyer in 2019.

Dwayne Haskins was outstanding for one season, followed by great careers for Justin Fields and C.J. Stroud. However, with Day facing more pressure than ever after three straight losses to Michigan, he clearly didn’t want to risk going down again with McCord at the controls of the offense.

I wonder if a first-year starting quarterback from the Big Ten whose team only lost one game has ever transferred out, but that’s college football in the transfer portal era. It’s not a good look for McCord to not want to stay and battle for the job, but we’ll probably never know what Day said to him in their meeting.

The transfer portal puts extreme pressure on coaches, who are trying to get teams ready for bowl games while also evaluating and recruiting transfer portal and high school players.

With the combination of NIL money college players can now make and scholarship benefits, many are in no hurry to leave college. This also makes it harder for high schoolers to land Division I college scholarships.

Former Texas Tech quarterback Tyler Shough announced this week he’s transferring to Louisville. The 24-year-old will be a seventh-year senior. He’s also played at Oregon and Texas Tech since 2018.

And I thought MLB and NBA players changed teams too often. My head hurts thinking about what’s happened to the one-time amateur sport known as college football.

’NOLES NIXED — The Florida State Seminoles are the first unbeaten champion from a Power Five conference left out of the College Football Playoff in its 10-year format.

The CFP will have No. 1 Michigan (13-0) play No. 4 Alabama (12-1) at 5 p.m. and No. 2 Washington play No. 3 Texas (12-1) at 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2024. The title game will be Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Houston.

Boo Corrigan, chair of the selection committee, noted that a season-ending injury suffered by quarterback Jordan Travis factored into the decision to drop Florida State from No. 4 to 5.

Florida State did win two games without Travis. Look at what Ohio State did with a third-string quarterback in the 2014 season — the Buckeyes won the national championship with Cardale Jones.

Thank goodness the CFP will go to 12 teams next season.

PARTING SHOTS — Congrats to Dalton on a great run to the Div. VII state title football game, where it dropped a 38-0 contest against Maria Stein Marion Local.

The Flyers’ 14 state championships are the most in OHSAA history, and they’ve all come since 2000.

Several fans asked me, “Why is Marion Local in Div. VII” if it has won so many titles?

The OHSAA competitive balance model adopted in May 2014 does not take into account wins or championships. It’s based strictly on enrollment and where student-athletes on rosters come from.

One of the early plans considered did include moving teams up or down based on their actual tournament performances, but that was not approved, OHSAA director of communications Tim Stried told me during the football state finals.

—The OHSAA winter sports season is now underway. Best wishes to all teams, athletes and coaches.

Aaron Dorksen can be emailed at Follow him on Twitter at @AaronDorksen.

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