Tuesday, December 11, 2018 Medina 22°
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Sports

Rick-o-chet: Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs?!?

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Before we begin this Rick-o-chet around the world of sports, I’d like all level-headed, intelligent Ohio State and Browns fans to do their best incredulous-voiced, Jim Mora impersonation and say, out loud, “Playoffs?!!!”

OK, thank you. …

There’s nothing more entertaining than reading Facebook or Twitter posts from see-what-they-want-to-see, ignore-what-they-don’t-want-to-see Ohio State fans in the hours after the selection committee leaves their beloved Buckeyes out of the college football playoffs. …

It gets better every year, too, because what those fans argue one year goes totally against what they argued in other years. …

Or, better still, they do the former and choose to completely ignore that what they are arguing this year goes against how the Buckeyes got a bid in previous seasons, which was perfectly OK by them at that time. …

There is, of course, a very simple solution for The OSU that doesn’t require going to an eight-team playoff (though that is long overdue, because most fans want it and most don’t care much at all about 4,325 of the other 4,328 bowl games that will be played over the next month): Don’t lose to Purdue by 29 points. Don’t need a poorly thrown two-point conversion pass to beat Maryland in overtime. Don’t struggle to beat Nebraska. …

Really, picking the four playoff teams this year was incredibly simple and easy, especially given that four of the five teams already ranked ahead of Ohio State did what they needed to do Saturday. …

No. 1 Alabama won the SEC championship and is undefeated. …

No. 2 Clemson won the ACC championship and is undefeated. …

No. 3 Notre Dame went undefeated and played a solid schedule (wins over Michigan, Northwestern and Syracuse) that would have been even stronger had programs like Stanford, Florida State, USC and Virginia Tech not had down years (and please don’t give me that hogwash about leaving the Irish out because they don’t play in a conference). …

Yes, No. 4 Georgia lost in heartbreaking fashion — in part because Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts became the feel-good story of the season, in part because Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart became Kirby Dumb and tried a late-game fake punt on fourth-and-11 — but No. 5 Oklahoma won the Big 12 championship and avenged its only loss of the season by beating Texas. …

It was all so simple and easy the selection committee meeting should have taken about three minutes: 1. Alabama, 2. Clemson, 3. Notre Dame, 4. Oklahoma. …

You can argue Ohio State deserved to end up No. 5 instead of Georgia, but if you truly care about that, you’ll probably be glued to the AutoNation Cure Bowl, Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl, Raycom Media Camellia Bowl and R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. …

While we’re on the subject of playoffs — Mora voice again! — can we please, please, puh-lease stop using that word in connection with the 2018 Browns? …

This team is vastly improved but not playoff caliber or playoff ready, as was on display early and often Sunday against Houston. …

Enjoy the progress and journey. Enjoy Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett, Nick Chubb, Denzel Ward, Jarvis Landry and Co. Enjoy having a chance to win going into virtually every game. …

Enjoy an organization that finally seems to have a clue, but when you’re 4-6-1 on Sunday morning and 4-7-1 on Sunday evening, let’s pump the brakes — actually, let’s slam on the brakes — on any and all playoff talk until 2019. …

When he took over for Hue Jackson, Gregg Williams had very little chance of being the Browns’ head coach in 2019, but I’ve gotta admit, I’m starting to warm up to the idea. At the very least, he should be given serious consideration. …

With Duke’s Zion Williamson on top of the draft board, Cavaliers players are still playing hard for coach Larry Drew, but there’s not much chance he’ll be in charge next season. …

On a negative but also positive note, at least we’re no longer hearing that ludicrous playoff talk — Mora voice one more time, please — surrounding the Cavs.

Last but not least, Kenston, which defeated Buckeye in the second round of the Division III, Region 9 football playoffs, won each of its next three games in equally convincing fashion en route to a state championship. …

Congratulations to the Bombers, but also congrats to the Bucks for playing them as tough as anyone in the postseason. …

OK, I’m off to read more entertaining posts and tweets from Ohio State football fans. …

Till next time!

Contact Rick Noland at rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.
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