After months of wondering and speculation, the wait is over. On Sunday, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee announced college football's final four. And there was one big surprise.
Alabama was ranked No. 1, Oregon No. 2, defending national champs Florida State No. 3, and Ohio State No. 4.
Many predicted one of the Big 12 co-champions, TCU or Baylor, would earn the fourth spot. But the Buckeyes got in based on a "quality win against a highly ranked team" in Week 13, Selection Committee chair Jeff Long told ESPN. TCU went from third in last week's poll to sixth to the final poll.
On Sunday, the four teams that will play in the first-ever College Football Playoff will be decided. Who will make it?
I will be at the news conference when the Selection Committee announces their picks. It should be really exciting as they reveal their top four. Whoever is ranked No. 1 and No. 4 will play in one semifinal game, and the teams ranked No. 2 and No. 3 will play in the other one. Then those two winners will meet in the national championship at AT&T Stadium on Jan. 12.
While reaching the playoffs in your fantasy football league is not something to put on your professional résumé, it does feel nice to own bragging rights for a year.
Those fantasy champions will know that what separates winners from posers is delivering the goods: plugging in the right players in the right games to go undefeated during the season’s home stretch. It requires thoughtful planning weeks in advance. Whether you’re already assured a playoff spot or still in the running, there are variables you should be analyzing today to help ensure December dominance.
The Cleveland Browns' long-anticipated quarterback controversy may have arrived, right as their push for the playoffs shifts into desperation mode.
With his team mired in an offensively inept showing against the Bills, Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine pulled the trigger on a QB change, benching Brian Hoyer for Johnny Manziel after a fourth-quarter Hoyer interception. Manziel promptly led a touchdown drive in his first meaningful regular-season action, capping it by scrambling for a 10-yard score.
Manziel's second possession was far less productive. He was saved from coughing up a touchdown when referee Jerome Boger ruled upon review that Manziel had been attempting a pass when Buffalo's Kyle Williams knocked the ball loose. Seconds later, though, the Browns turned the ball over on downs, sealing Buffalo's 26-10 win.
With that result the Browns dropped to 7-5 on the season, a game-and-a-half back of Cincinnati in the AFC North and outside of the wild-card picture. Next up is a Week 14 home game against Andrew Luck and the Colts. Will it be Hoyer or Manziel under center for that all-important matchup? Pettine said after Sunday's loss that he would not make a decision until mid-week.
Week 13 is typically the final week of the regular season in fantasy leagues. So often fantasy owners look to their stars for salvation in must-win games. If you count Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones among your stars, then your stars certainly delivered. However, almost as frequently it’s the unheralded players who pop up for a game or two and end up earning the unyielding devotion of their owners. Three guys who were under the radar heading into Week 13 almost certainly carried anyone who started them to a huge win.
You have one last bullet left and time is running out. It’s Week 13 and your window for getting into the fantasy playoffs (or earning a first-round bye) might be closing.
If you’re on the outside of the playoffs looking in — needing not just a win, but some help in the “Total Points Scored” category to help boost you into the playoffs, then it’s time to start considering a “boom or bust” strategy.
Rather than choose steady players who often score 10 fantasy points per week, think about starting high-risk, high-reward guys who score either 20 points or three points. Deep threats (John Brown, Kenny Stills) and home-run third-down backs (Darren Sproles) might make more sense than medium-scoring consistent players. If you’re seventh or eighth in the standings, you don’t want consistent — unless you lead the league in scoring and have just had a brutal schedule.
Each week, we’ll share 8-12 players we think are worth a look in standard fantasy football leagues based on performance and upcoming matchups. Each of these players listed are owned in fewer than 30 percent of leagues on CBS Sports, ESPN and Yahoo! leagues.
Since they are barely owned in more than 30 percent of CBS leagues, you won’t see these rising players on this list: Josh McCown, Dan Herron, LeGarrette Blount, Justin Hunter, Andrew Hawkins, Kenny Stills and the Browns defense.