Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

John Rowe's 10 Burning Questions in College Football

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

John Rowe's 10 Burning Questions in College Football

Article excerpt

1. Have Notre Dame and Florida State played their way out of playoff contention?

Almost certainly. Notre Dame has lost two games, and Stanford is probably the only playoff contender it has left on its schedule. Teams have rebounded from early-season losses to make the playoffs, but Florida State, which still plays Clemson, lost to Louisville by 43 points! That's way too much for the selectors.

2. What teams have established themselves as playoff-caliber programs?

If the playoffs started today, the field probably would be Alabama, Ohio State, Louisville and Michigan. Waiting in the wings for somebody to slip up are Stanford, Clemson, Michigan State and Houston. No Notre Dame, Florida State, Oklahoma or Mississippi. At least not for this observer.

3. Does Rutgers QB Chris Laviano need to play well against Iowa to keep his job?

It wouldn't hurt. First-year coach Chris Ash used three other quarterbacks in spot appearances the last two games. While giving Laviano the dreaded vote of confidence earlier this week, Ash, who inherited Laviano when he took over, also said Laviano needs to play better.

4. What are the recruiting aspects connected to the Iowa-Rutgers matchup?

Michigan and Ohio State are Rutgers' chief Big Ten challengers for the best players in New Jersey, but Iowa, ever since former Hawkeyes coach Hayden Fry recruited future Hall of Famer Andre Tippett out of Newark Barringer, has more than held its own in recruiting the Garden State.

5. What became of QB Philip Nelson, who never threw a pass for Rutgers?

He's thrown for seven touchdowns as East Carolina has started 2- 1. After starting 16 games in two seasons at Minnesota, Nelson transferred to Rutgers in 2014, but was dismissed from the program after a bar fight in Minnesota. He avoided jail time even though the man he kicked suffered a severe brain injury.

6. …

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