The Washington Kastles look to hoist the Billie Jean King cup for the second year in a row this weekend at the 2012 World Team finals.Despite the momentum of their 30 match winning streak, they'll have to dismantle their rivals, the New York Sportimes, en route to the finals. The Kastles opened with a win over the Sportimes, but it was a close contest as Washington edged New York just 20-18 aided by the clutch play of, Bobby 'The Closer' Reynolds, in the final match.Reynolds, along with veteran and doubles specialist, Leander Paes, were instrumental in the Kastles victory capturing both men's singles and doubles, as well as mixed doubles.The Kastles other sister act, Anastasia and Arina 'Hot Rod' Rodionova, however struggled versus the Sportimes, dropping both events.This time around, reigning Wimbledon and Olympic doubles champion, Venus Williams, will be suiting up for Washington as they face the Sportimes.When Venus joined the Kastles in New York on July 21st, she defeated another former World No. 1 Martina Hingis 5-1. Williams was victorious in both overtime games and didn't drop a point during the 7 point Supertiebreaker leading the Kastles to a 21-20 win. Earlier this week, Coach Murphy Jensen noted that the Kastles success isn't the result of one superstar's 'herculean' effort, but rather the cohesiveness of the squad. But it can't hurt to have Williams' massive serve on the Kastles side of the net.If the Kastles capture the Eastern Conference title to advance to the finals, they'll face the Sacramento Capitals who swept all 5 sets to beat the Orange County Breakers, 25-15 Friday night. The Kastles know it won't be easy taking down the Capitals, whom they survived in the regular season 21-19. But luckily for the Kastles, the Caps will be without marque player Sam Querrey, who is representing the U.S. team in Davis Cup action. Meanwhile, both Reynolds and Paes opted to play in the WTT Finals this weekend versus representing their respective countries in the Davis Cup.Paes's decision caused a stir in his native India, and he said of his decision, "We come together as a team; as a community. I love playing on the Kastles team. This week the Indian Davis Cup team is playing New Zealand back in India, but the fact that I am here to support the ideals of what were trying to doshows how much I care for this team."
Did Penn State play their way into the playoff? Michigan has to be in, right? Did Ohio State fall out of top four? Will Washington hang on?
Following all the action on Saturday, there was plenty of debate over who the top four teams should be. Most of the questions surround what to do with the three Big Ten teams contenders.
Ohio State and Michigan are clearly two of the best teams in the country, but neither of them won their division. That honor went to Penn State who also won the conference championship on Saturday, the same Penn State team who beat Ohio State but who also lost twice this season.
For the first time since the College Football Playoff started, there is a real, genuine debate over who the top four will be.
But not really.
If you're just asking who the committee will put into the playoff, the committee actually tipped its hand last week with its rankings:
- Ohio State
- Penn State
For everyone saying Michigan should be in the top four, well, they weren't in the top four last week, they didn't play this week, none of the four teams ahead of them did anything to hurt their respective resumes, so what makes anyone out there think the Wolverines are suddenly going to vault into the top four? It's not going to happen.
If Penn State were to make the playoff, it wouldn't be over Washington or Clemson who were already ranked ahead of the Nittany Lions and also won their respective conferences on Saturday. Neither team did anything to hurt themselves, so Penn State won't vault over them. Could they jump Ohio State who they beat head-to-head? That seems doubtful considering the committee declared the Buckeyes the second-best team in the country on Tuesday. That tells me the committee sees them as "unequivocally" one the top teams.
So debate away. When it comes to college football, that's what makes it so fun. But really, there's not that much to debate about. The committee showed last week who they thought the four best teams were and there's no reason to think that will change based on what we saw Saturday.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Deshaun Watson bolstered his Heisman Trophy candidacy by passing for three touchdowns and running for two more to lead third-ranked Clemson to a 42-35 victory over No. 19 Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Saturday night.
Winning consecutive league titles for the first time in 28 years likely will send the Tigers (12-1, No. 3 CFP) back to the four-team College Football Playoff for the second straight year, providing Watson with an opportunity to resolve unfinished business from last January, when his team lost to Alabama in the national championship game.
The Clemson star completed 23 of 34 passes for 288 yards, including TDs of 21 and 10 yards to Jordan Leggett and 15 yards to Hunter Renfrow for a 42-28 lead midway through the fourth quarter. He also rushed for 85 yards on 17 attempts for the Tigers. They've won back-to-back ACC titles for the first time since winning three straight from 1986-88.
Watson's Virginia Tech counterpart, Jerod Evans, was just as impressive. The 6-foot-3, 238-pound ran for two touchdowns and rallied the Hokies from a 21-point deficit to make it close at the end.
The Hokies (9-4, No. 23 CFP) scored on three straight possessions, trimming what was once a 35-14 deficit to seven points on Evans' 5-yard run early in the fourth quarter and Cam Phillips' 26-yard TD reception with just under 6 minutes remaining.
Virginia Tech got the ball back with a chance to force overtime. Evans drove his team to the Clemson 23, where the drive stalled when Tigers cornerback Cordrea Tankersley intercepted a pass on fourth-and-6.