WASHINGTON -- Asjha Jones tied her season-high with 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Tina Charles added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and the Connecticut Sun cruised to a 77-64 victory over the Washington Mystics Friday night. Mistie Mims added a season-high 15 points for the Sun (10-3), who never trailed. Connecticut, coming off a franchise-worst 95-61 loss at Indiana last Thursday, won for the seventh time in the last nine. Monique Currie scored a season-high 21 points and Crystal Langhorne added 11 for Washington (2-10), which lost its fifth straight. Leading by four at halftime, Connecticut pulled away in third quarter, opening the half with a 12-0 run keyed by five points from Jones. Washington didn't score until Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton's layup with 5:40 left in the quarter made it 48-34. The Sun led by 19 after three quarters and the Mystics got no closer than 11 the rest of the way. Connecticut hit its first four shots of the game and built an 18-7 lead in the first quarter. After Washington pulled to 22-21 on Jasmine Thomas' layup early in the second quarter, Mims scored four straight points on a jumper followed by a layup off an offensive rebound. Currie hit a 3-pointer to get the Mystics within two, but consecutive 3s by Tan White and Jones followed by a jumper from Jones put Connecticut up by 10 midway through the quarter.
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.