M!KEDROP DAILY brings you hot takes on the biggest stories in sports and recaps the previous days’ news and memorable moments.
Justin Fields Heading to Ohio State
The #1 ranked QB prospect from 2018 has formally announced his decision to leave Georgia after one season and has committed to playing football for Ohio State and new head coach Ryan Day.
I don’t believe Fields should be granted a hardship waiver that allows him eligibility for 2019. There is no “special circumstances” here. Now, in many cases I do believe players should be allowed to transfer at free will – under the right circumstance. But if you allow everyone the opportunity to play right away? The flood gates will open and scholarships and recruiting will mean absolutely nothing.
Now what is a special circumstance? With Dana Holgorson leaving West Virginia for Houston, I believe players from both teams should be given the right to transfer. Players committed to West Virginia to play for Holgorson not for new head coach Neal Brown. Houston players may not be as comfortable with Holgorson as they were with Major Applewhite and they shouldn’t be forced to stick around if they don’t want to. Perhaps someone like USC QB JT Daniels would be uncomfortable with new USC Offensive Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, he should be allowed to leave without sitting out.
But for Fields, the head coach he committed to, Kirby Smart, is still in town. OC Jim Chaney and QB Coach James Coley are both still there. Fields made the decision to commit to Georgia, despite the presence of Jake Fromm, who led the Bulldogs to the National Championship game during the 2017 season and another former top recruit, Jacob Eason, was also still in Athens when Fields made his initial verbal commitment.
Simply, Fields knew what he was getting into, couldn’t beat out Fromm and is now taking the easy way out. But is it easy? Fields will now compete with Tate Martell at Ohio State and Martell has already publicly stated he won’t go down without a fight.
For Fields, it’s unfortunate it didn’t work out at Georgia, but at some point, players should be held responsible for their commitment decisions.
What to Watch For on Saturday 1/5
NFL PLAYOFFS begin!
Texans vs Colts at 4:30 – These AFC South rivals split the season series with the Texans winning the first meeting 37-34 in overtime and the Colts winning 24-21 in early December.
Texans went 11-2 after we published an article listing out options for the next Texans head coach following an 0-3 start. Colts started 1-5 and finished 10-6. Frank Reich is my pick for NFL Coach of the Year. Andrew Luck has bounced back in a huge way after missing the entire 2017 season and Reich has fixed three areas of weakness that have always plagued the Colts – offensive line, running game, and defense. Colts had minimal expectations heading into the season and Reich was their well-known second (at least) option at head coach.
Cowboys vs Seahawks at 8:15 – How bout them Cowboys? They finished strong down the stretch following the Amari Cooper and for the second time in three years won the NFC East. Seahawks have won three in a row against the Cowboys, including a 24-13 victory in week 3. Both teams are very different since that meeting.
Only two games on the schedule featuring ranked vs ranked teams. At noon, #8 Michigan State visits #14 Ohio State and at 3:00 #9 Florida State takes on unbeaten #4 Virginia.
Cavaliers are one of four unbeaten teams. Nevada is also in action Saturday at New Mexico. The other two unbeatens (Michigan and Houston) play Sunday.
Rockets at Blazers. James Harden has exceed 40 points in each of his last five games and is coming off a cool 44/10/15 triple-double in a win Thursday over the Warriors in Oakland, where he hit the game winning three.
Bucks at Raptors in a battle of the teams with the top two records in the eastern conference.