Mailbag: Final Four Or College Football Playoff First?
A confession: I love doing mailbags. I had breakfast with an OSU buddy this morning, and he asked me how much influence Bill Simmons had in my life. I told him it’s hard to imagine a 31-year-old sportswriter who wasn’t influenced by Simmons. He was the independent sports internet before there was an independent sports internet.Anyway, Simmons’ mailbags were always my favorite thing he did so I think they’re a little ingrained in my sportswriting DNA. Unfortunately they take forever, and I’m not really afforded forever in 2016 internet time. So I’m going to try and answer 3-4 of your questions in writing every Wednesday and then hop on a Periscope/Facebook Live event and bang out a few more of them. We’ll see how that goes throughout the year.Let’s get to the first three questions this week (via Twitter).Caleb Robinson: Which happens first — Gundy takes the football team to the CFP or Underwood leads basketball team on a Final Four run?This was a fantastic question. My first instinct was Gundy because OSU football is so much better than OSU hoops right now. But here’s the thing: George Mason went to a Final Four. Butler nearly won two Final Fours.It’s a lot easier to get to the Final Four than it is the College Football Playoff. Once you lose two football games, you’re essentially eliminated. All you have to do to get to a FF is beat three good teams in a row (presuming you’re a top five seed).I do think the CFP will expand to eight teams in the next five years which will allow OSU to get in more easily, but I also think Underwood is going to be great. I’ll say Final Four in hoops before CFP for Gundy.Cam Hardaway: Thoughts on Arroyo? Interesting path/stops on the way to OSU. Legit chops as both player (QB) & coach (various). OC in waiting?He’s had sort of the opposite career of Todd Monken. Went from Tampa Bay Bucs to Oklahoma State. Monken went the other way. He’s certainly impressive. From his recruiting hauls (well-documented by Kyle Boone) to his ability to somehow get five different RBs to all buy in to the same thing, he’s been a glue that Gundy desperately craves. And at the age of 36 he’s on pace (#onpaceguy) to snag a better job at a smaller school.Throw in the fact that he has actually been an OC before (in 2013 when they went 1-11 in Monk’s first season there), and I would be pretty surprised if he didn’t end up calling plays for a Memphis or a Temple. The only question is whether he wants to step back down to that tier of school after tasting both the NFL and a big-time program like OSU.Taylor Weston: What does the coaching staff see that makes them so high on Carson? It’s really tough to tell why from an outsider point of view.I ride with you, Taylor. He’s fine. I like him. He certainly looks like he should be the best RB in the B12. But it’s difficult to see why he’s still starting. Here’s the thing, though, and I talked about this a little bit on our Periscope on Wednesday, maybe this is an OSU problem. Maybe running backs who look and run like Chris Carson and Jeremy Smith just don’t fit well into what OSU does.Maybe OSU should save Carson — who seems like he’s smart and knows what he’s doing — for red zone situations. Maybe they should just build goal line packages around him. Look at the dude, he’s a total monster. But I’m not sure he’s RB1 on this offense. Maybe I’m wrong (I hope I am), but I have yet to see why Gundy and Co. are rolling him out there.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!