Leading Off

Ohio State shouldn’t have a QB controversy

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▪ Even as Ohio State was celebrating its 42-20 victory over Oregon in Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game, speculation began over the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback for next season. Cardale Jones completed 16 of 23 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown, and ran for another TD, in the Buckeyes’ upset victory, but he was the third-string quarterback when the season started. Braxton Miller, the starter in 2013, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury before this season. J.T. Barrett, a redshirt freshman who replaced Miller, started 12 games before also suffering a season-ending injury. In his three starts, Jones, a redshirt sophomore, led Ohio State to victories over Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon. In our book, if you win a national championship, you’re the starter until someone takes the job from you.

▪ After Ohio State won, thousands of revelers – described as mostly well-behaved – in Columbus, Ohio, blocked one of the main streets adjacent to the Ohio State campus, and after attempts to keep fans on the sidewalks failed, police (some in riot gear) cleared the area with pepper spray and tear gas. Watching some of the video, you can’t help but wonder why police used such extreme tactics on the group of mostly college students. Is it a sign of the times?

▪ Was that Bob Newhart announcing the calls during Monday’s game? No, it wasn’t the famous actor/comedian, but the uncanny rememblance to referee Greg Burks had viewers talking about it and posting comments and photos on social media. Newhart, 85, even weighed in on Twitter.

– Tom Couzens


What to watch

College basketball,

Stanford at Cal, 8 p.m., ESPNU: Both have won 11 games, but the Cardinal is 3-1 in the Pacific-12 Conference, the Bears just 1-3.

Twitter chatter

@BobNewhart: “In regards to my new career as head ref for #OSUvsORE – Hey, I don’t have a series any more – I had to do something.”

On this date

1990: Joe Montana sets an NFL record when he tosses his 30th and 31st postseason touchdown passes as the 49ers beat the Los Angeles Rams 30-3 in the NFC Championship Game.