Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Sports Weekly Updates, Week of 12/8

The Huskies beat the Ducks for a spot in the College Football Playoffs.
Photo courtesy of Kirby Lee
The Huskies beat the Ducks for a spot in the College Football Playoffs.

College Football Playoff Committee Makes Selections, Garners Controversy

After each conference finishes its regular season, the College Football Playoff Committee comes together to decide which teams performed the best in their respective leagues. Those selected go on to a four-team playoff to determine who the best college football team is. This year, the selected teams were the Michigan Wolverines (13–0), the Washington Huskies (13–0), the Texas Longhorns (12–1), and finally, and most controversially, the Alabama Crimson Tide (12–1). The first three teams performed the best in their respective leagues; however, the controversial decision came when Alabama was chosen over the Florida State Seminoles, who finished undefeated in their division. 

The general public did not receive the decision to include Alabama well, as people felt that Florida State could not have accomplished anything else to get into the top four, while Alabama lost a game. Some people are calling out the committee because they have prioritized viewership and monetary gain within the playoffs for years. On the other hand, people justified choosing Alabama due to the difficulty of their division compared to Florida’s. Alabama has also been a powerhouse of college football for years, with arguably the most outstanding college football head coach of all time, Nick Saban. The argument has divided those who think Alabama deserved to be in the playoffs due to their heritage and those who think that Florida State deserved the spot.

The College Football Playoffs are Jan. 1, with Michigan vs. Alabama at 5 p.m. ET and Washington vs. Texas at 8:45 p.m. ET. The championship game between the semifinal winners will be held Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

USWNT Plays Under New Coach, Wins in Debut Against China

The U.S. women’s national soccer team defeated China 3–0 in a game they dominated from beginning to end. The game was an international friendly, but it was important because it was the first game for new coach Emma Hayes. Hayes was appointed on Nov. 14, but her term began after the conclusion of the English Women’s Super League, where she coached Chelsea from 2012 until now. Hayes’ career is full of accolades, including winning the league title at Chelsea six times, four times in a row from 2019 to 2023. She also won The Best FIFA Women’s Coach award in 2021. Hayes left Chelsea as one of the most influential coaches in the league’s history. 

The USWNT was looking for a new coach after a tumultuous FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this year. The team is a regular in the tournament’s latter stages and is the most successful women’s international team with four World Cups. After losing to Sweden in the Round of 16, the USWNT fired Vlatko Andonovski and hired Hayes, a move that already had a noticeable impact. Even though Hayes wasn’t at the game, the tactics and improvement in attack were notable, with the team shooting 11 out of 20 shots on target and possessing the ball for 64 percent of the game. The team is hoping to keep up their winning ways for their next tournament, the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. 

Euro 2024 Finalizes Draw

Besides the World Cup, the most important international tournaments are the continental ones. The UEFA European Football Championship, or the Euro, is the most important tournament for European teams. Similar to the World Cup, a new venue is chosen every four years, and there is a draw to determine the groups for the group stage. The next Euros will be in Germany in 2024 and the decision was made this past week. Some groups are already complete as most teams have qualified; however, some spots are still up for grabs and will be determined by playoffs. 

The groups are as follows. Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, and Switzerland; Group B: Italy, who are the defending champions, Spain, Croatia, and Albania; Group C: Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, and England; Group D: Netherlands, Austria, France, and the winner of playoff A (Poland, Wales, Finland, or Estonia); Group E: Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, and the winner of playoff B (Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, or Iceland); Finally, Group F: Türkiye, Portugal, Czechia, and the winner of playoff C (Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, or Luxembourg).  

The favorites for the competition are France and England, who have an estimated 22 percent chance of winning. Germany follows them with a 14 percent chance. The most challenging group is Group B, with the combination of Spain, Croatia, and Italy, all contenders for the title. With the groups almost entirely set, the anticipation for the Euro 2024 is growing. 

Juan Soto Joins Yankees

On Dec. 6, Juan Soto was acquired by the New York Yankees from the San Diego Padres in the biggest move of the MLB offseason so far. It is the 25-year-old outfielder’s third team in as many seasons.

Since his debut as a 19-year-old with the Washington Nationals in 2018, Soto has slashed .284/.421/.524 with 160 home runs and 483 RBIs in 783 games. In six years, Soto has drawn 640 walks and struck out 577 times. Soto is one of two qualified hitters — over 502 career at bats — in the MLB with a higher walk rate than strikeout rate for his career, joining Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arráez. Soto’s resume also includes a batting title in the shortened 2020 season, three All-Star appearances, four Silver Sluggers, and a World Series with the Nationals in 2019. 

In the seven-player exchange, the Padres received right-handed pitchers Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Randy Vasquez, Jhony Brito, and catcher Kyle Higashioka in return for Soto and outfielder Trent Grisham. 

The Padres, looking to shed salary, had no choice but to trade Soto, who is set to make over $30 million in his final season of arbitration. They were able to obtain a plethora of young, controllable pitchers from the Yankees as the Padres look to rebound from a disappointing 2023 season where they finished 82–80 and missed the playoffs.

The Yankees, similar to the Padres, are also coming off a disappointing 82-80 season this year. For the first time since 2016, the team missed the playoffs, in part due to their bottom-six scoring offense.

The acquisition of Soto, paired with 2022 MVP Aaron Judge, immediately gives the Yankees one of the most feared rosters in the game. 

“He’s a generational talent,” Judge said regarding Soto on Fox 5 New York. “His track record [and] stats speak for themselves. Everybody in the Yankee universe is pretty excited to have him on board.”

More to Discover