BY KEVIN CONNELL
Blowout victories helped Navy and Virginia Tech find their way into the second-to-last College Football Playoff rankings of the season released Tuesday.
Navy (9-2) was ranked No. 19 after beating SMU 75-31 Saturday, while Virginia Tech (9-3) sat at No. 23 following a 52-10 win against Virginia.
For the Hokies, it’s the third time in five weeks they have placed in the College Football Playoff rankings. Two weeks ago, they dropped out after ranking as high as No. 14 after the first two weeks of the rankings.
The Midshipmen, then at No. 25, were ranked for the first time last week.
Both Navy and Virginia Tech will play in their conference championship games this week. The Midshipmen host the AAC Championship Game against Temple in Annapolis and the Hokies play No. 3 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game in Orlando.
Additionally, the Midshipmen and Hokies will play in bowl games, which will be announced no later than this Sunday when the final College Football Playoff rankings are released. The top four after the final week of rankings will play in a four-team playoff to determine the national champion.
Along with Clemson, Alabama at No. 1, Ohio State at No. 2 and Washington at No. 4 make up the current top four. The Crimson Tide is the defending national champions and the Buckeyes won the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014.
In the most recent AP and coaches polls released Sunday, Virginia Tech was No. 19 (AP) and No. 18 (coaches), while Navy was No. 20 in both.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS
2. Ohio State
7. Penn State
10. Oklahoma State
12. Florida State
16. West Virginia
17. Western Michigan
23. Virginia Tech
MORE NCAA: COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROJECTION (UPDATED 11/28/2016)
After testing the NBA Draft waters, Georgetown center Jessie Govan decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season.
Govan announced his intention to return on Instagram a week before the final commitment deadline.
Returning to the Hoyas is definitely a boost to the program that will be in their second year under head coach Patrick Ewing. At 6-10, Govan was the team’s leading scorer (17.9 ppg) and rebounder (10.0 rpg) averaging a double-double last season.
Paired alongside power forward Marcus Derrickson, the Hoyas were nearly unstoppable in the paint. Derrickson though decided to forgo his senior year and signed with an agent after the season.
Had Govan decided to leave that would have meant over 56 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding would have departed (to graduation or professional pursuits) in a handful of months. Not the best outlook for a 15-win team that went 5-13 in the Big East.
Instead Ewing gets back his leading scorer that many believe he can mold as a young protégée. While in the draft process without an agent Govan had workouts with the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Both are valuable experiences that he will bring to a relatively young Georgetown squad.
Having Govan for one more year will bridge Ewing’s second season to transfer big-man, Omer Yurtseven to his first year of eligibility in 2019. They were set up to having a walk-on and two sophomores being the only returning Hoyas over 6-6 for the upcoming season.
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The pieces are starting to come together for Patrick Ewing.
On Monday the Georgetown Hoyas picked up perhaps the biggest (literally and figuratively) target of the transfer market, Omer Yurtseven.
From North Carolina State, the transfer from Istanbul Turkey will have two years remaining of eligibility. Due to NCAA transfer rules, he is not allowed to play for the 2018-19 season.
MORE NCAA: TOP BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Standing at 7-0, the center helped power the Wolfpack to an NCAA tournament bid this past season. Averaging 13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks a contest, Yurstseven earned All-ACC Third Team honors in the 2017-18 season. He also touted a 58.3 shooting percentage and was not afraid to pull it up from deep either (22 made three-pointers).
NC State lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to No. 8 Seton Hall, but he was limited due to foul trouble with only two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes of play.
Initially, he is the option to fill the void that Jessie Govan will leave, whether that is during this offseason or next. Already the team has lost power forward Marcus Derrickson
Yurtseven will just be another frontcourt talent for Ewing with the Hoyas.
It was widely reported that he was considering playing options, both in the United States and abroad before this announcement. Easily he has the talent to go in first round of the NBA Draft whichever year he declares.
On the same day, the Hoyas also announced the signing of four-star guard James Akinjo.