CSNChicago.com to chronicle 1 nationally-ranked SIMEON CAREER ACADEMY throughout the 2011-12 IHSA basketball season

CSNChicago.com to chronicle 1 nationally-ranked SIMEON CAREER ACADEMY throughout the 2011-12 IHSA basketball season

CSNCHICAGO.COM GRANTED UNPRECENDENTED ACCESS TO CHRONICLE 1 NATIONALLY-RANKED SIMEON CAREER ACADEMY THROUGHOUT THE 2011-12 IHSA BASKETBALL SEASON

Weekly webisodes to be hosted by David Kaplan, along with feature pieces from Insider Aggrey Sam, plus numerous player profiles & exclusive video features

Chicago, IL (December 12, 2011) -- Comcast SportsNets 247 digital outlet, CSNChicago.com, will provide preps fans with a special treat this winter as the network has been granted unprecedented access to the 1 pre-season ranked high school basketball team in the nation: Simeon Career Academy (the alma mater of Chicago Bulls superstar and reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose), who are now led by the nations top-ranked player, Jabari Parker.

In this latest edition of CSNChicago.coms popular preps feature section entitled DRIVE, hosted by Comcast SportsNet on-air personalityformer college basketball coach & recruiter David Kaplan, fans will be taken on a season-long journey with the Simeon hoops team as they vie for their third-straight Class 4A state title (NOTE: a fan-friendly DRIVE: Simeon Basketball page has been created to act as a hub for all video and written components: CSNChicago.compreps_simeon).

Among the key season-long highlights of DRIVE: Simeon Basketball include the following:

Weekly video webisodes featuring exclusive, never-before-seen, inside access to the amazing world of Simeon basketball.

CSNChicago.coms basketball Insider Aggrey Sam to pen numerous team feature pieces and player profiles throughout the 2011-12 preps season.

SportsNet Centrals news desk to provide additional video coverage of games to supplement digital team's exclusive inside access; content to also be utilized in High School Lites (airing on Comcast SportsNet every Friday night at 10:30 PM).

Player profile video features to include top college recruits Jabari Parker (who was recently named USA Basketballs Male Athlete Player of the Year), along with standouts Steve Taylor, Jaleni Neely, Kendrick Nunn, Kendall Pollard and many others.

Analysis of team development by legendary head coach Robert Smith through exclusive interviews and 'mic'd up' practice sessions.

CSNChicago.coms Jake Flannigan, Matt Zickus and Jeremy Masaki Murayama will be shootingproducingediting all DRIVE: Simeon Basketball webisodes.

Buckeyes going back to College Football Playoff, will face Clemson in Fiesta Bowl

Buckeyes going back to College Football Playoff, will face Clemson in Fiesta Bowl

The College Football Playoff field is set, and for the second time in three years, the Ohio State Buckeyes will compete for a national championship.

The selection committee revealed the four-team field for this season's Playoff, with Ohio State coming at No. 3. The Buckeyes will battle No. 2 Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. The other Playoff semifinal pits No. 1 Alabama against No. 4 Washington in the Peach Bowl.

While Ohio State has been considered one of the best teams in the country throughout the season, the Buckeyes' inclusion in the Playoff field is not without controversy, as they are the first team to play in the Playoff without winning their conference championship. But Ohio State had a sterling resume with three wins over top-10 teams: Michigan, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. The Buckeyes' lone loss came against a top-10 Penn State team.

The 2014 national champion, Ohio State returns to the Playoff after missing out last season. Big Ten champion Michigan State represented the conference last year, getting crushed by Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. Two years ago, the Buckeyes beat the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl and then beat the Oregon Ducks in the national championship game.

Big Ten champion Penn State, which won the conference title game Saturday night with an instant-classic comeback victory over Wisconsin, ended up fifth and was left off the bracket. So too was sixth-ranked Michigan, which didn't compete for a conference championship but was ranked fifth in the final set of rankings prior to Sunday's bracket reveal. The Nittany Lions and Wolverines combined for five wins over top-10 teams this season.

There was plenty of conversation that red-hot Penn State could surge into the Playoff, just like Ohio State did two years ago. The Lions are riding a nine-game winning streak, defeated Ohio State earlier in the season and claimed the championship in what has been the hands-down best conference in college football this season. And boy did they impress Saturday night in their most recent showing, erasing a three-touchdown deficit to come back and beat Wisconsin.

Michigan, too, had a mighty compelling case to make. The Wolverines, owners of one of the best defenses in the country all season long, beat three top-10 teams during the regular season and took the No. 2 team in the country to double overtime just last weekend.

But in the end, we did not get the first Playoff field to feature two teams from the same conference. Penn State and Michigan will learn their bowl fates — likely going to New Year's Six bowl games — later Sunday.

Big Ten poll update: Penn State jumps Michigan in last pre-Playoff AP poll

Big Ten poll update: Penn State jumps Michigan in last pre-Playoff AP poll

The College Football Playoff selection committee will reveal the four-team Playoff field shortly, but in the AP poll, Big Ten champion Penn State did vault ahead of Michigan.

The Nittany Lions, fresh off their instant-classic comeback win in Saturday night's Big Ten title game, jumped up three spots, from No. 8 to No. 5, passing the Wolverines, who dropped from No. 5 to No. 6 with no game to play this weekend.

Who knows if that will be the thinking of the committee or if Penn State's performance Saturday was impressive enough to get it above Washington or Clemson and into the final four.

In the AP poll Sunday, Ohio State checked in at No. 2 behind No. 1 Alabama. The Buckeyes didn't play Saturday either, but those top two spots figure to be how the top two spots of the Playoff field will look. Clemson and Washington stayed the Nos. 3 and 4 teams in the poll, which seems to be a likely possibility in the Playoff, as well.

Wisconsin, defeated by Penn State on Saturday night, dropped just two spots from No. 6 to No. 8, jumped by Penn State and Oklahoma, which was victorious in its regular-season finale against Oklahoma State, claiming the Big 12 championship in the process.

Iowa moved up one spot from No. 22 to No. 21, while Nebraska dropped a spot from No. 23 to No. 24. Neither team played this weekend.