Oklahoma vs. Georgia. Alabama vs. Clemson.
I won’t quibble about the Crimson Tide selection for at least a few more paragraphs. I’ll even concede from the outset that this foursome earned its way into the College Football Playoff fair and square.
But I do want to ponder the aesthetics of this group: What you’ve got here is three teams from the Waffle House Corridor and one from the league most likely to implode.
Excellent teams? No question. Hallowed programs? Sure.
But do vast portions of the country—take the Yankee Northeast, the stodgy Midwest and the surfin’ West Coast, for example—have a rooting interest? Only if they have grits or a long-running Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in their ancestry.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with these schools. They’ve all played marvelous football this fall. Well, maybe not Alabama, if you ask Nick Saban. . .
Sometimes I wish we could just get on with the evolutionary march of college sports. Let the fittest four leagues carve up the Big 12 already. Let’s get to our four super-sized mega-leagues so we can have a tidy little playoff that has teams from around the country.
Maybe we’ll have Oklahoma representing the Pac-12—unless the Big Ten commish, Jim Delany, makes the Sooners and Longhorns an offer they can’t refuse.
With four leagues, Notre Dame will have to stop with the to-be-or-not-to-be melodrama—and join up somewhere.
And when Alabama loses, it will actually lose.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
No doubt, the CFP semi-finals will do excellent numbers nationwide. But in certain immensely populated areas of the country, USC-Ohio State, Penn State-Washington and Wisconsin-Miami will make Delany smile from a television standpoint.
Honestly, while these games don’t have championship implications, they’ll be as interesting to me—and more importantly, to many viewers—as the playoff games.
That’s the beauty of the bowl system.
No complaints here. I thought last year’s Rose Bowl (USC 52, Penn State 49) was as good as it gets.
I can admire teams like Alabama and Clemson for their talent, execution and overall mastery of excellence.
And I love that after all of their ponderous deliberation, The Committee stuck with Fewest Losses as its key statistic.
But I always end up wondering why these Southern schools play the best college football.
No doubt, they have very fertile recruiting turf. Excellent coaches. Boosters with ridiculously deep pockets. And, if you believe the whispers from my Big Ten sources, flexible academic standards.
But I say to them, as I have said to the Yankees, the Patriots, the Blue Devils, the Tar Heels and other super-powers at various times in the past—can you give somebody else a chance once in a while?
And while I am happy for Georgia, no, the Dawgs don’t count. As outsiders.[/membership]