The topic came up again last week on our TMG podcast (you should listen). Is Alabama's latest run as a dynastic force good for the overall health of college football?
There were varying opinions offered, led by the "it's better to have a wider geographical range of Final Four teams than a southern-based overload of Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and designated team (Oklahoma), which was last last season's menu.
A Jersey Guy's opinion was having one or two (Clemson?) great teams as perennial powers is GREAT for college football.
It is always better when you have a David vs. Goliath type of environment because it makes a better story line, when David manages to knock off Goliath or tries.
College football has always been dominated by dynastic forces.
Oklahoma in the 50's, Alabama and USC in the 60's, USC, Nebraska and Alabama in the 70's, Miami in the 80's, Nebraska in the 90s.
In the 21st century, the SEC has been the dominant force with 10 teams winning national championships. Alabama has carried it to a new level with 5 national championships in the past 9 years.
The Tide has been a near unanimous front runner since the start of the season, seldom carrying the drama of the outcome of the game into the fourth quarter.
Yet, we live in an era where the P words dominate--Participation and Parity. Awards are given out for merely participating, which, as an old fashioned "winner take all'' Jersey Guy is particularly distasteful.
That might be acceptable in T ball or Pee-Wee football, but at the billion dollar level that big time college football now occupies, having a group of good or very good teams and NO great teams is not.
Is the Pac-12 South, where every team has 3 conference losses or the Big Ten West, where Northwestern could be a division champion with a 7-5 overall record or in the ACC where Coastal Division winner Pittsburgh could also finish with a 7-5 record more entertaining than Alabama's march through the SEC West or Clemson's journey through the ACC Atlantic without a single blemish?.
So what if The Tide and Clemson roll over their opponents.
Good is good but GREAT is better. Let the other teams take their shots the way that Syracuse did against Clemson in September or the way teams such as LSU last month and Auburn will do this week against Alabama.
Right now the CFB Final Four looks like a chalk affair of No. 1 Alabama No. 2 Clemson No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Michigan.
If that is the line up on Dec. 2, that will be just fine. Adding an undefeated Notre Dame to any mix creates interest and the prospect of a Don Brown coached Wolverine defense vs. a Tua-led offense at Alabama is also intriguing.
In a perfect fantasy set up, including an unbeaten UCF as the fourth team would create interest because of the debate would rage on both sides about UCF's credentials.
Again, that is good for college football.
There are still two more weeks in the 2018 college football season to create chaos. The prospects of Northwestern, Pittsburgh, Utah and Iowa State as Power 5 conference champions is not off the table--yet.
Teams such as Washington State and Oklahoma and Ohio State still are coming up with scenarios which would send them into the Final Four.
All of that is good and we here at TMG welcome chaos to a degree. But in A Jersey Guy's opinion, having Alabama and to a lesser extent Clemson remaining unbeaten until Final Four weekend is essential.
Good is good, but GREAT is better.