We will not delve anymore into the College Football Playoff Selection Committee's choices of its Final Four teams other than to again state that Penn State deserved to be in the group rather than Ohio State.
But in the holiday non-Bah humbug spirit of looking at the world through the glass is "half filled'', rather than "half empty'', the Committee and the powers that be in college football in general deserve credit and should be congratulated for giving College football fans interesting and (hopefully) entertaining match-ups in the 6 Playoff Bowls--Cotton, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Peach.
For a college football fan, one of the joys of the holiday season was to have New Year's Day dominated by college football games. It was the one day--other when New Year's Day fell on a Sunday as it does this year--that even the National Football League backed off of taking on college football. The Big four were the Cotton, Rose, Sugar and Orange bowls. The Fiesta Bowl made it a Big 5 and it was fun and entertaining. A noon till midnight feast of bowl games that meant something.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
With the arrival of the BCS and a quasi playoff system, the bowls--because of television--were spaced out over several days and New Year's was filled with lesser bowls which had little interest and filled with conference runners-up
The joy was gone. When the current 4 team playoff set up began three years ago, one goal was to re-establish CFB's footprint on the New Year's Day holiday with six bowls, with a rotation of two each year serving as semifinal games.
And this year the Selection Committee, which has a huge influence on the match-ups in ALL six games, set up a great festival of football for all of us.
The semifinals on New Year's Eve (a Saturday) speak for themselves. Washington vs. Alabama in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, followed by Ohio State vs. Clemson at the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.
Good and great (Alabama) teams in season-changing games.
But look at the other match ups.
Dec. 29--Orange Bowl--Michigan vs. Florida State.
Michigan is arguably the best team NOT in the playoffs, against a Florida State team that was playing like...well Florida State at the end of the season.
January 2--Cotton Bowl--Western Michigan vs. Wisconsin
Western Michigan is this season's Cinderella story, with an unbeaten team, a rising star coach in PJ Fleck against a traditional solid Power 5 blue blood in Wisconsin
Rose Bowl--USC vs. Penn State.
An old fashioned Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Rose Bowl with USC, arguably the hottest team in college football, against a Big 10 championship Penn State team which should have earned its way into the Final Four--it won the best conference and beat Ohio State in head to head competition.
Sugar Bowl--Oklahoma vs. Auburn.
Big 12 champion Oklahoma went unbeaten in the Big 12 race and was shut out of the Final Four because it lost two games--to Houston and Ohio State. Auburn is the best of a down season of SEC teams, but the Tigers facing the Sooners in New Orleans will have a big time feel to it.
Six games over a holiday weekend, with great entertainment value.