Just in case y’all didn’t know, this four team playoff thing is working out just fine.
Much like last year, where there wasn’t much suspense in the end, there was resolution. This is the bill of goods everyone wanted to purchase … finality over drama and controversy.
Hope everyone is happy.
Flatly put, Alabama dismantled Michigan State and Clemson thrashed Oklahoma in the second half, leaving no doubt as to who the two best teams in college football are entering what will end up being what should be an authentic CFB Playoff Championship.
Eight teams would be a disaster, as proven again last night. Last season, there was no one thinking anything other than the fact that Oregon and Ohio State had earned their right to play for the title, dusting off Florida State and Alabama, respectively. This year, there was no doubt, either.
The CFB Playoff is doing what it was set up to do, and doing it marvelously aside from the asinine time slots and pretend championing of New Year’s Eve as a television destination spot. Seriously, second half ratings for the MSU-Bama game had to be abysmal.
But if you’re one of those where the ends forever justify the means, this system is for you. The contrarian (read: guy that just loves to argue) would opine that with such vast results yesterday and the lack of drama from last season would suggest that there needs to be more teams for more competitiveness, that’s rubbish.
That’s like getting a free steak and then pissing and moaning about the fact that there wasn’t enough butter on the baked potato that came with it. Truth be told, more often than not there are only two teams truly worthy of playing for the title. Hence, the BCS. But often enough, there are more than two, which is where we’re at now, and it’s a great place to be in.
Clemson rolled up a staggering 312 rushing yards on Oklahoma, most notably in a second half where they outscored them 21-0. Alabama rammed through 154 of their own against Michigan State, the most since the Spartans gave up nearly 180 to Nebraska in their then-only loss.
It wasn’t just that both teams won … it was how they won. They left no doubt and were remarkably more physical than their respective opponents.
Your obligatory “eight team playoff” guy surely is going to point to Stanford as a rebuttal. The Cardinal, champions of what could arguably be considered the saltiest conference in college football, the Pac-12, paddled Big Ten runner up Iowa 45-16 in a Rose Bowl that wasn’t even as close as that score.
That left the predictable whining that they should be allowed in.
The problem is, that’s wrong. Stanford lost to Northwestern and Oregon. The Northwestern loss ends up being the more damnable one. Iowa housed Northwestern, 40-10. The charm of college football is that it still takes into account the regular season in a way that it should be taken.
So often, sports are nothing other than the ends justifying the means without any worry about how the means was created. If you think about a team, 90 percent of it is what goes on in the regular season, 100 percent if you don’t make whatever “playoffs” exist. Yet everyone worries so much about that other 10 percent as if the 90 percent just is an inconvenience on the way to getting to the 10.
What the Rose Bowl showed you is two things … one, Any Given Saturday anything can happen and anyone can show up or not show up. It’s how Northwestern can thump Stanford, Iowa can obliterate Northwestern, and Stanford can eviscerate Iowa. Two … when you play truly great, you can be thought of as the best team in the nation, but to be a truly great team, you need to do it week in and out.
So for whatever lingering doubt there is that we need more teams, more kvetching, more doubting, two years in, we need to learn to shut up. We’re where everyone wanted to be, getting the “right” teams into a championship so whoever feels the need for the season to be validated with a worthy champion in “their” minds is getting it.
The CFB Playoff has done it again with four teams. Don’t ask for more. You’d be ruining what’s finally a perfect product.
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