Hello loyal readers! Almost 3 months ago I gave all of you my rundown on the upcoming college football season. I was excited and energized by the crumbling of the BCS and the arrival of a playoff system. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, college football found new life and all would be well in the world!
Now, here we are, only 3 days before the final Saturday of the regular season ... and the damn thing is still broken. How in the world could a group of independent, sometimes insignificant, men and women possibly make this many mistakes? It would be like fumbling the snap on the first play of the Super Bowl to force a safety and go down 2-0. Oh wait ...
So here's the deal, I'm pissed. Why am I pissed you ask? Thanks for asking. I'm pissed because this whole 4 team playoff seems like a no-brainer and yet it's getting mucked up as bad as the BCS. For those of you living under a rock, the Playoff Committee has been releasing their rankings each of the last several weeks to project where teams will stand at the end of the season. As of this week, here are their top 4 (who would make the playoff bracket):
3. Florida State
4. Mississippi State
Now on the surface, I guess you could argue that this isn't horrible. All of these teams have had decent seasons in and big time schedules. However, the committee is clearly omitting one big piece of the puzzle when making their rankings ... WHO WINS THE STINKING GAMES!!! If you didn't know, 3 of the 4 teams above have one loss (the only undefeated being Florida State) yet there's another undefeated team in the country and they are ranked 24th! Yes, that's right, with a 2 in front of it! How can this possibly be? The committee is making a statement that goes as follows:
"If you aren't from a Power 5 Conference, you are not eligible to play for the National Championship."
What makes this statement completely ridiculous/unfair/stupid is that the whole point of this committee and playoff system was to give the little guy a chance in the fight! You can't have David vs. Goliath if every game is Goliath vs. Goliath. So, what would be different if I ran the world? I'm glad you'd like to know ...
#1 - Florida State. They are the defending National Champion from a Power 5 Conference and they are undefeated. Enough said. But I'll keep talking anyway. One of the biggest criticisms against FSU this season is that they haven't looked great and they're only winning close games. The difference between them and the other teams? They ARE winning the close games. No slip ups, no 4th quarters crushing fumbles ... they just win.
#2 - Oregon. Honestly, it's a coin flip between the Ducks and the Tide. You can make an argument here for either team and you really wouldn't be wrong. I'm picking Oregon because their uniforms are pretty. Yeah, I said it, whatcha gonna do about it?
#3 - Alabama. See #2.
#4 - Marshall. Yes, I'm aware half of you don't know who Marshall is except for the movie where they all die in a plane crash. Well guess what ... they still have a football team, Randy Moss went there a bunch of years ago, and they are the only other undefeated team in the country. Just like FSU, they've won all the games they've played and you can't ask them to do any more than that. I'm giving them a slight penalty for not being in a Power 5 Conference (that's why they are at 4 and not 2) BUT at least I'm giving them a shot in the fight.
This weekend there are going to be several big games that will undoubtedly shake up what the final playoff picture looks like. While we don't know yet what will happen, I can tell you what I want to happen and what I think will happen ...
My dream scenario:
Alabama loses to Auburn in the Iron Bowl, thus knocking them to #4 at best. Mississippi State loses to Mississippi in the Egg Bowl (what the hell is an Egg Bowl?) knocking them completely out of the running. Alabama goes on to lose to Missouri in the SEC Championship Game giving them 3 losses and ensuring that there is no SEC team of significance. Final rankings for the playoffs:
1. Not an SEC Team
2. Not an SEC Team
3. Not an SEC Team
4. Not an SEC Team
The SEC is shut out and the world rejoices! Don't care who fills the top 4, as long as it's not the SEC. For what it's worth, Florida State, Oregon, TCU, and Ohio State would make for a very entertaining January.
Here's how I think it will play out:
Alabama wins the Iron Bowl. Auburn isn't very good. I said it to start the season, and I'm sticking with it. Mississippi beats Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss is at home, so I'm taking them. Florida beats Florida State and the luck of the Seminoles finally runs out. In the biggest upset of the weekend, TCU loses at Texas in a stunner. Yes, I know I'm creating craziness here, but stick with it because it's not that far-fetched. Final rankings for the playoffs:
3. Ohio State
There you have it. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.