Ohio State Does Not Belong in the College Football Playoff
Sunday morning (12/20/20) The College Football selection committee announced the four teams that will get to compete for a National Championship this year. In the four team dance are Alabama (#1), Clemson (#2), Ohio State (#3) and Notre Dame (#4). Ohio State is the worst selection, the selection committee has ever made but we will come back to that after I tell you why the other teams deserve to be there.
Clemson finished the year 10-1, won the ACC Championship game, suffered their only loss of the year to Notre Dame when the Tigers were without star QB Trevor Lawrence. It's not even a matter of discussion, they are the second most deserving team and were ranked appropriately.
Alabama finished the year 11-0, they won the SEC Championship game, they beat Texas A & M, Florida, Georgia and Auburn. With the exception of the Florida game no one even challenged this team this year. They deserve to be in and were ranked appropriately.
Notre Dame #4
Notre Dame finished the year 10-1 and they beat Clemson and North Carolina. While their strength of schedule is nowhere comparable to a schedule like Alabama played, at the end of the day the crushed their lesser opponents and the Clemson win is what put them over the top. They deserve to be in and I'd even argue that they deserved the #3 seed and not the #4 seed that they ended up with.
Ohio State #3
Ohio State finished the year 6-0 and won the Big Ten. If you use the eyeball test they are one of the four most talented teams in the nation, I do believe that, and it's still not enough to qualify for this tournament, in my opinion.
They played 6 games. Everyone else, who was seriously considered for the playoff, finished the year playing 9 games minimum. To top that off, Ohio State's only real big wins were over Indiana and Penn State. They also played like garbage in the Big Ten Championship game.
The competitive nature of this playoff is stronger with Ohio State in, but it's just not enough games. Texas A & M had to play 9 games in the SEC and only lost to Alabama. There is not a person in this country that can tell me that this is fair to them, Cincinnati or Coastal Carolina and be justified in what they are saying.
The playoffs need to be expanded to a minimum of eight teams. Under that system we would see a playoff that features the teams above plus Texas A & M, Oklahoma, Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina. Or, at least, that's how it should look if it were an 8 team playoff.
Not only would expanding the playoff keep college fans out of arguments like this but it would make the road to the title that much more difficult for Alabama and Clemson, which is long overdue. The other teams can't keep up with them from a recruitment standpoint. If I were a recruiter for either program, I'd end every meeting by reminding them that if they want a chance at playing in a National title game we are one of two teams that can realistically offer that.
To me, college football is better than the NFL in so many ways. As an every Saturday consumer, I think the sport is as close to perfect as you can get. It can be better and I think eventually, it will be an eight team field that has room enough for the traditional powerhouse teams and one or two Cinderella stories.
Full disclosure, I hate Ohio State but I made a fair, unbiased set of points about them. I hate Alabama too but there is nowhere for me to run on that one, they are just that good and a lot of circumstances are going to have to lineup for someone to beat them in this playoff.
The games will be a lot of fun, no matter what. #1 Alabama takes on #4 Notre Dame, New Year's Day in a semifinal match-up in the Rose Bowl. That game is normally played in Pasadena, CA but thanks to COVID will be played in Arlington, TX. #2 Clemson plays #3 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans in the other semifinal and that game is also New Year's Day.
The winners of those two games will meet in the National Championship Game Monday January 11 at 8 pm. When will they stop putting this game on a Monday starting at 8? Nothing says a great TV viewing experience like staying up to 1:30 am on a Tuesday to watch the whole thing. Hey TV Executives, people have lives, put the game on a Saturday starting at 7 pm.