There’s actually going to be a college football playoff this year, a Final Four.
Seems to have caused quite a stir. Blue Ribbon Committee anointing the chosen few. Semis on New Year’s Day. A game that, one supposes, is a legit championship days later in the JerryDome.
I received a missive this week from the American Sports Pundits Association, advising that my membership is in jeopardy. The simple reason? I haven’t been advising my flock of followers which teams comprise my Final Four. It must be done on a weekly basis, the letter of possible suspension read. In all caps bold.
Sooooooooo, were I a Committee of One, deigned to designate which college football programs would compete for the national crown, here’s what I’d do.
Immediately, I’d scrap the four team format and double the number of participants. After my accountants on call advised ESPN and the NCAA and the members of the 5 power leagues just how much their revenues would increase, there would be, I am so very sure, unanimity.
Heck, ACC’s John Swofford is already on record. The other powers that be would fall in line because of one basic tenet, the “educational needs of our student athletes” be damned.
That tenet: Money doesn’t talk, it swears. Thank you, Bob.
A few logistics would need to be worked out, but the blazers that run the bowl games will be slobbering over a chance to be a part of this immediate expansion. Everybody, especially the nation’s pigskin fans, will love it from the get go.
So, here would be my eight teams, as of this moment, and the four first round match ups.
#1 Florida State vs. #8 Marshall (Fri 12/19 Orange Bowl). Yes, the Seminoles are numero uno and shall remain so until they get beat. Which no team seems to have been able to do for the longest time. That numbskull that plays QB has never lost a game . . . ever . . . in his entire collegiate career. Florida State hasn’t lost since Lee Corso and Burt Reynolds suited up, and Bobby Bowden was still a prepster in Alabama.
And, yes, Marshall, because, under the new set up, one non Power 5 team gets in, no matter which of the big shots, no matter how deserving, has to stand outside the candy shoppe window with its face to the glass.
Since the Noles are top-ranked, they get to play closest to home, and get an extra day of rest — if they win — between Round of 8 games and the semi-final.
#4 Mississippi State vs. #5 UCLA (Sat 12/20 Cotton Bowl). I do not believe I need to justify including Cowbell State. But, if they lose to Ole Miss, there are going to be a bunch of us with egg on our face.
UCLA? The Bruins, because these are my picks. And I want geographical diversity. And I love their Cali blue and gold unis.1 And I’ve gotten fond of the PAC 12, so I want to give the league two spots.
#2 Oregon vs. #7 Ohio State (Sat 12/20 Fiesta Bowl). “Tradition” be damned, I’m not going to move the sites around so these two can satisfy their leagues’ muckety mucks and meet in Pasadena, as the Pac 12 and Big Ten are wont to do.
The Buckeyes are in, because I think they’re going to run the table. And, because the Big Ten isn’t any worse than any other confederacy not named SEC West.
Oh, yes, the Quack can wear any damn uniforms they like. Even if they’re gray. That forfeit rule stated above does not apply to Phil Knight U..
#3 Alabama vs. #6 TCU (Sat 12/20 Peach Bowl). Nick Saban’s team still is going to have to prove themselves worthy to me. So I’m making their road as rough as possible, while still acknowledging their success. But, should they again fall in the Iron Bowl, or the SEC title game, you shall be hard pressed to find any houndstooth in my playoff picture.
You simply can’t leave out a school with the nickname Horned Frogs.
The winners of the first two games would meet in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day. While the second set of successful schools would meet that day in the Rose Bowl. Jerry Jones still gets to host the title battle.
Stay tuned. This is all subject to change. Teams. Format. Sites.
* * * * *
One of the things I loathe about the whole CFP process is the weekly release of rankings by the actual selection committee.
This is poo poo kah kah.
It’s way more fun to have yours truly and the Pat Fordes of the punditocracy sharing our musings. Which are based on our own prejudices.
And, it seems like the NCAA basketball powers are thinking of ruining what is one of the great days in sports: Selection Sunday. By having the hoops committee perhaps in the future release all or part of the basketball bracket in advance of the final selection.
Say it ain’t so, Joe Lunardi.
If I were that committee of one as I mentioned up in the first portion of this Daily Double, I would also get rid of the weekly rankings.
One reveal. Period.
You think there would be some sponsors willing to fork over Super Bowl sized moolah to get in on that action, if nobody knew any of the eight or where they stood? The answer is yes.
As for the basketball gang, it would be just like them to ruin one of the great days of the season with advance previews.
That’s my Daily Double for today.
— Seedy K