It would be a historic and amazing moment if Alabama wins the College Football Playoff National Championship. But here’s the problem if it does.
Daily Cavalcade of Whimsy
Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …
I got the break of breaks, and now the people who put me here got their break of breaks, too.
“What are you doin’? … Huh? What are you doin’ standing here? I give you a gift, you stand there show up my pitcher?! RUN, DUMMY.”
And here’s your problem.
It’s 27-21 late in this year’s Big Ten Championship. Undefeated Wisconsin is struggling all game long against Ohio State, but it’s somehow able to hang on for dear life and crawl its way back into the game. For the second year in a row, the Badgers have a the puck on their stick with a final shot to pull off a win in Indianapolis.
The drive starts marching, but a holding penalty screws everything up. Badger QB Alex Hornibrook misfires on a few throws, a desperation 4th-and-20 pass gets picked off, and the Buckeyes survive to take the Big Ten title.
Now, let’s say Hornibrook and the Badgers came through. They went down the field, scored a touchdown, kicked the extra point, and they won 28-27 to take the championship.
And yes, we are dealing in hypotheticals here. But with what might happen on Monday night, and to show why there’s such an issue on how all this came about, this is important.
The Badgers win to finish 13-0. They might not have been the top seed in the final College Football Playoff rankings, but they’d have definitely been in.
Most likely, Clemson would’ve been No. 1, Oklahoma and Wisconsin would been 2/3 in some form on their way to the Rose Bowl, and SEC Champion Georgia would’ve been fourth in the Sugar Bowl vs. the Tigers.
Clean, easy, no complaints, no problems.
But … but … Alabama is, supposedly, one of the four best teams in college football.
But … but … Alabama is probably going to win the national championship.
Bama didn’t have a better resume than Ohio State. It didn’t look all that great against the good teams, and it got flattened by double-digits in its final game as it limped across the finish line. But the College Football Playoff committee’s “… because it’s Alabama” belief, as it turns out, appears to be dead-on right.
Then that means if Wisconsin had scored, the final outcome of the 2017 college football season would’ve been very, very wrong.
It’s like finding your soulmate in a bar, but only because you got past the bouncer after someone else – who happened to be having a better hair day – couldn’t get an Uber.
If the goal here is to put in the four best teams no matter what, and if Alabama wins on Monday night, in hindsight, it would’ve been a colossally horrible mistake if it was a Bama-UCF Peach Bowl.
So now, if you’re going to go with the Committee Got It Right take by putting in Alabama over Ohio State, then you have to admit that there’s a massive glitch that needs fixing if whatever the criteria, and that eye test, and those opinions were that put the Crimson Tide in were so perilously close to being totally blown off.
The committee got that right, but how are we 100% totally certain that UCF isn’t the best team? Or Wisconsin? Or Penn State?
It has to keep being said – the committee has to make a call. It has to do a job, and there are going to be people who have a problem with what they come up with any time there’s any sort of a debate. But that’s the whole point.
They’re totally and completely sincere in their efforts to come up with the best tournament of four teams that they can. But there has to be some sort of set criteria.
There has to be something in place that allows for teams to earn their way in, and also allow for a fail-safe just in case one of the teams that the experts and dignitaries thinks might really be the best of the bunch isn’t allowed a shot.
That Alabama was almost left out of the final four proves that.
Yeah, I’m sorry. It’s low-hanging fruit, but it’s time to stop being so obtuse.
It’s time for the eight-teamer.
Five Power Five champs, the top Group of Five champion, two wild-cards. You can earn your way in, half of the teams aren’t eliminated when the schedules come out, and there’s still the backstop to make sure a 2017 Alabama can get in.
It’s going to happen. If Alabama wins on Monday night, it proves we need to get there sooner.