LSU didn’t end Alabama’s College Football Playoff hopes, and the most important position, in the latest Cavalcade of Whimsy.
Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …
There was about to be a moment of relief after an ugly run of bad columns. This one was up by 25 going into the final quarter, and then Illinois scored four touchdowns to send it into a deeper shame-spiral. There was joyful hopping.
“How do you shoot the Devil in the back? What if you miss?”
(Before we get started, and knowing your blood is about to boil, I do have the answer to all of this in a later blurb.)
Seriously, America? You think LSU just killed the elephant?
You actually think Alabama is out of the College Football Playoff now? Have you learned absolutely nothing over the last ten years of college football?
You might not like it, and you might deny it, and you might try to wish it all away, but you also know exactly how this is going to turn out.
You know who else knows? Nick Saban.
There’s a reason he was so chilaxed after his defense got embarrassingly pantsed for the second time in ten months by a team with elite offensive talent. He has seen it all before.
Of all programs, LSU should (bleep)ing know better than to be pouring Gatorade, doing victory laps, and being hailed at home coming off the plane as if it’s all over.
It was over in 2011.
LSU went on the road and beat Alabama 9-6, and that was that.
Bama fell to third in the BCS standings, and Oklahoma State moved up to No. 2 as it crushed and killed everything in its path. And then came that fateful Friday night at Iowa State with a missed Cowboy field goal that really did look good, bad throws by Brandon Weeden, and a stunning loss that led to the big debate.
You can’t have a team that didn’t win its own division, much less its own conference, play in a rematch for the BCS Championship after losing the first time around at home. It’s wrong, it’s unconscionable, it’s not fair to the college football season, it’s …
Alabama 21, LSU 0. 2011 National Champion Alabama.
It was over in 2012.
Johnny Manziel walked into Tuscaloosa and left with a Heisman, along with a 29-24 win over the 9-0 No. 1 Tide. That was it. Bama blew it. You can’t lose that late in the season at home and end up in the national title.
The Tide fell to fourth in the BCS Standings, and then …
No. 1 Kansas State was exposed in a blowout loss at Baylor, a monster No. 2 Oregon team blew it in a 17-14 home loss to Stanford, Notre Dame won out, Bama moved back up to No. 2, and …
Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14. 2012 National Champion Alabama.
I’m old enough to remember 2017.
Bama beat a whole lot of no one – sound familiar? – lost the regular-season finale to Auburn, didn’t win its own division, didn’t win its own conference, and yada, yada, yada, it got the massive break of a two-loss Ohio State stopping a 12-0 Wisconsin on a late drive in the Big Ten Championship.
Bama slipped into the College Football Playoff as the No. 4 seed, destroyed Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, got to Atlanta, and …
Alabama 26, Georgia 23. 2017 National Champion Alabama.
I have screamed, yelled, bitched, whined, prayed, and pleaded my case for years and years and years that a team that can’t win its own division shouldn’t be able to win the national title. I’d love absolutely nothing more than a College Football Playoff with four fresh new schools – say, LSU, Minnesota, Baylor, Utah – in the mix.
But that’s not how the College Football Playoff works.
It’s about who the committee thinks the four best teams are, and as much as we all might not like it – especially with just one decent win on the slate – yeah, that’s Alabama.
If he committee liked the Tide enough to put them No. 3 in the first round of rankings, it’s not going to have a whole slew of issues at the end of the season in the whole four-best-team argument if they win out – again, more on that in a moment.
Like it or not, no matter how the sausage was made, Bama put up 41 points. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 418 yards and four scores on a bum ankle – get ready for that to be a talking point in a few weeks – Najee Harris ran for 146 yards and scored twice, and in the end, the team looked the part of one of the four best teams – at least offensively. It might not be one of the three best, but fourth?
Who’s that fourth team – at least in the eyes of the CFP committee – if it’s not Bama?
It’s been cute and all, but Minnesota and Baylor aren’t getting into the College Football Playoff.
Oregon? Lost to Auburn. If Bama beats Auburn at Auburn, there goes that.
I actually think Utah could do some damage in the tournament, but it has to get there first, and the loss to USC doesn’t help.
Who’s got the chops to finish out the rest of the way without another loss?
Oklahoma? Yeeesh. Georgia? More than you think (again, give me a moment). Penn State? Intriguing (also, it’s coming in a second), but probably not considering it lost to Minnesota and Bama lost to the No. 2-soon-to-be-No. 1 team.
So who? Who’s that fourth team? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg?
LSU, next time you kill something, make sure it stays dead.
Now, I know exactly what’s coming next, because, of course …