The college football calendar is set in stone, the last four of the qualifiers have been established and half of the country’s coaches have been fired or left of their own accord.
And the beavers are playing in a game of bowls named after a talk show host (Jimmy Kimmel in case you didn’t know about it here)! Is it a big country or what?
Here are some thoughts on the current situation.
First of all, the playoffs. For the eighth year in a row, the committee has selected the last four in which there really are no disputes. There is no team that has a big case that it belongs there instead of No. 4 (in this case, undefeated Cincinnati). Considering the way people are screaming and drooling about whether they’re 6th seed or 7th seed in a group of 68 men’s basketball teams… I find this lack of controversy to be a nice change of pace.
Besides, how could No.5 Notre Dame scream that Cincinnati has beaten them? The Bearcats hit the Irish 24-13 on October 2. In South Bend. End of the story.
People also read …
But what if there had been a 12-team playoff? Again, there doesn’t seem to be much angst in the mix. One approach that has been seriously considered by poohbah footballers would take the conference champions in the Power 5 leagues and one from the group of 5 smaller leagues. This gives Alabama, Michigan, Utah, Pitt, Baylor and Cincinnati. Leave the last four of this year’s CFP (Bama, Michigan, Georgia and Cincy) goodbye, then take 6 more teams overall.
Again, these teams are pretty obvious. Georgia, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ole Miss and… well, No. 12 is a bit tricky with Michigan State and BYU both at 10-2. MSU beat Michigan (and lost to Purdue). BYU went 5-0 to the Pac-12, lost to Baylor (and Boise State).
I would take BYU because Michigan State lost 56-7 to Ohio State in the biggest game it has played in years. Who has the better case besides the Spartans and the Cougars? The next 2 teams on the CFP roster are the 3-losing Oregon and Iowa teams. Certainly not.
You would then take the 8 teams without a bye and match them to the first round. Then ask these 4 winners to play teams with the byes. And we move on to the semi-finals and finals.
If you wanted an 8-team playoff, you could take the Power 5 winners, Cincinnati, and then add Notre Dame and Georgia as the general teams. To the left here are Ohio State, Ole Miss, OK State, MSU, and BYU. Is there a team among these 5 that is a legitimate contender for the national title, good enough to win 3 games against the best competition in December and January. Maybe the state of Ohio. May be.
Bowling for Jimmy
Now it’s time for the bowling games. Of course, there are too many (42). But nobody really cares. ESPN loves to show them off during the holiday doldrums. And everyone with 6 wins gets a postseason game. Is it a big country or what?
84 teams from 130 FBS schools move on to a bowl game. In NCAA tournaments, 68 of about 350 hoop teams advance. Yes, I intentionally leave out ILS and CBIs.
If you look too closely at the boules list you will pass out and crash to the ground. Do not do that. But before the vision darkened, I noticed that No.12 BYU got stuck playing unranked UAB in Shreveport on December 18th.
For example, unranked WSU (which fired its coach and then lost to BYU) is playing unranked Miami (which also fired its coach) on December 31.
BYU got screwed, no doubt.
The Beavs, meanwhile, can play the first weekend of bowl season, tangling with Utah State at the all-new Rams-Chargers Stadium in Los Angeles. OSU-USU is one of 6 games on December 18, starting at 8 a.m. with Western Kentucky versus Appalachian State and ending with a 6:15 p.m. game between Louisiana, formerly known as Louisiana-Lafayatte or La-La (and at No. 23 the only non-BYU ranked team in action that day) and Marshall.
The Beavers will be the only Power 5 school in action on the first weekend, but they don’t really care about that or whether the game is named after Jimmy Kimmel (will he make the draw? Make a halftime monologue? have Jonathan Smith on his show that night?… it’s his game, he can do whatever he wants). OSU hasn’t bowled since 2013. They’ll be loaded for the bear and I expect a strong performance against the Aggies, Kimmel or not.
In the future, should we be looking for more talk show hosts to recruit six characters to sponsor a bowling alley? Absoutely! There are at least 42 of them. And if they don’t all want to play… use the figures from the game show! Or sports advertisers!
How about a Charles Barkley bowl? The city’s income streams, folks. And that’s what it is.