Tuesday, January 13, 2015

College Football Expects... and Doesn't Expect

       If last night's College Football Playoff National Championship Game (man that's a mouthful) told us anything, it told us to never doubt Urban Meyer... ever. That much was already implied well before last night, and long may it continue. But what it has told us about the playoff itself, the Big 10, Oregon, etc. is still unclear, even though the playoff has been roundly applauded by almost everyone, which in sports (or life) never happens. So what has this season of newness and change taught us? 

      Expect there to be grousing. Not just about who is in and who is out, but about the relative strength of conferences, matchups and decisions, biases and worth... if there's an opening, someone will probably exploit it. "The Big 10 is dead, long live the B1G!" after Ohio State and Michigan State lost in September to Virginia Tech and Oregon, because the season is decided in September. "TCU should have been in", "Baylor should have been in", "How could TCU fall from 3 to 6 when they won?", etc, etc. Expect questions to be asked, blood to be boiled, talking heads to spout, because what else are we going to do after Florida State houses Weber State or some other minnow that took their $750,000 payoff and went home? 

    Expect there to be opinions on conferences that mean next to nothing. This year the Big 12 felt as if they were robbed, next year it may be the Pac 12, or the SEC, or even the Mountain West, but there will be a conference that feels hard done by because a team of theirs just missed the cut. There will also be a conference in the firing line for being "too weak". Maybe it's the ACC as Florida State reloads, or the SEC because maybe buying into that hype wasn't such a good idea after all. Someone is going to be left out because even in a 68 team tournament someone is going to be left out. 

    Expect many to trumpet an 8 team playoff because of the success of this year's... or the TV ratings bonanza that the New Year's Day 2 brought about this year (even though the playoff games are on December 31 this upcoming year and next), and that probably won't cease. It's fun water cooler talk especially when everyone seemingly watched the playoff and enjoyed it.

   Expect someone to say, almost verbatim: "(Low seeded Team X) wouldn't have won the National Title if we still had the BCS" no matter what. You could also change that to, "(Low seeded Team X) wouldn't have won the National Title if we still had the Bowl Alliance, or the Bowl Coalition, or took the AP poll to post, or pulled a team out of a hat, or asked an octopus to pick one of two beach balls, etc, etc. It's always better to decide the title on the field than in the press box, or in the memory banks of an IBM supercomputer, and it only took us until 2014 to figure that out. 

  But most of all, just expect something unexpected. Many would have thought Ohio State-Oregon was a reasonable National Title game to project before the season started, but how we got here no one would have even considered. And that's really the glory of the playoff... the glory of this new system beyond the fact that a computer doesn't tell us who is worthy for the National Title. It's that the unexpected isn't only possible, it's inevitable, and that uncertainty makes for some incredibly viewing. Maybe this year was an outlier because of the newness of the system, but 2014's scenarios may never come around again, or maybe they will with different teams with different schedules. That's why this college football season was so fun.

  No one expected Ohio State to win the National Title with a 3rd string QB. Of course not.

  Expect something wild and wacky to happen. Expect it again in 2015. 

No comments:

Post a Comment