Trojans, Nittany Lions Light Up the Rose Bowl
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CFP or no CFP, the Granddaddy of Them All's still got it.
Because of the American penchant for only one winner when all is done and dusted, only three games are supposed to matter this time of year, and two of them have been played.
But the rectal puckering that seems to be unavoidable in those clashes squeezes out the original reason there's college football over the holidays in the first place.
It's why the Rose Bowl came into existence in the first place: the game's part of a bigger celebration.
Somehow, a week or so of that just carries over onto the field.
USC took itself out of the CFP running early in the season, picking up the dreaded second loss as part of a 1-2 start. Then, they figured it out and never looked back. The Rose Bowl was a welcome reward.
Penn State played like the champion it was. Should the Nittany Lions have gone where four of the Power Five titlists usually wind up?
Rhetorical question, really. They were still emerging from a repulsive scandal. Maybe the Selection Committee won't admit it -- and they've got numbers to hide behind -- but the Lions simply got out-branded.
Hopefully, this year's national championship game will contain all the thrills and spills of that epic 45-40 shootout last season. But not only was the Rose Bowl staging sheer entertainment, the Orange Bowl kept fans and viewers riveted to its action as Florida State and Michigan matched moments.
The CFP should expand to eight teams, and whenever that happens, it's gotta find a way to bring the bowl élan with it.
Holiday matchups are just too much fun. As they should be.