Washington Wins; Does Anything That's Left Matter?
Championship weekend is upon us.
The final two teams in each conference are left to do battle.
One will be crowned champ. The other gets lovely parting gifts at the (Insert Sponsor Here) Bowl.
As it turns out this season, the Big XII doesn't really need a title game.
That conference lucked into Nos 1 and 2 playing each other for the championship. Next season, they'll have an actual championship game, for whatever that's gonna be worth:
The first of the Power 5 title games was Friday’s Pac-12 Championship, where theNo 4 Washington Huskies poured the coal to the No 8 Colorado Buffaloes.
It was a close contest up until halftime, where the Huskies went into the break with a 14-7 lead. After that, it was time to bar the door, as Washington coasted to a 41-10 smackdown:
Washington’s blowout victory almost assuredly guarantees their spot in the College Football Playoffs. The question now is whether any of the other spots are up for grabs.
Unless Florida brings a congregation of real live gators to Atlanta -- with lasers attached to their heads -- Alabama looks to cruise into the bracket with the No 1 seed. At 12-0 and being the only undefeated Power 5 team entering today, even a loss in the SEC championship wouldn't dampen the Tides’s playoff odds in the slightest.
Still, I doubt Nick Saban wants to blow a chance at being the first unblemished team to win the CFB. So look for him to invent ways to yell at Lane Kiffin, just to keep the atmosphere intense.
No 2 Ohio State may be the luckiest position of all. Penn State’s victory over Michigan State saw the Buckeyes eliminated from the Big Ten Championship game. Despite this, they're apparently a lock to make the playoffs, although their second-seed position might be hurt by the outcomes of the ACC Championship game.
Still, the Buckeyes are living in what dogs leave on the sidewalk. They've got the rep, the tradition, the TV ratings ... in fact, everything but a conference title. But hey, they're Ohio State. Sorta like Liz II was born into being the queen.
In other words, suck on it.
One has to wonder what sort of cred hit the Big Ten Championship game will take as a result.
Finally, at No 3, we currently have the 11-1 Clemson Tigers.
A victory against Virginia Tech in the ACC title game would earn them a bracket spot. A loss could possibly see the Tigers joining the masses in yet another (Sponsor Name Here) Bowl.
Then again, you have to look at what’s behind them. Is the committee going to invite a likewise 10-2 and No 5 Michigan tem who sat at home during the Big Ten Championship Game?
What about putting in the winner of the Big Ten Championship game? Is the committee going to be able to justify putting in two Big Ten Teams?
Does the winner of the defacto Big XII title game between Nos 9 and 10 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have any real chance? The committee has shown a bias against Big XII teams in past selections.
The debate to expand college playoffs will likely go on for the next few years. What about expanding to six or even eight?
While you can vote for either side, you cannot deny that it’s not good for the FBS brand to have season-culminating major Championship games that ultimately don’t matter.