2022 NCAA Football Thread

Yeah, I picked the wrong time slot to skip, with both Alabama and Clemson falling in one night. Tennessee-Georgia was a fairly boring game to watch.

Clemson lost 35-14 to the same Notre Dame team that lost to Ohio State 21-10, and sure it's a different point in the season, but at this point I'd have to think Ohio State has the inside track over Clemson even if they lose to Michigan by a non-blowout score (assuming they don't trip up against another team in the interim). And really I think it's only fair to say we played bad by our standards for the past two weeks. The Iowa game didn't start at 60 mph, and the commentators loved talking up the Iowa defense, but it wound up being 54-10. I'll take scoring 54 points against Iowa any year.

Ole Miss might still have a shot, if they get a W against Alabama next week, they'll be in a good position to finish 11-1 and skip the SEC title game. They'd need some PAC-12 or TCU chaos, but might not be out.

Maybe North Carolina too? They lost to Notre Dame, but by less than Clemson did, and if they keep walking the tightrope will have a chance to beat Clemson. Would be wild for them to climb from #17 to #4, but in 2014 Ohio State started at #16 in the initial CFP poll and made it to #4. Again they'd need help, probably a lot, but probably have at least as good of a shot as Clemson at this point.

And yeah, I wasn't impressed with Georgia's offense, but with their defense. But that's been Georgia's MO for years, good enough offense plus great defense = winning games. Their offense has been better this year, but you still have to crack that defense a few times to have a chance.


Edit: On further thought, of the little info we have on upper-tier teams from conferences playing each other, I think one of the few things we can take away with reasonable certainty is that the ACC is noticeably weaker than the Big Ten, via the Notre Dame test. So even a 12-1 UNC would be a tough team to pick, including over an 11-1 Michigan or Ohio State.

We also know that Georgia destroyed Oregon, and that Alabama just barely got past Texas, suggesting that a good-but-not-top-of-the-league Big Twelve team may be competitive with a good-but-not-top-of-the-league SEC team.

I'm having a hard time remembering any other top-flight inter-conference games, although USC does play Notre Dame for their last regular-season game, so that should provide some illumination on the relative strengths of the PAC-12, ACC, and Big Ten.

As a fan, I wish there were fewer intra-conference games and more intra-conference ones. Other than the ACC, all the Power 5 conferences play 9 intra-conference games and that makes it hard to tell who's competitive across conferences. Michigan didn't play anyone good outside the Big Ten this year, for example. One more game out-of-conference could significantly increase the chances of having a clue as to the relative strength of conferences before bowl games.

Not that this is likely to happen with the conferences aiming to grow bigger and bigger, but one can wish...
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Idk it's not usually very helpful to compare scores like that. Like the Tennessee team that squeaked past Alabama torched the LSU team that just beat Alabama, as an immediate example. And remember that's an LSU team that lost to an FSU team that has lost to every other decent team they've played. It's probably easier to find comparative scores that don't make sense than do, really. Part of that is the 'any given Saturday' effect, but it probably has more to do with how teams match up against each other. It's one of the many reasons I prefer the current and older limited postseason than the coming 'hey let's just let everyone in and see what happens' model. The strength of a team is better determined over the course of a season than in one game at the end that arbitrarily 'matters' . . .

But in happier news, the coming inclusive model should result in more inter-conference play. P5vP5 is always going to draw more viewers, and therefore more money. The reason teams don't do it now is bc you really only have one loss to play with under the current system. The twelve team model will see two and three loss teams 'earning' their way into the postseason, so they will be able to afford to take more risks with their ooc scheduling . . .
A fun weekend in college football.

Georgia beat Kentucky 16-6. That Bulldog defense proved clutch once more.

Ohio State beat Maryland 43-30, but it was a 6 point game and Maryland had the ball until the last 9 seconds.

Michigan came back to beat Illinois 19-17, but trailed until the last 9 seconds.

TCU won against Baylor 29-28 with a walk-off field goal as time expired.

Tennessee got destroyed by South Carolina 63-38.

USC hung on against UCLA 48-45.

I saw parts or all of all of the above except Georgia-Kentucky. TCU-Baylor was a lot of fun to watch, especially rooting for TCU with that walk-off field goal. Gutsy move running it with 22 seconds left, lots of trust in the kicker, and true grit by Duggan and the team coming back in those last few minutes. It was the first I'd really watched TCU, made me wish I'd been watching them all year as all of those close games must have made for a lot of fun football.

Illinois played a good game too, Michigan didn't get a TD after their first possession, and the Fighting Illini fought till the end. Great second half by the RB wearing #2, Chase Brown. Would've been happy to see the Wolverines knocked off but I won't complain if the result is they lose next week instead.

The close game between Ohio State and Maryland was not quite as fun since I cared more about who won, but man, Tagovailoa played a great game. Throwing really well all night, and if OSU's third-string RB Hayden hadn't caught a spark in the second half, Maryland could have had it. One longer-term takeaway is Hayden is already quite good as a true freshman; Ohio State will have a good running back even if neither of their top two are available against Michigan or later in the season, as well as next year.

I don't know what happened to Tennessee's offense, but Rattler for South Carolina was playing just as good if not better than Tagovailoa. They blew it so wide open it became a foregone conclusion that Tennessee would lose. I'm glad I never bought into the full Tennessee hype, and never put them above #4.


Not as much drama with LSU-UAB, which I caught parts of between other games. UAB hung with them for 20 minutes or so.

UNC and Ole Miss fell, but no drama with Clemson or Alabama, not that anyone expected any from Miami or Austin Peay.

So, who's left? In order of who I'd pick for the CFP.

#1 Georgia
#2 Ohio State
#3 Michigan
#4 TCU
#5 USC
#6 Clemson
#7 LSU
#8 Alabama
#9 Utah/Oregon (depending on the outcome)
#10 Penn State

With the dashed line indicating who I think has a chance, provided there isn't lots of chaos. I can't really see how you can pick a two-loss non-conference champion without that lots of chaos, which eliminates Bama and Penn State. LSU obviously has to beat Georgia to claim a spot, and even then I'm not sure it's a sure thing. Assuming that doesn't happen, I'd pick USC over Clemson if both win out, mainly for strength of schedule by the end of the season, and a less bad loss. Though depending on how things play out the next two weeks, I still see a chance for both of the top Big Ten teams making it. If TCU and USC lose, and Georgia wins, I could see Georgia 1, Big Ten Winner 2, Clemson 3, Big Ten Non-Winner in Close Game 4.

I've moved Ohio State back to the #2 spot after watching both teams this week. It could go either way, but overall Ohio State seems to have more depth, and at this point in the season that matters. Michigan needs Corum to be back and healthy, Ohio State can gash you at RB even with third-stringer Hayden.

Regardless, I'll be rooting for South Carolina next week. Their fans want Clemson. I want to see Clemson lose. So go South Carolina!
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We've never had a year when four teams earned their way into the playoffs, this might be the first year when no one does ; p

Vandy, Missouri, and Northern Illinois all scored more against Kentucky than UGA did. Embarrassing. Michigan and TCU both needed last minute come from behind scores to prevent disaster and Ohio State needed a scoop and score to secure a win v a Maryland team QB'd by a guy who couldn't win the job at Alabama despite being Tua's brother and somehow managed to outplay OSU's heisman candidate anyway. Likewise UNC and Tennessee choked away any hope they had v vastly inferior opponents . . .

All that said, you're right, it was a brilliant day of football from a viewer's standpoint. Going in I was hoping for something out of USC/UCLA but I got multiple great games in every time slot. So without a dog in the fight, I was happy . . .

I wouldn't worry too much about Clemson. There is no scenario where they have a quality win and that is something the committee seems to value over losses or even conference titles. At this point I'd say UGA's in unless they lose both GaTech and LSU, The Ohio State/Michigan winner is in unless they somehow lose the conference title game and maybe even then. Ohio State is in as a loser to Michigan regardless. TCU is in if they win out as is USC, who would take Michigan's spot or TCU's spot if Michigan beats Ohio State and wins the Big Ten . . .

The only thing that can change all of that is if LSU is ten points better than Kentucky and beats UGA. I don't think we've ever had a two-loss playoff team, but a two-loss SEC champ with wins over Alabama and UGA would def be in. Ohio State/Michigan Big Ten champ would also be in at that point, and then it would kind of be a free for all among UGA, Michigan/Ohio State loser, USC, TCU, etc. It would get messy . . .

Big picture there are four undefeated teams, one of whom is guaranteed a loss, and only two one-loss teams. So only six teams in consideration before things get really screwed up . . .

This brings me to another thing worth thinking about as the season draws to a close and we move into a twelve team model: What is the point of a conference championship, and how will it be determined? Conference champions will have guaranteed berths in the new model, so you'd like to ensure that the best team from each conference advances. As the conferences expand it may not even be possible to have a round robin within divisions. If you move to divisionless play you risk situations where your two best teams play each other twice in two consecutive weeks or where you have multi-team ties with no head-to-head resolution and limited common opponents. The elimination of the conference championship game was one of the SEC's big objections to an expanded playoff, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of meaningful reason to retain it either, if we're going to ignore a team's regular season performance once they make the twelve-team cut . . .
Another week of good games, 4 of the top 10 fell, with only 1/10 being guaranteed.

Ohio State/Michigan was good for the first half, then not so much by the end. In a normal year, I'd say OSU is out after that, but as you mentioned there were only six one-loss teams going in to the week, and one of those (Clemson) lost. Yay for South Carolina! Had I known how Ohio State/Michigan was going to end I would have watched that one instead, oh well, can't predict every game that will end close.

Michigan will be #2 next week, and has the misfortune of facing unranked Purdue in the Big Ten Championship. Purdue has beaten 9 teams ranked #2 or higher while being unranked, more than twice as many as any other team, including #2 Iowa in 2021 and #2 Ohio State in 2018. The Wolverines should make sure they aren't thinking too much about the College Football Playoff next Saturday. Although even if they are thinking ahead and lose, they should still be in, particularly if they lose while still lacking Corum after winning without Corum today.

So right now it's:

UGA - In regardless
Michigan - In pretty much regardless
TCU - Still has to beat Kansas State again because they can't get no respect
USC - Has to beat Utah or Oregon (pending the Washington/Washington State result)

That said, if those four win next week, they're the final four. USC only lost by one to Utah and if Washington wins, they'll have a chance to avenge that loss, so if that happens I'd say we have four teams that have all earned their spot.

If TCU or USC loses, most likely Ohio State gets in and gets a chance to prove it had one bad half today after one good half. TCU could still make a case for themselves if they lose close, particularly since they already beat K-State once and OSU lost not-close, but realistically the Committee is unlikely to pick a 1-loss Big Twelve team over a one loss Big Ten or SEC team.

If they both lose, Alabama and the 4th? That's probably what the Committee would do. But TCU could make a good case there too, and USC could argue that their closes losses are also quality losses. I'd probably favor TCU as the one-loss team though, and also keeping some conference diversity in the picture. It wouldn't really be good for NCAA football two have two Big Ten teams and two SEC teams and no one else, especially if a one-loss Big Twelve team got snubbed by a two-loss SEC team.

Beavers over Ducks was also a good game, and I wasn't watching LSU-A&M, but I'm kind of glad we don't have to worry about the Committee picking LSU anymore.

Maybe it will be good to have a larger playoff. It might work out perfectly with four zero-or-one-loss teams this year, or it might be chaos. But I've spent a lot of time analyzing what the Committee is likely to pick, and it'll be nice not to have to psychoanalyze the Committee as much in a system where a team with a chance won't be left out.
Yeah I wouldn't have believed it possible going into today but rn Ohio State is on the outside looking in. And I wouldn't be surprised if Michigan got some first place consideration over UGA after beating the number two team on the road in such dominating fashion, and without their offensive star. Probably a better chance of that if UGA had continued their offensive struggles of the past few weeks against GT today tho . . .

A disappointing Alabama season ends with a win over Auburn, basically a repeat of 2019 with ten wins and two conference losses -- LSU and Auburn then, LSU and Tennessee now. But even with the Auburn win this year feels worse. We weren't beating that 2019 LSU team in the playoffs anyway, but this year there really isn't a dominant world beater out there so it feels more like opportunities lost . . .

After that I guess A&M over LSU is the biggest shocker but I don't think LSU had any real shot at knocking off UGA or maybe even getting in if they did so not much practical effect there. Kind of feel the same way about the Clemson and Oregon losses, they weren't getting in anyway so wc . . ?

I do not believe Alabama or anyone else has a chance, nor should they. So the only teams in consideration now are the four potential conference champions and Ohio State . . .

Figure the lines on the title games as Michigan as a three touchdown favorite v Purdue and UGA as at least a TD favorite v LSU, with TCU/KState and USC/Utah being much closer. If the contenders all win then that's it, Ohio State gets left out. But it's important to note that every 'non-contender' in those games has three losses now, so none of them are getting in if they win. Ohio State's best chance is for Utah to win, that gives USC two losses and they're not a conference champion either, so it would be easy to pick Ohio State over them then. If TCU loses that's a closer case as it's two one-loss non-champions, but the tv money should push Ohio State in easily there as well. UGA losing probably doesn't help Ohio State too much as they'd prob still have a resume edge, tv would likely want both the SEC and Big Ten represented over two Big Ten teams and from a competitive standpoint it would be preferable not to force Michigan to potentially have to beat Ohio State twice. If Michigan loses you'd have to think the head-to-head would still put them in over Ohio State, but I suppose tv would still give Ohio State a chance there as well . . .

So what all that means for the top four is if USC wins they're in and if they lose they're out. If TCU loses they need USC to lose or they're out. Michigan can lose and they're still in unless they get jobbed, probably the same for UGA . . .

If the top four do all win this might be the most deserving four we've ever had, which makes me think it isn't going to happen. We'd have three undefeated conference champions and a one-loss champion that had redeemed that one-point regular season loss in their conference title game. USC would still be the 'undeserving fourth' we've always had, but not by near the margin that we usually see. As far as 'teams with a chance' being left out, no teams have been left out. We all had our chances and UGA, Michigan, TCU and USC capitalized while others like Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Notre Dame and all the others didn't. Giving all those teams a mulligan now is insulting to the teams that got the job done when they had their opportunities, and will dilute both the legitimacy of the playoff and the meaningfulness of those regular season games . . .

In other news someone irl pointed out why I might be so down on everyone this year and it could be bc for the past three or maybe even four years our national champion team has been of the 'all time great' variety. By definition, that can't happen every year. Some years there just isn't going to be a truly exceptional team, but there is going to be a team that takes advantage of their opportunities and wins the national title anyway, and they will be just as deserving as all those 'better' teams that came before them, so that has really helped me improve my outlook as we move into the postseason . . .

This also means that as NIL and transfers continue to spread the best players out over more teams -- which is a good thing from a competition standpoint -- we're likely to see fewer and fewer of the superteams we've enjoyed these past few years, so it's best to get used to it ;)
I will like expanded playoffs when they get here, even if it unfortunately means teams like Alabama, in a year like this, would still be in the playoffs, instead of actually be excluded. Always felt it odd they take practically a whole month off before the playoff/bowl games, of course there was room in the schedule to add games! After playoff expansion, then 'no more room on schedule' is a more reasonable argument.

Before the expanded playoffs announced, there were many callers on sports talk radio that felt "You win your conference championship you should be in the playoffs" (regardless of how 'weak' the conference is viewed). Do these people realize how many conferences there are? 10. Even with the expansion of playoffs to twelve teams, they are not going to satisfy this desire, because only like 6 of those playoff spots are saved for conference champions. Even if they went to 16 teams I don't think they'd want to give all conferences a spot ("Let's follow the money and throw in more SEC/Big Ten teams in there"). You'd have to go to 32 teams.....unrealistic for football.
I always figured part of why they don't play the "big" bowls until later is so the players have time to rest and recover from any injuries before then. Nowadays with players skipping bowls in favor of the draft, you don't necessarily wind up with the "best version" of teams even with that time to heal up, but it seemed to make sense at one point in time.

It feels like an equally disappointing season for Ohio State as last year, even though it's technically better (11-1 instead of 10-2). Mainly because we still lost the most important game of the year, and actually lost it by a somewhat larger margin than last year. It's hard to get excited about the postseason after ending the regular season on that note, more so than it would be if we'd lost to, say, Notre Dame, Penn State, or Maryland.

Though in part it's also disappointing because for the first 10 weeks, it looked like this could be The Team. A lot of years recently the defense has been mediocre and the offense great, this year it felt like both were solid, until J.J. McCarthy figured out how to find open receivers deep.

So in the end, I won't be disappointed if the top 4 win out and Ohio State plays on New Year's Day, they will be deserving and I never was a fan of the New Year's Eve semifinals, nor the Monday night championship, and rarely watch them if Ohio State isn't involved, though I'll watch other bowl games and the New Year's Six. If they do wind up expanding things, hopefully they finally move the playoff schedules to not be on 12/31 or Mondays, who thought that was a better idea than playing on Saturdays like during the regular season?

This weekend, I'll be rooting for New Mexico State to reach 6-6 with a win over Valparaiso. Technically it won't count towards bowl eligibility and they'll need a waiver (for two of their potential wins being against FCS schools), but much like Kansas it's nice to root for the underdog to reach a bowl game for a change.
I wouldn't be too dejected if I was an Ohio State fan. I'd be very surprised if both USC and TCU win this weekend so I expect Ohio State to still make the playoffs. I'm pulling for both TCU and USC to lose just to see what the committee would do. The 'right' answer at that point would be to put Ohio State and TCU in, but I'd be curious to what they would actually do. What I'm really pulling for is them both to win so that the four most deserving teams actually make the playoffs, but we all know that's never going to happen . . .

I believe they actually have abandoned the NYE semis except for when NYE is on a Saturday, as it is this year. For the final I believe they like Monday for ratings, and I don't have a problem with it. If they stuck to Saturdays and tried to maintain the current break between semis and final being more than one week, they'd be competing with the NFL playoffs for viewers and that's a fight they'd lose . . .
I'm pulling for both TCU and USC to lose just to see what the committee would do. The 'right' answer at that point would be to put Ohio State and TCU in, but I'd be curious to what they would actually do.

Good god, no. I wouldn't put it past the committee to sneak in Alabama if TCU and USC both lose. (if TCU loses by more than a last second field goal).
That's what I'm curious about. It's just hard to see them putting a two-loss in over a one-loss, esp when that one loss is in a conference title game the two-loss didn't have to play in . . .
Those two losses were by a total of four points. If TCU loses big, then what?

I dont trust 'the committee' since several years ago they put in a team (maybe it was ohio state, cant remember) that shouldn't have been there because "considering their resume from previous years"...which was silly as previous years should have no bearing on current year.
And thusly is my dream of having four almost-deserving teams in the playoffs for the first time dashed. And now we only get one more try before we just start letting everyone in in 2024 : (
Turned on Utah-USC at halftime with it tied 17-17, and in the second half Utah did like Michigan and dominated. A major factor being Caleb Williams being hurt, but USC's defense couldn't tackle Utah to save their life, and USC's offensive line was letting Utah through all the time, so I wouldn't be surprised if Utah would have won even if Williams had been healthy the whole game.

So that's 1/4 top teams defeated. Ohio State's back in.

I'm rooting for the Horned Frogs just because they're the underdogs and no one ever respects the Big Twelve, especially the Committee, though to be fair Oklahoma hasn't done the Big Twelve any favors when they have been picked.

But I'm also rooting for the Spoilermakers to pull off another Top 5 upset, in part because of chaos and in part because they're playing that team up north. Would the Committee pick Alabama, who lost twice to teams in the top 10 (one still there, the other in the top 15), over Michigan, if Michigan lost to unranked Purdue? The 'right' choice would be to still pick Michigan, probably #4, but they might not, especially if Purdue builds up a head of steam and wins by more than one score. And if LSU somehow wins against Georgia, that muddies the waters even more by making Alabama's weaker loss less bad.

I believe they actually have abandoned the NYE semis except for when NYE is on a Saturday, as it is this year. For the final I believe they like Monday for ratings, and I don't have a problem with it. If they stuck to Saturdays and tried to maintain the current break between semis and final being more than one week, they'd be competing with the NFL playoffs for viewers and that's a fight they'd lose . . .
Oh, good to know they finally abandoned the NYE semis, I hadn't realized it was a Saturday this year.

The thing I don't like about the Monday finals is I'm usually tired after work on Mondays, more so than most days due to staying up later on the weekends, and the games don't start until 8 PM, and don't end until close to midnight, sometimes after. I guess fewer people go out on Mondays so there's more of a at-home audience, but if I don't care that much about who wins, I'd usually rather just go to sleep earlier and set myself up for a better Tuesday.

If I lived in the Mountain or Pacific time zones, I probably wouldn't mind it, and I'd mind it less if I were in Central.

You're probably right that competing against the NFL wouldn't be a great idea in most of the country, but as an Ohioan it's hard to reconcile that with what I see year to year. Now they might lose a few viewers thanks to Joe Burrow, but for the vast majority of my life the only pro football fans in Ohio who would be likely to watch their team in January over the BCS Championship would be the Steelers fans.

(Pro football is such a non-issue here that I also didn't realize the pros played on Saturdays in the playoffs, I thought they kept playing on Sundays like they usually do. I suppose if the pros play on Saturdays in January, I'd still prefer college be on Sunday to Monday... but I also realize they'll probably never change, and I'll probably keep complaining about it just like most of my other college football fan friends in the eastern time zone until time immemorial)
Fun Big Twelve championship game to watch, but TCU got robbed after another great 4th quarter comeback. Spotted at the 3/4 yard line instead of 1/4, and got called down short on the next play when Miller ran what appeared to be enough, and would have been easily had it started half a yard closer. Should've been 35-28 TCU halfway through overtime.

I'll be pulling for them to stay in the top 4, they looked a whole lot better than USC. Wouldn't be displeased to see Duggan selected for the Heisman either, he was clearly the most outstanding player in both of the TCU games I watched this year, and I can't think of another game I watched this year where any one player played a more outstanding game than he did in those two games. He's the guy I'd want leading my team as captain in a tight late-game postseason situation. Sure, C.J. Stroud is really good and can throw a dime, but Duggan is far tougher and more experienced in difficult situations, and even though Stroud won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, I'd probably go with Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR) as Ohio State's most outstanding offensive player.
Ugh, I give up. Just another year where I have to hope the unqualified teams don't spoil the championship game we deserve . . .

My soccer teams lost too. Worst weekend ever ; p
Purdue is playing well! Only down by one at the half! There could be more chaos! Could TCU move up to #2? I don't know if anyone ranked #3 has ever lost and moved up in the rankings, but if Purdue wins, I don't know what else you could do.

Or they could just cancel the playoffs and give the trophy to Georgia, because we all know they're going to win it anyway no matter who their opponents are.

USA and... Australia? I only really follow England in the World Cup, and even then casually.


Halftime update: I'm not buying Coach Saban's lobbying for Alabama as #4, but he did make an interesting point about bowl games having lost some luster since the expansion to a 4-team playoff. Ohio State had its top two wide receivers skip the Rose Bowl last year, their QB has said he might not play if it isn't a playoff game... the bowls for the #3-#8/#10 teams have fell in prestige, with more players skipping them in recent years. So while I've been lukewarm about expanding to twelve teams, I see the point that players for those #5-#12 teams would have more reason to play, and the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Cotton Bowls would all be relevant again. Still not sure 12 teams is better than 8 (you'd have to have even more playoff games), but it's a more appealing argument than just, "more teams would have a chance" (when there aren't always even 4 teams who are real title contenders), or "it will bring in more money".
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Can't just give it to Georgia, Michigan is also an undefeated p5 champ and has earned the right to play them for the title. I'm just hoping that's what we get instead of an Ohio State/Michigan rematch, which would be reminiscent of 2011 Alabama/LSU . . .

I'm fine with players skipping bowl games, gives you a jump on what kind of team you're going to have next year and where you might want to look for parts in the portal. The extra practice for next season was always one of the major advantages of bowl eligibility anyway . . .
I know, Georgia has just looked so dominant. But having seen a few Michigan games now, they are really good at outlasting teams and wearing them down in the second half, so maybe they could do that against Georgia, too.

All in all, I think the Committee got it right. Georgia/Michigan was an easy 1-2, and TCU seems more likely to pull off an upset than Ohio State, since we haven't seen TCU against either of the top two and therefore they haven't had an embarrassing loss against either of them. And that leaves the other one-loss team for fourth place.
Idk UGA has def had some flaws, lots of lazy games, but they certainly did look the part last night v LSU . . .

With only two teams earning their way in I'm not sure it was possible for the committee to get it 'right', but I think they made the best choices they could given the teams they had to choose from. UGA and Michigan were obvious. TCU was the next best choice with an undefeated regular season and their only loss coming in an OT conference title game most of the other contenders for the last two spots didn't have to play in. To my mind Ohio State's only real competition for the fourth spot would be USC. Both had one regular season loss, USC's by one point to the eventual conference champ, Ohio State's a blowout loss to their rival and also conference champ Michigan. Ohio State's case also suffers a little from Corum's limited availability in that game given how central he was to Michigan's success all season. But for me the tipping point was that USC lost to the same team twice. While one was in a conference title game that Ohio State didn't have to play, it's so hard to beat the same team twice -- which is also the big reason I don't think it's fair to set Michigan against Ohio State again in the playoffs -- Utah managing it over USC really diminishes USC's value in my eyes . . .

Meanwhile, Alabama gets Big XII champ KState, which I'll take. Should be a nice matchup and I even like the timeslot, early kick on NYE. Tennessee/Clemson should also be fun, but I feel bad for USC getting Tulane. Somebody has to get that token G5 team every year, and every year I'll feel bad for them. Nothing to gain in a win, only a chance to be embarrassed if they lose. It is nice for Tulane to get the chance on the big stage tho . . .

Locally the G5 Alabama schools have found nice spots. UAB to a meaningless game but it's in the Bahamas so I know they're not complaining. Sunbelt champ Troy gets CUSA champ UTSA so that will be fun. No word yet on where South Alabama might end up. The Bham bowl is rumored to be Coastal Carolina v ECU, which might be fun if I was the sort of person who was inclined to go to a bowl game on the Monday after Christmas, but I'm not ; p
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