Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Saving the CFP

Somewhere out there, one presumes, someone wearing a College Football Playoff blazer (because surely there are blazers involved in this deal) is sending Matt Boermeester a flowergram this morning. Or should be, anyway.

Some gratitude surely is due the CFP to USC's placekicker, after all, for saving it from a further onslaught of second-guesssing. By nailing a 46-yard field goal as time expired, Boermeester not only ended one of the greatest Rose Bowls ever played, but put it in USC's column by a final score of 52-49. It capped an epic comeback from 17 points down by the Trojans, and by extension an equally epic choke by the Nittany Lions of Penn State.

Penn State, of course, being the champions of the Big Ten.

Penn State, of course, being the team that beat Ohio State, which didn't even get to the Big Ten championship game, but somehow was placed in the four-team playoff by those aforementioned CFP blazers.

Egg was already adorning their faces for that one, but they'd have looked really silly if Penn State, which dominated much of the second half, had hung on to win the Rose Bowl over a team many thought actually was one of the top four teams in the nation as the season ended. The  ballyhooed eye test said so, but apparently the CFP reserved the eye test only for Ohio State.

Who, of course, discredited the validity of that by getting smoked 31-0 by Clemson in the national semifinal.

People were already wondering if perhaps the actual Big Ten champion might have made a better showing. Had they won the Rose Bowl, they'd likely have been wondering even louder.

If they're not anyway.

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