Parity? Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in years. *Long draw from a cigarette*
It wasn’t always like this. You look like you’re too young to remember but there was a time when the college football playoff wasn’t just Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and either Notre Dame or Oklahoma.
When the playoff first strolled onto the scene fans actually had a sense of hope that their team would make it. And you know what? They were right to do so because it was chaos. Instead of two teams competing for a championship there were four! Up was down! Left was right! Anyone could make it, until of course it became clear that it would just be the same 4-5 teams for eternity.
Back in the beginning there was this school by the name of Florida State. They were the defending national champions and the only undefeated team in the regular season. They had a Heisman-winning quarterback so good that he would probably never throw 30 interceptions in a 16-game season. They walked right out that door in 2015 and no one’s seen them since. This might just be crazy talk, but sometimes I think they’ll be back, provided of course that they don’t run into a juggernaut like Jacksonville State.
There was another one, Michigan State. A one-loss Big Ten champion not named Ohio State, if you could believe that. They made it to the playoff but lost 38-0 to, you guessed it, Alabama. I couldn’t tell you exactly when that was because I’ve seen Alabama vs Clemson for the national championship so many times that the years just blend together.
What’s that? Clemson lost to Georgia, 10-3, in Week 1 and only put up 14 on Georgia Tech? If their offense is that bad then they might actually miss the playoff. That would mean someone else is going to make it, someone new.
Why don’t you sit down at this booth in this diner where I’ve been smoking indoors and tell me more. Tracy, get this man a cup of your finest coffee, one where there isn’t enough water to dilute all of the coffee grounds.
Ohio State lost at home to Oregon and both Iowa and Penn State are ranked higher than them in the AP Poll? Oregon’s actually been to the playoff before but it’s been so long that I’ll take it. Ohio State may be down right now but they could still jrun the table in the Big Ten and make it anyway. What else ya got?
Notre Dame needed to comeback in the final minutes at home against Toledo? Well they don’t really sound like National Championship contenders. What about Alabama?
They beat an 11th-ranked Florida team on the road by two points? Well that’s a loss by their standards. At the very least it shows that they’re mortal. Well if everything you’re saying is true, then college football actually sounds like it might be interesting again. It even sounds *Long draw from a cigarette* downright watchable.
I mean, there’s still every chance that this year’s playoff will end up being Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, which would only be straying from the norm ever so slightly, but it actually feels like there’s a chance that won’t happen. Imagine if we could get Oregon, Penn State, Georgia, and Cincinnati in the playoff. Not only would it be crazy, but it would be everything the playoff promised to be when it first appeared. Fan bases would be free to hope again that anyone could make it any given season.
Of course I’m only kidding about Cincinnati. The only way the selection committee would let a group-of-five team in is if they all decided to take fistfulls of hallucinogens before submitting their picks.
Correction: And earlier version incorrectly stated that Oregon was the only Pac-12 team to make the playoff when Washington did in 2016.