The College Football Playoff First Look

The College Football Playoff First Look. The committee has spoken, and we have our four team playoff.

- Basically, everything the committee did up until the final weekend didn’t matter. As we were told from the start, conference champions, conference champions, conference champions. Everything else was an exercise and a snapshot, but in the end, all that matters is who won their respective conference title games, so going forward, there we go. Win your Power 5 championship and go from there.

- So what would’ve happened if Georgia Tech, Arizona and/or Missouri had won? The Big 12 would’ve been in, and it would’ve created a different dynamic. The committee actually caught a massive break with all top six teams winning.

- TCU won’t care about the explanation, and Baylor might be ticked, but this is a new system and a new opinion and a new way of looking at things. The committee took the entire body of work after everything was settled, and it ranked the five Power 5 conference champions. Baylor won the head-to-head, won the tie-breaker, and it got the No. 5 spot. Not that being fifth in this race is a positive.

- After the Big 12 anger settles down, take a look at this playoff. Seriously? Nick Saban and the No. 1 SEC champion vs. Urban Meyer and Ohio State with a chance for the program and the Big Ten to make a massive statement? Two Heisman Trophy winners with a loaded Oregon team vs. the defending national champion coming in on a 29-game winning streak? I know, I know, TCU has a case, but c’mon. This is an amazing tournament set up.

- It would be nice if there was more transparency going forward. It’s not really fair for TCU to go through life last week knowing that it had no shot, but now we know. Win your conference title. Do that, and everything else should fall into place.

- Let’s stop this Big 12 Need A Championship Game narrative now. That had nothing to do with the Big 12 not getting in, and it had everything to do with Baylor playing SMU, Baylor and an FCSer. Baylor got in over TCU because it won the head-to-head, and Ohio State got in because it was more impressive against Wisconsin, so yeah, the conference championship mattered, but in the end, it would’ve been different if the Bears had something, anything to hold on to in non-conference play.

- Yes, a ten-team conference can have a title game. It has to petition the NCAA, but it can get one. The Pac-12 tried this before and didn’t get one, but this is a different era and a different NCAA. The Big 12 would get a title game if it really wanted one, but it probably doesn’t make economic sense in terms of ticket sales.

- Don’t let anyone tell you that style points don’t count. It would probably be a different story today if Ohio State had one 9-0 instead of 59-0.

- Yeah, Florida State was never in question. Seminole fans were worried after being put at No. 4, but there was no way, no chance the committee was ever going to leave out the only unbeaten team.

- This actually turned out to be much easier than it probably seems. TCU and Baylor are going to be extremely grouchy going forward, but in the end, neither one caught a break. Both needed Georgia Tech or Wisconsin to come through, and neither one did.

Meet The Teams

1. ALABAMA
The SEC champions closed strong blasting Missouri in dominant fashion to come into the playoff on an eight-game winning streak. While the offense exploded on the Auburn and Missouri Tigers, it sputtered and coughed in a tight battle with the LSU Tigers, needing a late rally and overtime to keep the dream alive. The O had problems in the third quarter against Mizzou, in the second half against Mississippi State, and throughout against LSU and Arkansas, but when it turned it on, it was devastating. Defensively, this isn’t the killer of past years, but that’s splitting hairs – the Tide is still second in the nation against the run.

2. OREGON

Talk about getting revenge, Oregon ripped apart Arizona in the Pac-12 championship game to prove to the world that the 34-24 Wildcat win in Eugene was an aberration. With the nation’s most efficient passing attack, and third-best offense overall, everything is humming for a team that has everything working at the right time. This team can work with power, it can handle speed, and the defense showed over the final few weeks of the year that it can shut down anyone with a run defense that turned dominant. This is no longer the tippy-tappy offense that relies on a gimmick – this team can play football, and it’s really a true national title contender.

3. FLORIDA STATE

The defending national champion has been shaky throughout the year fighting through close game after close game, and winning them all. The team knows how to turn it on when it had to, and with time off to heal up and get all the parts back in place, everything is there to repeat – or at least get back to the championship game. Is this a team that’s about to get exposed once it has to face one of the elite of the elite teams, or is this a team just waiting to explode now that it got through the regular season and is where it was expected to go after being named the preseason No. 1? With 29 wins in a row, the Seminoles know what they’re doing.

4. OHIO STATE,

The entire season has been defined by the home loss to Virginia Tech. Outside of that gaffe, everything else was fantastic, and that includes the overtime win over a mediocre Penn State team, with the game turning into a gut-check for an emerging squad that needed to be pushed a bit. There weren’t really any problems with Minnesota or Michigan – even though the games were tight for a while, and the annihilation of Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship was the statement the team needed to come up with – but Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech. That’s what the naysayers point to, but by the end of the year, Ohio State showed and proved that it’s one of the four best teams in the country – even without J.T. Barrett.

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