Thoughts From Selection Sunday

A few months ago, many writers, schools and fans didn't think this day would come.

Thankfully, they were all wrong. The bowl season (although a bit condensed) is officially set.

Instead of writing something formal, I'm just going to give my immediate thoughts on the CFP's Final Four and the full slate of games to be played in the next couple of weeks.

First thing's first: if only the CFP had been six teams this year. I know the arguments are strong about a four-team playoff versus an eight-team one, and that deserves more discussion and debate. But for the crazy year that was 2020, had the CFP expanded to six, it would have been something amazing. If they'd have had Notre Dame and Texas A&M in one matchup this weekend, followed by Ohio State and Cincinnati in the other, with the winners facing Alabama and Clemson, respectively, this would've been a perfect setup.

I get that, again, many doubted there would even BE a playoff, much less a season. But if eight is too many, why not six?

Texas A&M has a legitimate gripe. Notre Dame got the nod over A&M because the Irish had beaten Clemson earlier in the year (without Trevor Lawrence) and beat North Carolina, giving them two ranked wins to A&M's one.

A&M's loss was to Alabama, and it was brutal, as Notre Dame's was to Clemson. But the Aggies lost early in the season, rebounded and won 7 straight. Kellen Mond was fantastic post-'Bama and the Aggies knocked off a very good Florida team along the way. Did anyone who watched Clemson's rout of the Irish really think Notre Dame was peaking, or worth the fourth playoff spot?

I get the reasoning for Notre Dame. It's solid reasoning. But if you asked me which of those two teams I wouldn't want to face right now? The answer is Texas A&M.

The most legitimate gripe goes to Army. The Black Knights went 9-2, but accepted a bid to the Independence Bowl early. Teams opting out forced the Independence Bowl to cancel and leave Army stranded.

Given COVID and the odd structure of scheduling this year, you can't take a lot of records into consideration. However, would have been nice to see one team opt in and challenge Army anywhere ... or seen South Carolina, who has a lame duck coaching situation, replaced with Army. But what's done is done. Kudos to the Black Knights for a great season and the Commander-in-Chief's trophy.

The sneaky good, under-the-radar bowl games are... The Cure Bowl should be a lot of fun to watch. Liberty and Coastal Carolina were supposed to play earlier in the season, but COVID issues at Liberty cancelled the game, which then had Coastal and BYU setting up a game in quick time that ended in a classic. Love the chess match between Hugh Freeze and Jamey Chadwell. I'm also intrigued by the Boca Raton Bowl, as BYU goes down to Florida to take on UCF. UCF flew under the radar this season as they went 6-3, but that offense is still a beast and BYU will be a good challenge for them.

The not so sneaky, potentially brutal game would be... the "Rose Bowl" at Jerry World. Notre Dame fell victim to an offensive machine in a Trevor Lawrence-powered Clemson. Now they have to face Alabama and that juggernaut of an offense? Yikes.

The game worth watching the sidelines is in Orlando. Pat Fitzgerald is apparently the target of many an NFL franchise. Kevin Steele is the interim trying to coach his way into a permanent position at Auburn. How much do the headlines off-the-field affect the game on the field? This has a lot of intrigue.

The game most likely to go to overtime? I'll probably be way off on this, but Florida and Oklahoma just has the makings of an offensive shootout to me ... which would be really, really fun to watch.

The national championship game will feature Alabama and Clemson. Yawn. Again. Can't blame either program for continuing to excel on the field, but I don't see Notre Dame stopping Alabama's offense, especially all game long. As for Clemson, they always find a way. Ohio State will be looking for revenge, but I think last year's Buckeye team was better equipped to take out Clemson than this year's version.

Leave a Comment

Featured Site