College playoffs won't disappoint thanks to four contenders
December 12, 2017 3:00 AM
by Jim Feist
The Final Four of the College Championship is set and we get to see a rematch of the two teams from last year’s final game as Alabama takes on Clemson in one semifinal contest with the Oklahoma-Georgia matchup in the other.
These are great matchups and I look forward to what is expected to be very hard-fought battles. Alabama is about a 2.5 point favorite over Clemson at the start of the week. I disagree with that line and actually believe Clemson to be the better team, though rankings mean little among this group.
The Crimson Tide fell short against Auburn and I’m not sure that War Eagle isn’t the best team in the nation. However, the Tigers had to run the gauntlet of Georgia and Alabama in a tight window and it was just too much for them as they fell short, 28-7, against the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship.
In any case, we have four very good teams set to compete for the title.
Some may argue Ohio State should have been in this group and not Alabama. However, when looking at the Buckeyes I see that glaring 55-24 loss to Iowa back in early November. That simply isn’t a representative game of a team that should be in the final four. We don’t see that blemish on the Crimson Tide report card.
Alabama dominated every team but Auburn and that game resulted in a 26-14 loss. While some can argue Ohio State should be in, I think the selection of Alabama is the correct one and they earned the right to be in this elite group. Be sure to take into consideration the fact that Ohio State got left out here as they play USC in the Cotton Bowl. Will they show up? That remains to be seen.
Those bubble teams will always get the argument that they should have been included. Ohio State had a great season and their fans are upset they got snubbed. Whatever happens, the team that emerges from the final four will be a worthy champion.
I’m excited by the teams we have competing down the stretch. The AFC looks to be coming down to either the Patriots or Steelers. These are arguably the two best teams in the conference. The West is a mess and the South has the Titans and Jags, but both fall just a bit short of the Pats and Steelers.
The NFC is bit more difficult as we have a much deeper field of teams and anything can happen here. The Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles look like the best right now with the LA Rams hot on their collective heels. None of these three even competed last year. In addition, we have to include Seattle and New Orleans along with Carolina as having legitimate shots.
The Saints can’t be overlooked when you consider they have world-class quarterback Drew Brees at the helm and a pair of running backs in Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. The Falcons are down this year and may just have too many teams to climb over to get back into the playoffs.
Expect an exciting finish with a number of teams that could punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. Enjoy the show!