College Football

Forget the games, how about the debates? – Conference Championship Week Recap

We all knew this was coming.  Once the games were over, the debates would really begin.  To be honest, they started well before halftime of the primetime games and did not let up until Selection Sunday was complete.  I think there are still some people debating but let’s get to the recap first before we discuss that.

  • Thank God Western Michigan took care of business in the MAC Championship game although it wasn’t easy. They didn’t exactly blow Ohio out of the water and the Fighting Soliches kept it close all game.  But with the WMU win, it pretty much guaranteed they would be rowing their boat to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl.
  • Wow did this one ever get out of hand fast. Washington put the boots to Colorado and to say it wasn’t even close was an understatement.  The Huskies won in every facet of the game making it almost impossible for them to be left out of the College Football Playoff.
  • Temple beat Navy to win the AAC Championship. That was the final nail in Navy’s New Year’s Six chances and saved a lot of us from potential bowl selection chaos.  We later found out that the chaos would have been mitigated by holding the Armed Forces Bowl for Western Michigan (bowl tie-ins be damned) if Navy had a shot to finish higher up the rankings than the Broncos.  That didn’t happen and we are all kind of grateful for it, no offense to the Naval Academy.  Also, Matt Rhule has put himself in the coaching carousel conversation with what he has done at Temple.  Don’t be surprised if he moves up the chain to a bigger Power Five school.
  • Western Kentucky and Louisiana Tech played some fun defense-optional football in the Conference USA Championship. In the end, the Hilltoppers would win 58-44 to claim the conference title.  It was the first conference title game in FBS history to hit triple digits in points.  If it hadn’t been for WKU’s loss to Vandy earlier in the season, the Hilltoppers would have at least been in the conversation for the New Year’s Six spot going into this weekend.  Also, it looks like their coach is now a hot commodity and he is almost certainly gone from Bowling Green (not the school) soon.
  • Bedlam! It always stirs up some emotion for sure and is usually for something important in the Big XII.  This was for the Big XII championship so it was big.  The winner would go to the Sugar Bowl.  That team ended up being Oklahoma who won fairly easily over Mullets McQueen and his merry band of Cowboys.
  • Georgia Southern cost Troy a share of the Sun Belt crown (which, incidentally, means sweet fuck all anyways). Then afterwards, the GaSo brass told everyone that Tyson Summers would, in fact, be back for next season.  It’s his first year and they have to tell everyone explicitly that he will be back?  Welcome to the hot seat Tyson.
  • The Bama Beatdown Bowl went exactly as we expected with Alabama laying the smackdown on Florida. It was never in doubt and to be honest, got kind of boring.  By around 5:00, people were clamoring for the primetime games to begin.
  • The Mountain West Championship was played in Laramie and was obviously cold. But San Diego State weathered the weather and won the conference title.  Doesn’t take away from the year Craig Bohl had at Wyoming.  Stellar season for a team that no one expected to do much.
  • Plucky Virginia Tech just wouldn’t go away. Every time Clemson took a two-score lead, the Hokies would storm back and make it close again.  Many were almost hoping for Clemson to do some form of Clemsoning and blow the game and cause MASS CHAOS to the College Football Playoff.  Alas, the Tigers won the game, the conference, and their spot in the CFP.
  • It took almost ten-and-a-half hours, but we FINALLY got a really good game. The Big Ten Championship came down to the wire and, frankly, saved the day since it was looking as bad as the New Year’s Six set of bowls last season.  God awful.  Penn State held on to beat Wisconsin for their first Big Ten Championship since they shared with Ohio State in 2008 and only their second outright Big Ten title.

And now the debates began.  My god it got heated.  We all knew Bama was in at #1.  After that it was a shitshow.  Clemson was a lock (in my mind) yet there were many out there that said they didn’t have the resume.  Same with Washington.  Like seriously?  A one-loss Power Five conference champion is being debated that much?  But the biggest debate was probably about putting either Ohio State or Penn State in.  If The Committee selected tOSU, then it would set a new precedent, saying that conference championships aren’t the be all and end all to get in.  If Penn State was selected, then it said that conference championships meant more than the 12 games previous to it, which would have put a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

In the end, I believe The Committee made the right choices with Bama, Clemson, Washington, and Ohio State.  The Buckeyes had the better schedule and their only loss was to the Big Ten Champion.  Meanwhile, PSU got blown out by Michigan and, even more egregiously, lost to Pitt.  If the Nittany Lions had avoided just one of those losses, they would be in no questions asked.  I do find this all amusing though. Now that conference championships aren’t the deciding factor anymore, what must the Big XII be thinking now that they are finally instituting one for next season?  Hilarious if you ask me.

Alright, yes this was a short recap but that’s what happens when there are only eleven FBS games TOTAL on the tube over a 24-hour stretch.  Tomorrow I will have my NFL recap and either Wednesday or Thursday I will be sending out the bowl schedule and the expected TV schedule for the bowl games.  TSN doesn’t have their schedule yet and that will be the major holdup determining the spot for a lot of bowl games.  Expect the specialty pack to get between 6 and 10 games this season.

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