This past weekend, we learned which four teams will be contending for the college football national championship as selected by the CFP committee. The four teams will be the Alabama Crimson Tide, Michigan Wolverines, Georgia Bulldogs and Cincinnati Bearcats.
These selections are always disputed, with many people making cases for other teams. There are also many that just hate having only four teams in the playoff and think other teams should be given a chance. I'm Team Expansion, I'll admit, but when it comes to the four best teams in college football, I think the committee got it right.
There is a ton of controversy as to whether or not Georgia deserves to be in there after getting absolutely crushed by Alabama in the SEC Championship. The Bulldogs always seem to be a step below their fellow SEC powerhouse, and many want them out for "choking" away the season. Even now, it looks as though the championship game may come down to Georgia vs. Alabama, and I don't think anyone will be dying to see that game again. Maybe they should have given Utah or Baylor a chance as conference champions, but the committee can't deny how dominant Georgia was all season long. They earned their place with their overall season, and will need to do some soul-searching before they would face Alabama again.
Having Cincinnati in there as a Group of 5 team is a remarkable accomplishment for all those who play in conferences outside of the Power 5. They also earned their place in the Final Four, with a spectacular undefeated season that showed just how far the program has come. The Bearcats have beaten their final three opponents, who have all been bowl eligible, by a combined 71 points. If they had one mistake all year, they wouldn't be here. Instead, they have been perfect.
Alabama is the obvious team to include here. After their shaky performance in the Iron Bowl against Auburn, many thought if they lost to Georgia they should be thrown out of the Final Four. Well, they whipped Georgia and now find themselves as the No. 1 one seed in the CFP. You can pretty much lock that in every year, but at least we won't get yet another game against Clemson for the championship. I want an expanded playoff, but maybe it is mostly because I am so sick of seeing the same teams play and losing interest. No Clemson, no Ohio State, and we get a Group of 5 team. Refreshing.
Michigan is here after Jim Harbaugh finally was able to beat Ohio State in six tries. Thank you, Jim, for making things more interesting in college football again. Oh, and they won the Big 10 Championship with a demolition of Iowa. Who would have predicted that the Wolverines would be here right now? A year ago, this season's other three playoff participants were a combined 28-1 against all other competition. Michigan had lost six of their last eight games headed into 2021. Crazy.
My Irish came in at No. 5, which obviously makes me sad. This team battled so much and improved immensely since they lost to Cincinnati. But that's the key here isn't it? They lost to the team right in front of them. If they had beaten Cincinnati and gone undefeated, they would be there instead of the Bearcats. I wish we had the opportunity to rub Brian Kelly's nose in it with a playoff win, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
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