#1 Clemson v #4 Oklahoma.
#2 Alabama v #3 Michigan State.
Once again, all four CFP Playoff teams will come from the winners from their respective conference championship games. And for the first time in maybe a full decade, I completely agree with and fully support this top 4 ranking.
Let’s break this down.
Clemson is the only CFP team to go undefeated. And they convincingly won their conference tournament to boot against a good opponent. 13 wins with zero losses deserves top ranking. They have quite possibly the best QB in college football right now, and he is playing up to the challenge every week. And they just look like a team that is destined to be remembered as the head-and-shoulders-above-everyone-else national champion this year. The only thing not working in their favor, for argument’s sake is their sorta weak strength of schedule. But they have played what the ACC has set before them, and that’s all that you can ask of them. All that’s left is for them to prove that Oklahoma will once again be no match for them come 12/31, at the Cotton Bowl.
Alabama. Yes, they lost early on to Ole Miss. And without that loss they would have been #1 ranked, easily (if not annoyingly. At some point, I just find myself hating on Alabama. Just because they are so damned successful. It’s annoying. Saban is annoying. Roll Tide is annoying. That team just annoys me.) Whatever. They are good. And with the strength of schedule and the much, much stronger conference games they had to battle through this year over a team like Clemson, they deserve the second spot. They should have beaten #15 Ole Miss. And for that, they fall.
But it’s also only fair they fall only once, as they are the only 1 loss team in CFP to win their conference championship AND be ranked in the top 17 schools. Well, with the lone exception of Ohio State. But those fools don’t deserve top 4 ranking. Buckeyes losing to Michigan State proves they don’t deserve to usurp any of the playoff teams, simply because they lost to a playoff team. Unfortunate that Alabama didn’t run into Oklahoma or Clemson or OK, but thems the brakes for Ohio. They had their chance…
Schools received the document from the institute at the recent NCAA Convention and will soon move forward with legislation based on the recommendations over the coming months. Included in the foundational statements are precise guidelines for when — and what amount of — contact is permitted over a seven day period, which could form the basis of any new rules put forth by member institutions.
Concussion awareness is no doubt the driving force behind all this, with the report itself coming after several studies were released on the subject and the NCAA conducting its own ‘Safety in College Football Summit’ last February. There has certainly been a general trend in this direction already, with the Big 12 limiting in-season contact to no more than twice a week back in 2015. The Ivy League also eliminated live tackling during all in-season practices last year but this could be the start of something enacted more formally across the entire NCAA structure.
So have we seen the end of two-a-days? With the American Football Coaches Association and the NCAA Football Oversight Committee among the organizations endorsing this report, it seems very likely we will say goodbye to this rite of passage in the not too distant future.