Marc Daniels: Title Games Needs A New Year's Finish!


College Football Playoff National Championship - Media Day

Most of us were not sure there would be a 2020 college football season. Tonight, a national championship will be played with two teams considered to have been the favorites the day after last season's title game was played.

Alabama and Ohio State will play for a title tonight and something is missing. It's not just because we are still working our way out of a pandemic. No, every college football title game feels anticlimactic. Not because of the teams playing in the game, but because of when it takes place.

The brains behind the College Football Playoff and its television partners(ESPN) decided the second Monday of January would be the best place for this game. And every year I say the same thing. I say it just feels like something is missing. The build up is not the same. Why?

Well, the NFL is always the biggest reason. By the time we get to the College Football Playoff championship we have shifted most of our attention to the NFL's Wild Card Weekend(or this year it's called Super Wild Card Weekend).

We spend the entire season debating who should or will make the college football invitational of four teams and then when they pick the four teams we complain a little and then eventually accept these are the teams. Then we usually wait three weeks to a month before they play the two semifinals and they rarely have been close. Then we close out New Year's Day and wait again. And while we wait, the NFL takes over and becomes the dominant king it is. Instead of getting hyped for college football's biggest game, we focus on wild card matchups, coaching hirings and firings and even who should be the first or second QB taken in the draft.

This schedule doesn't help college football and I have said for years there has to be a better way. Forget about whether the playoff should expand to six, eight or 64 teams(alright no is asking for 64 teams, but I am making a point here). The calendar needs to be adjusted for college football.

We debate about who is in or out of the playoff that final month of the regular season. Then we break down the scenarios going into conference championship weekend. Then we wait. Forget about the wait.

After those conference title games, let the playoff committee pick their four. Let Army and Navy play America's greatest game the following Saturday then play your playoff semifinal games that third Saturday in December. This allows playoff teams two weeks to prepare for their game and gives fans times to plan to travel. Then do what should be done.

PLAY THE NATIONAL TITLE GAME ON NEW YEAR'S DAY! 

Under this plan, college football doesn't get lost in the mix with the NFL playoffs. New Year's Day has always been about college football. End the day with your biggest game. You are already playing your major bowl games on December 30th, 31st and even January 2nd in some years. Play as many major bowl games as you want on New Year's Day but come 8:30pm that night, it's your biggest game on a day you have celebrated your sport for decades. No Monday night. No day after an NFL playoff tripleheader. Play it on the day that has always made sense...

Notes: Tua and a 1st rounder(maybe the 3rd overall, which Miami got from Houston) to Houston for DeShaun Watson? Interesting...Lamar Jackson's passing stats as a measurement for the type of game he had is a disservice to how special a player he is. Jackson can pass for 148 yards but if he runs for 137 and makes defenses look silly, who cares what his passing stats are?...If Urban Meyer is not coaching in the NFL next season it's because of his ego. Not because his ego would make a team not want to hire him but because his ego is so big he never wanted an NFL job but loves the attention about him being considered. And yes, I could see Meyer taking the Chargers over Jags job. He would have a franchise quarterback with a year under his belt. The roster is closer to the playoffs than Jacksonville and Meyer doesn't have any part of a fan base who despises him...Gabriel Davis is going to be a great NFL receiver in years to come and he's pretty darn good now...The NBA has a problem on its hands with rising Covid numbers and teams trying to play games with eight players. Expect more postponements and the league may review its protocols but no bubble is coming...Meanwhile, the Magic suddenly have an injury problem. There are so many players banged up that Steve Clifford cannot get any rotation flow game to game and when you don't have a star player who can win games for you, you rely on too many players to win games. And when you have so many injuries you can see why you don't win as many games...I love the movie "Hoosiers." But in watching it again this past weekend, I can't help but question South Bend Central's strategy in the final . Up by 4 in the final minute, and with no shot clock, why would South Bend Central shoot? What kind of coaching is this? How stupid of a strategy. Run the clock. Force Hickory to foul. Knock down some free throws and hoist a trophy. What the heck were they thinking?

Final thought: Grapes light on fire in the microwave. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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