Nobody was beating Alabama this year and it makes College Football less fun
They had the best players, have the best coach and coaching staff and they have the well-earned reputation.
For the um-teenth time in the past ten years or so, Alabama is your College Football National Champion. And to be perfectly honest, it never was seriously in doubt. Even in 2020 when COVID played havoc with almost every single Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team, somehow, the Crimson Tide ended up as one of only two teams to complete a full schedule with no games postponed.
Yes, they won every single one of them with really only the SEC Championship game being a semi-close game.
Hey, listen, I'm not knocking the Crimson Tide, they put on an offensive football clinic in the championship game. They dominated a very good Ohio State team 52-24.
Say what you will, but Steve Sarkisian may go down as one of the best offensive play callers in the history of the game. He had Ohio State on their heels the entire game. Heck, he had every team 'Bama played on their heels all season long.
It helps when you have guys like DeVonta Smith, the best player in the game this season. Smith has 12 catches for 215 yards and three TD's....in the first half of the game. It helps more when you have Najee Harris at RB and Mac Jones who developed into one heck of a good QB.
No, 'Bama was not perfect on defense, but when you average over 40 points a game on offense, you don't have to be. At the end of the day, Alabama was on one level, Ohio State and everyone else was not even close.
To be perfectly honest, that's the problem I'm having a tough time digesting. It's not that I'm one of those people who "hate" teams. I'm continually amazed at how well coached Nick Saban's team is year in and year out and that they don't rebuild, they just reload.
Which is great if you're a 'Bama alum or bandwagon fan, but kind of depressing to just about everyone else.
I may be in the minority here, but I don't enjoy seeing the same team or teams win every single time. It's no fun when I can sit in front of my keyboard in August or September and be pretty certain which teams will be playoff contenders. It's not hard.
Alabama has more money, the football program more autonomy than almost any or everyone else. Nobody in the state questions what they do or how they do it. Sure, they're a state institution but like almost all FBS programs, they are financed largely by donations and the football athletic association. There isn't a lot of non-athletic money going into the athletic department.
They have the best facilities, the biggest recruiting budget and arguably biggest official and unofficial staff in the game. Saban brings in coaches like Sarkisian, Lane Kiffin, Butch Jones and other fired coaches, rehabilitates them and a couple of years later, those coaches end up with jobs.
The Alabama second unit would probably be a top 10 or 15 program. And while its great for them, it's kind of disheartening for us.
It surprises me a little that 5-star athletes will go to Tuscaloosa and want to be in the same unit that has multiple players at that level. They get kids who want to play for a title and are willing to be a second or third team player in order to get it.
That's life I suppose.
I've said it a thousand times and don't need to get into detail again, but the lack of parity in College Football is eventually going to suffocate the game. Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Notre Dame live on a different level than most everyone else.
You add Florida and LSU and maybe Texas A&M and you've got you're top 10. Every...single...year.
Most schools can't compete with that. They don't have the money. They never will have the money under the current system either. If you are a mid-level program who's never sniffed the playoff, you're never going to be more than that. Period.
The playoff teams get paid. They get that ESPN money and the marketing that goes along with being a playoff team. It's an instant attraction for most recruits for obvious reasons. And it's a hurdle most everyone else can't get over.
Sure, there may be a rare game where an Indiana or Cincinnati or Iowa State or someone like that upsets one of the elite schools, but it doesn't happen very often. They don't have the depth to pull it off.
And that's kind of sad. How many of you would like to see some team other than Alabama, Clemson or Ohio State playing for a championship? Those three schools have the most appearances--by a large margin--over everyone else in the playoff era.
Yes, 2020 was largely an aberration but did anyone think there was a better team than Ohio State to play Alabama this year? The Buckeyes smoked a really good Clemson team who likely would have been stomped in the championship game if they made it there too.
Lastly, don't give me the Ric Flair line of "To be the man, you gotta beat the man" when it comes to all of this. The playing field is not level in College Football, far from it.
When you have a sport with 130 teams competing for one title and it comes down to a four team playoff to decide it, it's patently unfair. When the same eight-to-ten teams are competing for that title every single year, it's extraordinarily unfair.
If that is what you want, if that's what makes you happy, well all I can say is congratulations, you win. You have more money to spend than everyone else and have $50 million football facilities to help you succeed. Good for you. It really is true that he who has the most toys often wins. That's life.
But just remember, over the long haul if the regular season or playoff no longer relevant to the other teams, then you have a 10-team world and you've eliminated anyone else from playing in it.
Which takes the fun out of pretty much the whole enterprise.