College football’s Fishy Four

By Roger Grossman
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — The teams that will play for the College Football Playoff’s National Championship have been selected.

To the stunned surprise of absolutely no one, people are upset about who got in and who didn’t.

The four teams invited to this dance are Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama.
And it’s hard to argue that these four teams are the best four teams in the country and deserve a chance to play for a national championship.

It’s also pretty easy to make a case that none of them deserves a spot in the tournament.

Let’s take these in the order they are ranked.

Michigan is the Big Ten champion.

They also have yet to convince anyone not wearing a maze and yellow sweatshirt that they really didn’t cheat in stealing other teams’ signs by having one of their assistant coaches attend future opponents’ games in person.

Stealing signs is not the problem. You can try to crack the other team’s code if you want, but you absolutely cannot send anyone from your program to see that team in person before you play them.

Michigan did that.

Notice, I didn’t say “Michigan may have done that” or “Michigan is accused of doing that.”

This staffer bought tickets using his own name. He even went so far as to dress up in colors of the opponent of their future opponent and stand on their sideline pretending to be a staff member of that team.

That takes courage in massive quantities.

They clearly used the information gathered by this man to help their football team.

Coach Jim Harbaugh denied knowing anything about it.


Yet, the Wolverines are the top seed in this extravaganza. Washington is good.
They are legitimate in this playoff.

But they are led by a guy who played four years of football at Indiana University. Michael Penix Jr. suffered two knee injuries while at IU, but while he was there, IU made it up to #12 in the polls.

But the magic was gone as quickly as it came, and Penix transferred to Washington.

This is his sixth college football season–he got an extra year for COVID and another extra year for injuries.

Texas is the third-ranked team.

They play in the Big 12 Conference for this season but have already announced their intention to transfer to the SEC next season.

The Big 12’s football teams have three phases to the game: offense, special teams and “E-fense”—because there is no D in that league whatsoever.

It’s hard to project what Texas would look like in a real conference and what they might do next season and beyond. But the only thing that is supposed to matter is what you did this year when we consider their viability as a playoff team.

Is the Longhorn team worthy of a playoff spot based on strength of schedule? No chance.
Alabama is fourth.

The Tide lost to Texas (yep, that same Texas team you just read about) back on September 9th in their second game of the season. They won their division of the SEC and then beat previously unbeaten Georgia in the SEC championship game Saturday.

The problem with ‘Bama here is this: before Saturday’s game, they were ranked 8th by the playoff committee. That means there were three teams rated better than them outside the final four.

They beat Georgia, who was number one before they lost to Alabama Saturday.
Bama moves up to #4, Georgia is completely out. That doesn’t add up!

If the Bulldogs were good enough to be the #1 team all season, losing to the Tide in the final game of the regular season shouldn’t prevent them from still being one the best four teams. If Georgia wasn’t really good enough to be #1, then Alabama’s win wasn’t enough to get the Tide up from #8 to #4 and into the field of four.

It can’t be both … unless, of course, you’re talking about the SEC. We must have a team from the SEC in this or it would seem like Christmas without a Christmas tree.

Florida State didn’t get in despite going undefeated in the ACC. They’re out because their starting QB was injured at the end of the season, then his backup got hurt. They are on QB3, and they don’t look like a top-4 team anymore.

Georgia is #6. Again, how?

Ohio State’s offense was inconsistent, and in the end, Lou Holtz was right — they weren’t physical enough. And Oregon lost twice to Washington.

Frankly, I’d love to see another tournament for Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State and Oregon.

I’m sure there would be money in it.