Spent last night enjoying the first college football national championship under the College Football Playoff system. Urban Meyer coached Cardale Jones and the Buckeyes to an historic, physically impressive victory. Even when the Ducks nearly tied things up early in the second half they didn’t really seem to be there.
Urban Meyer claims his third national championship and Ohio State claims its first playoff-era national championship, breaking an 11 season title drought for the Big Ten conference in the process. I didn’t like Ohio State’s decision, with under a minute to go, to push in for a final touchdown. A 35-20 victory with a knee seemed to me like the classier route, but maybe it was more important to make a statement. I snapped the above photo of the screen as the celebrations began.
I’ve been pro-playoff system since I started paying attention to Joe Paterno’s advocacy for it years ago. I think the last time he spoke out for the playoff system was in 2008, saying “philosophically I think you ought to win it on the field” rather than through an opaque voting system. I can’t count the number of times this week it was remarked that under the bowl championship system neither Ohio State nor Oregon would have been playing last night.
The college football playoff system already seems to be one of those things that looks incredibly obvious to the point of being unremarkable. But the decades-long advocacy of coaches like Paterno are also a reminder that the obvious things often start out being seen as impractical, and their advocates suffer through years of being seen as meddlesome. As recently as 2008 advocates like Paterno were still a minority voice largely opposed by conference and bowl championship elders.
Excited to see the next step in making the obvious a reality, which should involve expanding next year’s playoff schedule.