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The Sports Guy: Where do we go from here?

This is how college football season comes to an end — not with a bang, but with a whimper. The Crimson Tide rolled over the dreams of so many Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans who had actually deluded themselves in the weeks-long buildup to the contest into thinking an actual national title game might break out.

It never did. The only breaking out that needed to be done on Monday night was for the record book, which can now show that Alabama’s current run ranks up there with any other modern dynasty in college football. Yes, I’m putting it alongside the Miami teams of the late 80s, the Florida States of the early 90s, the Nebraska teams of the mid-90s, and so on.

Of course, life will soon start getting a little more interesting as we initiate a bit of a playoff into the sport of college football, but in a year like this we simply have to look and wonder. Having watched all the bowl games, faithful reader, who do you throw on the football field against them and expect to see a competitive game?

Ohio State is 12-0 and on probation, not that the Big Ten did anything at all this season to demonstrate that it was deserving of being declared part of the Big Six. Oregon, at 12-1, would be the natural choice if the decision were made today, but watching the Ducks’ high-octane offense get stuffed into neutral for much of the first half by Kansas State, does it take any imagination to wonder what would happen against Alabama?

Every other likely competitor has two losses already, and that makes it pretty difficult to make a case for being the best.

Admittedly, I am as guilty as the next guy — and probably more guilty than many — of promoting the major college football playoff idea. The sport deserves a championship that is settled on the field and between the sidelines. We’re not that far away from that dream becoming a reality, but seasons like this demonstrate that, even with a playoff format, the excitement that many have been craving in college football’s biggest day of the year isn’t guaranteed to show up.

In years like this where probation robs us of a challenger and none of the remaining candidates does enough to differentiate themselves on the field, the national championship game at the end of the playoffs will be every bit as anticlimactic as the national championship game sponsored by Tostitos, Dr. Pepper, the BCS or whoever has naming rights these days.

In any event, another college football season has come to pass. Football widows still have a few weeks of NFL action to remain hidden before they can safely emerge from their bunkers. It should be a peaceful offseason though — those of us who number among the football obsessed will be spending many of the next seven months before the start of two-a-days trying to frantically memorize still another batch of conference realignments. 

The playoff system is coming, but where do we really go from here?

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