Sunday, October 21, 2018

Barring a meteor strike, Bama and Clemson are on a championship collision course.

Saban-SwinneyThe Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers are on a completely different plane of existence than the other 128 programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). After Georgia and Ohio State showed their mortality against LSU and Purdue(!?) respectively the last two Saturdays, it’s now clear that there are only two Titans left in college football, and they’ve done battle in the College Football Playoff three times before.

Alabama has beaten Clemson twice since the inception of the CFP. Clemson has beaten Alabama once. They have played consecutive years in the postseason and there seems very little standing in the way of a fourth collision in January 2019.

Clemson has feigned mortality twice this season. Once in a home scare against Syracuse. A second time on the road against a not-too-shabby Texas A&M squad. No one else they’ve faced has offered more than token resistance and it’s unlikely that anyone on their schedule has the chops to knock them off.

Alabama looks invincible. The Tide team makes well oiled machines look like clunky, puttering wrecks and has yet to do anything but score on the first possession of their first eight games. Bama’s offensive line stems the Mongol Hordes while QB Tua Tagovailoa picks apart the opposing secondary and the fleet of bowling balls roll through defenseless pins. Bama’s defense started the season with questions about the secondary and after eight games appears to be almost as nasty as the 2011-2012 squad.

Both of these programs have gotten here the right way and the hard way. With a press corps that scrutinizes every move of every player and every coach on every day of their lives. With an NCAA enforcement division that’s never been so well staffed and so well funded. With the 24/7/365 news cycle driven by social media and internet bulletin board chatter.  Alabama and Clemson have as much chance of cheating as a naked Stormy Daniels would sneaking a 38 Special on to Air Force One.

Alabama and Clemson have recruited better, developed better, coached better, scheduled better and just played better for three straight years (four for Bama). No one has been able to stop them from excelling in a sport with rules that are designed to prevent anyone from being better than everyone else over and over and over.

They are winning, and no one can make them stop.

That has the chatterati class whining about the CFP four team playoff and crying for expansion of the field. If they’d just expand the field other teams would have a chance, they say. It’s not about ability, hard work and determination, they say. It’s really about privilege.

Tim Brando isn’t the only idiot playing this tune. The college football talking heads are a perfectly harmonized chorus singing the privilege blues. They sound like a bunch of Democrats who never understand that when you try to soak the privileged, all you do is concentrate more power into the hands of the privileged. If they think the CFP is rigged now, just expand the field to six, eight or ten teams. Go ahead—give the Alabamas, Clemsons, Georgias and Ohio States more victims. They’ll just get to play more games, gain more recruiting exposure, get more postseason practice time and make more money.

More money means the privileged will just recruit better, develop better, coach better, schedule better and … just play better.

This post isn’t a philosophical rant. It’s an acknowledgment of the fact that whatever rules you play the game by, there will always be winners and losers. And the winners are pretty easy to spot pretty early on during the game. Right now, the game’s winners are Alabama and Clemson and there’s no one showing the chops to do anything about it.


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