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As the sun sets on the College Football Playoff, this should be a brief moment of contentment in college football.

Yes, it’s true that the four-team playoff was not perfect. Not even close. The fact that Florida State, missing its quarterback the way mere mortals miss oxygen, looked unworthy in that ridiculous 63-3 Georgia woodshed experience, does not diminish the fact that FSU, as the champion of the ACC, earned the right to be steamrolled in a playoff.

In my eight-team playoff world, Georgia also was very deserving of a chance to win a third straight national championship.

I don’t know that the Dawgs were the best team this fall. Then again, I don’t know that they weren’t.

But the eight-team playoff ship has sailed. Next year college football will debut its Bridge-Too-Far 12-team monstrosity, with all kinds of new unintended consequences to fret about.

Nope, I don’t like it. But it’s OK. I can deal with it. There are so many worse disasters in the world.

And the truth is, this should be a shining moment for those who celebrate the unpredictability—and, every once in a while—the parity of college football. Well, at least the illusion of parity.

Washington vs. Michigan. What a novelty.

This should be a time of celebration. . . Of relief. . . Of the belief that miracles do happen.

For the last eight years, college football’s national champion has either been an SEC team or Clemson, its Waffle House pal. In six of those years, both teams in the championship game have come from the SEC/Clemson oligarchy.

I have tremendous respect for the quality of SEC football. . . will readily agree that it is the nation’s best conference. And has been for . . . too long.

I just never liked the idea of a committee picking the field. Let conference champions play their way in. In my four-team playoff world, there’s no room for two teams from one conference.

So this year we finally got it: Four nicely balanced conference champions from around the nation. A true national tournament.

It produced two terrific semi-finals, the best pair of semi-final games the College Football Playoff has seen.

And now we have this very promising national championship game. With true symmetry, the CFP will end the way it began. In the first game of its 10-year run, a Big Ten team (Ohio State) met a Pac-12 team (Oregon) for all the marbles.

That will happen again on Monday night. Big Ten vs. Pac-12. (And never mind that the Big Ten, in its Cold War with the SEC, will devour the most delectable parts of the Pac-12 after this final football feast.)

In a way, it’s fitting that Washington is the warm and fuzzy finalist. While Michigan is the Evil Empire.

The Huskies are coached by a relatively unknown, understated, pure-football (as far as I know) football coach, Kalen DeBoer, who has seemingly come out of nowhere. Places like his alma mater, Sioux Falls. Directional schools like Southern Illinois and Eastern Michigan. His only head-coaching experience was at Fresno State.

During his one season as an assistant at a Power Five school, DeBoer, as offensive coordinator at Indiana, coached a quarterback named Michael Penix Jr., who has led Washington back to national prominence after a three-decade absence.

Meanwhile, Michigan, to everyone who doesn’t know the words to Hail to the Victors, is the Bad Guy, led by Jim Harbaugh. I still don’t know what to make of the Sign Stealing Scandal, which was bumbling and wrong—the kind of thing Bill Belichick or Richard Nixon would do—but hasn’t affected outcomes.

The sad part is, Michigan, in its unquenchable pursuit of a national championship, has won games but lost its reputation.

The focus should be on how Michigan, after playing second fiddle to Ohio State, has taken center stage under quirky maestro Harbaugh. Instead, Harbaugh is seen as a shady manipulator, which he certainly seems to be.

In other words, the storylines and battle lines are drawn for the last championship game of the four-team-playoff era.

I like it. Should be very entertaining.