In the South, Fun Times. Everywhere Else, Not So Much.

Herb Gould

Two quick questions. . .

Q: When was the last time there was a College Football championship game that involved anyone besides the Southeastern Conference or Clemson?

Q: Is it a rivalry if one side wins all the time?

Q: Is there any way to involve, um, teams from other conferences?

Sorry. Three quick questions.

Answers:

A: Since Ohio State and Oregon met in the first CFP title game, this will be the fifth straight SEC/Clemson championship game. And Clemson, as we all know, is more of an SEC team than half the teams in the SEC, notably Missouri, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Kentucky.

A: No.

A: Time—and recruiting and coaching—will tell.

First of all, hats off to Clemson and LSU. The Tiger-Paw Tigers, who are making their fourth appearance in five championship games, are undoubtedly a dynasty—if you’re into that sort of thing.

The only actual dynasty that involved a team I followed is the Michael Jordan Bulls, who won six championships in eight years. The playoffs were marvelous. The regular season? I only watched a handful of games—mostly West Coast road games—that promised to be competitive.

I don’t find stompings all that entertaining.

Good for Clemson that it routinely marches through the Mountain East—um, ACC—like Sherman through—well, you get the idea. I have nothing but respect for Dabo Swinney (and his DC, Brent Venables). Dabo is worth every bit of that $47 million a year he earns. Very smart man. And he’s a Cub fan.

If Clemson could just end the charade, though, and trade conferences with South Carolina, I would vote for that.

And cheers to the Bayou Tigers. I respect and admire the SEC. To win that conference the way LSU did it—wow! And I would just as soon see LSU win the SEC. I am a huge fan of New Orleans food and music and architecture. Ed Orgeron’s return to glory in his home state is as heartwarming as his wonderful voice. (Loved him in The Blind Side.) And he gave us a break from Alabama!

But gee, sure would be nice to see a fresh face. Occasionally.

Yes, as my good friend Mr. College Football often points out when I tilt at windmills, it’s up to the schools from other parts of the country to get better. And win.

And yes, my complaint that college football needs to at least try to standardize the strength-of-schedule issue is pie in the sky. But that would be a step in the right direction. And true competitors like Nick Saban are in favor of it.

And the truth is, while Clemson and the SEC have dominated, this is kind of a national rich-get-richer college-football scenario.

For example, when college football pundits do their early-line candidates for next season's national championship, they will begin with, as The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel noted, “some combination of Clemson, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Georgia and Oklahoma.’’

I suppose that someday that will change. And we will see upstarts like USC, Texas, Penn State and a Florida school nudge into the spotlight. Who knows? Maybe even a little private school from Indiana like Notre Dame.

Wouldn't that be something?

And now it's almost time to settle in and watch Goliath vs. Goliath.

Thanks for reading.

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Herb Gould

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