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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

CFB Takeaways: Committee did it right

The final rankings of the College Football Playoff are in and we are all set for the semifinals on New Year’s Eve. No. 1 ACC champion Clemson will square off against Big 12 champion Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, while SEC champion Alabama will face Big Ten champion Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl.

The final ranking was really no surprise. The committee, unlike last year, did an outstanding job of picking the correct teams to get into the playoff without much controversy at all, but let’s look deep into some of championship week’s best highlights.

Houston, the new Boise State?

A rule that came with the new playoff is that the highest ranked team outside of the Power Five conferences—Pac-12 Conference, Big 12, SEC, ACC and Big Ten—gets to play in one of the New Year’s Six bowl games.

We saw Boise State come out of the Mountain West last year and beat Arizona to win the Fiesta Bowl. Houston will be the team taking part in a big bowl this year.

The AAC champions outlasted Temple on Saturday 24-13 to set up a showdown against Florida State in the Peach Bowl in what will be a tough test.

But the Cougars deserve all the credit in the world for getting this far. Will they be able to take down the Power Five juggernaut in Florida State like Boise State was able to do to Arizona last year, though?

The McCaffrey Effect

Stanford won the Pac-12 Football Championship Game for the third time in four years to continue the Cardinal’s dominance.

The Pac-12 Conference champion was provided a tough game against USC Saturday, but powered through and pulled away 41-22, led by Heisman hopeful running back Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders’ single season all-purpose yards record by racking up 207 yards on the ground, 105 receiving yards, 149 return yards and even throwing an 11-yard touchdown in the Cardinal’s championship victory.

McCaffrey finished the season with 3,496 all-purpose yards, surpassing Sanders’ 3,250 mark set in 1988.

The Cardinal barely missed out on the College Football Playoff, but will head to the Rose Bowl to square off with Big Ten runner up Iowa.

Stanford head coach David Shaw deserves to be recognized for leading the program to multiple conference titles in his first five seasons at the helm. In a conference so deep and even with its teams, that’s something amazing to accomplish.

Setting the pace

While the committee got the playoffs right this year, it’s tough to determine what team really stands out among the top four.

Look at Oklahoma, which has been given a great matchup against Clemson in a game where we should see a lot of offense and many lead chances.

Yet, think about how either of those teams might fair against Michigan State or Alabama, whose defenses are among the best in the country. Both the Spartans and Crimson Tide, however, have less than outstanding offenses.

Expect the second College Football Playoff to set the standard for years to come. 


Follow Noah Sonnet on Twitter.


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