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NCAA College Football Championship Saturday: Sorting Out What We Saw

Every team is in place. Conference championship Saturday went pretty much according to plan – with the exception of Michigan State tripping up Iowa. The Buckeyes lost for the first time all season, dashing their hopes of playing in the CFP.

Leave it to Sparty to be the fly in the ointment. No one can argue with Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Michigan State battling for college football’s greatest prize. Make a case for Stanford and possibly Ohio States, but it looks like the committee got it right once again. It will be interesting to hear the cries for more teams in the playoff after Tuesday when the final four are announced.

The only problem I see with the results is in the Big 12 where Oklahoma did not play in a conference title game, and was idle on Saturday. With Texas taking care of Baylor, however, is there really any question (the Sooners beat Oklahoma State head to head) that the program is the best in the conference?

For the college football lover, Saturday was everything it should have been – including drama in the ACC Championship between Clemson and North Carolina contest. The offsides call to end the game will be talked about for weeks now, but I contend that if a team gives up 45 points on defense and still has to come from behind to win the game, it wasn’t “going” to win, it was only in “position” to do so.

Here are a few other thoughts about the college game.

HENRY FOR HEISMAN, PERIOD

Derrick Henry said he was not happy with his performance in the 29-15 win over Florida in the SEC title game. Henry did not have the dominant performance that he would have liked, but said all the right things after the game. This is a team sport and while the junior tailback was effective against one of the better run defenses in the country, 189 yards and a touchdown should be impressive enough for him to capture the Heisman Trophy.

Henry, who will probably go to the pros after the season, is the type of running game who combines great size (6’3” and 230 pounds) with agility and speed. He reminds me of a combination of Earl Campbell and Eric Dickerson, and that’s no joke. Henry gets to the second level and excels at running over would-be blockers.

It should be entertaining to see the Oklahoma defense try to block him in the first round of the college football playoff.

MUSCHAMP GETS ANOTHER CHANCE

Can someone please explain to me how Will Muschamp, who was not a success at Florida and failed miserably as the defensive coordinator at Auburn, will get another chance to coach in the SEC at South Carolina?

Muschamp, a bit of a hot head, is a great recruiter, but has proven he is not head coaching material. It’s an opinion, but there is also plenty of support across the Internet and on film to back up that claim.

I also find it odd that Muschamp is going to replace a living legend at South Carolina after he was picked to replace Urban Meyer at Florida.

This just proves to me it is not the guy who replaces the legend that becomes a success, rather it is the guy who replaces the guy who replaces the legend that will find success. Look for South Carolina to recruit solid talent to Columbia, but have a few lean years in the SEC before another change is made at the top.

QUARTERBACKING IS EVERYTHING

With the loss to Texas on Saturday, the Baylor Bears were knocked out of the Cotton Bowl and proved to the college football world having a solid quarterback is everything to the offense, especially when you have to start your fourth stringer in the final game of the season.

Texas’ defense did everything right in the finale, possibly saving Charlie Strong’s job in the process.

Baylor, which finished 9-3 this year, went into November undefeated after junior quarterback Seth Russell, then the top-rated FBS passer suffered a season-ending neck injury Oct. 24. Freshman Jarrett Stidham won his first start, but broke a bone in his ankle in his third one before Chris Johnson started the last two games — only to get hurt Saturday.

You cannot script that or make it up. Some teams just suffer bad luck.

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