By Joel Silverberg / @JoelSilverberg
Well, it’s been fun.
After 14 weeks of college football we finally have the last four teams standing in pursuit of a national championship. While the fan bases of Georgia, Ohio State and UCF continue to argue with brick walls regarding why their respective schools should be in the College Football Playoff, the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma are preparing for national semifinals.
Here’s the final edition of this year’s good, bad and ugly.
The Good: Clemson. Talk about a statement. Sure, Clemson was favored big in the ACC title bout with Pitt, but a 32-point blowout sends a message to Notre Dame, which only escaped the Panthers by five earlier in the year.
Honorable Mention: Oklahoma. Texas made it interesting, but Kyler Murray and the Sooners avenged their only loss of the season and the reward is a playoff berth. The Sooners are the first team to win the Big 12 in four consecutive seasons.
The Bad: Georgia. The fake punt on 4th & 11 was bad. Kirby Smart’s argument after the game was worse. Claiming Georgia still deserved a spot in the playoff coming off its second loss of the year is the ex-boyfriend begging for the girl to take him back after he’s cheated on her twice already. And boy, did Georgia cheat itself on Saturday. Once by blowing a two-touchdown lead in the second half, and again with the boneheaded play call at midfield.
Honorable Mention: Texas. The Longhorns put themselves in position to win the football game on Saturday, but penalties killed Tom Herman’s team. The Longhorns were flagged 13 times for 128 yards, including one that negated a takeaway. After Texas scored the best hustle play of the game with a fumble in the red zone, Sam Ehlinger was promptly sacked for a safety. Oklahoma scored on the ensuing possession, ending the game.
The Ugly: Memphis. The Tigers couldn’t be stopped in the first half of the AAC Championship. Memphis ran for over 300 yards and had a 17-point lead at the break. UCF held the Tigers to three points in the second half and outscored Memphis 35-3 as the Tigers choked away a second straight conference championship.
Honorable Mention: Washington. This one is for winning ugly. The Huskies are headed to their first Rose Bowl since 2000 after a 10-3 win over Utah. Credit Washington’s defense though. It held Utah to ten total points in two meetings this year.