How ironic. After all my ranting about not being able to watch the Ohio State-Clemson game because I was, you know, enjoying New Year’s Eve with friends and a cocktail. . . it turns out there wasn’t much to watch for Midwesterners.
The Buckeyes, a three-point favorite, couldn’t even manage three points in their 31-0 wipeout vs. the men from one of those Death Valleys.
And so, the much-anticipated (from Big Ten Country, anyway) showdown between Ohio State and Alabama will have to wait for another post-season.
Maybe the young Buckeyes will navigate their way through next year’s Crimson Tide Invitational. Maybe not.
For now, we have a rematch of last year’s national championship. Alabama-Clemson II will excite fans from Tuscaloosa to South Carolina.
The rest of the country, who knows?
That’s no knock on the Crimson Tide and the Tigers, who certainly look like the nation’s two best teams. But we’ll see how that plays nationwide.
And before I hear grumbling about how Penn State, the Big Ten champion and Ohio State conqueror, should have gotten the shot at Clemson, I will harken back to the complicated math: One loss is better than two losses.
Also, let’s see how the Nittany Lions do against USC in the Rose Bowl before y’all get too verklempt.
Don’t lose to Pitt and Michigan. Remember, the regular season still matters.
That said, I don’t really want to re-dissect the Final Four selection process.
Heck, I could even lawyer up the case for Michigan if referee conspiracy theories are admissible evidence.
But let’s not go there.
If Ohio State mistakenly thought it was playing in the Siesta Bowl rather than the Fiesta Bowl, there’s nothing we can do about it now.
Here in Chicago, we’ve just got one more messy item to fold into the 2016 trash bin: The Bears’ finale vs. Minnesota.
Fortunately, it’s in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Spares me the trouble of setting an over-under on no-shows at Soldier Field.