JOE BIDDLE: Alabama is two wins away from making history

Lane Kiffin - Alabama

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The mostly faceless committee that held the distinction of deciding the four best college football teams has spoken.

As expected, critics are already howling that they need an eight-team playoff.

Most of the gnashing of teeth is coming from Baylor and TCU from the Big 12 Conference that has 10 teams.

Baylor was yapping about TCU being ranked No. 3 a week before the final bracket was announced. We beat them head-to-head, the wild-eyed Bears faithful wailed.

So the committee did what it was chosen to do. It bounced TCU out of the Final Four. It replaced the Horned Frogs with Ohio State. That decision comes as no surprise. No team called the Horned Frogs should be considered. Ever.

I’m certain I am not alone in having never seen a Horned Frog.

The reason committee chairman Jeff Long said the committee left the Big 12 out in the cold was legitimate. They are the only conference in the Power Five that does not have a conference championship game.

The Big 12 is living in the past. Even in the BCS era, the forward-looking conferences went to the minimum number of 12 teams in order to qualify to have a conference championship game.

Former Vanderbilt AD and SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer led the parade to expand to 12 teams and start what has been a widely popular and financially lucrative SEC Championship Game. That was in 1999 and even now, the Big 12 doesn’t have a championship game.

So Baylor and TCU are looking at the wrong villain. They have seen the enemy and the enemy is themselves.

“It’s clear that we were penalized for not having a postseason championship game,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told ESPN’s Rece Davis. “It would have been nice to have been told that ahead of time.”

Welcome to the real world, Rip Van Bowlsby. Do you have to have someone give you a wakeup call?

“We have to weigh whether this is substantial enough to add institutions,” he added. “It’s certainly a major consideration.”

Really? You think?

Call the SEC office and see how much money they make on their championship games. Or do you need someone to dial them up for you?

So instead of one of the two Big 12 teams getting the final spot, the committee inserted Ohio State, a team that lost its second game of the season against an unranked Virginia Tech team that finished 6-6 and 3-5 in the ACC.

The Buckeyes are down to their third quarterback and keep on winning, which speaks volumes about their character and keeping the eye on the prize during a long season. They knew one more loss would eliminate them from the playoff.

They also left an indelible impression on the committee by knocking out Wisconsin, 59-0, in the Big Ten Championship Game.

I also find fault with the people who formed the Power Five to start a playoff format for the national championship. To qualify, Executive Director Bill Hancock should have mandated every team that joined the Power Five be members of a conference that had a championship game. He certainly had the power to get that accomplished.

So cast aside all the sour grapes that come with the territory and let’s hope for a memorable four-team playoff to crown the best team for 2014.

No. 1 Alabama against No. 4 Ohio State measures two historic giants of the game with head coaches in Nick Saban and Urban Meyer that have multiple national championships to their credit.

No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 Florida State puts two teams with star power. By the time they meet, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota will be this year’s Heisman Trophy winner against defending Heisman winner in FSU’s Jameis Winston.

If the chalk holds true, the championship game will have Alabama against Oregon. And what college football fan wouldn’t like to see that?

Bring it on.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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