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THE ROAR: The Playoff Fix, Longest Game, and ACC Top 5 in 2021

January 14, 2021
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THE PLAYOFF FIX.

Ratings for the College Football Playoff National Championship game were at a record low this year as Alabama's 52-24 win over Ohio State averaged 18.7 million viewers, according to ESPN PR. That's down significantly from the 25.46 million for last year's game between Clemson and LSU and lower than New Year's Sugar Bowl (19.1) and Rose Bowl (18.9) numbers. 

One could argue it was a byproduct of a couple of things, including fans just being tired of the same-old-same.

There have been 21 CFB Playoff games in seven years, Alabama and Clemson have won five of the titles and 14 of the 21 games. Ohio State has 3 wins, LSU has 2 wins, while Georgia and Oregon have one.

Alabama has played in 11 playoff games, while Clemson’s played in 10-- dominating the opportunities to win the title.

CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd took a long hard look at the issue and laid out the argument that expansion doesn’t necessarily guarantee access. In fact, if we had the Top 8 teams in this year, the playoff would have looked like this:

(1) Alabama vs. (8) Cincinnati
(4) Notre Dame vs. (5) Texas A&M

(2) Clemson vs. (7) Florida
(3) Ohio State vs. (6) Oklahoma

Sure, the Group of Five would have a better path, but there is perhaps a better way for the Group of Five teams, as I argued yesterday on the show. 

Sirius XM’s Mark Packer conceptualized an 8-team playoff consisting of the 5 Power Five conference champions. The three remaining spots would be filled by the following:

  • The best Group of Five team selected by the playoff committee
  • Two ‘wild-card’ spots selected by the playoff committee
  • If the Group of Five team ‘opts-out’ the eighth spot is determined by the playoff committee’s rankings

But I wanted more for the Group of Five-- so here is the change I would make. 

I think the Group of Five should have their own eight-team playoff as well as a seat in the CFB Playoffs.

Each of the top teams in the Group of Five would submit their intention-- in advance of the selection process-- if they are choosing to opt-in to the CFB Playoff or opting-out and playing in the Group of Five Playoff. 

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Since their first meeting in the College Football Playoff, Clemson and Alabama have dominated the field.

That would add some excitement when Cincinnati fans find out they qualified for the CFB Playoff, but as a program decided to opt-out to play for their own title in the Group of Five Playoff.

Bearcat fans might be frustrated because they opted out, but if the athletic department feels they would be the favorite to win the Group of Five Title, they can choose that path instead.

If the Group of Five team opts-out, the spot would go to the eighth-best team in the Power Five as determined by the committee. 

For example, if UCF felt ‘froggy’ a few years ago, they could have tested the Group of 5 Playoff.

But if a team feels they don’t have a real chance to win a title against Alabama, Clemson, and others, they could choose to play in the Group of Five Playoff with a chance to hoist their own trophy.

It’s the best of both worlds for the smaller programs, and an opportunity for more access as teams that aren’t great could pull an upset on conference championship weekend, upsetting the apple cart and keeping more fanbases invested.

LONGEST GAME EVER.

Every once in a while, I stumble on something that I just have to read, and while researching information on the No. 12 Clemson basketball team, I found this story about the longest game in history.

Incredibly the game that took place on December 21, 1981, between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Bradley Braves, was just a 75-73 final after...wait for it...SEVEN overtimes.

All total the game lasted 75 minutes, 35 of which came after regulation, to determine a winner. According to the article, both teams were satisfied holding the ball much of the game, and the two clubs combined for just 22 points in 35 minutes of overtime. Neither team scored more than four points in any given overtime period.

Here’s the full story from the NCAA’s website. 

2021 ACC TOP 5.

The 2020 season is behind us and it is time to turn the page and look to next season...way too early. The Clemson Tigers will be looking for their 7th consecutive ACC title and will have loads of talent to get the job done. The Tar Heels, the Wolfpack and others will have a lot to say before that is decided. Check out our way too early look at the top 5 teams for next season right here! 

SONG OF THE DAY. 

In honor of that 75-minute basketball game in 1981, I felt it was fitting to deliver a little Kurtis Blow. 

- ”Basketball” - Kurtis Blow - 

A BIT OFF THE PATH. 

I remember several years ago that back when my show was just a podcast and not yet on iHeart Radio, there was talk of “space junk” falling from the sky. I did a whole bit on it at the time, but last night, I saw on the news that there is a case of wine headed back to earth, and I'm not gonna lie, it caught my attention-- until I realized it’s a controlled landing and not something I could stumble upon in the wild.

In the NBA, the Rockets and Nets put together a mega-deal sending James Harden to Brooklyn, essentially shifting the power in the Eastern Conference. For Harden, it will be an adjustment as Kevin Durant, his former teammate in Oklahoma City, in my opinion, is the lead dog in Brooklyn.

And finally, former Olympic gold-medal swimmer Klete Keller was charged in connection with the U.S. Capitol storming that took place last Wednesday, putting the cherry on one of the strangest and concerning moments I’ve watched in our nation’s great history.

Let us know what you think about THE ROAR! If you liked it, make sure you SHARE! 

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THE ROAR: The Playoff Fix, Longest Game, and ACC Top 5 in 2021

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