I thoroughly enjoyed the CFP national championship game Monday night. Well, I enjoyed everything about it except a certain politician’s appearance before the game (I switched away just as L was yelling at me to get him off the screen) and how the game was an example of the biggest problem with college football today: four hours to play a game is ridiculous.
Anyway, the game itself was excellent. To remind you, my pick was LSU 31, Clemson 28. I genuinely thought LSU was better, but I do not like Clemson, mostly because I think their coach is a gigantic douche. Then again I think that of most football coaches, so he’s not unique. He just seems extra douchey. And I might think Ed Orgeron is a douche in a few years, but for now he’s one of the most entertaining coaches around. Plus I always feel like LSU is kind of everyone’s second-favorite team. And that’s mostly because of their fans and the culture around the program and of region. But they also tend to be a fun team to watch, which as a neutral is always important.
Five minutes into the game I texted a friend that I wanted to change my pick. Clemson’s defense looked absolutely ferocious in the early going. Their offense wasn’t doing much, yet, but I didn’t see how Yellow Tigers’ could solve the Orange Tigers’ defense. Clemson 10–0 felt right.
Then LSU got on the board, the home crowd got cranked up, and I settled back into my pick.
Then Clemson went up 10 and I started to doubt myself again. How could I pick against Clemson, a team that hadn’t lost in two seasons and had playmakers all over the field?
Then LSU had an absolutely monster second quarter and took an 11-point lead into halftime. Yep, just like I expected. And maybe a little more so!
Then an LSU three-and-out to start the second half followed by an easy Clemson drive for a touchdown and two-point conversion. Uh-oh…
But, finally, LSU asserted themselves as the most dominant team in the game they were all season. It was a legendary performance filled with jaw-dropping plays in front of a highly partisan and hyped crowd. That was just fun to watch.
It always feels weird to immediately assess performances in a historical context. Because of that, I want to pump the brakes a little on how high we place Joe Burrow’s performance both last night and this season. I also get cynical when the big media machine gets behind a story and wants to elevate it to a near mythical standard. Sometimes the people presented to us as heroes are actually gigantic dicks, you know? But, man, Burrow’s performance was pretty freaking good! And for now his story checks every box that makes it immensely satisfying.
Burrow’s senior year will certainly go down as one of the greatest ever. It’s just harder how to rank him as a college quarterback when he did this for one year.
His numbers are complicated by the fact that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has one more year of college ball left. I think his goal every waking minute for the next year will be to avenge the only loss of his college career and break every record Burrow set along the way. I would not bet against him doing exactly that.
Anyway, it was a hell of a game to watch between two fantastic teams and a fine finish to the college football season.
One of my friends I was texting during the game is a big Penn State fan. He also enjoys a little trash talk. So, after the reveal of the eleven greatest players in college football history, I quickly let him that the list had one more Kansas – KANSAS FOOTBALL! – player than Penn State players.
Love, love, love that Gale Sayers still gets some props. I’m obviously way too young to have ever seen him play live. But guys from the KC and Chicago areas who watched him play in his prime talk about him as if he was the most amazing thing they’ve ever seen.
Now, of course, there are problems with that list. Big problems. College football is barely the same sport it was when Gale and Roger Staubach were playing, let alone when Barry Sanders was playing. These lists are impossible and will always be fatally flawed. I will just celebrate that a Jayhawk made this list.