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best teams or the best story?
Whether you sympathize with or against Nick Saban’s push to try and get Alabama into the CFB National Championship (the memes were worth it alone), he did raise a very valid point: if you were betting or in a College Football Bowl Pool, who would be favored in a match-up between ‘Bama and TCU and who would you pick?
Now I am not going to sit here and go through each and every game between ‘Bama and TCU, but it raises the question of whether we pick with our hearts or our heads. Our hearts say TCU. Every year, there’s a non-SEC/Big Ten/Clemson team that steals the hearts of America, and this season, it was the Horned Frogs. They played in some absolutely wild Big 12 matchups, all the way down to the Big 12 Championship against Kansas State. You can’t ask for much more than an overtime thriller, the same thing we got last year in the Big 12, but with intense playoff implications. TCU delivered week after week, and in the end, can you really punish a team for playing on championship weekend? The committee didn’t think so.
If we’re thinking with our heads, the choice is likely Alabama. Two very close losses to high-quality opponents on the road, a tough schedule, and talent up and down the roster. As much as I hate to say it, Saban is right. Alabama would be a favorite (maybe even a double-digit favorite if it wasn’t a playoff game) against TCU.
So what is it, head or heart? This year, the choice was our heart. Alabama will miss the college playoff for only the second time since 2014. No one feels bad that big bad ‘Bama doesn’t get a shot after losing two games this year. And TCU QB Max Duggan didn’t help Saban’s plea when he was crying on the podium after TCU’s OT loss to K-State. But in the end, this is a TV show meant to drive revenue. The Tide bring the eyeballs, fans, and storylines we routinely crave.
Though maybe our heart was right based on how everything turned out. Georgia and Ohio State is the #1 vs. #4 game, and should be wildly entertaining. The Bulldogs are favored, though would we be shocked if OSU turned it up to a new level with the thoughts of a Michigan rematch and pulled off the upset? I wouldn’t. With Michigan and TCU, It’s not likely the masses outside of Fort Worth are going to be taking TCU against Michigan, but anything can happen. Just imagine though, Alabama at 4 and Ohio State at 3. We get an all-SEC and all-Big Ten semifinal. Talk about eyeballs and revenue for the committee!
The small but mighty schools will get their shot in plenty starting the 2024 season. So while most agree with the CFP Committee’s choice to pick TCU over Bama, they bet with their heart and you never bet with your heart. The real cash cow would have been Alabama. We all would pick Alabama over TCU head-to-head. And if we get an Ohio State vs. TCU National Championship, I think we will revisit this article again and wish we would have selected the best teams. The best teams write their own stories, and that is often what is best.
No matter what the committee decides, you’ll have a chance to pick every single bowl game, all bowl season long with RYP’s Bowl Pick’em games! Start your pool, invite your friends, and beat them down.