Forget March, Let’s Start December Madness!

Back in January, Stewart Mandel wrote a column about how he felt the possibility of an 8 team College Football Playoff seemed far off in the future. In the article, Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware was quoted: “If we had to do another game after this? God, no. I’d literally die.” Maybe this is why he never made an NFL roster – he must have realized they play 16 games in a season in the NFL. Anything past 12 games might have caused death. As much of a hyperbole that quote from Boulware was, the excuses that float around about why the NCAA can’t have an 8 team playoff are equally absurd.

Adding 2-3 more games for less than a handful of college football teams is hardly going to break down the bodies of 18-23 year olds. The FCS has a 24 team playoff. Those FCS players must be a special breed of humans to be able to handle all that. Taking them away from school for an extra 1-2 weeks? Please, I can’t ask that question without laughing out loud (as if these student-athletes would not be given exceptions to accommodate their schedules). Once again, FCS players’ education must not mean as much as the FBS players. I am starting to think the mob might be involved with this. I joke, but I simply can’t come up with a rational reason. Much like conspiracy theories that the mob has kept legalized gambling away from New Jersey for decades with PASPA being the scapegoat (because the government just loves to turn away potential millions in tax revenue), why on earth would the NCAA and television networks turn down an extra playoff week? This would generate millions of dollars.

I realize there are always going to be teams on the outside looking in, but the teams that are currently ranked 5 through 8 are far more qualified to be in the playoff than the teams ranked in the bottom half of the top 20. Take a look at my picks for this weekend’s conference championship games. The way I see these games shaking out, there will definitely be a demand for an 8 team playoff. Let’s stop this political madness and start the real madness, December Madness!

Stanford +4 vs. USC – When the Trojans and the Cardinal met earlier this year it was one of USC’s few great games of the season. USC only has two losses but to me, with the exception of the Stanford game, they have been out of sync all year. This includes Sam Darnold. Two great running backs in this game. USC squeaks by but Stanford covers.
USC 31 Stanford 28

Georgia +2.5 vs. Auburn – The Bulldogs got shellacked the first go-around. I see a different outcome here. Georgia will run the ball better and Jake Fromm will be more poised. Georgia learns from its previous mistakes against the Tigers and shakes up the CFP order.
Georgia 24 Auburn 23

Clemson -9.5 vs. Miami (FL) – Miami was exposed last week. The U is definitely on the rise and they had a fantastic year, but I feel they hit their ceiling already. I am not impressed by their QB play. I think Clemson puts it all together here and their D-Line wreaks havoc on the Miami Offense
Clemson 30 Miami 17

Ohio State -6.5 vs. Wisconsin – Time to put up or shut up for the undefeated Badgers. Welcome to the first real challenge of the year. OSU will dare Wisconsin to throw the ball and load up against the run. The Buckeyes have too many weapons and this will be an “on week” for them. When they are running on all cylinders, they are the best in the country. Will it be enough to sneak into the Playoff? Better run up the score Urban.
Ohio State 31 Wisconsin 13

Oklahoma -7 vs. TCU – The future Heisman winner proves to be too much for the Horned Frogs for the second time this year. This will pretty much be a clone of the game they played one month ago. So much so, that I will project a replication of the final score from the last game.
Oklahoma 38 TCU 20

Projected Final Four:
1 – Clemson
2- Oklahoma
3 – Georgia
4 – Alabama

Follow Rod on Twitter @HotRodsPicks