I couldn’t sleep Saturday night. Literally, tossing and turning, all night, my mind abuzz with the possibilities that would come Sunday morning. Not since I was a child grappling with a Christmas Eve night have I suffered such anticipation for what might happen the next day! I finally just had to pop a Benadryl to zonk myself out for a few hours. And, I mean, I was up late! I watched the whole episode of Saturday Night Live for crying out loud!
Yet, there I was, 8am, wide awake. Fuck.
Got out of bed and sat with my laptop on and the TV off. Caught up on the previous evening’s Tweets, checked some e-mails, read the funnies, killed an hour. 9am. ESPN’s College Football Playoff Selection Show or some damn thing. Still, I kept the TV off. I haven’t watched any of those rankings shows on Tuesday nights for the last month, and I wasn’t about to jinx it now. These are the FINAL rankings! The deciding rankings. Stick to Twitter.
Wait a half-hour.
Washington’s in. Turn on the TV! Listen to the babies whine and cry about a 2-loss Penn State team. Whine and cry about a Big 10 champion not making the playoffs even though it’s the best conference in college football this year. Blah blah blah.
Within minutes, I’m back on my computer. I’m in a text chat with my friends. I’m confirming a Peach Bowl ticket with someone. I’m looking for hotels near the Georgia Dome. I’m on another site looking for plane tickets. I’m going to Atlanta to watch the Huskies play the number one team in the nation in the College Football Playoffs! It’s my first-ever bowl game, so I decided to make it count. It’s a FUCKING arm and a leg, but you only live once, and with me, you gotta figure I’m on borrowed time!
I’m thinking about the sights I want to see. I’ll be flying in Thursday, December 29th; I’ll have the entire Friday to be a tourist. Coca-Cola Museum. Sweetwater Brewery Tour. College Football Hall Of Fame. The aquarium, the zoo, CNN, MLK’s boyhood home, the Natural History Museum. Centennial Olympic Park. So much to do, so little time.
I know I’m terribly biased about the whole thing, but I honestly think the committee got it right. I probably would’ve kept Ohio State at #2, with Clemson at #3, but that’s a nothing little detail. Maybe the better team should be choosing before the coin toss anyway.
But, seriously though, you couldn’t put a 2-loss Penn State team in there over a 1-loss Washington team. Obviously, had UW gotten screwed, I’d be much more passionate about this issue, but let’s be real here. Penn State lost to a 4-loss Pitt team, and got absolutely destroyed by Michigan. All they did all damn year was luck into a win over Ohio State and storm back against an overrated Wisconsin team. Washington had a bad loss against USC, but it wasn’t the absolute drubbing Michigan put on Penn State. And we throttled Colorado (legitimate top 10 team), Stanford, and Wazzu (on the road in the Apple Cup), as well as beat a ranked Utah team on the road. You can rail against Washington’s non-conference schedule all you want, but going 3-0 against three scrubs is NOT the reason why we made the playoffs. We were consistently the better of the two teams all year long, in just about every stat you can come up with.
If it were up to me, I probably would’ve had Michigan ranked ahead of Penn State, but I guess you’ve gotta throw them a bone somewhere. Now watch them get destroyed by USC in the Rose Bowl.
So, that leaves the Huskies playing Alabama. I plan on writing about the game another time, but I’ll say again what I’ve been saying repeatedly over the weekend: I’d rather play Alabama in the semifinals – when I’ve got a month to prepare for them – than have to play them in the Championship Game when I’ve got a little over a week (and really, much less than that, considering all the media hoopla that comes with the National Championship Game). Of course, the flipside of that is Alabama has a month to prepare for us, but who knows? Maybe they overlook us. Maybe they come out over-confident because we’re just this nothing team from this nothing conference way out on the West Coast.
We’ll see. I’ll try to do some digging and see if the numbers indicate any potential weakness. In the meantime, here’s some interesting reading from The Ringer.