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College Football “Semis” Notes

December 31, 2020

In tomorrow’s college football semis, a pair of results that would match ’15 and ’17 champion, top ranked, undefeated Alabama and ’16 and ’18 champion, second ranked, once beaten (they were sans, very likely top NFL draft pick, Trevor Lawrence in the loss) Clemson is a two to one favorite to manifest. The teams are a combined 4 touchdown favorite.

Alabama, denied titles in close losses twice (’73 and ’74) and truly questionable polling twice (’66 and ’77) by Notre Dame, is a 20 point favorite vs them, in the semis opener tomorrow. The Tide (Alabama, “they call Alabama The Crimson Tide,” so beautifully part of Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues”) ripped Notre Dame in the 2012 title tilt, two years before the first 4 team ‘offs began in 2014.

Meanwhile, Clemson with tremendous coach, but seemingly reactionary and definitely over zealous “my way or the highway” regarding religion, Dab Swinney at the controls, and the aforementioned Lawrence, are seven plus point(s) faves vs Ohio State.

The Clemson/Ohio State clash is their second straight “later semi” clash and third in five seasons. Clemson prevailed easily in the ’16 semi and won a close game vs Ohio St. last season. Clemson has made the college football ‘offs the last 6 seasons, thus has only missed them once.

Alabama also is in the ‘offs for a 6th time in 7 possibilities, Ohio State is in their fourth while Notre Dame is in its second.

Friday January 1, 2021, the day/date of the two semis tilts, marks the exact 50 year anniversary of another Notre Dame first then Ohio State bowl game (these semis are also bowls, the first the Rose Bowl, but to be in Texas and the second the Sugar in its traditional home, New Orleans) with decided, albeit far more mythical, national title consequences.

Then in the Cotton Bowl, “spoiler,” Notre Dame upset top ranked Texas, spoiling Texas’ chances to repeat as national champions (R.M. Nixon, the former Vice President and then President of the United States having declared Texas the ’69 champions, much to the consternation of one Joe Paterno, whose Penn State team went undefeated, untied (there were ties then), for a second straight season and frankly were barely considered for national title honors. I feel Nixon, surely I am no fan of he, was right regarding Texas and while Paterno has fallen exponentially in history’s eyes, Mr. Nixon proving once again that most things in life are relative, has gained).

That result gave Ohio State, the ’68 champions, who were denied by 17 point underdog, Michigan (yes there was a time Michigan beat Ohio State or tied them, costing them mythical national titles/chances), enabling Texas to win the ’69 crown if they “Cotton Bowl’d” Notre Dame, which they did, highlighted by Cotton Speyrer’s all-time clutch catch (do you think Chris Fowler, who shamelessly talked of Notre Dame being close in previous big games under its good but you know he is a harda–, coach Brian Kelly, when evidence entirely refutes it, knows this?!), if it beat Stanford.

However, Jim Plunkett and Stanford said no, beating Ohio State (27-17). That gave Nebraska a chance to “vault” 2 places to mythical #1, which they did, with quarterback Jerry Tagge also “vaulting” (literally, not figuratively) in for a big, if not, decisive touchdown.

If Notre Dame shocks almost everyone and “outrights” Alabama (despite their poor performances in these type games and actually because of them, I think Notre Dame will at least cover, probably be competitive and maybe even pull a shocking upset), theoretically, that would help an Ohio State team playing immediately after.

If Ohio State upsets Clemson and faces Alabama, the Tide would be at least 10, likely more, point(s) favorites.

85 years ago, another “Bill” Shakespeare made history, when in a famed regular season game, he led Notre Dame to victory vs Ohio State, passing to Wayne Millner for the last minute winning touchdown. If the two meet again (no Bard/Shakespeare words comes to mind, the “fault lies with me,” knowing this sports c–p, and not Shakespeare) for the 2020 title, each having pulled an upset (Notre Dame’s if it happens, three times bigger), I believe Ohio State would be established as roughly a 6 to 7 point favorite.

If as expected, it is Alabama vs Clemson for a 5th time in 6 seasons and in a 4th title tilt, the highest of those numbers, SIX, would be the spread, with Alabama, as the favorite.

 

 

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