Rejoice, expansion fans.

The games that should matter the most — conference title games — soon will.

We just spent a week trying to create interest in 5 Power 5 conference title games that hardly mattered at all. That’s, um, not ideal.

Seriously, other than adding a trophy that soon will be forgotten, what overarching purpose did the SEC, ACC or Big Ten title games serve?

Georgia and Michigan were Playoff locks regardless. The ACC winner was locked out of the Playoff weeks ago. The Pac-12 and Big 12 title games only mattered if the wrong team lost. And USC and TCU did.

Utah won and … what? Kansas State won … and what? Nothing.

LSU, Purdue and UNC could have won and … what? Nothing.

Playoff expansion will arrive in 2024 with 6 automatic bids and 6 at-large bids. The new and improved format solves every major problem college football’s outdated championship chase has.

Unfortunately, it arrives too late to clean up the current mess.

Those are just some of the 10 things I’m absolutely overreacting to after the most irrelevant championship weekend in college football history.

10. Pssst … There are more than 4 championship-caliber teams every year

Expansion? Are you out of your mind? There aren’t even 4 teams worth crowning a champion!

How many times have you heard that?

It’s one of the dumbest, longest-running narratives in sports — exposed by the fact that the No. 4 seed has won the 4-team Playoff as many times as the No. 1 seed (twice). And both times the No. 4 seed won (Ohio State in 2014, Alabama in 2017), their inclusion was highly controversial and heavily criticized.

Playoff expansion solves all of these nonsensical debates. And the best part is, beginning in 2024, we will never again have to subject ourselves to another agenda-fueled argument about why this 1-loss team deserves the No. 4 seed over this 2-loss team — when neither team played anything remotely close to the same schedule.

One more year and the mind-numbing discussions disappear, fading into our memory just like the highway-wide shoulder pads and rip-away jerseys of the 1970s.

Can’t wait.

9. Alabama or Ohio State at No. 4?

Honestly, I don’t even care at this point.

The nonstop chatter has worn me out. It’s exhausting, repetitive and boring. It has been the same material every year since 2014. I stopped consuming it long ago.

Pick somebody and play on. Either one has enough NFL talent to win it all.

I will reiterate that it’s absolutely backward to punish a team that reaches a conference title game in favor of a team that didn’t even qualify for its league title game. Of course, that feeds into college football’s big problem: No two leagues are the same, so how do you truly gauge? You can’t. Hence, the screaming.

At any rate, it’s about to happen again: For just the 2nd time in Playoff history, an idle Power 5 conference team on championship weekend will replace a title-game participant.

Alabama in 2017 is the only idle P5 conference team to capitalize on another team’s title game loss and jump into the Playoff. (In 2016, Ohio State also was idle on championship weekend, but the Buckeyes already were No. 2 in the Playoff ranking. Penn State won the B1G title — and beat Ohio State earlier — but couldn’t overcome its 2 regular-season losses.)

In 2017, Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and Wisconsin were the top 4 teams heading into the conference title games. Georgia beat Auburn for the SEC title and jumped from No. 6 to No. 3 in the final rankings. Ohio State beat Wisconsin, creating an opening at No. 4. Idle Alabama, which was ranked No. 5, got in over 2-loss, B1G champion Ohio State, which prompted Kirk Herbstreit to walk off the set. Fun times.

Important to note, as the talking heads ramp up the discussion to extreme levels right up until Sunday’s announcement (and no doubt after): Those Buckeyes lost games by 15 and 31 points. Alabama’s lone loss in 2017 was a 1-score game at then-No. 6 Auburn.

The 2022 Tide have lost twice, too — but by a combined 4 points, on the road, to top-10 teams. Ohio State was blitzed by 22, at home, against Michigan.

Michigan beat Ohio State worse than it just beat Purdue.

8. The portal is open for business …

Well, officially it opens Monday, Dec. 5, but plenty of high-profile names already have announced they’re transferring.

UNC coach Mack Brown told reporters that one Tar Heels starter already has NIL offers from 15 programs. And he hasn’t declared.

(He didn’t mention star QB Drake Maye by name, but if you’re going to tamper illegally, why not shoot your shot with the ACC’s best quarterback?)

Brown lamented the back-room shenanigans that have accompanied the one-time free transfer.

I agree. It’s awful.

I mean, can you imagine if a college coach under contract with Team A had conversations with Teams B, C, D and E while still employed by Team A?

That would be outrageous!

7. There’s clearly no ‘D’ in Los Angeles …

… Or “USC” or “University of Southern California” or “Trojans” or “Lincoln Riley.”

Lots of “Os” in those names, but no “D.”

Colleague Matt Hinton made an excellent observation — nothing unusual there — during the first half of the Trojans’ blowout loss to Utah in the Pac-12 title game Friday night.

USC obviously needs help along the defensive line, where Utah attacked time and again. The Utes ran for 223 yards at 6.4 yards per clip. They exceeded their season average in a game the Trojans had to win.

There was no suspense, either. This was an old-fashioned mauling up front. And it wasn’t an outlier, either.

The only thing that looked different about this Trojans team and Riley’s defensively-challenged Sooners teams is the shade of red on the helmet.

That has to change.

Utah led the Pac-12 in every meaningful defensive stat. If the Utes can recruit that type of talent — and coach it up — there are zero excuses for Riley and Alex Grinch not to do a defensive 180 in 2023.

6. Mizzou didn’t want to play Kansas in a bowl game?

Say it isn’t so, Drink.

Sources told Brett McMurphy that the Tigers didn’t want to play their border rival in the Liberty Bowl. Sources also told McMurphy that Kansas was not opposed to renewing the rivalry, which ended when Mizzou joined the SEC in 2012.

Missouri, for what it’s worth, disputed McMurphy’s report.

I’m not going to question McMurphy’s bowl sources. He’s the industry leader in that arena.

I will question Mizzou’s trepidation.

Any SEC team avoiding any team is a weak look. This also seems petty.

Do better, Tigers.

At least the Twitterverse was understanding …

5. Tweet of the week …

Aaron Murray, a darned good Dawg, by the way, is the SEC’s career leader in passing yards and TDs. That’s quite a source, making quite a statement.

He’s not wrong, either.

4. The 4 Playoff teams are …

1. Georgia, 2. Michigan, 3. TCU, 4. Alabama

Alabama is better than Ohio State and would beat Ohio State. So that’s my Playoff field.

But I believe the committee will reward the Buckeyes.

Relax, SEC fans. This sets up perfectly for the Dawgs to ruin the B1G’s Playoff dream.


It’s over. Big-Game Georgia has entered the fray — and nobody’s beating Big-Game Georgia.

3. Lane Kiffin vs. Hugh Freeze is going to be fun …

Kiffin reportedly was Auburn’s top pick before deciding to stay at Ole Miss. (Wise decision, by the way.).

Auburn then turned to Hugh Freeze, who has so much baggage even Southwest says, no more, buddy. Hiring Freeze went over about as well as you’d expect.

Various outlets reported that Freeze agreed to have Auburn run his social media account.

Auburn disputed that, but that didn’t stop Kiffin from piling on as only he can.

Bet the over and 4th-quarter over for however long both coaches stay on their respective sidelines.

Frankly, I can’t wait for the first time one of them throws deep, up 30, in the final minute.

2. Caleb Williams, you knew it was coming …

I’m not going to repeat the message USC’s QB painted on his fingernails before the Pac-12 title game.

But it wasn’t, “Good luck, Utah,” though part of it rhymed with that.

Utah got the last laugh.

And the Pac-12 trophy.

Unfortunately, they’ll still have to watch the Playoff from home.

Williams? Well, the Heisman Trophy is a heck of a consolation. He deserves it, too, after finishing tied for 1st nationally with 37 TD passes and No. 3 with 4,075 passing yards. He’s only the 2nd Trojans QB to top 4,000 yards and he’ll likely break Sam Darnold’s single-season mark of 4,143 in the first half of USC’s bowl game.

1. 2 teams could enter the Playoff having lost their most recent game …

Good thing there’s no such thing as momentum in college football, right?

And it could always be worse. Remember, this is the sport that once rewarded a national title to a team that lost its bowl game.

We’re making progress.