Today is when the frenzy begins for a whole lot of college football, starting with the College Playoff that’ll commence in South Florida with the Orange Bowl. Oklahoma and Clemson will kick off the first game where the winner will advance to the national championship game in Glendale. Tonight’s game features Michigan State going against Alabama in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, TX, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
There are however some other fantastic games outside of the two national semi-finals that should be must see. Tomorrow Notre Dame takes on Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl and then later in the day Iowa takes on Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Northwestern will face SEC East opponent Tennessee in the Outback Bowl to start the day and there will be three games going on simultaneously after the noon hour tomorrow. On Saturday there will be another four games going on with the Alamo Bowl pitting two top-15 teams against one another in Oregon and TCU who were both playoff contenders at one time or another during the regular season.
The biggest gripe about the new playoff format is that the games outside of the top four teams have lost a lot of luster in terms of appeal. The Rose Bowl for a hundred years used to be a game that you never missed on New Years, but now that the national semi-finals games are rotated sites, this year’s Rose Bowl has nothing to offer in terms of a championship outcome. Now of course if you went to Iowa that’s another story all together, but to the casual fan who has no rooting interest in a team, the Rose Bowl for example takes a big backseat to the Orange Bowl and tonight’s Cotton Bowl.
The New Years Day slate of games has changed an awful lot since the inception of this new system of how to crown a champion, but if you love college football, and you love good competition, the next couple of days is utopia to any collegiate sports fan.