College Football Gets Three-Team Playoff
November 26, 2012

As much as I wanted to, I couldn't do it. It would've created more BCS chaos, which is a good thing, but even though who I root for would have no bearing on the outcome, I just couldn't. I couldn't root for USC to beat Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish did beat 'SC 22-13, which is good for Trojan-bashers like me, but it also means the Golden Domers remain the only undefeated team in college football eligible for postseason play, and that means they will play for the national championship. Notre Dame is number two on my 'I Never Want To Win' list (right behind USC), and there's where I feel conflicted. Notre Dame number one? Undefeated? One step away from a title? Ech.

And here's more conflict. If you are in favor of a playoff system (and I am), then this year, you practically have one. Notre Dame is ranked number one, Alabama is two, and Georgia is three. Alabama and Georgia face each other in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game this weekend. That invariably means the winner of the SEC title game will end up ranked second, and will play Notre Dame for the crystal football in January. If you like brackets (like college basketball), Notre Dame gets a bye, and will face the Alabama/Georgia winner. It's pretty clear cut.

I guess that makes it a good thing, but personally, I don't like the options. Fans know that the SEC is the best conference, but a school in that league has won the title every year since 2006. We even had two teams (Alabama and LSU) face each other in the Championship Game last year. But if you want an SEC upset, that means Notre Dame. I'll watch the game on January 7, but I won't be excited about it. I'm rooting for Georgia. They haven't won it all since 1980 and Herschel Walker. At least USC isn't playing.

UCLA wanted to lose?: Conference expansion means stupid scenarios like this one. The Pac-10 Conference added two teams just so they could have a championship football game. With the now-named Pac-12 having two divisions, the winner of each plays for the conference title. UCLA came into Saturday's regular season finale against Stanford, knowing that if they lost, they would play the Cardinal again in the Pac-12 title game this week. A win would have meant facing a potentially tougher Oregon squad. I'm not saying it was on purpose, but UCLA did lose, and ends up playing Stanford two weeks in a row. Stupid.

La La La La: There was about a two-hour period Saturday when four Los Angeles teams were playing at the same time. Three of them lost. UCLA, USC, and the Clippers went down to defeat while the Lakers picked up their first road win of the year. And speaking of LA losses, the nationally-ranked Bruin men's basketball team fell at their newly-renovated Pauley Pavillion home to Cal Poly on Sunday. How does that happen?

Max homers for the hungry: Former Yuba City High Star, former Gold Sox standout, and now Oakland A's catching prospect Max Stassi hit 100 home runs Saturday at YCHS' Winship Field. It was the 21 year-old's fourth annual event to raise money for local food banks. I've known Max since he was 14, and he has definitely sharpened his interview skills. As a preview for his event, he was the feature in the 8am hour on Channel 31's Good Day Sacramento Friday. Hosts Cody Stark and Ken Rudulph asked some pretty stupid questions during the four-minute segment, but Stassi handled it well, and looked comfortable on set.

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