Dear Playoff Selection Cabal Committee:
I lodged a complaint with you last year when you began this sinister manipulation of the national treasure that is the venerable college football tradition. You fared somewhat well with your collusory scheme in your first attempt, though I suspect this had more to do with the sort of benighted luck visited upon a broken analogue clock that succeeds in telling accurate time in two minutes out of the 24-hour day. With this year’s shambolic farce, though, you have befouled the proverbial cot, thus necessitating my sternly-worded letter.
While I understand that you must kowtow to the economic engines that are the conferences and the Masonic bankers who control them, and I concede that the non-sequential, unmarked bills which the Big Ten (or whatever glyph they are known as lately) deposited in a shoebox and had delivered to your secret lair, paid substantial dividends when your controversial #4 selection won your tainted championship despite its one loss, this year’s obsequious and medically-inadvisable removal of your cumulative backbones in the face of Big XII whinging and Big Ten entitlement, has yielded a championship game that leaves as much doubt as your faceless overlords sought to eliminate when they initiated you into their dark arts. I shall elaborate.
The “old and decrepit” bowl system that functioned quite serviceably until the Bilderberg Group killed it to prove their subtle control of world events, was criticized – sometimes fairly – for rewarding conference champions that were, in fact, not up to the standards of a potential championship-determining game. In addition, the freedom of a bowl committee to select a team of its choice, rewarded big names over scrappy winners. It was argued that the totality of a team’s performance throughout the season should dictate its invitation to a bowl game. In light of this reasoning, you met some ten times, assiduously considering a myriad of factors, in order to deliver a playoff of…four big-name conference champions. I hope you didn’t run out of cocktail nuts during the fraught final meeting at your Texas resort and spa, while you fiercely debated that shocking outcome.
Oklahoma met Clemson – in the manner of a wayward steer meeting the Amtrack Transcontinental Steam Excursion. Michigan State was schedule to meet Alabama, but evidently failed to attend the game altogether (the Spartans must not have been able to break free of the wet paper bag that is East Lansing in early winter). Thus, two teams will face each other on Monday, without having been adequately weighed in the balance against worthy competition. But this is not the extent of your negligence.
Stanford was relegated to a non-playoff bowl game, in which the Iowa Hawkeyes were summarily diced and boiled like a fine shallot flavoring a béchamel. In this, the Pacific Rim champion dismembered the Big Ten team which was undefeated but for barely losing to a Michigan State team that brought its wiffle-ball squad to a football game and failed to score a single point.
Ohio State, the defending national champion, had a single loss to the East Lansing Flounders. It was a mere three-point deficit in an otherwise impressive season for a team that is sending many players to the National Football League, where they will receive paychecks from team owners, no longer Urban Meyer.
And then there is my beloved Notre Dame. Yes, we lost to Clemson, though we came the closest to defeating the undefeateds of any other team. There was also the matter of the massive tropical depression that lashed us throughout the game with rain and winds which would have sunk Noah’s beast cruise. This is often called a hurricane, though the South Carolina kind only mars football games; it does not commit criminal acts like the Miami kind. Notre dame also lost to Stanford, again by two points. This is the same Stanford team that utterly humiliated Iowa, and unleashed Musburger’s incubus a fleet-of-foot ubermensch, whom the Irish had previously made look like a CYO player.
But come the Fiesta Bowl, this was not the same Notre Dame team. Collectively, they were known as Team 127 – because 127 players suffered catastrophic injuries throughout the season, necessitating 127 other players to start for them. Despite losing their best defensive athlete in the early stages of the game, the Irish still gave the Buckeyes a run fun for their money (ironic, since Ohio State won thanks to the scoring drives of its most prolific runner, who is legally barred from driving in the State of Ohio).
We ask whether Stanford and Ohio State should have been in the playoff. We imagine what even an injured Notre Dame could have done to the Iowa jello-molds or the Michigan State potted-geraniums. We wonder what could have been. We are left by the side of the road in the exact place which you, oh Playoff Committee, said we would never be forced to visit again.
We can hope that the Celmson-Alabama match which you have contrived will be worthy of watching. It would be enjoyable for Clemson to win a Championship again after being away for so many years. It is always good to give Crimson Tide fans something to do other than shaming and killing the local varmint population. But, committee, on the whole, you could have and should have done better. After all, that’s what the Illuminati are paying you for.
Note: Padre’s book, Father Sorin Says: The Founder Comments on Today’s Notre Dame, is available from the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore and Amazon. It is a collection of Padre’s thoughts and reflections, and is suitable for celebrating or burning, depending on which school you attended or which team you support.
Son, in 199 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard, incontrovertible facts: There is a God, and I'm pretty tight with Him.
Now I’m going to tell you a whole lot of things I’ve kept to myself for years. None of you ever knew me. I was along before your time, but you all know what a tradition I am at Notre Dame. And one of the most important things I ever said was, “Friends, sometime when my University is up against it and the breaks are beating the students, tell them to go out there with all they’ve got and win at everything for Padre. I don’t know exactly where I’ll be then, friends,” I said, “but I’ll be looking right over your shoulder.”