Holohan: Playoffs made 2014 season even better

Published 3:00 am Thursday, January 1, 2015

Well, it’s time.

It’s what we’ve all been clamoring for. No, it’s what we’ve all been demanding for years on end.

The College Football Playoff is upon us.

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No more silly computer algorithms, and no more confusing statistics.

I’d say that this year no one was left out, but we all know that simply isn’t true.

In all reality, someone will always be left out. The fifth-ranked team will always feel robbed, no matter the record. And if the playoff expands to eight teams (which I expect it to in the next five or so years) the ninth-ranked team will always feel like they’ve been gypped. There’s really no avoiding it. Sorry Baylor and TCU, maybe next year.

Although, after yesterday’s ravaging of Ole Miss, is there any doubt that TCU is one of the best teams in the country? At least one of the top four? I’ve harped on that for too long. I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

But what a season this was. In all my years of watching college football, this may have been one of the most exciting.

It’s actually kind of funny.

The narrative was exhausted over and over when we as fans lobbied for a playoff.

“A playoff would ruin the regular season,” BCS officials said.

“It would make regular season games less important,” bowl executives said.

How funny. How wrong they were.

Think each and every game this regular season didn’t mean anything? Tell that to Ole Miss, who upset Alabama in October and all but rioted on the field after the game, knowing what the win meant for their title hopes.

Tell that to Alabama, who, knowing they were hanging onto their season by a thread after said loss, had to squeak by Arkansas the next week and had to magically pull a victory out at LSU just to keep their season alive.

Tell that to Florida State, who by all means should be at least 8-4 on the season. But knowing what a loss would mean to their season, found a way each and every week to come out with a win.

Tell that to Baylor and TCU, who battled in a video game-like shootout that saw Baylor rally from 21 points down to snatch the victory from the hands of the Horned Frogs.

Bet TCU wishes they had that one back, huh?

Tell that to Ohio State, who may have the best story of the year, galloping into the semi-final behind the arm of their third-string quarterback. Without the playoff, they may not have had a chance to continue their run.

Tell that to every single team who huddled around a television on Dec. 7, hoping and praying the selection committee would call their name to be part of the final four playoff teams.

We finally get what we want today.

You know how I know the playoff didn’t ruin college football? Because every Tuesday night, you watched ESPN intently, hoping that your team somehow snuck into the top four. I watched every night, sitting on the edge of my seat to see whom the committee deemed worthy of the playoffs each week.

I had never paid so much attention to Big 12 football in my life. Outside of my favorite team — who will remain nameless — I studied and obsessed over every game in every conference, analyzing what the result would mean to the playoff picture.

I’ve never enjoyed college football this much.

That’s how I know the College Football Playoff didn’t ruin the season.

Now that it’s here, enjoy.