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CFB playoff a big hit and Wallenda will walk

By Walter Geiger I have long been a proponent of a college football playoff, having gone so far as to use this space to lay out a 16-game version utilizing the existing bowl system. We finally got a four-game playoff this year and it most certainly will grow to eight games soon. Once the playoff structure was in place and the playoff committee at work, the NCAA wisely let ESPN pimp it. If you want something or somebody to go from unknown to tip-of-thetongue status overnight, all you need to do is enlist the help of the World Wide Leader. The playoff worked. It built interest. I generally watch only Georgia’s bowl game and the national title game in their entireties. This year I watched the Dogs roll in the Belk Bowl and watched both playoff games to the end. I hope Nick Chubb and company can get to the playoffs next year. The first game pitted Oregon against FSU. I had seen a little of FSU in action this fall but I had never watched a single snap of an Oregon game ever. Boy did I come away impressed with the Ducks, the team Nike treats as its own little proving grounds/toy box. The Ducks move the ball seemingly at will but they are not all flashy offense. Their defense was tough too, battering Seminole quarterback Jameis Winston into thug mode early ‘“ presuming that he ever comes out of thug mode of which I have seen no evidence. Winston, last year’s Heisman winner, was thoroughly outplayed and outclassed by Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, this year’s trophy holder, as the Ducks rolled to a 59-20 win that wasn’t that close. Mariota was superb on the field and gracious off. Winston cursed his teammates and his coaches. What a loser! The vaunted SEC got its one shot in the second game when Alabama faced Ohio State. Many thought TCU should have been in this game instead of the Buckeyes. ESPN polled all its football folks prior to the game and just one picked Ohio State. Funny, on the field Ohio State looked better right from the start. The Buckeyes fielded some athletes. Alabama’s offensive and defensive linemen looked fat and slow ‘“ its secondary inept. Meanwhile, Buckeye quarterback Cardale Jones, their third stringer, settled after a rough start, running through and throwing over the Tide defense. Jones, who wears #12, may have the best nickname in all of football. They call him ‘˜12 Gauge’. The Buckeyes won 42-35 but the game was essentially over midway through the third quarter. It was really the best outcome for the Tide because Oregon would toast their slow defense for 60-plus points. Urban Meyer, who once touted Tim Tebow as the greatest player of our generation (please?), is now himself being hyped as the best big game coach in America. Methinks Oregon will void that theory and win the first ever CFB playoff handily. ‘“ If football is not your thing, here’s something for your calendar. On July 18, 1970, Karl Wallenda traversed the Toccoa Falls gorge in northeast Georgia on a high wire. This summer, 45 years later, his grandson Nik Wallenda will do the same and the techno geniuses will use film footage of Karl’s walk to project a 3D image onto the wire that will make it appear the two are tempting the gorge at the same time. Wire walkers fascinate and frighten me at the same time. I might just go watch this event. For information, google Tallulah Gorge Skywalk Celebration. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette.

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