A fitting end to the college playoffs

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Congratulations to the College Football Playoff Committee.

Through all of the ups and downs, the judgments about which teams should be in and eventually got it, you should be commended.

Monday’s championship game between Clemson and Alabama was worth all that headache.

FROM THE time the first list was announced on Nov. 1 to the final play of Monday’s game, it was heavily debated which teams should be in the final four.

Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, USC, Alabama and Clemson always seemed to be in the conversation, with Washington finding its way into the playoff with a win in the Pac-12 Conference championship game against Colorado.

Now, the semifinal games weren’t all that exciting, unless you were a fan of the Huskies and were thrilled with that 24-7 loss in the Peach Bowl. Maybe it was nerves, or maybe it was Alabama was really that much better than the Huskies on that day. At least that semifinal was more interesting than the Clemson-Ohio State game, which ended with the Tigers blitzing the Buckeyes 31-0 to advance to the title game.

In Monday’s game, Alabama showed exactly why nobody had beaten the Crimson Tide in its last 25 games, and appeared on the way to making it 26 straight. They ran the ball all over the place, played physical defense and found explosive plays when they needed late to take a lead.

But Clemson wasn’t going to be denied, finding answers when it needed, including the final one with a second remaining to win the national title.

WITH THE outcome of this year’s playoff, there’s no need to add teams anytime soon.

Three of the squads mentioned as playoff teams — Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State — all lost in their bowl games, with USC beating Penn State in one of the most entertaining Rose Bowl games that I’ve seen in a long time.

Adding teams to the playoff, much like the 68-team playoff that is used to determine the national champion in men’s basketball, wouldn’t be a great idea.

Sure, the appeal of having a few more teams in the mix is a great idea in football, but also takes away whatever the regular season is all about. Outside of a few marquee matchups in September, teams avoid playing each other until they really have to late in the season.

If the field was expanded, chances are more teams might get an invite, but also show why they don’t really belong in the championship picture.

Monday’s game was everything right with college football.

A good, entertaining game until the finish that had fans on the edge of their seats.

Add more teams to that mix, chances are it begins to get a little stale in time.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d’Alene Press. He can be reached by telephone at (208) 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via email at jelliott@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter @JEPressSports.

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