SHA-SHAM: Media Darling OSU Finds Way into First College Playoff


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - You knew it was going to happen. Ohio State would be in the first college football playoff.

National media influence, or worse, coerced the selection committee to place Ohio State in the top four playoff teams at No. 4, bumping a much more deserving TCU or Baylor of the Big 12 to the side of the road.

A sad day for college football. 

We already knew the power of national television in determining opponents, dates, times and sites for games. Today's announcement certainly brings into question what else they can influence.

With an eye on high ratings and making the most revenue, TV, especially ABC and their ESPN, have openly lobbied for Ohio State way before the Buckeyes' win in the Big Ten Championship game over Wisconsin.

It worked. Alabama will play Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. Oregon will take on Florida State in the Rose Bowl, also on New Year's Day. The winners will play for the national championship on Jan. 12.

OSU has been ESPN's poster boy from the start. Commentators and anchors slobber all over themselves searching for the right adjectives to proclaim Urban Meyer's team as playoff worthy. 

Now you will hear 100 times that "they got it right" when referring to the appointed selection committee. Consider the source and their motives. There have been more ESPN sound bites and features this season on Meyer and OSU than any other major college team or coach.

The love affair continues. College football fans should be outraged. The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was not perfect. But didn't leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Members of the selection committee showed a lack of integrity or knowledge, or worse yet, were unduly influenced by media reports to make a mockery of new college football's playoff system. 

The thinking was simple. TCU or Baylor would certainly not deliver the TV audience of a historic national power.

The BCS was fairer. Better. And much more legit.

If you don't believe me, just ask Art Briles or Gary Patterson.

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