ESPN quickly hustled the sadly aged Keith Jackson off the air during the Rose Bowl broadcast Monday when Jackson suggested that college football's TV coverage has become over-saturated.
The smooth Chris Fowler and toothsome college football booster Kirk Herbstreit seemed perplexed at the diminished Keith's attack of honesty. The ESPN playbook calls for unstinted praise of the game, with its overpaid coaches, underpaid players, frequent injuries and pervasive criminal violence among "student athletes."
Whoa, Nelly, folks, I love it too.
The legendary sportscaster Jackson's observation came after days of too many teams with 5-7 or 6-6 records playing in meaningless bowl games before sparse crowds. College football's regular season frequently quickens our pulse. The postseason sinks into anticlimax.
Falling short of their promised drama, the college football playoffs games were one-sided and boring. Two major bowls were exciting: the Rose and the Orange.
Clemson's shutout of Ohio State in one of the playoffs games showed that the Buckeyes shouldn't have been included in the big show. Big 10 champion Penn State, edged in the last second by USC in the thrilling Rose Bowl shootout, would have been a better selection.
Despite Alabama's poor offensive scheme that led to coach Nick Saban sacking offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin before next week's title game against Clemson, the Crimson Tide dominated the Washington Huskies in the Peach Bowl, the last college game played in the soon to be destroyed Georgia Dome.
Washington won the Pac 12 title despite possessing less than playoff-quality talent, but it's difficult to see who would have been a better choice. USC gained strength toward the end of the season, but lost badly to Alabama the first game of the year. Michigan's defeat by Florida State in the Orange Bowl followed its loss to the Buckeyes.
Along with insufficient talent, The Huskies also had to travel cross country to play in what was essentially an Alabama home game.
Mr. Process Saban, who claims to run a precision machine, acted to head off a few cracks in the engine. The Peach Bowl ended with several ugly unsportsmanlike conduct calls against Tide players. Then Saban, tired of Kiffin's comic jibes about the chronically morose coach, the Tide monolith and the dullness of Tuscaloosa, cast Kiffin away to his Florida Atlantic head coaching job.
Despite a pay cut, Kiffin probably will like Boca Raton better then Tuscaloosa. More bikinis and pina coladas. No more "ass chewings" unless he administers them himself.
In the Sugar Bowl nightcap, garrulous announcer Brent Musburger praised Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, recently shown punching his girlfriend on a tape from several years ago. Musburger's remarks highlighted the 77-year-old's return from his SEC Network exile the last couple of years following his leering comments at a BCS championship game about Katherine Webb, Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron's girlfriend. Musburger's free association about Webb's beauty, which boosted Webb's modeling career, was criticized as sexist.
Now, college football will come to a merciful close with a rematch between Clemson and Alabama for the national championship. The former Washington and USC coach Steve Sarkisian will take over for Kiffin. Sarkisian, whose head coaching career was torpedoed by alcohol abuse, will find his new sobriety tested.
Outside of Tide backers, most fans will be pulling for Clemson and its elegant quarterback Deshaun Watson, who should have won the Heisman. Despite the overwhelming sentiment for the Tigers, Alabama's fearsome defense favors a Tide win, even if freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has to make up plays in the huddle.