Did you have a fun New Year's Eve? If you did, you might have missed the College Football Playoff, whose ratings were down a significant amount from last year.
Overnights: 9.9 for Cotton and 9.7 for Orange. Last year's semis were 15.5 for the early game and 15.3 for the late one.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) January 1, 2016
If you did miss these games, you didn't miss anything pretty.
In the first game, the Orange Bowl, Oklahoma put up a fight for a bit against Clemson. The Sooners even led 17-16 at the half. But star running back Samaje Perine got hurt, Baker Mayfield threw two picks (as many as he threw in the entire Big 12 season), and Clemson posted 21 unanswered points in the second half. The Tigers had 530 yards of offense, showing why they're the only undefeated team in college football in a 37-17 blowout.
The game had a 4 p.m. Eastern kickoff on a Thursday, so all the fun parts probably happened before you were home from work.
In the second game, the Cotton Bowl, both teams opened with absolutely no offense, as the first seven drives all ended in punts. Maybe you got to see some punts before you went out.
But then Alabama started demolishing Michigan State on offense and special teams while keeping its hyper-talented defense cranked to 11. Final score: 38-0.
This was the most boring possible way these two games could've unfolded. In the first year of the Playoff, we had the No. 4 seed shocking the No. 1 seed with a third-string QB and an unstoppable running back, all after college football's last undefeated team imploded in the Rose Bowl. This year we had the No. 1 comfortably remaining the No. 1 and the No. 2 suffocating the life out of the No. 3 like a sadistic boa constrictor.
ESPN urged us to change the channel to watch Demi Lovato performing on ABC.
It was already a bad idea to have the Playoff on New Year's Eve.
It isn't good for people who have jobs, and have to work on New Year's Eve, which isn't a national holiday like New Year's Day. It isn't good for people who like to party, or have other social obligations on New Year's Eve.
It isn't even good for ESPN, which generally controls everything about college football, but couldn't convince the Playoff to budge from the date this year. The poor ratings explain why they tried so hard to move it.
The only people it is good for are the people who run the New Year's Day bowls. You may remember these people from when they were called the BCS, when they spent years trying to convince fans this very playoff was a bad idea. They eventually relented, but only if the new College Football Playoff still made them tons of money.
So, on the one hand, we have millions of people who are essentially begging for the opportunity to watch college football -- something most any other sport would kill for -- and a few old rich folks who stubbornly keep intentionally making college football more difficult to watch to further their own interests.
It is a dumb setup, and it deserved the poop games it got. College football's best hope is that the ratings for the games were so garbage, the games somehow get moved from New Year's Eve the next time it's an option.
If you skipped out on the Playoff games, you might have helped that dream become a reality, and you also got to avoid watching un-enjoyable football. Thank you, and congratulations.