COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF: LSU’s way-too-easy rout of Oklahoma should warrant changes to future semifinals

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Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow rolled for 493 yards passing and eight total touchdowns (seven passing) in LSU's 63-28 shakedown of Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl.

There are no easy answers when it comes to fixing the College Football Playoff — specifically the eminently flawed semifinal round:

**The CFP powers-that-be cannot extend a ‘bye’ to the No. 1 seed, given the multi-million-dollar ad buys (TV/title sponsorship) which accompany the semifinal matchups every year (rotating among the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta, Peach bowls).

**The committee cannot explicitly dissuade Oklahoma from compiling a CFP-worthy resume during the regular season, even though the Sooners sport an average defeat margin of 18 points in four Playoff games (all losses).

**The committee cannot force Pac-12 powerhouses, like Oregon, to avoid scheduling Auburn during non-conference play. (As a one-loss conference champion, the Ducks would have been strong Peach Bowl candidates.)

**The committee cannot clone Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney or even Ohio State’s Ryan Day, in hopes these blue-chip coaches could take their particular brand of awesomeness to the Big 12 or Pac-12.

**And most definitely, there cannot be an automatic rule of inserting two SEC schools into every four-team Playoff, even though we’re 100-percent certain an SEC defense would never surrender seven touchdown passes in one half to LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

Which brings us to this: Clemson and Ohio State did the CFP creators a wonderful service on Saturday, producing a big-play, high-drama classic that had all the makings of a national-title game … instead of a mere Fiesta Bowl semifinal.

Of equal importance, Clemson’s exhilarating comeback victory helped take the focus off LSU’s 63-28 dismantling of Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl (Playoff Semifinal #1), an untenable, borderline-unwatchable blowout that featured the following records:

**Most touchdown passes in a Playoff game (Burrow — 7)
**Most touchdown passes in Peach Bowl history
**Most individual total touchdowns in a Playoff game (Burrow — 8)
**Most receiving yards in a Playoff game (Justin Jefferson — 227)
**Most team points from one half in a Playoff game (LSU — 49)
**Most team points in a single Playoff game (LSU — 63)

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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