Well, now it's official: The Ohio State Buckeyes are the best college football team in the country.
Along the way, the rioting that took place in Columbus afterward gave the team a black eye. It shouldn't have happened; and it should have been anticipated and stifled before it got out of hand, so students and local authorities can share the blame.
But the event also spotlights one reason that I think the whole idea of this college-level superbowl is not just superfluous, but mistaken.
The more serious reason is that it blurs the line between "sport" and "business." The distinction between Pro and Am has been getting blurry for many years, not just in football but in sports more generally. But this playoff, with all its fanfare, is a body blow from which the QB of "amateur" won't easily recover. Already-touted plans to expand the playoff idea to eight teams ought to pretty much guarantee he never returns to the field; talk of paying the players may kill him off in the locker room.
What happens to concepts of sport as an adjunct to education, rather than the main event to which learning takes a back seat? Where in all this is the "win-or-lose-it's-the-game-that-counts" teaching moment? Will nationwide high school playoffs be next?
I realize of course that this is all about money, and nothing more. And money makes the world go 'round (it's in the U.S. Constitution, when you think about it). But I think we lose something by it.
P.S., the education establishment seems to have gone along with the concept, since football, it is said, helps pay for education programs, yet I have to wonder how much of the money involved really will trickle to the costs of lab equipment and classrooms.