Photo: Gerald Herbert / Associated Press
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On the football front:
•It’s a bit alarming to hear people giving up on the idea of an eight-team playoff in college football. Abandoning the elements of history and foresight, they figure Alabama and Clemson will be contesting this thing for the next 88 years, so why bother?
Seriously, that’s the take in some quarters. Nobody’s more annoying than Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, who keeps claiming the four-team setup is ideal. Maybe he should stop to think about what’s good for his conference.
The playoff system needs a widespread regional element. However it looks at the top, all of the Power 5 conferences must be represented, and it just makes sense to spread national interest beyond the all-conquering SEC. There should be concern about the regular season, which would become more interesting for countless schools hoping to make that final eight.
People should remember, too, that nothing is forever. USC was an overwhelmingly dominant team for decades, reaching 10 Rose Bowls from the 1966 through ’79 seasons, getting to Pasadena four times in the seasons of the 1980s, and five more times during Pete Carroll’s run in the 2000s. Who could foresee the Trojans becoming an ordinary Pac-12 team with no conspicuous signs of recovery?
•Positive Pac-12 showings in the bowl games: One, the win by Washington State. That’s it. Stanford and Oregon were dreadfully dull in victory, and the other four teams lost.
•Cal defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter is reportedly in demand for some head-coaching jobs, and rightfully so, after his work with the Bears’ defense over the past two years. It would be a huge loss if he leaves Berkeley.
•A bit of inspiration for Kyler Murray, should he choose to play in the NFL. Baker Mayfield, the quarterback he succeeded at Oklahoma (and not a towering figure at 6-foot-1), set a rookie record with 27 touchdown passes for a so-so Cleveland team.
•On the other hand: With baseball desperate to develop more African American players, Murray could send kids a powerful message by committing to the A’s.
•We’ve long wondered if Jim Harbaugh left the NFL too early for a return to his beloved Michigan. That was always going to be the perfect last stop for Harbaugh, and his future there is a bit cloudy after so many big-game losses. By the way, Jim, nice “handshake” with head coach Dan Mullen after being routed by Florida. You might try an actual grip, and some eye contact, next time.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/jenkins/article/College-football-needs-an-eight-team-playoff-13506873.php.