Mac Engel

TCU would have matched up better than ’Noles against Ducks

Oregon cornerback Troy Hill knocks the ball away from Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph in the Rose Bowl on Thursday,. Oregon won 59-20.
Oregon cornerback Troy Hill knocks the ball away from Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph in the Rose Bowl on Thursday,. Oregon won 59-20. TNS

Watching Oregon emasculate the previously undefeated uber masculine Florida State in the Rose Bowl made me long for Froggies vs. Ducks. That would have been a game.

Alas, it would appear those who would have preferred TCU in the College Football Playoff are not only powerless, but the wonderful potential matchup of Horned Frogs against the Ducks is something not everyone wants. Two of Oregon’s most famous alums wanted no part of it, either.

As Oregon enjoyed its methodical 59-20 destruction of Florida State in the Rose Bowl, former NFL wide receiver/longtime Michael Jordan buddy Mr. Ahmad Rashad and Emmy-award-winning Modern Family star Ty Burrell were on the field partaking in the fun.

I asked both if they would have preferred to see TCU vs. Oregon rather than the Pounding in Pasadena.

“I feel sorry for TCU,” Rashad said, “but I’m happy about my Ducks.”

Burrell wasn’t biting either.

“I’d much rather watch this massacre,” Burrell said. “Are you kidding me?”

Oregon’s performance against Florida State is something only a Duck or a College Football Playoff committee member can love. The one-sided outcome of the Rose Bowl should not diminish FSU’s considerable achievements or the fact that the Seminoles deserved the right to have their brains stomped on by Phil Knight’s toy.

This was FSU’s first loss since 2012, yet the ’Noles and their boneheaded quarterback Jameis Winston earned this final four appearance. They also earned this beat down. This defeat was coming. FSU was burned by its penchant for playing it close when it came against a team the caliber of Oregon.

In the Rose Bowl, Oregon proved that its brand of football can play with anybody. The Ducks have the athletes and the lines to push and run with any team in the country.

I am not sold on Heisman Trophy-winning Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota as an NFL passer, but it is hard to envision a player more dominant or suited for today’s college game.

TCU embarrassing Ole Miss and then seeing Oregon do the same to Florida State illustrated the reality that there were better matchups to be made. TCU’s brand of football is not exclusive to the central United States, and it would have translated into a better Rose Bowl than this snore fest.

TCU might not have been able to beat Oregon, but the Frogs would have matched up better than the ’Noles, who, after committing four turnovers in the third quarter, pretty much quit.

“TCU is a great team,” Oregon cornerback Troy Hill said. “It would have been a nice matchup.”

Ducks freshman linebacker Justin Hollins, who went to Arlington Martin, went a little bit further.

“I think it would have been a close game,” Hollins said.

A close bowl game, did you hear that Condi Rice and your playoff selection cronies? If people are going to fork over hundreds of dollars to watch these exhibition games, at least give us close. The Rose Bowl may be the Granddaddy of Them All, but by the middle of the third quarter, every granddaddy was sound asleep.

Two of the largest point spreads this bowl season were the two semifinal games; both were over eight points. The committee would never do this, but somebody on that group should buy a burner to make calls to Vegas before setting these matchups.

On paper, an Oregon/TCU matchup would have been tight.

Oregon is known for its offense, and for more than a decade TCU built its reputation on defense. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin will be next season’s Mariota. Both teams are solid at the receiver position. Both offenses run the spread, high-tempo offenses that place a premium on plays as much as points. Both teams were much better defensively than given credit, mostly because their offenses were so much fun to watch.

Alas, thanks to The Committee, this matchup did not happen.

If TCU is looking to point to something, it should point to Oregon. TCU coach Gary Patterson has referenced Oregon as a model several times since his team was snubbed out of the playoffs; Oregon has broken through, and provides hope to TCU, Baylor and every other team that is so close but not quite a member of the club.

“I think so,” Oregon senior linebacker Derrick Malone said. “Just like TCU, we’ve been doubted. They’ve been doubted, but it’s possible.”

Thanks to Oregon, TCU knows it is possible.

FSU deserved a trip to the first playoffs, but we know there was a better matchup to be made. Froggies vs. Ducks would have been a game worth watching.

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Mac Engel, 817-390-7697

Twitter: @macengelprof

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