If you watched Oregon get steamrolled again by Utah on Friday night, you were watching the wrong football game, because the Conference USA title game was where all the action was.
Texas-San Antonio, its bid for an undefeated season derailed last week by North Texas, hung on to win its first conference title, beating Western Kentucky, 49-41, as the Hilltoppers’ last-second Hail Mary fell short. It was 42-13 in the third quarter before Bailey Zappe, who threw for 577 yards and two touchdowns, rallied WKU to within striking distance late.
UTSA has no chance at the playoff and would have been left out even had the Roadrunners gone undefeated, but they sure would be a more interesting choice for the Fiesta or Peach Bowl than, say, Michigan State. We all know what Michigan State is and don’t really need to see them play someone like Ole Miss. It would be a pretty good football game, sure, but not that interesting. If the CFP committee wants to put some intrigue in its product for the New Year’s Six, let’s see what a team that had just a solitary hiccup in Conference USA can do against… hmm, maybe Baylor, a little intra-Texas rivalry waiting to happen?
To make it easier for everyone, they could put that game at the midway point between Waco and San Antonio, which would be Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. The folks at UT deserve to see some bowl-caliber football played on that field, don’t they?
Oregon, meanwhile, deserves its own trip to Texas, to the Alamo Bowl or the Sun Bowl or maybe just going into hiding in the wilds of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Mario Cristobal might not want that because the cell service isn’t great, and Miami is apparently about to offer him a bag to return to his alma mater. But the players should get to at least go camping or something, because that 38-10 Pac-12 championship game was bad.
Also, Utah is going to the Rose Bowl for the first time. That’s weird.