TIME Food & Drink

Toast Portlandia’s 5th Season With This Weird Oregon Vodka

Rogue Ales teamed up with Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnut

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka Rogue

When the producers of IFC’s Portlandia went looking for a beer partner for seasons 1 and 2, it’s clear why they chose Oregon’s Rogue Ales. The Fred Armisen-Carrie Brownstein series, which began not-so-gently skewering hipster culture in Portland four years ago, is, shall we say, idiosyncratic. And Rogue, based in Newport, is equally eccentric. So with the launch of Portlandia’s fifth season on Jan. 8, we thought it was only fitting to find out what Rogue has been up to lately. Also, they sent us a bottle of seriously strange vodka, which piqued our interest.

Rogue Ales and sister Rogue Spirits have been collaborating with local purveyors to create one-of-a-kind beverages in an initiative they call “A Collision of Crazies.” In the case of the vodka, they teamed up with Portland’s iconic Voodoo Doughnut, whose pink boxes are a common sight among tourists (and locals) who willingly wait in line for up to 30 minutes to buy some of the planet’s oddest doughnut creations. And when a doughnut company—especially one that sells branded bikini underwear and 3D glasses in its online merch store—is partly responsible for creating a vodka, you can be assured it is not a drink you will have tasted before. The result: Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka. (See below for a sampling of no-nonsense reviews from some of my colleagues.) Retailing for around $40 a bottle, the vodka is available at retail outlets in 40 states or by contacting Rogue via its website.

This is not the first time Rogue has partnered with Voodoo Doughnut; they’ve also collaborated on a series of popular beers, including Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ale, a nifty time-saver for those who like to get tipsy while eating dessert.

Another new release from the ale side of the aisle is One Brew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, in support of the University of Oregon’s Ken Kesey Collection. Kesey, of course, is the Oregon author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest who notoriously led the Merry Pranksters in the LSD-fueled Acid Tests of the 1960s—which prompted me to wonder what in the heck Rogue was putting in that beer. Turns out the brew is rich, frothy, toasty, and strong, but I’m pretty sure there is nothing illicit in the ingredients. It’s available online at $13 for a .75-liter bottle.

Other local partners who have had the courage to link arms with Rogue include the Oregon National Guard, the Oregon Zoo, Portland International Airport, and even Keiko, the orca of “Free Willy” fame.

So if you’re looking for refreshments for Portlandia’s fifth season, you might consider raising a glass of bacon maple vodka and offering a toast with the now infamous phrase, “Put a bird on it!”

Amateur But Heartfelt Reviews of Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Vodka

“Smells sweet and burning. It might be better if it’s chilled. It’s got a creamy after-taste.”

“I have to go to a board meeting tonight. I really shouldn’t be smelling like bacon maple vodka.”

“It reminds me of a maple-rum hot toddy.”

“Hey, it tastes better than it smells!”

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

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TIME College football

Let College Football Playoff Star Ezekiel Elliott Go Pro

College Football Playoff National Championship - Media Day
Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes talks with media during Media Day for the College Football Playoff National Championship at Dallas Convention Center on January 10, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. Ronald Martinez—Getty Images

He raised his stock to an all time high against Oregon. But the rules don't let him cash in on NFL riches

Odds are, the college career of star Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott will never get better. Elliott just turned in one of the all-time great performances in title game history, in any sport, college or pro: against Oregon in Monday night’s inaugural College Football Playoff national championship, a 42-20 Buckeyes victory, Elliott ran for 246 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged an absurd 6.8 yards per carry, and ran for 14 first downs. Elliott’s stat line over his last three games reads like a video game tally: 696 yards, eight touchdowns. In the national semifinals, against Alabama, the 6’0″, 225-pound sophomore ran for 230 yards. He was the first 100-yard rusher Alabama had allowed all season.

College football, as an industry, has never had it better. The College Football Playoff is a windfall for the major conferences: ESPN is paying $7.3 billion over 12 years to broadcast the event. This season, each of the big-five conferences — the ACC, the Big 12, the Big 10, the Pac-12 and the SEC — will receive around $50 million each, almost double what they took home under the old BCS system. The Ohio State-Oregon national title game drew a 18.2 rating and averaged 33.4 million viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-watched event in cable television history. In fact, two semi-final games on New Years Day, plus the title game, account for the three most-watched cable programs ever. Thanks to the hype and momentum of the playoff, the national championship game’s ratings rose 26% compared to last year’s BCS title game between Florida State and Auburn. Total viewership spiked 31%.

Times are nice. But Elliott, the offensive MVP of the title game, gets hit with a double whammy. First, none of this money from the college football playoff flows into the pocket of the best player in the college football playoff. Second, if Elliott wanted to cash in while his stock is at that all-time high — by turning pro — he can’t.

MORE Watch College Football Personalities Read Mean Tweets About Themselves

Since Elliott is a sophomore, he’s ineligible for the NFL draft; only players three years removed from high school can be drafted (Elliott’s teammate, former third-string quarterback turned Buckeye State idol Cardale Jones, is a redshirt sophomore, having sat out his first year on campus, so Jones could go pro if he wants to). Basketball players can leave after their freshman year, so if Elliott played hoops, he could start making plans. But since he plays football, he has no choice but to return to campus, and risk injury in a much more violent sport.

“He has to go through another year in a very tough conference, as the national champion, so teams will be even more hyped up to go against him,” says Alan Milstein, an attorney who represented former Ohio St. running back Maurice Clarett’s ultimately unsuccessful legal attempt to overturn the NFL rule. “Hopefully, he’ll suffer no serious injury. But the reality is, his career could be over at any moment. The NFL isn’t taking the risk. Ohio State isn’t taking the risk. He’s taking all the risk.”

The risk is real. For example, after a huge freshman season in 2010, South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, a first-round NFL prospect, suffered season season-ending knee injuries in both his sophomore and junior years. He retired this past November, without having appeared in an NFL game. Elliott might sincerely want to return to school. He can take another year of classes, and chase a repeat championship in front of adoring crowds, on an adoring campus. A possible Heisman trophy win is tempting. But it’s blatantly unfair for Elliott, or any other player in his position, to have no option to go to the NFL. (A request to speak to Elliott, through an Ohio State spokesperson, was not returned).

MORE See the 10 Best Photos From the Ohio State vs. Oregon Championship Game

Back in 2004, Milstein argued that the three-year restriction was illegal. He still feels that way.

“The only reason a team wouldn’t draft Elliott is because they’ve all said we won’t draft him if you won’t draft him,” says Milstein. “That’s the essence of an anti-trust conspiracy.”

A federal district court agreed with him, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in New York, overturned that judgment, ruling that since the draft rule is a product of collective bargaining, it’s shielded from anti-trust scrutiny under federal labor laws. “That’s what unions do every day — protect people in the union from those not in the union,” appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor said during the arguments. “Why is this case different?”

Sotomayor wrote the opinion. “She killed me, absolutely killed me,” Milstein remembers. So much so, Milstein says, that when Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 2009, Republicans called him up to see if he would speak out against her. Milstein, a Barack Obama supporter, refused.

The Supreme Court declined to hear Milstein’s appeal in the Clarett case. Milstein, however, sees a legal opening in another appeals court jurisdiction, most notably the Sixth Circuit (which covers Ohio) or the Eighth Circuit, located in St. Louis. Both these jurisdictions have adopted the “Mackey test” — named after former Baltimore Colts tight end John Mackey, who challenged the NFL in another case — which holds that labor restraints are only exempt from anti-trust scrutiny if they primarily affect the parties subject to collective bargaining, concern a mandatory subject of collective bargaining, i.e. (wages, hours, conditions of employment), and are subject to “bona fide arm’s-length bargaining.”

Since the draft rule is part of the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011, it meets this third prong of Mackey. But Milstein argues (and the federal district court agreed) that since college players are prospective employees, and thus not “parties subject to collective bargaining,” — and that the three-year rule doesn’t concern wages, hours, or conditions of employment — it fails the first two prongs. It thus isn’t subject to anti-trust exemption.

Minus a legal challenge, Elliott has another option: sit out next year to limit injury risk, but stay in shape and apply for the 2016 draft. Neither of those choices, really, are all that attractive. So Elliott will almost surely return to Ohio State for another season. Fingers crossed for the MVP.

Read next: Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota Will Enter NFL Draft

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME College football

Ohio Furniture Chain Loses $1.5 Million in Ohio State Game-Related Promotion

Quarterback Cardale Jones #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after defeating the Oregon Ducks 42 to 20 in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Kevin C. Cox—Getty Images

Ashley Furniture promised to write off expensive purchases if the Buckeyes beat the Ducks

Did you bet on the Ohio State-Oregon game? Did you lose? Cheer up: We wager your loss wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Ashley Furniture’s.

The Ohio chain made a perhaps-ill-advised promise to write off purchases of $1,999 or more from Dec. 17-30 if the Buckeyes beat Alabama and then went on to win the national championship by at least seven points.

Admittedly, it was a long shot: Alabama was the No. 1 seed, and even fewer people predicted the Buckeyes overrunning Oregon 42-20 on Monday.

The promotion was in place at stores in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Florence, Kentucky. Over 500 people made purchases that totaled $1.5 million, according to parent company Morris Home Furnishings’ vice president of marketing, Rob Klaben.

“We did work with a third-party company that underwrote the promotion. So we’re excited to see a win,” Klaben told ABC News.

But he added – in the first great understatement of 2015 – “It’s not inexpensive to have this kind of promotion.”

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Football

See the 10 Best Photos From the Ohio State vs. Oregon Championship Game

The Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the Oregon Ducks 42-20 in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game in Arlington, Texas

TIME movies

Watch the New Trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron

*Shudder*

There’s a new trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it’s more sinister than ever.

“Everyone creates the thing they dread,” says robotic mega-villian Ultron in one of the opening shots of the trailer, which aired on Monday during the College Football Playoff National Championship between Ohio State and Oregon.

“I’m going to tear you apart…from the inside,” he growls amid scenes of destruction and havoc as the heroes of the Avengers turn against each other. Get set to shudder.

MONEY Autos

How Cheap Gas Can Be Deadly

gas pump lying on ground
Shannon Fagan—Getty Images

Research shows that there's a correlation between low gas prices and increased traffic fatalities.

According to numbers crunched by the Oregonian, traffic fatalities in Oregon jumped 13% in 2014. Preliminary data shows that 352 people were killed in the state due to traffic accidents, up from 313 in 2013. Last year’s death total was the highest it’s been in Oregon since 2009, when there were 377 traffic fatalities.

At least some of the 2014 spike, the report surmises, can be attributed to gas prices falling lower and lower during the second half of the year. As gas gets cheaper, more drivers take to the roads, and the likelihood of accidents increases.

The phenomenon isn’t limited to Oregon. Earlier this week, NPR aired an interview with Guangqing Chi, a sociologist at South Dakota State University whose research reveals it’s a foregone conclusion that cheaper gas equates to more accidents (and deaths) on the roads. In one study, a 20¢ drop in gas prices in Minnesota was linked to an extra 15 deaths annually. In Chi’s hypothetical estimation, “a $2 drop in gasoline price can translate to about 9,000 road fatalities per year in the U.S.”

Still, there is no direct causation, and any surge in accidents in 2014 must be viewed in a historical context: There were routinely around 450 traffic fatalities in Oregon in the mid-’90s, so even with the recent jump in accidents, the roads are considerably safer a decade later. What’s more, several states, including Missouri, New York, Tennessee, and Vermont, are actually reporting a decrease in traffic fatalities coinciding with plummeting gas prices last year. It’s also unclear to what extent constant improvements in car design and safety features have helped keep fatality tallies down, but surely they factor in.

While Oregon’s traffic fatality spike shouldn’t be viewed as proof that cheaper gas causes more deaths, what we do know is that—generally speaking, over time—more drivers are out on the roads when prices are low at the pump, and more crowded roads mean more accidents. Chi’s research backs this theory up.

It’s not just that cheap gas encourages more people to hit the road, however. When gas is expensive, people are more likely to drive like Grandmas—accelerating slowly and cautiously, braking hard only when it’s absolutely necessary, using cruise control or just maintaining a steady speed on highways. Drivers may be doing so primarily because these techniques help you get the best fuel economy, but it’s also pretty obvious that driving in this manner is simply safer.

Driving like a jerk, on the other hand, has been shown to be costly in more ways than one. A 2012 GM study estimated that people who don’t bother with “smart driving” techniques like accelerating slowly and keeping the car at 70 mph rather than 80 mph on highways could expect to pay up to $100 more in gasoline per month. And it’s easy to see how speeding and stomping on the gas and brake pedals hard—which we’re more likely to do when gas prices are cheap—can result in more accidents.

TIME College football

Watch Urban Meyer’s Perfect Reaction to Oregon’s Blowout Win

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer had a great reaction when he was informed of the FSU-Oregon score during his postgame presser

Thursday was a busy day for Ohio State coach Urban Meyer as he prepared his team to take on No. 1 ranked Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, so he did not have time to catch Oregon’s rout of Florida State earlier in the day.

When he found out about the Ducks’ 39-point victory over the reigning national champions he had the exact reaction you would expect from an opposing coach.

It is pretty impressive that Meyer managed to make it the whole length of the team’s game without ever asking one of his assistants the score of the Rose Bowl, but considering the Buckeyes had to come back from a 15-point deficit to win, he probably had much bigger concerns.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Drugs

Meet the Man Behind Oregon’s New Legal Pot Market

Rob Patridge is chair of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the body that will oversee the creation of Oregon's market for recreational marijuana. Michael Schoenholtz

'We’ve been fortunate that we weren’t the pioneers'

When Oregon voters approved Measure 91 in the midterm elections, they became the latest to say that marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol. Now comes the enormous job of actually bringing the legal marijuana market to life.

The task falls to Rob Patridge, the chair of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and its four volunteer commissioners. The group will be busy ahead of the Jan. 5, 2016 deadline for accepting applications from Oregonians who want to grow, process and sell marijuana. TIME spoke to Patridge, a former Republican state lawmaker and the current district attorney of Klamath County — proud home of Crater Lake — about his thoughts on edibles, when the market will realistically open and whether lawsuits like this one are a threat to the commission’s work.

What is your general philosophy for developing Oregon’s pot market?

We’re going out in late January and doing what we’re calling a listening tour. We’re going to go throughout Oregon to talk to the communities, local government, law enforcement, educators, the treatment community, the people who are invested in growing marijuana and selling marijuana. We’re going to listen to the impacts it’s going to have on the community and try to define how we’re going to move forward to address that as we put together the rules.

What issues do you expect to come up on this listening tour?

There’s been a lot of interest in stuff that the legislature may or may not address [like possibly allowing a special election for local jurisdictions to opt out of allowing pot shops]. There are concerns related to edibles and local government is very interested in public safety issues, how it’s going to interact with criminal laws. The issues are large but we’re going to try to break them down so we can eat the elephant one bite at a time rather than trying to eat the whole thing.

Edibles are proving to be controversial. People are concerned about kids accidentally ingesting them, wondering whether certain types should be banned. What are your thoughts about how to approach the issue?

The concern has certainly been raised, and we’re going to be proceeding with caution. I know there’s some legislative interest related to edibles. The legislature could mandate types. So the jury’s going to be out for a while … We’re watching what Colorado and Washington are doing. We’ve been in direct contact with the other states. We’ve reached out to Alaska. And we’re going to take some of our commissioners and staff there to talk about implementation. I’m not one to not learn from other people’s lessons.

At this point, do you think there are certain types of edibles that shouldn’t be on the market?

I don’t know that [certain types] should or shouldn’t be on the market. It’s about how they’re used and what’s responsible from a packaging standpoint, how they get labeled, those types of things.

In general, how is the situation going to be different in Oregon than in Washington or Colorado?

First, we’re not starting from zero. We already have a system in place for medical. We also have the benefit of seeing what’s gone on in Washington and Colorado, which they didn’t. We’re not plying new ground. The Colorado model is probably a better fit, because of how their medical marijuana is regulated. It’s similar to what we do. We’ve been fortunate that we weren’t the pioneers, even if we are the Pioneer State. We’re fortunate to gain from their knowledge, and they’ve been very free about sharing it.

What is your timeline for when legal shops will open their doors and the state will start collecting tax revenue?

We’re really on a fairly tight timeline. What I’m calling the “home grow provisions” [personal cannabis growing and possession becoming legal] come into effect July 1, 2015. Beyond that, we’ve got a whole set of rules we’ve got to deal with. We’ve got to set up a whole seed-to-sale system. And if the legislature changes the playing field, we’re going to be continually looking at that. Best case scenario, last half of 2016 before we’d be up and running. We’re trying to be very up front. A lot of people thought that in January 2016 these retail locations would pop up and people would go purchase marijuana. And that’s just not going to be the case.

The attorneys general in Oklahoma and Nebraska are suing Colorado over marijuana legalization, saying it violates the Supremacy Clause. How does that shape your thoughts about the nature of the market you’re setting up?

There’s the potential for a lot of legal challenges for Measure 91. Until it’s declared one way or another, we have to stay with what current law is. Our job under current law is to implement, and the court can do what it may. If it’s looks like it’s a substantial enough issue—if a judge issues a stay or something else happens—obviously we would work with the legislature to decide whether we should continue to spend the state’s money, of if they’d want us to wait until there was a legal resolution.

Is legal pot good for Oregon?

It’s my job to implement it as the chair of the commission. Voters made that decision. And as I’ve told everybody, I try to be a consensus builder. That’s my job, to create a process that’s transparent, that engages everybody. That’s really our role, and I’m not taking a policy position as the chair. Certainly there are arguments on all sides. It’s so early.

TIME College football

College Football Top 25, Ranked By Academics

Cameron Echols-Luper of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrates his 69-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter during a game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 15, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas.
Cameron Echols-Luper of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrates his 69-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter during a game against the Kansas Jayhawks at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 15, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas. Ed Zurga—Getty Images

TCU didn't get in the football playoffs, but at least the Horned Frogs won something.

Correction appended: Dec. 19, 2014.

Forgive fans of Texas Christian University’s football team for feeling blue over the holidays. After all, the Horned Frogs entered the last weekend of the regular season ranked third in the college football playoff rankings, good enough for a coveted spot in the four-team national semifinals. But by the weekend’s end, they painfully fell out of contention.

Horned Frogs boosters, take some solace. Because according to an annual academic ranking of the top 25 college football teams, your school is number one. “Overall, TCU is really the standout,” says Alexander Holt, policy analyst at New America, the Washington, D.C. think-tank which publishes the rankings, viewed first here at TIME. “It’s a real academic football power, which is very rare.”

For the final results, check out the chart below. Click the left tab for the football rankings, the right one for the academic top-25:

To compile the rankings, New America started with each school’s football graduation success rate (GSR). The GSR is an NCAA metric that, unlike the federal graduation rate, doesn’t penalize schools for having players who transfer or leave for the pros–as long as those players depart in good academic standing. The higher the school’s graduation success rate, the higher they start out in New America’s rankings.

But New America penalized schools for graduating football players at different rates than the overall male student body at the school. To compare players to students, New America relied on federal rates, since there’s no GSR for the general population. The bigger the discrepancy, the harsher the penalty. It’s important to note that even if a school graduated football players at higher rates than the overall male student population — four schools in the top 25, TCU, Arizona State, Arizona, and Boise State, did so — the difference was counted as a penalty. Why? “We were not going to reward schools with really low overall graduation rates,” says Holt. In fact, schools got an added bonus for having high overall rates.

TCU, for example, has a 77% federal graduation rate for football players, and a 73% federal graduation rate for all male students. This four point difference is relatively minor. But Boise St. has a 70% football graduation rate, and a 31% graduation rate for all the male students. The low overall rate hurts the school tremendously in these rankings: despite a strong 85% graduation success rate for football players, Boise State fell to 24th in these rankings.

Of the four playoff teams — Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State — the defending champion Seminoles have the lowest GSR, at 65%. “It’s super troubling,” says Holt. “Florida State is a very good football school. But what’s going on here with the other 35% of the players?”

TCU’s academic win won’t match the euphoria that a national title would deliver. But it’s something, right? “Sure,” says Jamie Plunkett, a TCU alum and managing editor of Frogs O’ War, a TCU fan site. “It’s always cool to be ranked number one in something. Where’s Baylor on that list?”

Correction: A number cited by Alexander Holt was misquoted in the original version of this story. The percentage of Florida State players who did not graduate is 35%.

Read next: The Big 12 Bites Itself in College Football Playoff

TIME

The Big 12 Bites Itself in College Football Playoff

Iowa State v TCU
Texas Christian University Quarterback Trevone Boykin throws a pass during the thrid quarter of the Big 12 college football game against the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Dec. 6, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. Christian Petersen—Getty Images

Naming TCU and Baylor co-champions gives College Football Playoff Committee an out: let a true conference champ in

Five power conferences. Four playoff spots.

Someone was always going to be left out.

It’s early December, which means one thing: a contingent of the country will be whining about its place in the college football postseason. Pick your administrative acronym! Whether it’s the BCS, or this year’s much-discussed CFP (College Football Playoff!), a school or schools were going to get screwed, according to players, coaches, and supporters of that school or schools. In this, the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff, the screaming is particularly loud, as two teams from Texas — which happens to be the corporate headquarters of the playoff committee, and site of the national championship game — didn’t get an invite to the national semifinals.

Texas Christian University and Baylor, from the Big 12 conference, entered the weekend ranked third and sixth, respectively. They both took care of business this weekend: TCU trounced lowly Iowa State by 52 points, while Baylor beat No.9 Kansas State, 38-27.

But in college sports, that on-field business doesn’t always count. It’s the off-field machinations, conducted by highly-compensated bureaucrats, that determine the fate of unpaid amateurs.

The college sports business bit the Big 12. Schools like Missouri and Texas A&M and Colorado and Nebraska started abandoning the conference a few years back; the Big 12 now has only 10 teams. Under NCAA rules, you need 12 teams to hold a conference championship game; so the Big 12 didn’t have a clear champion in the eyes of the committee.

In lieu of a championship game, the Big 12 created a “One True Champion” campaign that now looks like a joke, since Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby presented both TCU and Baylor championship trophies on Saturday. Bowlsby played politics: he didn’t want to tick off either member of his club. But he got played. Without giving the selection committee a clear choice, even though Baylor beat TCU head-to-head in the regular season– no more logical tie-breaker on the planet exists — Bowlsby gave the selection committee an easy out.

Put Ohio State in the playoff.

The Big 10 has 14 teams. (We know, we know, the conference names really make no sense). So it played itself a championship game, and the Buckeyes, with their third string quarterback, destroyed 13th-ranked Wisconsin, 59-0. Such a decisive win in a high-stakes affair made the decision easy. Put the champs from four of the five power conferences in the playoff — Alabama (SEC), Oregon (Pac-12), Florida State (ACC), and Ohio State (Big 10). Leave the touchy-feely Big 12 — both of you boys win!! Trophies for everyone!!– out of it.

You have to feel for the players of TCU and Baylor: bad politics cost them a shot at the national championship. But we all know what the committee knows. College football wins here. Ohio State, with high-strung coach Urban Meyer, is a more compelling national draw than either TCU or Baylor. In the first year of the playoff, the New Year’s Day semifinals — Alabama vs. Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, Oregon and Florida State in the Rose Bowl — will get monster ratings.

As for the Big 12 — well, start adding teams. Or lobbying for a waiver start a championship game with 10 teams. Or change the tie-breaker rules.

In other words, get back to business. That’s what always wins here.

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