Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams (13) is tackled by Utah safeties R.J. Hubert (11) and Cole Bishop (8) during the first half of the Pac-12 Conference championship NCAA college football game Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)AP Photo/Steve Marcus

It wasn't supposed to end this way.

USC's dream season was going to be more than that.

The quarterback was supposed to lead his team to a conference title in his first year. The program was supposed to be reborn with a new head coach.

Football doesn't work like that. At times, results are not fair. The sport doesn't care about narrative The games are finished and the results are in.

Most of the conference title game was MzEll Williams limping around the field. Early on he still excelled. USC fell apart slowly after his knee limited his mobility.

The defense of the USC. That's a bad word.

A team that has excelled off turnovers gave up a lot of points. At times it seemed like tackling was optional.

It wasn't the one we were expecting after a strong start. The USC stranglehold on the fourth and final playoff spot was almost ended by Utah.

USC's Pac-12 Title Loss Opens the Door for Ohio State in Top Four of CFB Playoff✨ Watch more top videos, highlights, and B/R original content LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 02: Utah Utes running back Ja'Quinden Jackson (3) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the Pac-12 Conference championship game between the Utah Utes and the USC Trojans at Allegiant Stadium on December 2, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A team still healing from last Saturday was overjoyed. A playoff spot should not be earned from sitting down.

USC is out, and Ohio State is in, regardless of where you stand on the issue.

The College Football Playoff field feels set with games still to be played.

The national title can now be won by a team that just lost. Ryan Day will get a chance to redeem himself in the playoffs after many connected the dots to find the next Ohio State coach.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day questions a referee's call during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)AP Photo/Jay LaPrete

It's easy to reach this conclusion. USC will be dropping from the College Football Playoff rankings. Despite watching, waiting and hoping, Ohio State will move up from the No. 5 spot despite losing to Michigan 45-23.

Despite calls from many, the Alabama team isn't leaving. Both Tennessee and Penn State will not be participating in the tournament. The ninth-ranked team won't be able to make the top four in the conference.

It's possible that seeding could still be disrupted. It would have to be something special for the playoff to not include Georgia, Michigan, and Ohio State.

If the Big 12 Championship is won by Kansas State, what will happen? We'll have to wait and see. The result won't have an effect on what happened. Ohio State received a gift.

Kyle Whittingham acknowledged that on the broadcast. Whittingham gestured a thumbs up and said, "You're welcome."

Ohio State Buckeyes 🌰 @OhioStAthletics


In a week where the College Football Playoff announced it would be moving to a 12-team playoff in 2024, the current format was once again exposed for all that it is.

Despite having to play an extra football game, USC is out of the playoffs. It has become even more difficult because of Williams' health. The way it is. The effort on defense by the USC doesn't strengthen the argument.

One can't help but wonder about the logistical aspects of it all.

The first team to make the playoffs by not playing well in the last weekend was Ohio State. Alabama got into the College Football Playoff after being left out of the SEC Championship Game.

Tua Tagovailoa, a freshman quarterback, led the Tide to the national title. It's not certain that history will repeat itself. Ohio State has one that you can take advantage of.

The College Football Playoff will expand its playoffs to 12 teams in four years. USC and Ohio State are both easy to make the first round.

It doesn't mean much right now. Columbus is happy after one of its worst losses in program history. Lincoln Riley's first season with USC ended with an emphatic thud after delivering a debut season that somehow exceeded all reasonable expectations.

Both Ohio State and USC are not dead.

You don't need to agree with it. It is the way things were intended to be.