No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State will play for college football’s national championship a week from tonight. The Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes both won their College Football Playoff semifinal contests. They’ll meet for the national title in Miami, Fla. on Jan. 11.
The New York Times, though, says that neither Alabama nor Ohio State is college football’s “real” national champion in 2020.
The “real” champion: UConn.
The Huskies did not play football in 2020. The University of Connecticut shut down its football program for the 2020 season due to the pandemic. Because of that, the New York Times feels the program – which rarely has success on the field – is deserving of national title praise.
UConn should be this year’s @CFBPlayoff champ, says The New York Times. "Who will be college football’s next national champion, Alabama or Ohio State? The correct answer should be neither. The team we should be cheering … The real champion? The University of Connecticut."
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) January 4, 2021
From the column:
The real champion?
The University of Connecticut, which was the first Football Bowl Subdivision team to squarely face the coronavirus and decide against playing a single snap during a raging pandemic.
Given the pain and tumult of the last year, it can be hard to remember there was a time when the powers that rule major college sports were more concerned about the virus than about fattening their bank accounts.
In August, it seemed as if a full-fledged collegiate football season might not happen. That’s when Connecticut, ranked among the worst teams in the nation, rose to the top of the heap, killing its season and leading the sport toward sanity.
Hang the banner, UConn.
Alabama and Ohio State, meanwhile, will kick off shortly after 8 p.m. E.T. from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Jan. 11.
The game will be televised on ESPN.