I was sitting in a Mexican restaurant Monday night drinking a beer when I looked up at a big screen TV that was tuned to ESPN’s Monday Night Football preview show. There was no sound, so I hadn’t been paying attention, but a question posed across the bottom of the screen caught my eye and reminded me why I don’t like the NFL and do like college football.
It was a simple question about the upcoming NY Giants – New England Patriots football game: Do the New York Giants owe it to the rest of the league to play their starters against New England?
You see, both teams have already clinched playoff spots and the outcome of this game makes no difference to either team’s seeding. But the Patriots are on course to set history by going undefeated over a 16 game regular season. The question essentially is, should that matter to the New York team? And the answer is, at least in the context of the NFL, nope. There’s no reason for the Giants to jeopardize their postseason with an injury to a key starter in what has become a meaningless regular season game.
Those are scales I hope I never see a D-1 football team have to balance.
I’m not opposed to a playoff. But I am opposed to a postseason format where considerations like that could become part of the equation. The day I hear Mark Richt asked a question like that before a Georgia Tech or Auburn game is the day I find another sports interest.