Dennis Dodd tells me that the war is over and I’ve already lost.
Remember all that hand-wringing over impacting the regular season? In the era of conference championship games, league titles already have been devalued. Divisional play has seen to it. In leagues with conference championship games — only the Big 12 won’t have one by 2014 — a conference’s best team doesn’t necessarily play in that league title game…
… The sanctity of the regular season isn’t so sacred after all: We’ve already told you about how divisional play has stolen some drama from the regular season. The game has survived, even thrived. Now think of Ohio State and Michigan being locks for an eight-team playoff as they meet in late November. How would that steal the hype one bit from “The Game”?
Because both teams would still be in the postseason and, if things break right, might face each other again in a game that would mean more than The Game? Oh, never mind – we’ve still got something to comfort us.
One concern in that scenario is teams resting players. Maybe, but this is college where the rivalries are so much larger than those in the NFL. They’re so much larger than the coaches and players themselves. I can’t envision Urban Meyer resting Braxton Miller against Michigan because he has a playoff berth sewed up, can you?
Seriously, playing the tradition card? In a world which has already ditched the Nebraska-Oklahoma game, do I think a guy as smart as Urban Meyer (who’s been at Ohio State a whopping couple of seasons) might rest a dinged-up quarterback in a rivalry game in order to save him for a rematch in the national playoffs? Does a wild boar pee in the woods? Maybe Dennis ought to ask himself how OSU fans would feel if a healthier Miller was the key to their beloved Buckeyes winning the national title. My educated guess is all would be forgiven.
Sadly, while this pisses me off, I can’t say Dodd’s wrong about where this is headed.
Are we ahead of ourselves? Absolutely. Do eight teams make total sense before four teams even kick off? Absolutely.
All we had to do was ask.
So when do you think they’ll go to twelve or sixteen?