Here’s an excellent exchange between Dale Peterson of The Duck Stops Here and ECDawg of Leather Helmet Blog. TDSH is an Oregon Ducks blog; LHB is a Georgia Bulldogs blog that often links posts from this site.
I think they both make valid points. Dale relishes the importance of the college football regular season and how instituting a bracketed playoff system might jeopardize the importance of fall Saturday contests. EC acknowledges how important regular season games are, but also notes the ferocity of rivalry games and how, despite how teams and coaches might be tempted to look ahead, there is no substitute for the intensity of emotions stirred when Georgia faces Georgia Tech.
Could you imagine Mark Richt resting his best players and risking a loss to such a heated rival? Would Florida or Florida State take that weekend off? Would Nick Saban rest Trent Richardson for the upcoming SEC Championship Game if he knew losing the Iron Bowl wouldn’t affect his team’s chances in the playoffs?
I think you know the answer.
However, I believe the smaller schools—like TCU, Utah or Smurf U—might see the end of the regular season differently. Perhaps their coaches would take their foot off the gas if they knew they were already in a bracketed playoff, while the larger schools with bigger rivalries would still sense that there’s too much at stake in losing to a traditional rival.
Meanwhile, the debate over a playoff system in Big Boy College Football rages on and has even drawn the interest of Washington, DC. When and how this debate is settled is anyone’s guess.
Suffice it to say that you’ll know just how important the regular season is, if the start of it ever gets here. What is it, about 100 days from now? It’s gonna be a long summer…