Sunday, November 19, 2006

A REMATCH? WHY?

No rematch. Please.

I count Michigan as my No. 3 team, behind South Carolina and Auburn and just ahead of Georgia Tech (because I live in Atlanta now). I cheered when they went on top, ever so briefly. Hoped for them to come back, over and over. Watched as they always came close, but always fell one play or one stop short.

But there shouldn't be a rematch.

Bring in Florida. Bring in Notre Dame. Bring in Arkansas. Bring in West Virginia. Bring in (and this makes me gag) Southern Cal. Bring in almost anyone else.

But not Michigan.

There are several reasons not to. Bo didn't want it. Tressel didn't want it. (Even before the results were known.) I can't find a comment by Carr, but I can only imagine that he wouldn't want it.


Rolling in his grave.

It could cause chaos if Michigan won. Would the true champ be Michigan, who fell three points short in Columbus but then beat Ohio State on neutral field in the dessert? Or Ohio State, who beat Michigan in their first face-off and then lost (probably narrowly) in Glendale? We know what the BCS would say, but what would the AP say? The blogosphere? Everyone else?

As Drew Sharp has pointed out, it would cheapen the rivalry, take some air out of the great game we saw Saturday. A classic would become a footnote.

There's the argument that the national champion should be a conference champion, and that only makes sense. As several of us -- self included -- said after Oklahoma fell to K-State in 2003, how can you be the best team in the nation if you're not even the best team in your conference. We're not even talking about a tiebreaker deciding the conference crown between Ohio State and Michigan. It's Ohio State, no title-parsing needed.

And that brings us to the last argument, one that all of those who support a playoff should appreciate: It's been decided on the field. You don't get a second bite at the apple. And as The Itch has pointed out, we've got something close to a playoff here: Michigan-Ohio State; Southern Cal-Cal; Southern Cal-Notre Dame; Arkansas-LSU; Arkansas-Florida; Rutgers-West Virginia (though some of the shine has been knocked off that one).

It's over. Michigan lost. Bring on the next opponent.

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