The right call? College GameDay crew discusses B1G's decision to alter rules for Ohio State
The decision surrounding Ohio State getting to play in the Big Ten Championship Game despite three cancellations continues to dominate the conversation surrounding the conference.
That’s especially true at the national level and on College GameDay. After the show made it a major talking point a week ago, the crew is at it again as they embark upon the Army-Navy game. They’ve had plenty of thoughts about this week’s decision to allow the Buckeyes in despite not meeting the previously decided upon six-game minimum.
For many Buckeye detractors, this decision by the conference to reverse its rules on the requirement to play at least six games is questionable. Desmond Howard might not necessarily be anti-Ohio State, but the former Michigan Wolverine seems to side with those who are against the Buckeyes.
“In general, I’m just not for changing rules midstream,” Howard said. “Especially if you want to do it to get your desired result. If you want something to go three-quarters of the way through the season, or whatever the case may be, then you start to tweak the rules so you can get the result that you wanted? I think it sets a bad precedent.
“In this case, though, with the Buckeyes, they’re the No. 1 team in the B1G. We all understand that, we all agree with that, but just the principle of changing the rules, in general, I can’t get on board with.”
Kirk Herbstreit, the former Buckeye, had some thoughts as well.
“I think the thing to remember is, if Ohio State were to lose that game [against Michigan], they still would’ve gone ahead of Indian into the B1G Championship. The fact that it was unanimous — this was unanimous across the board among B1G ADs — that thought that this was the right play. Even Indiana signed off on this.
“You have to realize that, if Ohio State were to lost this game…they’re still going to Indianapolis.”
First of all, even entertaining the thought of the Buckeyes losing to this year’s Michigan team is laughable. Second, we need to fact-check Herbie here. Indiana AD Scott Dolson voted against the decision but understood the change.
Speaking of the Hoosiers, David Pollack made a point about the decision that included Indiana.
“I think it’s interesting, would this apply if Indiana was in the same shoe?” Pollack said. “That’s to me [the question]. The B1G changed its rules, they’re in this position because they started later, they didn’t have a buffer, they put themselves in this position to have to change the rules, and change the rules again, and change the rules again. So, it’s difficult but I do think it’s the right decision.”
Bear also jumped in and spoke on the public perception of the decision.
“I just don’t like the appearance of it,” he said. “I think it had the appearance of the B1G not liking the result of their rule, so they changed the rule to get the result that they wanted and get Ohio State into the B1G Championship Game.”
Bear, similarly to Pollack, went on to mention why the Buckeyes were the reason the conference changed its mind.
“The other thing is, too, earlier in the year Wisconsin was thought to be the best team in the West,” he said. “They had COVID issues, they had to shut it down. This conversation wasn’t happening then. Why couldn’t the B1G say ‘One of our best teams is in this position, we could maybe save ourselves some grief down the road by doing it early in the year, rather than down the road.”
The conference was going to receive some pushback and it didn’t take long for the GameDay crew to get in on the action.