Conference Championships are over and all I’ve heard this week are people complaining about how Conference Championships are now redundant with the College Football Playoff and should go away forever because “they don’t mean anything”. After Alabama jumped a conference champion Ohio State on Sunday to make the playoff, it’s a pretty strong point. Georgia fans might have a different opinion though… Winning your conference used to mean everything to a program, but now it seems like your entire season is a disappointment if you don’t get into the playoff. With all of the Alabama-Ohio State debates going on, my stance is simple: Alabama was rewarded by scheduling a weak schedule and not going to the conference championship game. Alabama’s arguably most impressive win of the season was against a mediocre Mississippi State team and after losing to Auburn, got into the playoff after doing absolutely nothing on Conference Championship week.
At the same time, I understand that Ohio State isn’t a very strong team either. A team that got beat 55-24 by unranked Iowa does not look very playoff-worthy. I understand that some people don’t think this way, but I believe that teams like Ohio State, USC, and UCF should be proud of winning the bragging rights of their conference even though they did not make the playoffs. You can make the argument that the Conference Championship games are redundant in making the top four, but it still means something to the players, coaches, and school to have the bragging rights and the trophy. Also, it can help teams that are on the cusp- just ask anyone in red and black.
With college bowl games not starting until next Saturday (click here to view 2017-2018 Bowl Schedule), all eyes will be on the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia. The Army-Navy rivalry is arguably the greatest rivalry in all of sports, and the pageantry around the game is like nothing else in college football. After Army finally broke Navy’s 14 game winning streak last year, the rivalry will become a lot more interesting (2:00 kick on CBS).
There is a local tie to the game this year, as Auburn High School graduate Ted Wages will be competing in his first Army-Navy game as a player at Army. Here’s ESPN 106.7’s Zac Blackerby interviewing Ted’s father on The Lunch Break: