Tuesday might go down as one of the most controversial days in Big Ten football history, especially for Indiana fans.
The Big Ten has revised its previous designated 6-game minimum to reach the Big Ten Championship game to allow Ohio State a pass to the title game and boost their resume for the College Football Playoffs.
This landmark decision is undoubtedly sends a strong message regarding the conference’s goals and objectives. Every team went into the season with the understanding to abide by COVID precautions, minimum game requirements, and a completely in-conference schedule. The decision would allow what the conference determines as the best team in the Big Ten East, not by the set of standards set in place ahead of the season.
Few people will say that Indiana is better than Ohio State as Indiana has lost to them this season, but it is troubling that a conference can just alter the rules to punish the team that has met the requirements for the Championship game.
The College Football Playoff does not have a requirement for only conference champions to make the playoff either. The Big Ten Championship and the College Football Playoff are mutually exclusive entities. So even if Indiana played in the Big Ten Championship and beat Northwestern, the playoff committee will likely still choose Ohio State over Indiana, which is understandable as Ohio State has still beaten Indiana earlier this season.
In a season full of uncertainty, these rules were set up to allow for representation of the best team in the conference to succeed. Changing the rules hurts the integrity of the conference. There is nothing saying Ohio State would have won all eight games they had on their season. It is likely this would have been the case as they were playing Illinois, Maryland, and 30-point underdog Michigan.
If the conference just “predicted” who was the best team in every game instead of having them play one another, Indiana would be 4-4 on the season. This is why we play football and not solely predict winners.
Cover Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo