Thursday, February 9, 2012

SEC football in the elements is wishful thinking

The Big Ten Conference is reportedly pushing for change in college football.

If Big Ten head honchos have it their way, the four-team playoff scenario that's being talked about will include the two semifinals games being played at the home field of the top two seeds.

Great idea. Love it, and for this reason: Just once, I would love to watch an SEC school play in the wind, rain, mud, cold, sleet or snow of a Big Ten stadium. Or Notre Dame. Or Pittsburgh. Any school in the Midwest, where the elements are a concern when playing most football games in December or January.

It's difficult enough traveling to another team's stadium, but dealing with bad weather makes it that much more difficult. I'm a realist, and it's obvious the SEC is the class of college football right now. There's no dispute from this corner.

Any Big Ten school, Notre Dame, etc., would be the longest of longshots to win a national semifinal game at the site of an SEC school, but turn the tables and it will be interesting to watch. We'll get that somewhat next season  (Michigan plays Alabama on a neutral field at Cowboys Stadium in both team's opener) but it won't be the same.

The last time I can remember a southern school playing a huge game in the elements in the Midwest was in 1993, when Florida State and Notre Dame faced off in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game. The Fighting Irish won, 31-24. In 2005, No. 1 USC survived a game at Notre Dame, but the Irish weren't in contention for the national title. A facet of each games that made it so interesting was the teams (FSU and USC) being completely out of their element. One (the Trojans) fared well, the other (the Seminoles) did not.

The guess here is SEC dominance would continue under any playoff scenario, but wouldn't it be interesting to watch an SEC football team maneuver through the snow?  

- Mark Podolski | @mpodo


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