Rob Oller | Is it cold to want southern teams to freeze their fannies off in Ohio Stadium? https://t.co/Qh4iORAsi0— BuckeyeXtra.com (@BuckeyeXtra) July 30, 2021
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has done a great job for most of the time he has been in Columbus. It all hasn’t been perfect though, as he had to navigate the Buckeyes through “Tatgate” and the Zach Smith scandal. When it comes to athletic directors, we have been spoiled with how Smith has handled the position in his 16 years at Ohio State.
I won’t lie though, earlier this week I wanted to put my fist through a wall after Smith said it would be “risky” for Ohio State to host a December playoff game. I totally get where he is coming from, since he has to think about player safety, but it doesn’t make it anymore frustrating to hear.
Why what Smith said irked me was just because I want to see the pageantry of a College Football Playoff game in Ohio Stadium. Right now the whole scenario is a fantasy since even though there has been talk of expansion of the playoff to 12 teams, there hasn’t been an official word on how the playoff would be structured. All we know is that home playoff games for higher-ranked seeds in rounds before the semifinals could be an option.
While I hate pretty much everything else about winter, the one thing I do love is football in the snow. I grew up in Western New York as a Buffalo Bills fan, so snow football games are something I became familiar with at an early age. Snow football games are already a dumpster fire when teams are used to playing in them, just imagine what they’d be like with a team from the SEC or anywhere else in the south playing in one.
Obviously it’s different watching a regular season NFL game in the snow and what it would be like watching a College Football Playoff game being played in the winter elements. Do we really want one of the most important games of the season being decided because a team wasn’t used to playing in the cold and snow? Not really. But, I certainly would love to hear all the fans of the team coming up north whining about it.
Honestly, that’s a lot of the reason why I want to see some of the teams in the south come up and play in the north late in the year, since you know just how much it was piss off their fans. How is it really that much different than having to go down to like Gainesville or Tuscaloosa in early September when it’s 147 degrees with a billion percent humidity? We are just trading one extreme for the other.
Smith does make a great point about player safety though, as some of the stadiums where playoff games could be played might not have all that is needed to host a game in more extreme elements. A lot of the Big Ten and other northern schools are usually only thinking about hosting football games through November, before a lot of the worst weather hits. It would be tough to watch a game-changing player be forced out of a game because the field was frozen, or he tore something because of an icy patch.
As much as I hate when early-season college football non-conference games are played in NFL stadiums, the College Football Playoff would be the perfect place for some of those venues to come into play. Tell me you wouldn’t be going crazy to see Ohio State and Georgia play at Solider Field or Lambeau Field? Add in a little bit of snow and some wind and it’d be perfect.
In the end, no matter what system the College Football Playoff ends up going with to determine where the games are going to be played, somebody isn’t going to be happy. Home games for higher-ranked teams earlier in the playoff would certainly be a nice little boost for a great season, and it’d also be great for the families of players, as well as fans, to not have to plan another trip in addition to possibly having to go to the semifinal and title game.
Like I said, mostly I just want this to happen to hear fans from teams in warmer climates complain. It feels like we have been playing by their rules for too long, so we might as well switch things up a little bit since there is going to be more games on the table. Besides, who doesn’t like to add some more shenanigans into the mix? I’m all about spicing things up a little.