The college football postseason is a broken system and the Michigan football team is a perfect example why we have to stop playing games that don’t matter.
If you are a fan of Michigan football, then you know the Peach Bowl is right around the corner. You know you should be excited about this game as one of the New Year’s Six, but for some reason, it isn’t exactly grabbing your attention.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that Michigan football will play 10th-ranked Florida for the third time in four years. As wrong as it is to believe, Wolverines fans seem to feel the Gators aren’t going to be a challenge and therefore, beating them wouldn’t be an accomplishment. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, just saying that’s part of the sentiment.
Certainly, Michigan fans and maybe even the players would be more interested in taking on Georgia, a true playoff contender. A game like that would give the Wolverines a chance to prove they are legit and that the Ohio State loss was nothing more than a bump in the road.
Instead, they get the Gators. Even if UM dominates, it will be what was expected. Anything less than that or even a loss and the fury will rain down on Jim Harbaugh and how he still hasn’t turned Michigan football into a national power.
You see, these bowl games don’t mean anything until you lose them. People didn’t care about the Outback Bowl either until Michigan blew a 19-3 lead. Then it was simply another sign that the sky was falling.
Yet, when it comes to the Peach Bowl, what can Michigan fans really say much if a bunch of key players decide not to play in a meaningless game?
Rashan Gary has already declared for the NFL draft and said he’s not playing. Chase Winovich and Shea Patterson have indicated they are playing according to a post by MLive, yet the same post questions whether Devin Bush Jr., Lavert Hill, David Long and Karan Higdon will play?
At first, the idea that 5-6 starters wouldn’t play sounds shocking. But then you realize, why would they risk their NFL careers for a game that pure and simply does not matter. It’s not the College Football Playoff, it’s not the Rose Bowl and it’s not an elite team — so really, why does it matter?
Sure, momentum is a good thing and so is an 11-win season. Those are two things Michigan football could gain with a win. A second top-10 win under Harbaugh is another. But are any of those things really worth risking a pro career? Look at Jake Butt and the Orange Bowl.
Instead of being a second-round pick, Butt went in the fifth round. All because he wanted to play in an Orange Bowl game that really hasn’t impacted Michigan football one way or the other. Do recruits care that the Wolverines lost that game to Florida State? No. They probably don’t even remember who played in the Orange Bowl that year.
Just like this time next year, few will remember that Michigan and Florida played in the Peach. It might be a great game and it will have some talented players, even if a large chunk of the Michigan defense decides to sit out, but in the grand scheme of things, it won’t mean a darn thing.
Now, if Michigan were part of a 16 or 32-team playoff, then I am sure Gary, Bush and everyone else would play because that would matter. That would mean playing for a chance at a championship, instead of a glorified exhibition.
The bottom line is that outside of the College Football Playoff and the Rose Bowl, which holds weight because of its tradition, no other bowl game matters and why college football continues to employ a postseason where only about five percent of the games matter is beyond me.
It’s stupid and it shows just how broken this bowl system is. So don’t get mad at any Michigan football player for not participating in the Peach Bowl. After all, why would they risk everything for a game that in reality, means absolutely nothing?