Skip to main content

Urban Meyer Reveals Concern For Ohio State, Michigan Rivalry

Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines talk on the field prior to their game.

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: (R-L) Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines talk on the field prior to their game at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Michigan Wolverines never proved to be too much of an obstacle for Urban Meyer having success during his seven-year run at Ohio State. But he has one pressing concern about the future of the rivalry.

In a recent interview with Sporting News, Meyer expressed concern that the significance of The Game would be downplayed if both teams start regularly appearing in the expanded College Football Playoff. He said that as a traditionalist, he believes that big rivalry games between successful teams weren't taken into account when the expansion decision was made. 

"These are great questions because this is the most-intense rivalry times 10 that I have ever been involved in," Meyer said. "The reality is when you go to a 12-team playoff these teams will cross paths after the rivalry game. That's just so hard for me because I'm such a traditionalist to put my arms around, but once again that's the way it is. So often in college sports someone makes a decision real quick, and then they think about the consequences. This is a real one."

It's certainly worth noting that under the 12-team system slated to go into effect in the near future, both Ohio State and Michigan would pretty much be locks to get in, regardless of the outcome of The Game. That probably would have been the case in several of their recent meetings as well.

The Game has basically been the play-in game for the Big Ten Championship for five straight years. In several of those instances, the winner went on to reach the College Football Playoff. 

Last year Michigan finally ended over a decade of losing and beat the Buckeyes en route to winning the conference title and reaching the postseason. But in the future, Ohio State still would have had a shot at playing for a national title despite that loss. 

Will College Football Playoff expansion reduce the significance of major rivalry games moving forward?