"Your identity is your school," said Ross. "And there's a limited number of games, so there's so much riding on every game."
"That's it: every game counts," Ryan said. "But once they put in a playoff--and you know it's going to expand--will you care about the second non-conference game of the season? And why do we need one champion, anyway? I never tell people, 'Remember 1997, when we were co-champions?' No way! No one cares about the 'co-.' I want to go back to the conference champions going to bowl games."
The best evidence for the "every game counts" argument--unfortunately for these Michigan graduates--is "The Horror": Appalachian State's stunning victory over Michigan in 2007, still considered by most pundits to be the greatest upset in the history of the game.