you seem to be in the stance of protecting the game and conference image and integrity and i get that you always want that look but that isn't always the case with numerous examples each year.
i think you might overlook the point that teams have their own goals and do whats best for their team. teams want to set them selves up for their worlds and making the major.
example if a team has locked up a top spot in their world and a spot they are happy with in the major how much more is there to improve winning another game *for points*? (no specific example intentionally)
if a team thinks winning one more game doesn't make a difference towards their end goals i don't see why you'd make teams play.
if you make them play you'd subjugate to this type of circus play, teams taking out and tanking plays. you can not regulate a team to put effort into a game they don't see a benefit to winning, you can't say someone isn't hurt and they have to play, a no win situation bc it hurts the image of the game.
we can go way down the rabbit hole and put a pitcher on the field and put everyone else in the outfield and really call it bp.
you're not wrong i just think you dismiss the other side of the coin from the small amount of sponsors in what they see as best for their team as examples each year.