Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher, others, on college football’s impending playoffs

Nick Saban: So when you start saying this league champion should be in it against this league champion, we don’t have that kind of parity (in college football). This is not the NFL.” (Chick-fil-A)

Nick Saban: "So when you start saying 'this league champion should be in it against this league champion,' we don’t have that kind of parity (in college football). This is not the NFL." (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)

Some of college football’s biggest names endorsed the impending four-team playoff system to determine future national champions on Tuesday.

“My opinion is people want to see the best four teams play,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said after playing in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge celebrity golf tournament in Greensboro, Ga.

“I don’t think we need to be watering it down with ‘You need to win a [conference] championship’ … they want to see the best four teams play.”

Quick recap: Last week, conference commissioners huddled with Notre Dame’s athletic director and other college officials to make changes to the current BCS system. The group left the meeting with several proposals – all involving four-team formats – to discuss with their conference’s coaches, athletic directors and school presidents.

The group is scheduled to meet again in June to possibly finalize a plan which would take effect for the 2014 season. There are many issues to be resolved, such as the process on how to select four teams and when and where the semifinals and championship game would take place.

“I have always been for a plus-one, but I think it’s important to keep the integrity of the bowls because I think they provide a lot of positive self-gratification for the kids in college,” Saban said. “I’d like to see [the playoffs] incorporated into the bowl system some kind of way.

“Why don’t we play [the semifinals] in the those Jan. 1 bowls? And on Jan. 9 play the next game? It’s not as complicated as we’re trying to make. It’s one game.”

Ohio State’s Urban Meyer has some reservations about playoffs, but conceded that he hasn’t followed it closely enough yet to formulate a true opinion.

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“Here’s my experience: We had two real nice runs [at Florida] when we played for national championships,” Meyer said. “And if I had told our team that we had to play one more game, I’m not sure we could’ve gotten another game out of them.

“I always think about those darn students, or student-athletes. Can we play 15 games? That would be a 15-game season now. I don’t know the whole story. Do they give us a few more scholarships because we’re going to deal with injuries? There’s a lot of planning involved.

“You say 15 games. Imagine that year we beat Alabama that was No. 1, and then we beat Oklahoma that was No. 1. Then it’s like ‘OK, by the way, you’ve got one more.’ You’re down to nothing left.”

Meyer was in the minority. Here’s what others had to say:

  • Clemson’s Dabo Swinney: “I’ve always kind of been on record for the plus-one model … I think it would work well, and salvage the bowl system the way it is. And also maybe give a little bit more definitive answer to who the national champion is, and satisfy that side of the ledge. But we’ll see what happens.”
  • Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher: “I have no problem with [playoffs]. I just want to make sure we don’t change for change, we have a good plan on how we’re going to do it, and everybody is on equal footing. You know what I mean? I think that’s what we’ve got to be careful of … I think it has got to be the four best teams. You can’t get into conference champions. I think the best four football teams need to be in if you’re going to try to find the true champion.” What’s the best way to get to four teams? “You’ve got ratings and things. But like I say, it doesn’t matter what you do. When you have [four] teams, No. 5 is going to get mad now, too. If you go to eight or 16 teams, somebody is going to be mad … But it can’t be about conference champions. It’s got to be the best football teams.”
    Surprisingly, FSU's Jimbo Fisher is against conference champions getting automatic bids to college football's Final Four (Chick-fil-A)

    Surprisingly, FSU's Jimbo Fisher is against conference champions getting automatic bids to college football's Final Four (Chick-fil-A)

  • Tennessee’s Derek Dooley: “This is something that has been talked about for over 20 years. I’ve always been in favor of the plus-one model. I think it’s a great way to preserve the one thing that makes college football special, and that’s the regular season, but still polish up the postseason to get that national championship right. I think it will be a good thing.” What’s the best way to get to four teams? “I don’t know. I’d just like to be there one day.”
  • More Nick Saban: How to select four teams? “I don’t think the way we selected and ranked teams was far off. But when there are three teams, somebody gets left out. Like when I was at LSU, Southern Cal got left out. Auburn didn’t get in one year when they were 13-0. So that would eliminate that. I think everybody wants to see the four best teams. There’s not parity in leagues. So when you start saying this league champion should be in it against this league champion, we don’t have that kind of parity [in college football]. This is not the NFL.” Should the SEC have more input on the selection process than other leagues? “I don’t know about that … I think the four best teams ought to play.”
  • More Urban Meyer: What did the Big Ten commissioner tell coaches about the playoff proposal? “He just wanted our opinions, from a lot of coaches. You know, you don’t really  understand the landscape. We’re just worried about our team. A big concern I’ve got to think about … Texas isn’t playing Texas A&M any more. Where is this headed? I’m a traditionalist about college football, so I love it. But I understand something has to change. When things like that start to happen … What in the world? [Are we doing it] for more money? Why are we doing this?” Have you heard about having the semifinals before Christmas and the championship after? “I think that’s what they are talking about. Two games after Christmas? Good luck.”

Again, the committee will meet again in June.

WHILE WAITING FOR CINCO DE MAYO …

WHEN DOES FOOTBALL SEASON START?

139 comments Add your comment

Top Dawg

May 1st, 2012
8:18 pm

gatorphil

May 1st, 2012
8:18 pm

it sounds better than the flawed system in place- an d you SHOULD have to win your conference, Nick!

K9 NONSENSE!!!

May 1st, 2012
8:39 pm

THE RULE DID NOT REQUIRE IT……………WE WON IT BY RULE FAIR & SQUARE……………..GET OVER YOU LOSER CRYBABY SISSY GIRLS!!!!!!!!!

Beast from the East

May 1st, 2012
8:56 pm

It’ll be interesting to see what finally becomes of all this talk. I suspect they keep a real similar formula to the current BCS rankings.

Delbert D.

May 1st, 2012
9:00 pm

Only two teams have to play that 15th game. Four teams have to play 14, which is what conference championship game teams played anyway.

Why so complicated

May 1st, 2012
9:02 pm

I think this all is being made way too difficult….it could be 8 teams and preserve all of the current BCS bowls…The top 8 teams are selected to play in the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange Bowls. Then the BCS Championship Semi-finals would pit Rose vs Fiesta and Sugar vs Orange with the BCS National Championship game having the last two standing.

Rowdey_Red_Pachyderm

May 1st, 2012
9:02 pm

I was under the impression that the University Presidents would make the decision on what would be or not be, and the coaches opinion mattered little more than the public’s.

I do agree the insight of thought from these HC’s, at least what they say in public was not exactly what I expected.

So good ‘jerb on the article!

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
9:02 pm

yeah gatorphil … because everyone knows that the winner of some 4 way tie breaking scheme to get crowned the champ of the Big Least or Conference USA is always superior to at least the 5th best team in the SEC …

Delbert D.

May 1st, 2012
9:12 pm

The BCS should not have a say in any of this. The colleges and their conferences will determine the format. The playoffs will start in December. That doesn’t fit the major bowl schedule. Getting the Rose Bowl to buy in was a major step.

Delbert D.

May 1st, 2012
9:16 pm

One central theme espoused by some the attendees at the meetings is to keep the regular season relevant. That is not easy, because one division winner could go undefeated and yet be the 4th best team in the conference. It will work out, because that team still has to win its conference championship game. The loser of the CCG and the other “great teams” in the conference will still get a mercy bowl bid.

Dawg48

May 1st, 2012
9:17 pm

Isn’t winning your own conference basically the same thing as a playoff?

Paul in NH

May 1st, 2012
9:31 pm

At the moment the SEC, B1G, Big 12 and Pac 12 would likely provide the top teams in any small playoff. Widening it to 8 or more, or even going for champs of all BCS conferences, would spread the $ around and eventually lead to the weaker conferences producing stronger teams (anyone seen March Madness lately?) with the $ getting spread more evenly. The 6 AQ conferences (+ND) will fight hard to prevent that from happening.

Durrtydogg

May 1st, 2012
9:37 pm

So why have conference championships? It’s amazing how things are important when they benefit you.

Big L

May 1st, 2012
10:22 pm

Anyone wanting conference champion as a requirement are afraid of getting embarrassed by a second place SEC team. Plane and simple. Top four. Be it Boise state or 2 SEC teams.

GTBob

May 1st, 2012
10:24 pm

I think Nick enjoys the world where being second best in your division, not playing for a conference title, and going 1-1 against a good team means ESPN crowns you national champions. He won’t get that if he is forced to win the conference.

Big Enos Burdette

May 1st, 2012
10:25 pm

Somebody tell Notre Dame to get lost

GTBob

May 1st, 2012
10:26 pm

Anyone wanting conference champion as a requirement are afraid of getting embarrassed by a second place SEC team. Plane and simple.

Or they realize that taking the top 4 as rated by biased writers, and coaches who do not even watch the games is hardly better then what we have now. If a team is the 2nd best team in there conference then they have already proven they aren’t the best team in the country.

Big Enos Burdette

May 1st, 2012
10:29 pm

How does anyone think a playoff diminishes the regular season any more than the current system? Plenty of one loss teams getting in the title game now.

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
10:30 pm

“If a team is the 2nd best team in there conference then they have already proven they aren’t the best team in the country.”

I agree with you totally . That is why Alabama was the undisputed National Champions in 2011 once they crushed LSWho :-)

Big Enos Burdette

May 1st, 2012
10:34 pm

Go to eight teams. The best team in the country will not be found 9th in the polls. Maybe in basketball but not in football. The best is probably in the top 3 or 4 but occasionally in top 5 or 6.

Big Enos Burdette

May 1st, 2012
10:36 pm

But then again a 7-5 Notre Dame team will somehow get into the top 8.

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
10:36 pm

@Big Enos Burdette

Because the whiny a** b***ches who scream the loudest for a playoff will never leave well enough alone . Reality is most people aren’t interested in seeing the strongest teams fight it out … they are interested in “giving everyone a “shot” … “making it fair” … or translation … let us occasionally call ourselves a champion too even though we don’t do jacks*** to field a championship caliber program ,

Just like the basketball tournament eventually college football WILL be expanded to some ungodly 16/24 round robin tournament where basically you can lose … lose … and lose again … and still be called “champ” if you happen to reside in a weak conference and can get on a lucky streak for a couple of games …

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
10:40 pm

By the way BBB .. I DO think 8 (in rankings ) would be doable and still allow the rest of the schedule to remain pressure packed enough to maintain relevancy for the regular season . I just don’t trust that it would ever stay at 8 …

GTBob

May 1st, 2012
10:43 pm

So why have conference championships?

Conference championships will become meaningless if they are not part of the playoff structure. You will see SEC teams sitting some of their best players because it doesn’t matter if they win or not. The Big 12 will also never expand because they will have an inherent advantage by not playing a conference championship.

GTBob

May 1st, 2012
10:50 pm

I agree with you totally . That is why Alabama was the undisputed National Champions in 2011 once they crushed LSWho

They were certainly disputed. They lost to that same LSWho team in the regular season at home. A game which apparently did not matter.

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
10:52 pm

conference championship games can be mandated to be eligible in the rankings … simple enough . To try and hang on in the top 4 ( or even top 8) of the national rankings ANY additional losses after 1 could put you out of the top 4 or 8 . Red herring …

Never mind the fact that if you think an Alabama OR Auburn OR Georgia OR anyone else would sit their best players while playing a rival “because it doesn’t matter if they win or not” …. you pretty much summed up the loser mentality that motivated GT to RUN from the SEC decades ago

Paul in NH

May 1st, 2012
10:55 pm

GTBob

May 1st, 2012
10:43 pm

So why have conference championships?

Conference championships will become meaningless if they are not part of the playoff structure. You will see SEC teams sitting some of their best players because it doesn’t matter if they win or not
——-
The conference basketball tournaments in the Big 6 conferences have become meaningless for the top teams. Many of the top coaches (Roy Williams, Bill Self, Jim Boeheim) are on record as saying they hate them.

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
10:57 pm

“They were certainly disputed.”

Disputed by angry losers and trolls on message boards and blogs is not what I was referring to .NO one with glimmer of football IQ in the sports world disputed it after the clinic a**kicking put on LSU IN New Orleans .

NO relevant ranking service disputed it or tried to name another champion either . FYI … ESPN wasn’t one of those doing the naming …

Paul in NH

May 1st, 2012
11:00 pm

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
10:52 pm

conference championship games can be mandated to be eligible in the rankings … simple enough
—-
I love the irony of this statement from an Alabama fan.

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
11:03 pm

The conference basketball tournaments in the Big 6 conferences have become meaningless for the top teams. Many of the top coaches (Roy Williams, Bill Self, Jim Boeheim) are on record as saying they hate them.

=============================================================

You raise a good point … BUT that has as much to do with the fact that the March basketball tournament has now been expanded to the point that it admits way too many teams to begin with . IF you were going off trying to stay in a still narrow top 4 (or 8) of the BCS rankings … most years having the extra conference championship games would cause extra shots for shaking up those top slots …

GTBob

May 1st, 2012
11:04 pm

NO one with glimmer of football IQ in the sports world disputed it after the clinic a**kicking put on LSU IN New Orleans .

You went 1-1 against LSU and didn’t even win your division of your conference. Thats all you had to do to win a fake championship. There is a reason that nobody watched that joke of a title game.

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
11:06 pm

I love the irony of this statement from an Alabama fan.

—————————————————————————

There is nothing particularly ironic about it . Want to have your members included in a playoff … have a conference championship . See above if it confuses you as to why I feel that way .

( it also would solve the BS Notre Dame “problem” … want to be considered ? … join a conference … if you don’t … stay home .

Durrtydogg

May 1st, 2012
11:12 pm

Don’t you guys know that ESPN chooses who plays for the National Championship? Its not about polls, or who is the best in their division. Its about who they promote and slurp the hardest.

macrotech

May 1st, 2012
11:12 pm

I think we can ALL agree…whatever they decide…people will CONTINUE to take issue when their team doesn’t get in.

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
11:13 pm

@GTBObbed

Actually … it was the second largest cable program audience of all time for ANY program aired on cable only ( the previous years BCS 2010 game being first ) Being taken off free TV and moved to subscriber only was what allowed reporters to pull a sleight of hand by whining about “low ratings” . ( but failing to mjention the transfer to cable only broadcast ) It killed Monday Night football … it lowered ratings for a college championship … no big mystery .

The only “fake” part of that was the stories that obviously duped the willfully obtuse like yourself

Durrtydogg

May 1st, 2012
11:18 pm

I agree that people will be upset regardless. But I have NEVER heard anyone in 1AA get mad after their playoffs.

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
11:24 pm

I do agree that it was ESPN that caused Ok State to lose to a nobody . They caused Oklahoma to get beat too . And Stanford … don’t even get me started about how they caused Stanford to lose . Why even though Oregon had already lost to LSU by a wider margin than Bama … they were the better team and so much of a threat to STILL climb back up in the polls that ESPN went out and made them lose AGAIN as well …

ESPN , the Red Elephant Club and the Illuminati IS the NEW World Order

GTBob

May 1st, 2012
11:24 pm

Actually … it was the second largest cable program audience of all time for ANY program aired on cable only

Wow, add a few more conditions in there and it might sound good. It was the worst rated BCS title game of all time.

gbal

May 1st, 2012
11:30 pm

Enter your comments here

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
11:31 pm

Durrty … no one gives a rats rear is why none one gets upset . Even if all three of the people who did actually care got upset … YOU would never hear about it .. UNA has grabbed a TON of those special Olympic football playoff titles . They do good if a story makes it on the air for the local TV stations 40 miles from the stadium …

LOL

May 1st, 2012
11:33 pm

The irony of Gtbob is that GT has no relevance in college football.

gbal

May 1st, 2012
11:34 pm

I can never figure out one t`hing…..Confrence commissioners plus NOTRE DAME meet to discuss…. Why does one individual school warrant representation. ND is irrelevent recently… actually for several years. Why does one school deserve representation??

gbal

May 1st, 2012
11:35 pm

Join a confrence ND

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
11:38 pm

@GTBob

That wasn’t “adding” anything … it was accurately describing the event . the BCS Championship was snatched off over the air broadcast … and moved to ESPN only starting in 2010 . No cable only broadcast compares in overall viewership to over the air boardcast ( which is why I brought up Monday Night Football … a cultural mulitdecade TV icon that went into the sh**tter on ratings when they moved it to ESPN only .

Ratings were just as “down” for the 2010 BCSCG the year before when compared to over the air ratings . … but reporters didn’t need to write a “nobody watched” hook for that game to advance an agenda and tickle the button of jealous clowns like you .

Crimson Crush

May 1st, 2012
11:51 pm

@GTBob said ” It was the worst rated BCS title game of all time.”

After looking … wrong again . It actually beat out TWO different BCS championship games with a 14 in the ratings … Miami-Nebraska in 2002 (13.8) and USC-Oklahoma in 2005 (13.7) … even though they were free over the air broadcast they produced a smaller audience than subscriber based cable only 2012 Alabama-LSU . Any more wild talking out your a** gaccusations ? :-)

GTBob

May 1st, 2012
11:57 pm

Any more wild talking out your a** gaccusations ?

It depends on what ratings you look at. I was talking about the overnight ratings which were the lowest in BCS title.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gameon/post/2012/01/espns-alabama-lsu-draws-lowest-ever-bcs-title-rating/1#.T6Cv0atYvi4

By the way. More then twice as many people watched Tim Tebow’s playoff game. The BCS ratings have become a joke and last year made them even worse.

Crimson Crush

May 2nd, 2012
12:10 am

@GTBob

Actually … you were only looking at the “that was the worst game of all time because Alabama was in it” meme . The hack reporters fishing for people like you ran out pumping that immediately . When the ACCURATE figures came in instead of the overnight ESTIMATES … you had to go looking elsewhere to find out it just wasn’t true because no self respecting hack was going to tell you otherwise .

I know the information age is a way too fast and confusing world for many … but it doesn’t HAVE to be that way if you are willing to learn a little 8-)

GTBob

May 2nd, 2012
12:21 am

When the ACCURATE figures came in instead of the overnight ESTIMATES

All TV ratings are estimates genius. There is no way to even prove if the final household ratings are more accurate then the overnight ratings. Its all based on statistical sampling. I’m guessing you went to Alabama, didn’t you? Either way you are trying your hardest to argue that the game was only the third most uninteresting game in the BCS era which is pretty pathetic.

Crimson Crush

May 2nd, 2012
12:40 am

Even more interesting is when you break down the stats in their chart in raw numbers of viewers vs just a % of overall TV audience you find out 2012 Bama-LSU produced MORE viewers than several more FREE over the air broadcast championship games that occurred over the last 10 years .

2012 Alabama-LSU 24,214,000

2008 LSU-Ohio State 23,069,000

2005 USC-Oklahoma 21,419 ,000

2004 LSU-Oklahoma 23,937 ,000

2002 Miami-Nebraska 21,559 ,000

* Bubble popped *

Crimson Crush

May 2nd, 2012
12:45 am

And really … I am arguing you know even less about television and what drives it than you do about college football GTBob .

You are the typical casual observer in the world who floats and lives on a current of here today gone tomorrow media generated memes . No curiosity to dig deeper or thoughts to call your own . Thanks for playing …