Discussion

How bowl officials view playoff talk

Updated: March 22, 2012, 2:07 PM ET
By Ryan McGee

Over the past few months the talk of a college football playoff has taken a decidedly different turn. Suddenly, head coaches, conference commissioners and university administrators who had previously reacted to the mention of a new postseason format much as they would to a face full of skunk juice are openly throwing out their ideas for a post-BCS world.

They range from tiny to ginormous. There's Big Ten commish Jim "I don't care as long I get to go to the Rose Bowl" Delany's pitch of a four-team format with semifinals at the home stadiums of the higher seeds. And on Wednesday, Washington State coach Mike Leach told Lisa Horne of Fox Sports that there should be a minimum of 16 teams, but here in the midst of March Madness he confesses that he'd really like to see 64.

The one group that has been very quiet during this surge in playoff talk also happens to be the segment of the college football community that would seemingly stand to lose the most if the college game were to graduate to brackets: the men and women who are in the college bowl business. It is a 35-game, billion-dollar industry and, fairly or unfairly, it is seen as the primary force behind the anti-playoff movement.

So what are they thinking as they read and hear the playoff comments? Are they confident about the future? Terrified? Indifferent?

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