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Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Updated: October 5, 5:15 PM ET
Auburn coach Tuberville calls for playoff system

By Joe Schad
Special to ESPN.com

Auburn is 5-0 and ranked third in the nation behind Ohio State and USC in the USA Today and Harris Polls and second in the Associated Press poll, but coach Tommy Tuberville said Wednesday that he has doubts any SEC team can make the national championship game without a playoff system.

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"I've about had it with this playoff deal," Tuberville said after a lengthy, emotional argument for a playoff. "We all understand in our conference how tough it is. In our conference, that's about the only chance we'd have to make it."

The SEC boasts five teams in the Top 13 of the AP poll: Auburn (No. 2), Florida (No. 5), LSU (No. 9), Georgia (No. 10) and Tennessee (No. 13).

While Auburn, Florida and Georgia are all undefeated, Florida plays LSU this week and Auburn the week after. And Georgia plays Tennessee this week.

Two years ago, Auburn finished 13-0, but did not appear in the national championship game.

"There is no reason on this earth why we can't have the best four and then play one more," Tuberville said. "That's the legitimate thing to do. We added a BCS game -- for what in the world? -- I understand we're avoiding lawsuits and making money. But let's take care of the players."

Tuberville said excuses are invalid.

"The problem we have is you have 120 universities that are I-A and probably 25 would say they have a legitimate chance each year," he said. "And you have presidents that for some reason look at it more as for the money than having a national championship on the field. They keep coming up with lame excuses about academics. Football players miss fewer classes than anybody."

Tuberville said he hopes the tenure of SEC commissioner Mike Slive as the current head of the BCS will help aid a playoff structure, but he said he doubts it will happen in his lifetime. Simply put, he said the time has come for an eight-team playoff structure.

"Presidents take the money and go spend it, but they don't worry about the business of making it better," Tuberville said. "They keep coming up with excuses, yet we're playing [the national championship game] Jan. 8. It's hypocritical."

Former Florida coach Steve Spurrier, long a playoff proponent, said he can't worry about it as much now that he's at South Carolina. But, he acknowledged, "The people that run college football don't listen to the coaches anyway."

Joe Schad is ESPN's national college football reporter.