Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Updated: January 21, 3:23 PM ET
What they're saying
Comments about the BCS from coaches, insiders and others:
"I like the bowl system. I like the opportunity for a lot of teams to have a successful season and to get a chance to go to a bowl game. We don't need to limit that to whatever the playoff deal is. I've been involved in small college playoff systems. It was fun, it was great but it wasn't perfect. The system we have now is as close as we can get to a national championship."
Oregon State coach Mike Riley, Orlando Sentinel, 2010
"The biggest thing as far as TCU or Boise State or Utah, what's to say that if you went to a playoff it would be any easier for us? The other thing I brought up is injury. Say you've got a guy who has a chance to be a first-round draft choice like Colt McCoy. What happens if those guys have a chance to make millions of dollars? Well, I helped you get to 12-0, but I'm going to bow out of this playoff because I have to think of my future. What's going to be the answer to that one?"
TCU coach Gary Patterson, Orlando Sentinel, 2010
"Right now, we have a good system. That's not to say we won't improve it. How it will improve over time we'll find out, but I wouldn't be in favor of scrapping what we do. There are too many things to keep in mind, bowls, student athlete welfare, all the rest. I wouldn't start over."
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, Orlando Sentinel, 2010
"That's stupid. I don't think there should be any playoff. ... Why should there be a playoff?"
University of Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody, Associated Press, 2010
"I like [the BCS system] the way it is, I really do. I think college football has the most exciting regular season of any sport because there is not a playoff system. The whole season is a playoff system. I don't want a playoff system."
Georgia coach Mark Richt, Gwinnett (Ga.) Daily Post
"I am a college president or administrator and am thinking pragmatically, I would run away and hide from any playoff proposals. [A playoff] would be the most impractical, counterproductive and risky thing the NCAA could do. I became more convinced of that than ever, watching the bowl schedule unfurl the past two weeks."
Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News, 2009
"I think people are looking for a perfect system and there isn't a perfect system. We've never had that in college football. I've always been in favor of the polls being the most important factor. You usually don't see too much out of line week to week with the polls. It's rare that you get a situation like we had last year, and when you do get those circumstances somebody's going to have a good argument. It still goes back to human opinions more than a computation. I think the idea that they are making the BCS system simpler is good."
Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, St. Petersburg Times
"I coach high school football in Texas, and every year only one team ends up happy in your classification. You go the playoffs, the first round, the second round, the quarterfinals -- oh how exciting for everyone. But you look at it, as soon as one of those teams gets beat, they're just forgotten. Now I know people say how much it works for basketball, but I think football is different. Is it really better for the kids to have a playoff or for at least half of them to go to a bowl game and say, 'We won the Gator Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, whatever bowl.' You have U.S.C. and Penn State going to the Rose Bowl, whoever wins that game -- that's something those kids can talk about the rest of their lives. They finished by winning something with a name, a tradition. They got to play in the Rose Bowl, not just the quarterfinals. People would have you believe, oh, the playoff would be perfect, ideal, but I think that if we did it, in about six years, people would say, 'Oh my God, what have we done? We've ruined a perfectly good season's ending for a whole lot of teams for the benefit of one.' Is that really better for the kids?"
Sam Harrell, father of Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, to Harvey Araton of the New York Times, 2008
"I'm not for a playoff. You have to go undefeated. A playoff would be interesting, but I think it would be too many games."
Matt Leinart, former quarterback, USC Trojans, Athlon Sports Football Annual 2005
"In Division I-A football, every game is a playoff. Once you lose one game, you're mostly out. If you lose two, you're definitely out. We got 12 playoff games. Teams take that approach. That's probably why there's so much interest. You stub your toe, you can never get back in."
University of Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, ESPN.com, 2006 (at the time of this interview, Rodriguez was head coach at the University of West Virginia)
"Division I-A college football has the greatest regular season in all team sports, and a playoff system would ruin that distinction."
Jason Whitlock, Kansas City Star, 2008
"I've given it a lot of thought, and I think it's an awful thought [of an NFL-style playoff]. I've coached in the National Football League, and college football's not the National Football League, it's entirely different. This is just one person's opinion, but to even think it's workable, it's feasible, and good for anybody involved is ludicrous. We ask so much of these guys it's just unbelievable. We ask an awful lot of them as far as the football part, yet we want them to be exemplary students, we want them to be exemplary citizens, and that's all right, but how much more blood do we want to take out? At some point you have to put the welfare of the players (first). That should be our guiding light on all of our thinking. If we go down the playoff road, then we're not thinking that way. We're appeasing someone else, not the players."
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, Iowa City Press-Citizen, 2005
"In basketball there is far less interest in the regular season than there is in the tournament. Everyone gets March Madness for the tournament. You don't want everyone to get January madness for football and forget about everything else that's happening in the regular season. I think basically we are in a playoff the last half of the year in the regular season. ... People from coast to coast are watching each other because if anyone slips, you're going to be out."
Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops, Los Angeles Times, 2005
"The season is really long. It puts a tremendous amount of stress and fatigue on our players. Everybody needs to relax a little bit and understand the players are here to get an education. Let's make the conference championships a big deal and make the bowl games a reward. I hope that we never do see a playoff."
Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, Associated Press (at the time of this interview, Petrino was head coach at the University of Louisville)
"You're not going to see a playoff in the next decade. In the BCS, every game really does matter. College football probably has the most vibrant regular season in sports. The conference races shape national landscape, culminating in a holiday football smorgasbord."
Jim Delany, Big Ten Commissioner, CBS SportsLine.com, 2004
"Bowl games bring a measure of importance to the regular season not seen in other sports. If teams are simply playing for seeding for a playoff, the outcomes would not mean as much and the interest and excitement, likewise, would not be as feverish. No other intercollegiate sport plays as few regular season games as football and every game means something, conference championships mean something. You tell me what other sport, three months before the conclusion of the season, has a game that captures the fancy of the country? There are a lot of things that take place week to week. It's like an ongoing drama. Now, if people want a playoff, let's talk about what it does to the regular season. Anybody who says it has no effect has their head in the sand."
Mike Tranghese, Big East Commissioner, USA Today, 2002
"I've told college football coaches if they ever go to a national playoff system, they're ridiculous. The NCAA tournament has gotten to the point where nothing else counts any more other than to win the whole thing."
Former Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, press conference, 2001
"College football is built on the regular season. Tennessee-Alabama, Georgia-Florida, Florida-FSU, USC-Notre Dame, Michigan-Ohio State ? That's the guts of college football, the backbone. If you put your eggs in the playoff basket, we deflate this."
Roy Kramer, former Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, 1999