Playoff Still Appeals To Meyer, To A Degree

By Adam Caparell - April 12, 2007


Florida president Bernie Machen has been outspoken recently about the need for some kind of postseason playoff in college football and you can count his football coach among his backers.

"Dr. Machen's my boss, so I support him," Gators coach Urban Meyer said. "We've had very brief conversations about it. They weren't quite as brief when the whole thing was going on after the SEC Championship game and they were talking about a second place team from the Big Ten going over an SEC champion, which I think if that would have happened...that's what started the whole issue."

Meyer himself was very outspoken about the need for a playoff, especially in light of all the talk last year that Michigan might possibly play Ohio State for the national championship, jumping the Gators in the final BCS standings, despite Florida's conference title and the Wolverines regular season finale loss to the Buckeyes.

But Meyer isn't ready for a full-fledged NCAA Tournament style playoff for football just yet.

"Dr. Machen's a brilliant person. He's been involved with athletics for a long time. I support what he thinks, but I love the bowl system," Meyer said.

"There's a way to mesh both of them. Obviously you're not talking about a 16-team playoff, but a two or four team playoff."

It's really starting to seem more and more likely that college football will head down some route where a playoff determines a national champion. SEC commissioner and last year's BCS coordinator Mike Slive seemed to be open to the idea of exploring playoff scenarios last year. More and more coaches and administrators around the country - especially from non-BCS conferences (i.e. Boise State) - would kill for a playoff that levels the playing field.

But there are more than a few hurdles. One of the biggest being the estimated lack of support from the BIg Ten and Pac-10 conferences who are adamant about continuing their traditional matchup in the Rose Bowl.

Fox, who just got finished with its first go-round with airing its own quartet of BCS games (ABC has the rights to the Rose Bowl), is reportedly interested in securing the BCS package long term. And no change to the postseason format can occur in the middle of a signed television agreement.

Regardless, Meyer hasn't concerned himself too much with the cries for a playoff. He's obviously been concentrating on finishing up spring practice this weekend and fretting over his revamped defense that's going to feature a boatload of young, inexperienced players next year. He just doesn't want a repeat of all the controversy surrounding 2006's season ending BCS standings.

"Obviously, when it was all going on, we were disappointed with some of the things that were said, but that's all over with," Meyer said. "We just have to do the best that we can."

Posted by Adam Caparell at 12:12 PM on April 12, 2007
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