By Patrick Bohn
After years of controversy and heated debate, it appears that college football may finally be on the road to a playoff. Although some coaches are on board with the idea, others prefer the status quo. Here's a look at those standing on each side of the fence.
In the past, discussions on playoffs seemed more like speculation than reality. But now, the powers that be are committed to a more tangible debate. Meetings between FBS conference commissioners, University of Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick, and other college football officials took place last week to discuss different potential models. All of the current proposals being discussed are centered on a four-team model, something that many coaches are in favor of using. But, while ACC Commissioner John Swofford told ESPN.com that he believes a general consensus has been formed, some coaches are still skeptical.
Ohio State University Head Coach Urban Meyer is one such coach. He isn't so sure players will benefit from playing an extra game, and wonders what the toll will be on them.
"Here's my experience: We had two real nice runs [at Florida] when we played for national championships," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "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?
"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."
University of Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp offered a similar view:
"We talk about how important academics are, we're gonna be playing all through December while exams are going on? I just don't think that that's good for college football," Muschamp told the Orlando Sentinel.
University of Texas Head Coach Mack Brown, however, says he's glad to see change is on the horizon.
"I don't like our current system," he told ESPN. "I'd rather have different means to evaluate the best teams in the end ...That's more fair to the coaches, that's more fair to the players and that's more fair to the fans."
Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis also approves of moving to a different model.
"I've made comments before that I'm in favor of exploring a process that would allow some form of a 4 leading to 2 leading to 1 (format)," he told The Detroit News. "I guess you can perceive that as being a plus-1 or other system."
Patrick Bohn is an Assistant Editor at Athletic Management.