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Bobby Bowden not a fan of the dadgum College Football Playoff

Bobby Bowden AP

A couple of years ago, prior to the formation of the College Football Playoff, Bobby Bowden enthusiastically stated that he would be willing to serve on a hypothetical committee that would hypothetically determine the hypothetical playoff participants.

I would be willing to serve on it,” the Florida State coaching legend said in June of 2012. “I think ex-coaches have a lot of wisdom. I watch the games. And I watch the game films on my iPad.”

Fast-forward 26 months. The CFP is entering its first season, replete with a 13-member committee that will select the four playoff teams at season’s end. Bowden, though, is not a part of it. In fact, there are just three former FBS head coaches (Barry Alvarez, Tom Osborne, Tyrone Willingham) who will serve on the committee.

Coincidentally enough or not, Bowden is now voicing fear and trepidation over the playoff system as it’s currently constituted.

“I always thought they got one and two right. Really people don’t care about three and four,” Bowden said while attending the kickoff luncheon in Akron, where his son, Terry Bowden, is the Zips head coach. “It’s going to give more teams an opportunity to play for the national championship, but I like it the way it was. I’m not sure it’s going to work. Maybe it will turn out better. …

“Now No. 5 is really upset. No. 5 says we should have been in that dadgum top four. That’s what three said. You get the same debate going on down the line.”

(Writer’s note: I’ve said it before and I’ll continuing beating it into the ground for as long as it takes: it’s progress that we will be arguing over the Nos. 4 and 5 teams instead of the Nos. 2 and 3. Just like it’ll be progress when — not if — the field is expanded to eight teams and we’re arguing over Nos. 8 and 9 and not Nos. 4 and 5.)

Bowden also expressed concern over access for the Non-Power Five conferences — the AAC, Conference USA, MAC (his son’s current conference), MWC and Sun Belt.

“I don’t like that. I liked it where Boise State had a chance, where smaller schools have a chance.” Bowden said. “Now they’re just [favoring] the rich people, the schools that have it all.”

OK, two things Coach Bowden.

One, no Non-Power Five school ever played for the BCS championship, so there’ll be no difference under the new system if it never happens. Two, with the CFP, the highest-ranked Non-Power Five team is guaranteed a spot in a marquee — think old BCS — bowl game. That was not the case under the old system. In fact, during the 16 years of the old system, just seven Non-Power Five teams qualified for a BCS bowl berth. And those came in six seasons (2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 (2), 2010, 2012). By the end of the 2021 season, more Non-Power Five teams will have played in CFP bowls in eight years than did in the entire 16-year history of the BCS.

Additionally, the Non-Power Five conferences will receive five times as much in revenue from the CFP than they did from the BCS.

In other words, the financial benefits and access are much greater and better, respectively, in a new vs. old comparison. Yes, it’s not a level playing field; thing is, it never was in the past, won’t be in the present and never will be in the future.

That said, a team like Boise State stands a better chance of winning a national championship now than under the BCS, if for nothing more than the fact that there are four slots open now on the road to a title instead of just two. Bump that field to eight and the little guys can once again be a yearly factor.

The CFP is far from perfect, but it’s a far piece better than the BCS.

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9 Responses to “Bobby Bowden not a fan of the dadgum College Football Playoff”
  1. dcviking says: Aug 23, 2014 11:45 AM

    Team number 69 is bitter they didn’t make the NCAA tournament as well — doesn’t matter how many teams you add, someone will be upset.

    This is still a better way forward.

  2. mcjon22 says: Aug 23, 2014 11:52 AM

    As far as I’m concerned, the guy is a coaching legend with over 300 wins and multiple national championships.

    Anyone with that resume can have any opinion they wish, even if I don’t agree with it.

  3. jrs45 says: Aug 23, 2014 1:53 PM

    Wow does he look like a crazed hillbilly lol.

  4. kshiffpr says: Aug 23, 2014 2:22 PM

    Coach Bowden has NEVER been a fan of a college football playoff. NEVER. He is an old-fashioned kinda guy – and liked the old Bowl System the way it was. And it didn’t always favor his teams, either. There are a few FSU teams I can think of that would’ve benefited from a playoff (and I’m a Hurricane).

    I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the way this article tried to make Coach Bowden sound. He was asked in an interview at some event a couple of years ago if he would be willing to serve on the playoff committee. Of course he said “yes”. What else would the winningest coach in the history of major college football say? The question wasn’t “do you WANT to serve on the committee and help decide who plays in the 4-team playoff?”.

    He’s too dadgum busy speaking to groups all over the country and working on his golf game to have “sour grapes” about not being asked to be on a committee that he doesn’t really want to exist anyway! I personally don’t agree with him — I think a playoff is the only fair way to decide the National Champion, but Coach Bowden certainly is entitled to his opinion. And should’ve been asked to be on the committee :)

  5. irishlad19 says: Aug 23, 2014 2:30 PM

    Sometimes retired coaches should just keep quiet, enjoy their golf, and smile when asked controversial questions.
    Some have a difficult time accepting that most of us don’t care what they think about how the world has changed since they were active.

  6. barkleyblows says: Aug 23, 2014 2:46 PM

    Typical stupid Irish fan response. Maybe you should worry about ur cheating football team and cheating head coach.

  7. kshiffpr says: Aug 23, 2014 4:06 PM

    irishlad —- would you be opposed to Lou Holtz serving on the committee? He’s a retired/former head coach? He’s also 77 years old — no spring chicken. But he’s also one of the most knowledgeable people in college football. A whole lot of people care what he thinks — that’s why he makes the big bucks as an analyst.

    And your comment about how the world has changed since coaches were active — the world hasn’t changed too much in 4 1/2 years (since Coach Bowden got retired). I’d say he was pretty “up with the times” when he hired Jimbo as his offensive coordinator/eventual successor. Sounds pretty “with it” and smart to me.

  8. goodfieldnohit says: Aug 23, 2014 4:39 PM

    Who is Tyrone Whittingham?

  9. chargrz says: Aug 23, 2014 5:35 PM

    Who cares what that Old Coot has to say? FSU is as corrupt as it gets.

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