Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun isn’t a fan of the College Football Playoff. Calhoun went as far as describing college football’s new postseason as “un-American.”
When college football decided to adapt its system to a four-team playoff, it was clear that programs from “Group of Five” conference would be non-factors in the final decisions. Only those teams in the ACC, Big 10 Conference, Big 12 Conference (OK, maybe not), Pac-12 Conference, SEC as well as Notre Dame would be seriously considered for the two semifinal games.
Programs outside of the powers conferences aren’t happy with the glass ceiling that is now in place. Calhoun clumsily illustrated his point when he discussed the matter Friday.
“There’s no doubt that it’s all set up for five conferences, as it is,” Calhoun told the Colorado Springs Gazette. “You’ve got to be in one of those five conferences.
“It’s un-American, bottom line. We live in a country where upward mobility is possible, where games should be played out on the field.”
While Calhoun has a point about the smaller conferences being excluded, his argument lacks substance at this particular juncture. Air Force finished the season 9-3. Only one team outside of the Power Five conferences finished with at least an 12-1 record. And Marshall’s schedule this season was laughable compared to those teams in the bigger conferences.
The No. 20 Boise State Broncos eventually claimed the lone berth into an access bowl (Fiesta Bowl) granted to the best team in the Group of Five. But none of those teams were ever in serious consideration for one of the top four spots.
However, this is yet another opportunity for advocates of an eight-team playoff to push for change even before the first year of the new system is complete.
House representative Joe Barton (Texas) railed against the system during a recent interview on the “Capital Games” podcast, via ABCnews.com.
“The system as they have it now is going to fail every year,” Barton said. “You can’t squeeze all that sausage into the sack. There’s going to be a few teams left out. So they need to go to at least eight teams, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they went to 12 — with first-round byes — or to 16.”
Of course, Barton is primarily representing his constituency by denouncing a system that left TCU and Baylor out of the equation. These types of gripes will continue every year, though, because the playoff is currently set up to leave multiple deserving teams out in the cold.