Forget a four-team or eight-team playoff; Mike Leach plays by his own rules.
When Washington State's head coach envisioned a new way to choose college football's national champion, he looked at the most exciting time of the year — March Madness — and drew inspiration.
"The minimum should be 16 teams,'' Leach told Lisa Horne from Fox Sports. "I think 32 is better than 16, but I think 64 would be ideal. You could cut the regular season down to 10 games, but guarantee everybody 12 games. In the end, the champion would play 16 games."
Let's just stop and think about this for a second. Work out in your mind the nation's top 64 schools, including several from the nonautomatic qualifying conferences. This really isn't much different from choosing teams for bowl games minus six schools. Would it have been fun to watch LSU play UCLA in a first round game? Perhaps if you're an LSU fan, but otherwise probably not. Upsets aren't as common in football as they are in basketball so those early matchups might not be as attractive.
Still, it's an intriguing prospect if for nothing else than excitement. March is one of the best times of the year for college athletics. Doing something similar in football would generate the same type of excitement.
Or, instead of going to 64, the FBS could replicate the FCS model and make a 20-team bracket. Seems to work OK for those teams.
As for the argument that players will miss too much school, Leach says it's not even relevant.
"Basketball players go to school, volleyball players go to school, baseball players go to school and they play a lot more games than football [players do]," Leach said.
Leach is never one to run with the pack, so I think we can all appreciate his take on a college football playoff. Will the powers-that-be find it as entertaining as the rest of us? Well, I think we already know the answer to that question.
- Mike Leach
- college football