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Dr. Saturday

Urban Meyer isn’t a proponent of a college football playoff

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(Greg Bartram/US Presswire)

While many Big Ten athletic directors are trying to stick with commissioner Jim Delany in a crusade for a four-team playoff that rewards conference champions, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn't quite on board with the rest of his conference.

Meyer, who spent nearly 30 minutes speaking to reporters on a variety of subjects, said he wasn't sold on the different playoff scenarios being floated out there and that the two-time national championship-winning coach preferred the current BCS method.

"You play in one of the bowl games and then it's [teams seeded] 4 vs. 1 and 2 vs. 3 and then you go play the championship game," he said. "I can only imagine the workload that's going to be on that coaching staff and those players. I can't even fathom that you're trying to get ready for a national championship in two days -- because that's what you've got because of travel.

"I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but I think the ideal setup is what's happened the last decade of football. I think we've had a true national champion."

Meyer said he did crave a college football playoff after the 2004 season when he was coaching Utah and the Utes finished 12-0 after beating Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl. The Utes became the first team from a non-BCS league to play in a BCS bowl and finished as one of three undefeated teams that year (USC and Auburn). The Utes ended the year ranked No. 4 in the AP poll and No. 5 in the coaches poll, but who knows what might have happened had a playoff system been in place?

"I was [coaching] a Utah team where I was hoping for a playoff at that point because that's the only access we could have," Meyer said. "But I don't know. I can understand why it's happening. But I was not one of the screamers and yellers saying it was broken before."

Meyer also took issue with potential playoff games being played at neutral sites and really his argument was for the benefit of an opponent that might find itself playing in Columbus, Ohio, in late December or January.

"I would rather have neutral sites," Meyer said. "I'm not sure you can, on a crisp December day here in Columbus, have a Southern team come up to play. The Southern teams I coached [at Florida], I know it would be a problem."

Urban Meyer, still looking out for the SEC.

While there are a lot of coaches and athletic directors who share Meyer's sentiments about a playoff — including Michigan AD Dave Brandon, who thinks a true playoff should consist of more than four teams — the playoff train seems to be one that is moving quickly and shows no signs of stopping. Not sure even the great Urban Meyer can sway enough influence to get the college football powers-that-be to reconsider how they choose a national champion.

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