STILLWATER — Last December, less than nine-thousandths of a point in the final BCS standings kept Oklahoma State out of the national championship game and instead set up an All-SEC matchup between Alabama and LSU.
That minuscule difference between No. 2 and No. 3, the latest and arguably most controversial final regular-season standings in the BCS era, is largely viewed as one of the last straws that pushed college football toward a four-team playoff that will begin in 2014.
Mike Gundy, the Cowboy coach who was just on the outside of playing for the national title, gave his thoughts on the new playoff system during Big 12 Media Days in Dallas last week.
On if he likes the new playoff structure:
“I think so, as much as I know about it. There'll be a committee that's formed to make decisions. It's going to generate a ton of interest across the country. Now the fans have two games to watch and one final game, so it's going to make more money. The presidents and the conferences will be fired up about the money. The fifth team will now be upset like the third team was this year.
“I think the one thing, just in my opinion, that's going to happen — now that they're going to form a committee, the human element is going to eliminate a smaller conference school from playing in it, in my opinion. That's just me. Just because if people sit in a room and make a decision that's not based on a computer or a poll, then somebody's going to say, ‘How are you going to put this team in when this team over here played six teams in the top 30 in the country and this team only played one?' I just think that I think somebody's going to say, ‘Yeah, you're right, we've got to put this team in, no matter who they played.'”
On the thought of the committee being made up of 10 to 20 people:
“That may be a little too many to make a decision. I wouldn't recommend that. I'd recommend about five or six. It'd be an odd number in case you have to vote, that's one thing I'd do. And the second thing is I wouldn't get too many people involved, because then you've got too many people pulling in different directions …
“Is it going to be good? Yeah, it's going to be good, because it's going to give two more games (and) something for people to look forward to, because college football's gotten so big now. I think you'll see success, and I think three or four years later … I think you'll see eight teams. They'll say, ‘Wow, we can have more games and make more money. I'm all for it.'”
On if an eight-team playoff would be more accurate in determining a true national champion:
“Oh, not necessarily. I don't know if that's even possible, because of the academic calendar. I'm just saying that what's happened, if you just look at the history over the last few years of college football, anything that's made money, they've wanted to do more of it. And they're going to see this is going to make a lot of money.”