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Former OU coach Barry Switzer says he'd serve on committee to pick college football playoff field

Switzer said coaches who have been out of the game for a while might benefit the selection committee the most
by Jason Kersey Modified: June 25, 2012 at 6:11 pm •  Published: June 25, 2012
/articleid/3687494/1/pictures/1502979">Photo - Barry Switzer
Barry Switzer

“When you've coached the best, at all positions, you've got a measuring stick. ... Those things are valuable when you're picking the best teams. Sometimes record does not always determine the best team.”

He points to the LSU-Alabama situation last year. Switzer said he thought Alabama was the better team even though it lost to LSU in the regular season.

“I know that just because you lost that one game doesn't mean you're not better than that team,” Switzer said. “Alabama was better than LSU and they proved it. ... Another example of that is 1978; we were the best team in the country and should have been national champions. But we lost that day at Lincoln.”

Switzer's 1978 team was ranked No. 1 when it went to Nebraska and lost, 17-14 with six lost fumbles.

“Six possessions we gave to Nebraska, and we only lost 17-14,” Switzer said. “If they'd done that for us, we'd have hung half-a-hundred on them.”

OU got a shot at redemption that year, beating the Huskers 31-24 in the Orange Bowl just weeks after the loss in Lincoln.

Switzer said the selection committee's job — narrowing the field down to four — will be tremendously difficult, which is what makes football expertise all the more important.

“When you're picking 64 basketball teams, no one really cares about the 65th or 66th,” Switzer said, “but they're damn sure going to care about the fifth and sixth pick in football. There's a difference, a helluva difference.”

Switzer, 74, was Oklahoma's head coach from 1973 to 1988, compiling a record of 157-29-4 and winning three national championships. His winning percentage stands among the greatest in college football history.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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