SEC Media Days: Chizik gives play-off thumbs up
Auburn Coach Gene Chizik gave the four-team college football play-off his approval at his SEC Media Day Conference in Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday.
When asked about a play-off by journalists, he said: “With a four‑team playoff, I’m going to be honest with you, that depends on what glasses you’re wearing. Let me give you an example.
In 2010, if we had the four‑team playoff in place, I was at Auburn, just went through this league undefeated, won the SEC championship game, am I in favor of playing another one to prove that I deserve getting into the national championship game? No, I don’t.
But if you go back up to 2004 when we were undefeated and we didn’t get in the national championship game because we weren’t 1 or 2, then I’m totally in favor of it.
I think, as anything, you can shoot holes in anything you want. I think it’s a movement in the right direction. I think there’s two main keys to the point of how they structured it. Number one, they kept the bowl systems pretty much to the best of their ability intact so that there’s still a reward for all of the players at the end of the day. I feel that for the traditionalists out there, the bowls that are out there, they get to stay as a reward. That’s big for the players and coaches.
Second thing, I don’t think a four‑team playoff diminishes whatsoever the intensity of week‑by‑week trying to get down to the final four. I think there’s a lot of value in that for the fans. Essentially every week is a playoff, certainly in late October and November.
So I think those are good things.
At the end of the day, 12 years from now when they go back and they start‑‑ they start this two years from now, they do it 12 years, this system we have now, when they put that in however many years ago, that looked great. We decided there were holes in that. To be honest with you, the same thing is going to happen with this. There’s going to be unintended circumstances or consequences that a lot of people didn’t think about. I can think of scenarios in my mind right now.
If the fifth team beat the third team or the second team, they didn’t become No.4, they’re going to have the same argument the No.3 team did. We all know that. We’re smart enough to figure that out.
Another scenario could be if No.1 and No. 2 are in the same conference, they play a championship game, 2 beats 1, right, then 2 becomes 1 and 1 becomes 4, they’re going to rematch the next game.
There’s scenarios out there that can happen. Look, there’s a lot of things. But I definitely think it was well thought out and I think there was a lot of movement in the right direction. I think it’s going to be very exciting for everybody.
But, again, eight years from now, what will be the scenarios that popped up that will make people rethink this, because that’s going to happen. But for the most part I think it was a really, really fine job and well thought out in terms of for everybody, the fans, the players.”
He also refused to comment on speculation that the SEC East and West divisions should be split in terms of geography.
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