Holtz says playoff format is 'exciting' for all
I'm catching up on things I should have posted yesterday -- and plugging today's live chat at noon -- but USF football coach Skip Holtz met with the media on Wednesday to talk about college football's newly approved four-team playoff. Here's some of what he had to say:
-- "I think it's going to open up an opportunity for a lot of different teams around the country. I think it's exciting. I think there's still a lot of details to be ironed out, but everybody's excited about having the opportunity to be one of the top four teams in the country as selected by a committee, the opportunity to play in this. It'll be exciting, emotional. There will be a lot of enthusiasm and passion around it. I think it will be great for college football."
-- On a four-team playoff and not more: "I do believe it is (right). The really hard thing is how do you get bigger than that and maintain the present bowl structure we have in place. I know a lot of coaches and players and administrators really wanted to keep some kind of tie with the bowl systems that have been such a huge part of college football and the pageantry and the excitement. Everybody was trying to find a way to "How do we have a playoff and maintain the bowl structure as it is today?" I think they've done a great job of doing that. The other thing is this is not basketball. You can't play two games on a weekend or three games and then go to the next one. How do you make it much bigger than this without extending the season to go on and on? I think this is a good happy medium."
-- "In the past system, people would complain that 3 or 4 had a chance to win it. Now the argument's going to be 5 or 6 or 7 had an opportunity to win it, and if we go to eight, (then) 9, 10 and 11 will complain they had an opportunity to win it. It's hard to make everybody happy, but I think the powers that be that sat down and made these decisions put together a good system."
-- "I think it continues to keep a premium on the (regular) season, which is what we all want to do. That's where college football is unique. Not having a playoff, one or two losses during the course of the season knocks you out of that championship race. We're in a playoff system now, it just goes 12 games. If you've lost, you've been out. I think it's a good setup, and I'm excited about what they've put together."
-- (on Big East's position): "It's a play-in model. That's all anybody wanted. There's no conferences eliminated. If you want to get there, get to be one of the best four teams in the country. All the sudden, strength of schedule is going to be an issue. You can't just win them all and not play anybody in the top 20 and say 'We deserve to be there,' which has been the mythical argument that's been able to go on. Now there's a committee that actually sits down and looks at strength of schedule and those types of things and look at it from a reasonable standpoint. I think they'll be fair. I don't know who will be on it, but I'm sure they'll put people on it that have the best interests of college football at heart and aren't going to be prejudiced or biases toward one school or one conference."
-- "Probably more so now, the Big East has a better opportunity to play in that game than we've ever had. I believe Cincinnati was ranked third or fourth that one year. They would have been in it and all the sudden a (Big East) team would have been in it. I think we have a better opportunity to get a team in it."
-- (on semifinals on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day): "I think it'll be great. We can all remember when we used to wake up on the 1st and put three TVs in one room so we could watch all the bowl games being played. We've kind of lost that. We've lost the excitement of January 1, and it's now gone to where we'll all the way to January 7. They're scattered to one a day. This will be exciting. I think they'll take back January 1 and the entire country will understand that January 1 is the first round of the playoffs for college football."