Rick Neuheisel: Playoff system could still have big problems

Friday August 22nd, 2014

Rick Neuheisel, the former head coach of UCLA football, thinks the new college football playoff system for which many have clamored for years could still be ripe with problems during its inception. 

Specifically, Neuheisel, who is now an analyst at the Pac-12 network, worries that a Pac-12 team could be undeservingly left out of the four-team playoff. 

There are a couple of reasons Neuheisel worries that the Pac-12 might be out of luck in a four-team system, as he explained to The Los Angeles Times. First, the conference has a number of experienced talented quarterbacks returning in the league, including Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Arizona State's Taylor Kelly, USC's Cody Kessler, California's Jared Goff, and UCLA's own Brett Hundley. Combine that with the fact that the Pac-12 is the only conference featuring nine conference games plus a conference championship, and it'll be hard to come out with zero or one losses.

"My concern is that the committee of 13, especially in a year one, is going to want to be really politically correct and not go out and leave a one-loss team out to supplant a two-loss team,” Neuheisel told the paper. “I worry about that, even though I think it would absolutely be the right thing to do, because whoever emerges from this conference as a champion has the salt to be in the final four."

With four teams, at least one conference champion is going to be left out of the playoff. Because of this, Neuheisel said he thinks the playoff system will eventually move to include eight teams.

“It should be apples to apples if we are going to leave it at four teams,” Neuheisel said. “That eventually I think is going to be the tipping point that will make it go to eight. Then, everybody’s conference champion can get in and their guys can pick however that conference champion is picked.”

MORE: Ohio State QB Braxton Miller out for season

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