Television ratings were down for the playoff semifinals Thursday, but Murphy was clearly among those watching as Michigan State was dismantled by Alabama. Add in the Cardinal's own 45-16 drubbing of Iowa in the Rose Bowl on Friday, and the two teams that played in the Big Ten title game were routed by a combined total of 67 points.
To Murphy, that meant the Pac-12 champion should have been in the field instead.
''The Big Ten has a lot of pub, (but) they had a couple big blowouts the last two days, so it kind of goes to show they got exposed,'' Murphy said. ''It shows a four-team playoff probably isn't the best way, because you don't know who the four best teams are.''
After the blowout win Friday, Stanford coach David Shaw found himself in the same position as Pete Carroll during Southern California's run of Rose Bowl dominance in the Bowl Championship Series era: wishing there were more games ahead.
While Carroll stumped for a plus-one or a playoff, which was finally adopted for the 2014 season, Shaw is firmly in favor of an expanded field of six or eight teams.
''I just think four teams is too little, regardless of our situation,'' Shaw said. ''But I'm also fine with the fact that it's going to stay this way for a while. We're going to go through many different years with this four-team playoff. And with enough evidence of how the seasons end ... I think at some point we're going to change it.''
That wasn't enough for some Stanford fans and players who broke out the ubiquitous chant of ''We Want `Bama.'' But center Graham Shuler expects Stanford will get its shot at Alabama sometime in the near future.
''I think the college football world is going to change a lot over the next few years as they revise things,'' Shuler said. ''They created a playoff, that's great. But there are going to be things that expand and change over the next 10 years, and we'll see what happens.''