Is the controversy really dead?

Tom Osborne (Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE)

Former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne chimes in on a four-team playoff.

For years now people have wanted a college football playoff, but now that one is in place, how is it going to play out?

Tom Osborne, athletic director at the University of Nebraska and hall of fame head coach, is not quite sure yet, but he does believe there are pros and cons regarding the subject.

But is the controversy really dead? With four teams fighting for a national title, there will be more of a premium on five, six, seven, and eight.

"There will continue to be a debate, and continue to be pressure to expand to an eight team and a 16-team playoff,"Osborne told Huskers Sports Nightly on Monday night.

Osborne believes with more than four teams, the regular season loses some of its meaning, and he believes the regular season is one of the best parts of college football.

"Once you get to a 16-team playoff you could very easily have some three loss teams in there," said Osborne. "I mean right now if you lose to a team that isn't very good, with a losing record, then you have pretty much signed your death warrant when it comes to the national championship.

"So it's a big deal, and that's one reason why college attendance is very high and it's so popular," explained Osborne.

The former head coach does feel like it has some advantages though, because it could help smaller teams get to compete in the national championship easier than in years past.

"It's going to be a lot more open because you don't have the automatic qualifiers," explained Osborne. "So I think the Boise States of the world, and people who aren't part of a conference tie up are going to feel a bit more relieved."

Osborne also mentioned that he likes the idea of a selection committee over a coaches poll or a writers poll, and it could be an improvement if its done right.

"You have a bit more objectivity and people who have worked it a bit more," he said. "Obviously writers are going to know the teams they are covering, and coaches are going to know the teams they are playing, so their horizons are fairly narrowed in that they don't get to see a lot of other teams, so I think that will be good."

Osborne does, however, still believe that there should be coaches in the selection committee along with athletic directors and conference commissioners.

"I think it would be wise to have about ten people on the committee," said Osborne. "Probably be people from all over the country, so you have people looking at different conferences and different teams.

"Probably be a good idea to have five coaches on there," he explained. "Maybe three or four A.D.s and a couple conference commissioners, and maybe someone outside of those occupations that would be knowledgeable."

When asked if he would be interested in being part of a committee, he said it would be a possibility, but he would first need to know the parameters. As in how much travel would be involved, where they would meet, etc.

Then there is the big thing, the money. Osborne believes that the playoff will double the bowl revenues.

"I think it goes from around $180 million to about $360 million or something like that, which always gets a lot of people's attention," he said.

They have not yet decided how the money is going to be split up, but whenever you put that much money out on the table arguments will rise up, but that should get resolved as time goes on.

In all the questions remaining one thing we know for sure is the playoff system is here to stay, we just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

- Josh Harvey -

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