NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher remembers a time when winning the Rose Bowl or the Sugar Bowl made for a great season for a college football team.
He’s concerned a move to a playoff will further diminish what used to be a significant accomplishment.
“When I was a child, I remember who won the Sugar Bowl, who won the Orange Bowl, who won the Cotton Bowl, who won the Rose Bowl. It was a big deal to go. We act like that’s not a big deal now,” Fisher said Tuesday. “That’s one of the great things you have in college football. We’re so involved in winning a championship that we’re forgetting the tradition and history of doing things.”
Fisher and the Seminoles (14-0) won the BCS championship game on Monday night, beating Auburn 34-31.
Next season the Bowl Championship Series will be replaced by the College Football Playoff, which will put the top four teams as chosen by a selection committee into two semifinals played on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The winners will play for the national championship about a week later.
“And how many times was the BCS ever wrong? How many times did they ever get it wrong at the end? We’ve still got the same problem. You’re going to argue over who’s four and five or who’s two and three. What’s the difference?” Fisher said.
He said the physical toll of playing major college football is greater than at the sport’s lower levels, where playoffs can extend the season to 16 games for teams that play in the final game.
The team that wins that College Football Playoff next season is likely to play 15 games, or at least 14.
Fisher said he’s OK with the new system, but would be apprehensive to expand it further.
“These guys don’t get to go play in an NFL season. They don’t get to go rehab all day. They got school. They got study halls. They got things to do,” he said. “Those bodies at that age aren’t developed like a man is.”
More playoff games in December and January would also mean less time for coach’s to recruit, he said.
“If you start in December and finish in the middle of January, when does recruiting season go? You’ve got a lot of things that we’d better be careful in this playoff system before we go crazy on it.” he said.
“I’m for it. Hey, playoffs if that’s what you’re going to do we’re going to line up and play them. But I just don’t want to take the true history and tradition of those bowl games — maybe you’re 11-2, dadgum, that’s a pretty good year. Now … you act like somebody should get fired. It’s a little bit ridiculous.”