Akron coach Terry Bowden, who coached Auburn from 1993-99, wants to see the College Football Playoff expanded significantly.
On Monday, Bowden told WJOX 94.5 FM that the College Football Playoff should grow from four to eight teams. At this point in Bowden’s career, his stance isn’t a surprise. Given that he’s coaching outside of a power conference, Bowden admitted that his team doesn’t have a chance to compete for a national title each season. He said the situation would be improved if eight teams were allowed to participate in the College Football Playoff.
“I wish I could look my players in the eye and say, ‘Men, we’re playing for the national championship.’ But in reality, we’re not,” Bowden said on the radio appearance. “Now, we can get a poster that says we’re the national champions just as Central Florida did. But as I said, the playoff must go to eight teams. Even a team with one loss in the SEC or even probably the Big Ten is going to be higher ranked than a team at the mid-major level because of strength of schedule. … It’s hard to justify which [are] really the strongest teams.”
This isn’t a new debate, of course. UCF’s run to a 13-0 finish with a victory against Auburn in the Peach Bowl last season opened the door for the Knights to celebrate a self-declared national title.
Certainly, most people recognize Alabama as the real national champion after the Crimson Tide beat Georgia in the National Championship Game in January. But like former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin told SEC Country in April, we don’t know for sure if the Crimson Tide would have beaten the Knights last season if the teams had played.
It’s fair to wonder how a program like UCF would have done if the College Football Playoff had included eight teams. But concerning Bowden, it’s unlikely that Akron will re-create what the Knights accomplished anytime soon. The Zips are 31-44 under Bowden, and they’ve never won more than eight games in a season throughout his six years there.
Click below to listen to the complete interview featuring Bowden:
— WJOX 94.5 FM (@WJOX945) May 7, 2018