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when he was a head coach, saw it right. An expanded format will bring more opportunity to the Colorado States and the Cincinnati’s.
Years ago, the Rose Bowl was a closed society. It would host the champions of the Pac Ten and the Big Ten. There are many in Pasadena who would enjoy a return to that plan. In the SEC, there were many years when things didn’t shake out until it was determined where Bear Bryant and Alabama would play. With the preponderance of bowls being played in the South, many bowls preferred a southern team which would in most cases enhance attendance.
During the late sixties there was a rule which stated that teams could not talk to bowl representatives until a certain date, a rule that was honored about as often as drivers obey the 55-mile hour speed limit.
There was a lot of winking going on and a lot of intermediaries getting involved. Before the Auburn game in 1968, Dan Magill and I took the Orange Bowl representatives to dinner on Friday night before the SEC showdown on “The Plains.” They pointedly said, “We’ve got to have a winner. Those are our instructions from Miami.” In the meantime, by some means other than smoke signals, the Sugar Bowl let it be known that Georgia had an invitation win or lose.”
Bulldog coach Vince Dooley winked back, “Let’s make a deal.” You couldn’t blame the coach who had not experienced his 40th birthday at that time. He took the bird in hand. The players obviously preferred the sunshine of Miami.
The ‘Dogs didn’t have their day in New Orleans but would 13 years later when they won the national championship in a hard-fought game with Notre Dame.
The rules were too ridiculous at that time and the BCS, which became highly criticized later, got us moving to the playoff we have today.
There will be some problems with the expanded playoff. We have to wait and see.
One thing will be a constant, however. Controversy, with regard to identifying the national football champion, will remain.