Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Sports

February 19, 2009

Beyond the X’s and O’s with former Baylor head coach Grant Teaff

By Elissa Walker-Campbell — Every year it seems the debate escalates on how to determine the national champion in college football. Bowl games or a playoff? One thing that is certain, everyone has a strong opinion. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview the legendary Hall of Fame coach, Grant Teaff, and get his pulse on the current system, and if it should be kept intact. Grant Teaff is a signature name in the state of Texas and recognized for building the foundation of the Baylor football program. He quickly changed the level of expectation and as a result is the winningest football coach during his 21 years at Baylor University.

Today, Teaff is still playing a major role in college football. He is the Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association, and one of the most powerful administrators in college football. Daily he addresses a number of key and controversial issues concerning the sport.



EWC: Earlier this month you were in Nashville, Tenn., for the annual meetings with the American Football Coaches Association. Let’s quickly recap the event and your objectives — as you had a strong turnout. Can you share a quick overview?

GT: We had just under 7,000 coaches attend and during that time we had educational venues that were totally outstanding. Each year we come together as for the education of our constituents, which is vast, and also the handling of the business. There is awards recognition among other things. It’s a full four days and we have around 140 events.



EWC: Anytime you get a group of coaches together, I would anticipate the conversation will lead to discussing the current format of college football system. What type of feedback did your receive from the coaches?

GT: Most of that particular conversation is with the media and the fans. In fact, I noticed last week in USA Today where a congressman in Washington, D.C., is going to see to it that college football has a playoff system. I certainly hope at the same time they will do a few things about our economy while they’re at it. What you have is a lot of people very interested in a playoff. They see the NFL playoffs, but it was determined a long time ago, by presidents, commissioners and the leaders from the academic world that for the football bowl, a playoff was not the way to go. The bowl system is something that is favored by just about everybody that is involved. Yes, there are each year controversies, because there are good teams that do not get to play for the so-called championship. I know President Obama said in a recent television interview, that we should have an eight-team playoff. I actually chuckled when I heard that because, I was at my desk working at the time and going over the fact that there were 12 teams that were either undefeated or had one loss. OK, so you take out eight teams and then you would leave out four. There is no true formula that appears to work. And you certainly could not do the 64 teams like in college basketball.

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