Discussion returns to playoff system

Monday, November 17, 2008 | 8:04 p.m. CST; updated 2:15 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 18, 2008

COLUMBIA — With President-elect Barack Obama voicing his plans to “throw my weight around a little bit” to try and establish a playoff system in college football, Texas coach Mack Brown said if any progress was to be made on that front, one big thing has to happen.

“Everybody says playoffs, I’ve heard a coach say 64 teams, I’ve heard a coach say 16, I’ve heard a coach say eight, I’ve heard the plus-one,” Brown said during Monday’s Big 12 Conference coaches teleconference. “I wish we would have something in place to talk about. Let’s get a format out there that we can say, ‘I like this, I don’t like this.’”

That said, Brown was quick to acknowledge that an earnest effort from the former Illinois senator could have real impact, and that the current situation could become a trend.

“There’s going to be six or eight, 10 teams that are better than the others,” he said. “It’s going to be very, very difficult to be able to say which is the one that should be playing in the end.”

BACK TO THE GRIND: After a week with no Big 12 matchups between teams in the nation’s top 12, the first since Oct. 4, Saturday’s slate will return to form with a heavyweight bout between Texas Tech and Oklahoma. With a win, the Red Raiders will clinch the South and see Missouri on Dec. 6 in Kansas City. A win by Oklahoma would throw the South race into a potential tiebreaker decided by the BCS rankings.

With Oklahoma’s experience in big games, namely the past two Fiesta bowls and the past two Big 12 title games, one might think the Sooners have the advantage over a team who ended their 2007 campaign with a come-from-behind win over Virginia in the Gator Bowl.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops doesn’t see it that way, however.

“I don’t know that any of that matters,” Stoops said. “I guess it’s sort of like that (a championship or bowl game), it’s such a huge game ... We’ve been in big games, and they have too.”

Texas Tech upset No. 1 Texas in Lubbock, Tex. with a late touchdown on Nov. 1, and beat No. 9 Oklahoma State 56-20 the next week, also at home.

PRINCE NOT FRETTING FUTURE: As he prepares to coach his final game at Kansas State, Ron Prince says his plans after the season are an afterthought.

“I don’t know, we’ll see what comes to us,” Prince said, when asked if he planned to stay in college football or head to the NFL at the season’s end.

Prince has never coached in the NFL, but he did spend five seasons as the offensive coordinator at Virginia before he was named the coach at Kansas State in 2005.

“I’m just coaching this season and making this as good as we can for these seniors,” Prince said, deflecting the idea that the circumstances of his departure diminished his passion for coaching. “We’ll let all that come to us later, there’s time for that.”

HATS OFF TO BRILES: After his team’s 41-21 win over Texas A&M on Saturday, a game he called his team’s most complete performance of the season, Baylor coach Art Briles revisited a tradition he had waited more than a month to revive.

He walked over to the Bears’ student section, removed his hat, wrote the final score on it, signed it, dated it and tossed it into the crowd.

It’s a tradition he began when he was coaching at Houston from 2003-07, and hopes to continue more than the four times he’s done it this season.

“We’ve got plenty (hats) left,” said Briles, whose team is just 4-7 overall and 2-5 in the Big 12. “It (the tradition) just shows some appreciation to our student body.”


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