IRVING, Tex. - Texas Tech was featured in the final session of Big 12 Football Media Days and, as expected, head coach Mike Leach lived up to his reputation as one of the league's best on the podium.
After fielding questions about his daughter's recent wedding and several other topics, Leach was asked about college football's system for crowning a national champion.
"My opinions are pretty well-documented. I don't know if I've got anything new to say about it, honestly," he said. "I think the bowls need to be an important part of a future playoff system which I hope comes about. I don't know if it will. I'm trying to think of a way to freshen up my annual playoff statement."
The Red Raiders' head pirate then pointed out the hypocrisy of the current system.
"The thing that always interests me on this is there's a lot of, 'Oh my god, this has never been done! We've never heard of such a thing. How can you suggest this? This has never happened in college football.' Hey, everybody else does it this way," chuckled Leach. "There ain't nothing unique about what I'm saying. I'm the mainstream, this other system, that's what's not mainstream.
"The mainstream is everybody has playoffs, it involves a lot of teams, none of this, 'Let's have four and play one' or any of that crap. Let's go out there, cut the regular season back to 10 games and you can have some well-placed off weeks, you can have an NIT inbetween to fill in the blanks, and let's have a 64-team playoff. The champion will play 16 games."
Surprisingly, instead of laughs, the only audible reaction that this comment elicited was an audible groan from a reporter. Much to the sportswriter's chagrin, Leach was quick to respond.
"I'm not off the mark here. You're off the mark," he said, as people around the podium erupted in laughter. "Everybody else does it this way. Texas high school state champion? 16 games. Division II champion? 16 games. Division III? Depending, because some of those guys will fudge on a game, 15 or 16 games. The NFL, the old guys? Even more than that. Everybody thinks that I went into a cave and carved all of this out."
Leach, like most college football fans, believes that more football should never be considered a bad thing.
"You play 16 games, it'd be great fun," he said. "I'd guarantee every team 12 to fill out the budget because football is fun and everybody should play football. That's how I would do it."