GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Here's a ray of hope for college football fans bummed by the recent rejection of the plus-one model to determine a national champion.
The president of Florida State not only believes a playoff is coming, he thinks it'll start with four teams, then grow to eight and eventually 16.
"The bottom line is the money, unfortunately, is going to drive the train," FSU's T.K. Wetherell said. "The 12th game, right now, is solving the problem. The reason there is a 12th game in football is the money. People may not want to admit that, but that's the facts of the matter."
Wetherell's comments came Friday at the National Football Forum, during a panel discussion of the future of college football. He spoke after the playoff concept was pretty much rejected by Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, Washington coach Ty Willingham, Kansas coach Mark Mangino, TCU coach Gary Patterson, Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White and Army athletic director Kevin Anderson.
"Who is it for?" Willingham asked.
Tressel emphasized scheduling problems that would be taxing for players physically and for their studies. Mangino talked about changes spoiling the fun of bowls.
"If you go to a championship, there's first and second and that's it," Anderson said, a theme Patterson touched on, too, by noting the current system produced 32 bowl winners.
"We have a tournament -- it starts the first week in September," White said.
Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, spoke up, too, crediting the BCS for record levels of attendance and television ratings.
Getting his say at the very end, Wetherell turned the discussion upside down.
"In my judgment, if you take every argument that's been made today and apply it to any other sport on a college campus, then you'd have to cancel the (College) World Series, the Final Four, the soccer tournament," he said. "If you want to do it, it can be done. ...
"Everybody's going to be sitting here -- I don't know, probably not in my lifetime at Florida State -- saying, `You know, we really could move this back. And, by the way, we do play 63 baseball games and we play baseball through two final-exam periods, not one. Somehow, they all seem to graduate and do pretty good. Oh, those basketball players, we have a real problems with academics in basketball, but we seem to play right on through the tournament."'
Once the problems are solved and the "ungodly amount of money that it will produce" starts rolling in, Wetherell expects everyone decide it's a good thing and want more of it.