As the old adage goes, if you can't beat them, join them. But what do you do if you could possibly beat them, and they just won't let you join them?
Apparently if you're an athletic director at a Group of Five school, you consider starting your own College Football Playoff.
Northern Illinois athletic director Sean Frazier told ESPN.com that there's growing momentum among officials at Group of Five schools to start their own playoff just for the Group of Five.
"It's time to have a realistic conversation about creating a playoff for the Group of 5," Frazier told ESPN. "Why not? There is absolutely no ability for us (teams in the Group of 5) to be in that national title conversation. That's just reality. Anyone that says we can: that's a flat-out lie."
Frazier's probably right, too. If this year's playoff field doesn't prove just how difficult it will be for a Group of Five school to get in, I don't know what does. A Group of Five school has to be absolutely perfect to have a chance to get in, and even if they are -- Western Michigan is 13-0 -- odds are stacked against them based on their schedule. Had Houston gone undefeated, it may have had a chance, but even that's hard to judge based on the fact that Ohio State was chosen despite not winning its own division, while the Big Ten's conference champion Penn State was left out altogether.
What would make a Group of Five playoff feasible is if there's interest in it from television networks, and Frazier also told ESPN that networks like CBS, NBC and ESPN have all expressed interest in the idea.
The problem is that while Frazier and other Group of Five officials are in favor of the idea, it's not a united front among the Group of Five. There's plenty of opposition to the idea, including from American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco.
"The answer is an emphatic no," Aresco told ESPN. "We compete for national championships like anyone else in FBS, including the Power 5, and have no interest in any kind of separate championship."
Another G5 athletic director described having their own playoff as playing for a "junior varsity champion."
It's a reasonable stance to take, though a part of me wonders how quickly minds would change once it became apparent how much extra revenue such an event could create for the Group of Five conferences.