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Entries in Los Angeles Times (1)

Tuesday
Jun162009

Tom Hansen, BCS, Playoffs Quotable

Excerpts from a Los Angeles Times interview with outgoing Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen.

Q: How can you say the BCS has been good for the Pac-10? Oregon finished No. 2 in the polls in 2001 but didn't make the title game. USC was No. 1 in the coaches' poll in 2003 but finished No. 3 in the BCS.

A: Each conference has had some disappointments. . . . The BCS, through obvious great foresight of the commissioners who were involved, has been an extraordinary success in terms of the regular season being so strong. Television, attendance, everything about college football is much better than before the BCS started.

Q: Does it bother you that you are portrayed as an obstructionist by the pro-playoff crowd?

A: I primarily reflect the view of the conference. . . . If people disagree with that view, I don't take it personally.

I think many of the people who advocate a playoff have no real understanding in the difficulty of a playoff.

Q. Would that include the president of the United States?

A: Yes, and I don't think he begins to understand the difficulties of a playoff. I think he's probably very well-versed on North Korea and the Middle East but not particularly the college football playoff.

Q. Does it complicate the issue when someone so prominent goes public with his position?

A: I would be much more concerned if a president in our conference came out in favor of a playoff than I am of President Obama saying it.

It would be so negative for college football in my opinion that it just doesn't make good sense. Including the fact it would be 16 teams, not the four that many people advocate, because politically you couldn't stop at four, you couldn't stop at eight, you couldn't stop at 12. And even at 16 you'd have problems.

Q: Are you confident the BCS can withstand another legal challenge?

A: I am confident. We've had excellent legal counsel. And I trust lawyers from all over the country who comment that there's nothing illegal about it.

The only thing the federal government could do to force the issue, I think, would be to cut off funding for higher education. Well, that isn't going to happen.