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Air Force's Calhoun rails against 'un-American' college football playoff format

December 11, 2014 Updated: December 12, 2014 at 5:35 am
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Calling it "un-American," Air Force coach Troy Calhoun minced no words in expressing his opinion of the four-team College Football Playoff.

Calhoun, the outgoing chair of the college football rules committee, feels the playoff needs at least eight, and probably 16, teams involved.

“There’s no doubt that it’s all set up for five conferences, as it is,” Calhoun said. “You’ve got to be in one of those five conferences.

“It’s un-American, bottom line. We live in a country where upward mobility is possible, where games should be played out on the field.”

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Calhoun particularly took issue with the emphasis on strength of schedule. Does this somehow invalidate Rice’s 2003 baseball title or recent Final Four runs for Virginia Commonwealth or Butler, he asked.

“Or what about Texas Western in 1966, should we take that away because their strength of schedule wasn’t one of the four best at that time?” Calhoun challenged.

The Falcons would have the opportunity to bolster their schedule next year, since they visit Hawaii and, by rule, teams that travel to face the Rainbow Warriros are allowed a 13th game. But considering his team already will travel to Michigan State and Navy in the nonconference, plus with the long trip to Hawaii within the conference, he indicated the Falcons would likely pass on that opportunity.

Besides that, with a conference championship game and bowl game sitting as possibilities, Calhoun questioned if a 15-game load could tax cadets mentally and physically in a way that could interfere with the mission of the academy.

But he also indicated that decision may not be left to him.

That’s not to say Calhoun is against the bowl system. He set qualifying for a bowl as a top goal immediately upon arriving in 2007 because of the opportunity for exposure and development that the extra game and extra practice time affords. The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Western Michigan on Dec. 20 will be the seventh bowl for Calhoun in eight years as Air Force’s coach.

“If we had to go to Siberia, OK, to play the Leningrad Stalins or the Leningrad Rooskies, we’d go do it,” he said.

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