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UNI coach favors FBS playoff
Mark Farley watches coaches and administrators at Football Bowl Subdivision schools wrestle with the notion of a college football playoff and he smiles.
The Northern Iowa football coach who has led the Panthers’ to the Football Championship Subdivision seven times in the past 11 years figures some sort of playoff at the college game’s top level is overdue.
“I think it’s time,” Farley said before he teeing off at UNI’s annual Quad-Cities golf outing last week.
“A playoff system works at our level and it’s such an exciting time for our players, to be playing for a title and to be trying to work your way through a bracket,” he said. “There’s a sense of urgency that I imagine doesn’t exist with a lot of bowl games.”
UNI director of athletics Troy Dannen believes any sort of four-team playoff at the FBS level will be only a starting point.
“We see it at our own level where we have gone to 24 teams,” Dannen said. “I’m sure that four will grow to eight and then to 12 and 16 over time. There will always be a team or two on the outside looking in that will want to gain access to a playoff. It’s human nature.”
Given the potential revenue, Dannen doesn’t see many hardships that would preclude a playoff from becoming reality.
“At our level, home fields are sufficient and that probably isn’t the case with the big boys, but with the dollars that I would think are out there I suspect the concerns of playing at a neutral site would be minimized,” Dannen said.
Farley believes coaches at the FBS level, many whom have been outspoken against a playoff, will come to embrace it.
“It will be different for a lot of them, but just as teams compete for championships, I think there would be some motivation to play for the chance to be part of a playoff and then advance once you get there,” Farley said. “I do think it would be exciting for the game at that level.”
y Steve Batterson, Quad-City Times