What we're saying:
About Sports Illustrated's cover story
Bill Hancock, Bowl Championship Series executive director:
"If Austin Murphy's and Dan Wetzel's phantom playoff scheme ever became reality, college football's unique regular season would be greatly diminished ... SI's writers failed to quote any student-athletes. Maybe that's because they know that an ESPN The Magazine poll in August showed that when players were asked whether they would rather have a college football career with three bowl trips or one playoff trip, 77 percent favored the bowls and only 23 percent wanted a playoff. "
Tina Kunzer-Murphy, Football Bowl Association chairman and Maaco Las Vegas Bowl executive director:
"[The authors] claim the bowls will survive a playoff, but a playoff would put an end to the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl.
Playoff games will be 24 hour visits by teams to a city where a game is played&Student-athletes today love the bowls because they arrive four or five days before the game and they're the toast of the town and put on a pedestal by the media. They visit historical sites, civil rights museums, hospitals, and military bases. Many athletes from underprivileged backgrounds have told us that a bowl trip is the first time they've spent time away from their school or the place they grew up. They're celebrated and for many of them, it's the highlight of their football playing careers."
Scott McKibben, Tournament of Roses, Rose Bowl Game executive director:
"January 1 has become internationally known as America's New Year Celebration, and a salute to tradition and a love of pageantry that has thrived in Pasadena since 1902. Without a bowl system and structure in place, college football loses its unique appeal and storied traditions. In its place a corporate sporting environment of a playoff would destroy the experience for all those involved: athletes, host communities and fans alike."
Rick Baker, AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic president:
"There's no debate. A playoff system would ruin the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. Add a playoff and the Classic experience becomes nothing more than a short business trip. The Cotton Bowl prides itself on creating life-long memories for the student athletes."
Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO:
"...[The authors] commented about how the Chick-fil-A Bowl created revenue of $12.9 million and paid out $5.9 million to Clemson and Auburn in 2007. But [the authors] neglected to point out that we also donated $1.2 million in Charitable and Scholarship donations as well. As to your playoffs idea the bowls would be out of business in your scenario, as the playoff games experience would be for a team to fly in to a home field, play the game and fly out that day or night. Not a great Bowl experience like we provide as a reward for the players, where they are able to experience hearing from Tony Dungy at our FCA breakfast or hearing about Civil Rights from Congressman John Lewis who led the walk over the Selma bridge, or visit with children in the Scottish Rite Children's hospital."