/Former Southern Miss coach Bower believes he and playoff selection committee got it right

Former Southern Miss coach Bower believes he and playoff selection committee got it right

Q. Q. There will always be debate about which four teams were selected to play in the four-team playoff. Do you believe the committee did it right? A. Without a doubt. We got it 100% right, I believe. We got all four teams correct in the order that we chose them. Actually, I believe we got it right in both of the years I was a part. Q. I agree. Clemson was the No. 1, Oklahoma was No. 2, Georgia No. 2, Georgia No. 4. Many people believed that Alabama should be eliminated after they lost to Auburn 12-12 in their last regular season game. They were not even in the conference championship. Thoughts? A. You can compare Alabama to Ohio State. Ohio State lost twice at home against Oklahoma and was blown out by Iowa on the road. The committee felt Alabama was more successful and should have been the fourth team in. Q. I would like to go back to the details of this year’s selections, but I believe a lot people will be interested to see how the committee works and the amount of work that you put in. Could you please speak on that? A. Let me tell you. I watch far more football on tape than I did as a coach. I used to listen to hours upon hours of tape each week. We are given I-pads that we can use to download all the games in the country by Sunday morning at 8 o’clock. You can either watch the entire game with all commentary or just the plays. You can fast-forward and go back. Although I can see them all, some of them are over by halftime. Let’s just say that I watch a lot of football. Each member of a committee is assigned two conferences that you are responsible for, and on which you must make reports. The Pac-12 and MAC were my two conferences this year, so I focused more on those. However, I also watched a lot of the rest. They also give out a weekly schedule with 20 games that they want everyone to view and to be able to comment on. Q. Q. Do you like the work? Yes. Yes, I do. I love it more than I ever thought. Football is my favorite sport. 1. You want to be ready for anything when you are in that environment with 13 highly qualified committee members. Do your research. You are eager to help. Everyone comes prepared and does their job. It is my belief that everyone on the committee wants it to be right. They do their homework and come prepared. Q. Q. Does it get loud? A. Rick, it’s amazing how contentious and non-contentious it is. Condoleeza Rice, Condoleeza’s co-chair, said that it was the most contentious committee she had ever been part of. I don’t know how many other committees she’s been on throughout her career. My two years have been exceptional. People are prepared to share their opinions. It’s pretty matter-of-fact, you don’t hear voices raised. Q. Q. They had their own national championship parade at Disney, and they gave out bowl rings and bonuses to national champions. What about UCF. A. UCF had a great football team. It’s not hard to see that their schedule was not up to par. Q. Q. It can be difficult for a group of five schools to schedule games against power five conference teams. You were a coach at a five-school group. Is it possible for a five-school group to ever win in this era? A. A. We played Nebraska, Florida and Georgia as well as Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Georgia, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Georgia and Penn State. Although there wasn’t a playoff system at the time, if there was, and we ran against our conference and teams like them, then yes, I believe we would be accepted into today’s selection process. Both in conference and outside of conference, it is important to have a strong schedule. UCF had a great team, but their schedule was not strong enough. It would have been a huge help if they had beat an Alabama, Georgia, LSU, or someone like that. Q. Q. What are your thoughts? A. It’s just me. I like it as it is. They don’t need to play as many games as they do now. Q. As a member on the selection committee, I understand that you attended the championship game. What are your thoughts? What do you think about Nick Saban’s halftime move A. It was just what I expected. There were two great teams. I believe they are the best. It was a great move to switch quarterbacks. It won the game. This is the final result. It won the game. If Saban does not make this move, I don’t believe Alabama will win. He knew that they needed to win the ball and that the freshman would give them the best chance of succeeding at the task. To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to our Spring Member Drive today. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think. Republish this Story