Hall of Fame coaches wonder about BCS

Tuesday, December 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Two of the coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday criticized the BCS system that will crown a national champion after Miami and Nebraska meet in the Rose Bowl.

``I always wanted to play for the mythical championship. I liked the old system,'' former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer said. ``I don't know if the BCS is good. The mythical national championship was fine with me.''

Switzer was the Sooners' all-time winningest coach, with a record of 157-29-4 from 1973-88. His .837 winning percentage is fourth best in NCAA Division I history. And he won three of those mythical championships _ 1974, 1975 and 1985 _ which is probably why he likes them so much.

Switzer was among 16 coaches and players honored on Tuesday. The other coaches were Bill Yeoman and Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association.

Yeoman coached at Houston from 1962-86, posting a record of 160-108-8 and, like Switzer, preferred college football's former championship system.

``I think we've got to redefine the purpose of college football,'' he said. ``If it's for nothing but money, then why go to school? If we do it for the way it all started, then the bowls system was fine. I thought it was great if there was controversy at the end and three or four sets of alumni were running around, claiming they were No. 1. It keeps them interested.''

Teaff, who coached from 1960-92 at McMurry, Angelo State and Baylor, heads the coaches association, whose poll is used as part of the BCS formula. The coaches are also committed to voting the Rose Bowl game winner No. 1, and Teaff said the system did was it was supposed to do.

``What's it's done is created a lot of interest in the game,'' Teaff said. ``I can't remember a time in history when five, six, maybe seven schools had a chance to play for the national championship. It's almost like a playoff if you think about it. Every game was so extremely important.

``Our poll and the writers' poll reflect the human perspective. The system has kicked out two great teams. I think it will be a great game.''

Yeoman said he opposed a playoff for the national title.

``Look at the Final Four teams in the NCAA basketball tournament and see how much school they missed,'' he said. ``I liked the system the way it was. I thought it was good for football.''

And what did Yeoman think about the BCS, which guarantees a single champion every year?

``Be careful what you pray for,'' he said. ``You may get it.''

Beside the coaches, the players inducted Tuesday were Jon Arnett of Southern California, Kevin Butler of Georgia, Anthony Carter of Michigan, Tim Green of Syracuse, Ralph Guglielmi of Notre Dame, John Hicks of Ohio State, Keith Jackson of Oklahoma, Terry Kinard of Clemson, D.D. Lewis of Mississippi State, Don McCauley of North Carolina, Glenn Ressler of Penn State, Brad Van Pelt of Michigan State and Steve Young of Brigham Young.

Also honored were 16 scholar-athletes, including Joaquin Gonzalez of Miami and Tracey Wistrom of Nebraska, who will play in the BCS championship game Jan. 3.