Texas Tech’s Joey McGuire rips obvious Big 10 & SEC bias for playoff model

With all of their millions, security, transfer portals and NIL opportunities, when it comes to one component to their jobs the players and coaches are as much a spectator as the fans who watch their games.

The college coaches who aspire to make the expanded playoffs are just watching. They all have their own ideas of what should and should not be with this as-yet-decided format that will always function as a cute invitational disguised as a playoff, and their opinions are as valued as yours.

The format for the expanded playoff remains in the discussion phase as both the Big 10 and the SEC are doing their best to force the undesirables to accept their terms, when the one who can end all of this today is ESPN.

College football is essentially a TV property as a few networks pay for all of this live content that owns fall Saturdays.

At least one power four coach is unafraid to express some truth about all of this. Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire is not buying any model that leans so heavily towards the Big 10 and the SEC, for one perfectly reasonable reason.

“I look at it like this: I could see where the SEC gets two teams and that’s Alabama and Georgia,” McGuire said in a recent interview at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock. “Now that Texas is in (the SEC) I might say Texas, even though I’m 1-1 against them but they kicked my butt the last time we played them. If I am in the Big 10 I’m going to see where you get Michigan and Ohio State in, after that we’re talking about everybody else that is tagging along with that conference.”

On behalf of everyone not in the Big 10 or SEC, “Amen, coach.”

“I mean, let’s be honest, I read the other day (a report) included Ole Miss in this discussion. We beat Ole Miss two years ago and it wasn’t a close game,” McGuire said of Tech’s 45-22 win over Ole Miss in the 2022 Texas Bowl.

“It’s one of those deals when you have to very careful that you don’t tier it by saying that the, ‘The SEC is this and the Big 10 is this.’ Let’s be honest - if Georgia is in any conference, that is the No. 1 conference. If Georgia was in the Pac-12, the Pac-12 would still be alive.”

There is a lot going on in this opinion, and none of it’s wrong.

The Big 10 is Michigan and Ohio State. There is no more over-valued, under-performing league than this conference. It enjoys its spot atop of this invisible pyramid because the size of enrollments and alumni bases of the respective schools, plus their proximity to major metro areas.

The SEC is LSU, Alabama and Georgia. It should be Florida, but it’s not. It should be Tennessee, too. But it’s not. It’s not Texas, or Oklahoma.

According to college football reporter Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports, in the latest playoff models being discussed, “The Big Ten and SEC would each receive three automatic qualifiers into a 14-team field, with the ACC and Big 12 getting two each and the Group of Five’s best team qualifying as well. Such a model would feature three at-large spots to the highest-ranked teams outside of the automatic qualifiers.”

Only in college football does this make sense. Or, “work.” It works because people cannot help but buy it, in any shape or form.

We often compare the college football to the NFL, which is a miss. The NFL is a business with 32 franchises that agree to a variety of parameters, notably on how much money it can spend on player salaries. As a result, the NFL is the company softball game between the McDonald’s in New York City and the McDonald’s in Kansas City; the team in little KC has the same shot as the one in NYC.

Major college football tries to accommodate more than 60 teams across a wide spectrum of everything. It can be the company softball game between the New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace and Clown Burger in Haltom City, Texas.

There is no perfect way to solve this, and even with the expanded model it’s going to be a mess with the end result being the same teams at the end.

What some of these teams in these expanded leagues will soon discover is that most of them are vulnerable of becoming the next Nebraska; a previous power that in a loaded field will find their new life is an alligator death roll struggle with relevance. Looking at you, Boomer.

They are all lumped together now in these massive conferences to increase the number of Big State School versus Big State School games, which gives all parties involved a better chance to fill stadiums that are too big, and generate more revenue to cover reckless spending.

The expanded playoff is coming fast, and everyone who cares may just want to brace for a bracket that will lean heavily in favor of the Big 10 and the SEC, even if it shouldn’t.