G5-P5 Conundrum: System Gone Amiss


The problem that faces college football is that the rich go to heaven and the poor can go to hell.

Usually, horoscopes are so general they make you laugh but occasionally one will grab you right where you are that day.

Such was the case for me on the stairmaster at the local gym on Tuesday. I opened the Philadelphia Daily News and, since the sports section is just a shadow of what it used to be (Gary Smith, Dick Weiss, Ted Silary, Tom Cushman, Stan Hochman, Ray Didinger, Tim Kawakami and Mark Whicker have never been replaced and not sure they can be), I went straight to the horoscopes and this is what I found:


Yes, amiss is a very good word when it comes to the current Group of Five versus the Power 5 conundrum. This is a system set up by the powerful to exclude the powerless. It must be changed. It should be changed.

It probably won’t be changed and that’s why no one should be satisfied and this is a system the G5 should have never signed off on. They have, though, and this year’s injustice is the result.


There’s a good verse in the bible that describes the problem: ” It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (MT: 19:24)

In college football, the opposite is true.

When the rich, the Power 5, set the rules and have taken control of the NCAA, which they have, do not expect them to invite the poor in for a meal. Even the bowl committee president said as much.

College football is the only sport where a team can win all of its games, beat a Big 10 team by 38-10 and beat an SEC team that beat both of the national finalists and NOT be even given a chance to compete for the title.

For Temple, this is what HAS to happen for the Owls to be considered for the four-team playoff next year. They have to win all of their games, like UCF did, and have Boston College win the ACC title and Maryland win the Big 10 title. Heck, they probably won’t get in unless one of those two teams has only one loss under that scenario.

That’s a ridiculous standard for a system that allows a two-loss team into the Final Four.

Basically, college football is telling half of its members that they have no shot of ever winning a championship and never will. If that is not a violation of federal anti-trust laws, I don’t know what is. The G5 should get together and pursue legal relief in this if the NCAA is not going to get involved and expand this playoff.

That’s the only way to get to the bottom of this.

Monday: A Book That Needs To Be Written





17 thoughts on “G5-P5 Conundrum: System Gone Amiss

  1. And just what makes you think that expanding the number of teams in the playoff will give the G5 teams a better chance to get in? Things are so one-sided already that UCF wasn’t even in the top 10 at seasons end. There’s your answer. It will only make it easier for the P5 teams that were left out to get a shot. In other words, UCF would have been left out anyway but auburn would drfinitely been in.
    We need to settle back and enjoy whatever success Temple can garner as things are because if anything it’s just gonna get worse.

  2. The problem with the quote about the camel, needle, and heaven is that the rich will always game the system in their favor by going out and buying a bigger needle. The P-5 schools have reached the promised land of mucho tv bucks and favoritism by building better and bigger facilities-e.g. a bigger needle. I think the AAC has a shot to join as a power conference because many of their schools are in the largest media markets Philly, New York (UConn), Houston, Dallas, Orlando, and Miami for example. Eyeballs are key to the TV folks and the conferences and that’s why Rutgers was accepted into the Big Ten. Hope I’m right about the importance of eyeballs because the life expectancy of the G-5 schools decreases every year, especially when the likes of Nick Sabin calls for a rule prohibiting P-5 schools from playing G-5 schools. To achieve a promotion the AAC needs to have at least one team every season like Central Florida that challenges and beats the big boys thereby exposing the hypocrisy of the current setup and the NCAA. That’s why taking Wichita State into the conference was a good move because they’ve been a BB power for some time and will make noise in the NCAA tournament.

  3. Sagan wants to play only P5 schools. So why is he scheduling Mercer?How does that reconcile? And when Bama goes to an all P5 OOC, will he be willing to go home and home with every P5 they schedule? Seems he’ll have a tough time getting 7 home games every year if they do so. Bottom line is I think Sabah is full of sh*t. This is all a smoke screen to sound like he’s willing to upgrade his OOC schedule but somehow he’ll end up with a Mercer, Grambling or Northern Arizona or two coming into Tuscaloosa.

    • Apologies for misspelling of Saban’s name twice. But I’m finding the guy increasingly annoying. And I fired off the comment in a rush.

      • No apologies necessary. The guy does not deserve to have his named spelled right. You want to ban the G5 teams and still play Mercer? Give me a break.

  4. For 2018 Bama has UL Lafayette, Arkansas State and the Citadel. All on the ROAD. .

    Just kidding. They’re home games. But that’s what’s scheduled. So when did Coach Sabin, Sagan, Sabah or whatever have this epiphany? Huh? (I’ll admit it’s late and I’ve been drinking a bit of Jacquin’s Vodka proudly made at Lehigh and Trenton Avenues in the great city of Philadelphia.).

    But here’s the serious question: For those years when Bama has to play 5 of its 9 SEC games on the road (assuming the conference alternates each year for having 5 away conference games), where do they find 3 P5 teams to come to Tuscaloosato get to 7 home games like they currently schedule? Keep in mind other conferences are supposedly considering going to 9 conference and all P5 games. The math is Bama needs the Purdue’s, Indiana’s, Kansas’s etc of the P5 world to agree to 4 and 1 home and away splits to get there. (The best teams in those other conferences will want an even home and away split. So the occasional scheduling of those teams makes it even more imperative to get uneven splits with the weaker P5 teams.)

    But if I’m one of those schools, I’m looking at 1and 1 possibly with Bama, but then similar with Vandy, and other winnable games against other P5 teams.

    So getting back to my primary point and that is Coach “what’s his name” is full of “it”. The Selection Committee does not penalize scheduling weak OOC opponents. Bama benefits under the current system. They now can get to the National Championship with weak OOC opponents, 7 home games every year and not having to win their conference. Why would they change?

  5. The answer is to have the AAC mens basketball teams boycott March Madness , until the NCAA changes

  6. The answer is to have the AAC mens basketball teams boycott March Madness , until the NCAA changes the football playoff system

    Can you imagine what would happen if Wichita State, Cincy, UConn and Temple refused their invites??

  7. So Saban seriously doesn’t want to play G5 schools? Another step toward total separation and total control putting the G5 on a level of the FCS. There will never be any fairness, only power grabbing, unless the NCAA steps in and starts doing the right things. And that ain’t going to happen….

  8. MIke…different topic…Any chance one of your articles could grade Collin’s coaching staff…you know A, B, C. etc.

    • Not a bad idea, but pretty much will end with grading the CEO who is responsible for the bottom line. I will let the CEO (who alone knows what individual responsibilities and recruiting he hands out to the rest of the staff) to grade the staff. I will say this: Just from reading the bios of all of the assistants, not all that impressed with the body of work they did to get to Temple. Taver Johnson never stopped anyone at Purdue (in fact, their defense was better after he left) and I thought George DeLeone’s OL was a little tougher than Chris W’s OL. The OC is a joke. Got the best fullback in the country and doesn’t use him even on short-yardage situations.

  9. Frank: First, IMHO the AAC teams would never boycott the Tournament. Second, the rest of the NCAA wouldn’t care less. In fact, they might be happy because more of their respective conference teams get into the Tournament.

    Put CBB to the side. The real battleground is CFB and what happens to the G5 teams as the P5 goes to 9 conference games and supposedly all P5 games. It can’t be done unless the super power teams are willing to take a maximum of 6 homes games or they get very favorable home and away splits with other P5 teams.

    So if I’m an AAC AD, I’m hoping for the following: 1. The other P5 conferences have a palace revolt against the SEC and confront Bama, et al about their easy OOC Schedule. The Big 10, PAC 12 etc make the case their conference games are just as difficult as the SEC’s plus they play much tougher OOC games. And the playoff committee will put much more emphasis on the quality of OOC records. 2. The AAC can get some sort of P5 qualification for as many AAC teams as they can even though the AAC doesn’t get the P6 designation they desire. For example, if a P5 school schedules an AAC school that played in either of the last 2 AAC conference championship that team would satisfy the conferences P5 requirement even though it was a non-P5 school. Other criteria for a P5 team to schedule an AAC team could be the AAC team had a 10 win season when the SEC game was scheduled. Another criteria could be having won a New Year’s Bowl game within the 3 years prior to scheduling. Or the AAC team won 3 games against P5 teams over the last 3 years. (I know games are scheduled years in advance of the playing date. Still the P5 will have demonstrated a willingness to schedule the better G5 teams at that time.)

    The bottom line is the AAC is unlikely to get power conference status. But the better individual teams in the conference deserve that status. If the AAC can create a quasi-power status, they create more of a demand for the P5 to schedule their teams. Especially if the P5 goes to all P5 scheduling. There just aren’t enough teams to do it (and have 7 home games each year) unless they bring some higher level G5 schools.

    I’m expecting a call from Mike Aresco to kick this around a little more.

    • And like I said, many coaches of middling teams would hate having to play all P-5 teams because it would result in missing a bowl game and playing more games on the road. Besides, given that schedules are made years in advance, the financial fallout of setting a hard date for the commencement of that rule will result in an avalanche of lawsuits by the teams jilted by the P-5 schools.

    • The problem with the AAC is that every man is for himself (and if I’m Temple and UCF I can see that). The league will never been accepted into the larger P5 club so the strategy is for each AD to push his own school. That’s why I thought a 9-win season for the Owls (which they should have) would have put them in a much better spot. Can’t lose to UConn at homecoming and expect that big crowd to keep coming back. Ultimately, the thing that puts you in is winning and fannies in the seats. If Temple was a 6-6 club the past 10 years and put 70K in the seats the second and third Al Golden seasons, they would have been in eight years ago. Unfortunately, there are just so many fans that care about Temple football and that ceiling is in the 30-36K area.

  10. It doesn’t help the conference that TU and UConn BB, two big TV market teams, are so mediocre. TU basketball is a real mystery to me. This team has talent but have such long scoreless streaks and let the opponents go on 10 plus point runs against it like this team. Today in first half they’re up six but then let UCF go on a 16-0 run. They did that against Georgia, Houston, LaSalle (yes LaSalle) and GW, Makes no sense and doesn’t help in being promoted to P-5.

  11. Actually John, this letting the other team make runs at you has been going on for many seasons. It happens at the end of almost every first half and at the end of games. Its become a habit. The horrible shooting is the main reason (among other things). Miss a shot. other team gets rebound and goes down and scores (crappy Temple D). Over and over and over. Is it the coaching, the quality of the players or lack of competitiveness/concentration. To me, this roster could be playing really good ball but they’re not. It’s so bad I wonder if the players want Dunphy gone. Geez, they were talking and laughing with the UCF players out on the floor. What’s that all about? Something is very amiss and I’m afraid Dunphy has lost control and respect of the players. If Temple’s admin and BOT can’t see this they’re being irresponsible.
    Yeah, fire Arians who showed signs he could have been one of temple’s best ever coaches, hire a bunch of lame guys to replace him for years and let them linger there (Bobby Wallace) and now sit back and watch the basketball program slowly wilt away.

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