CEDAR RAPIDS — Amid a lot of suggestions there is a movement to change bowl-eligibility in college football from six wins to seven, Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads cast a strong dissenting voice Tuesday.
“I don’t think there’s a need to change where it’s at right now,” Rhoads said at the Cyclone Tailgate Tour at Veterans Memorial Stadium. “There’s a lot of high-quality six-win teams in the postseason, us obviously included in that.”
ISU was 6-6 in the 2011 regular-season and advanced to the Pinstripe Bowl, where it lost to Rutgers. Twelve other 6-win teams played in bowls, including Ohio State.
“With the strength-of-schedule the way it is, there’s a lot of times you’re winning six football games and you’ve got a heck of a football team and you’re accomplishing quite a bit. I would be disappointed to see any kind of change made that way.
“The first thing that would take place if that did happen is you’d see the quality of the schedules decrease as teams try to put more victories on their schedules.
“If people said you’ve got to win seven or you’re not getting into a bowl game, there would absolutely be a change in quality.”
I’ll interject this: I’m guessing Rhoads speaks for a lot of coaches. A lot of them. Especially the vast majority who get bonuses if their teams go to any sort of bowls, and who get an additional feeling of job-security for going to a bowl.
The Big 12 will be a 10-team conference for the second-straight season. Missouri and Texas A&M have departed for the SEC. They have been replaced by TCU and West Virginia.
“There’s no deeper conference in the country in football right now than the Big 12 Conference in my opinion” Rhoads said. “We’ve got to step up as far as the national-championship is concerned. The SEC’s done a fantastic job these last few years. But if you’re talking about top to bottom, I think the Big 12 Conference is as strong as there is.”
For Jeff Johnson’s story on ISU Athletic Director Jamie Pollard’s thoughts about conference-realignment and the Big 12′s new commissioner, click here.