Dan Mullen has his own playoff idea

DESTIN, Fla. -- Dan Mullen doesn't know how much his thoughts on this whole playoff thing will impact any decisions, but he has his own interesting idea on what a four-team playoff should look like.

Mississippi State's coach would like to see the semifinal for the playoff played on the Saturday before Christmas, which Mullen referred to as the "dead weekend," and have the national championship game played after New Year's Day. Teams still could play the other bowls between the semifinal and the final, Mullen said.

"I'd be a fan of that," Mullen said Tuesday at the SEC spring meetings.

It's an intriguing idea by Mullen that might catch some off guard, but he does have a pretty good argument for why it might be beneficial to space the games out -- injuries.

Any injury in the semifinal could change the landscape of the final. Obviously, injuries happen all the time in football and the quality of a team doesn't make it any less or more susceptible to them, but spacing out the playoffs would certainly help the healing process.

Having only a week to shake off an injury sustained in the semifinal could leave one team with a significant disadvantage, and Mullen said that would hurt the quality of the championship.

"You don't get a real champion then," he said.

Mullen also would like the bowl system to stay intact and hopes this helps. SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday that he thinks the bowl system could be used in some capacity in a four-team playoff.

Like his SEC colleagues, Mullen also wants to see the top four teams in the country in the playoff and doesn't want it focused on conference champions and wild cards. Restricting the playoff model like that would diminish the playoff's importance, Mullen said.

"Then it's not really a final four," he said. "Everything that everybody's clamoring for and all the fans and all the media and everybody wants to fight for you didn't get it because you might have one of the best four teams in the country not involved in it.

"If you're gonna do it, and we wanna do it, you better do it right."