Terry Bowden: College Football Playoff must expand to include Group of 5

Akron coach Terry Bowden said he doesn’t think any team in the Group of 5 conferences has a prayer of making the College Football Playoff -- even if it finishes undefeated -- because the system isn’t inclusive enough, he told ESPN.com on Wednesday.

Bowden, the former Auburn coach, said he has long been an advocate of an eight-team playoff to give a Group of 5 program a chance to “be that type of 'Hoosiers' team.”

“I don’t think anybody in the Mid-American Conference believes that if you go undefeated they’re going to pick you to be in the final four,” he said. “I don’t think they’re going to pick us. There’s always going to be one or two teams with one loss from the SEC or Big Ten that they’re going to pick over an undefeated team. With four teams? Not a chance.

“I don’t think we coaches believe there’s a realistic chance, and I don’t think our players believe the four-team playoff gives us a realistic chance of playing for a national championship,” he said. “I don’t think we have the same luxury. I don’t think we hoodwink our guys into thinking that, as it now stands, there’s some kind of way that an undefeated G-5 can get in.”

Bowden said he doesn’t even think an undefeated Houston -- which would have to beat Oklahoma in its season opener this year -- would get top-four credit from the selection committee.

“They’ll say, ‘Well, gosh, Oklahoma faced 12 Oklahomas. Y’all played one good game.’ I’m not bucking the system,” he said, “I’m saying go to eight and you probably have a chance for a team to get in at a mid-major level. Go to four and I think we’re pretending.”