Gary Pinkel: Independents should join conferences 'as general rule'

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, speaking on a variety of topics at ESPN on Monday, said Notre Dame, BYU and Army should join a conference and all leagues should play a championship game to participate in the College Football Playoff.

"I think all independents should join a conference, as a general rule," Pinkel told ESPN.com. "I didn't say Notre Dame in particular -- everybody. You don't have independents in the NFL. Leagues are leagues. I just think it's difficult to assess a team that's not in a league. It's nothing against Notre Dame, it's just my opinion."

Pinkel added to ESPN's Brett McMurphy that Notre Dame should be given "a year to join a conference."

The Big 12 is the only Power 5 conference that doesn't host a title game. Pinkel said the system should be as consistent as possible for every team involved.

"You have some people that don't play championship games because now they only have 10 teams," he said. "I get that, but if down the road, you really want to do it right, I think, everybody's in a league and everybody plays in a championship game, ideally."