Howard Schnellenberger's new crossroads 

May, 10, 2010

Howard Schnellenberger is one of the more fascinating characters in the history of college coaching. The FAU coach has five decades of coaching experience. A Bear Bryant disciple, he has been part of four national title teams. He is the man most responsible for the stunning emergence of the Miami football program in the early '80s from the brink of extinction. He also went on to build the Louisville program and created the FAU football program literally from the ground up. I recently spoke to Schnellenberger for his thoughts on a variety of subjects.

Would you like to see a college football playoff at the 1-A [FBS] level?

I've been a proponent of that for years. We were an independent at Louisville, just as we were at Miami, and it was the major reason why I left the University of Louisville because we were not in the realm of having a chance to play for the national championship. We had a better chance of playing for a national championship back during our consortium days than when the president put us in Conference USA. I think a playoff would be a great thing for college football.

With all the talk of the NCAA expanding the basketball tournament, do you interpret the reasoning why there isn't a playoff for major college football is because it's all about power?

It's because of the bowls and the conferences. It's a confederation of states rather than the federal government. Each conference works hard to make sure their membership makes it into the bowl games and that makes it hard. That makes it very difficult for outsiders.