Oregon State football coach Mike Riley was on a media conference call with the rest of the Pacific-12 Conference coaches Monday to talk about their teams coming out of the spring.

Since all the aspects of the Beavers have been covered during the spring, and you can check out the blog or the football section of the Beavers Sports site right here, Riley was quizzed about the state of college football, since he is the elder statesman of the conference.

Now that the move to a four-team playoff has become official, Riley rides the fence about it but he’s always been a bowl backer.

“The playoff deal I chuckle at,” he said. “It has been done to appease the masses. Yet there’s going to be major arguing we had with two and three (ranked teams), but it’s now four and five. It’s never ending. Back in the 1960s there was an argument about the national championship, too. It’s good, but I’m an advocate for the bowls. The bowls are good for college football. For the greater good for football, scratching and clawing to get to a bowl is good.”

Uniform conference scheduling is a big deal now. The SEC plays eight conference teams and four cupcakes, while the Pac-12 plays nine conference games and a tough nonconference game. So who has won the national titles? The SEC with the better records and less player hurt, of course.

“Yes, there should be (uniform scheduling),” Riley said. “If you look at scheduling, if you are one of those top four teams, if you have eight conference games and four nonleague games that are looked as easy at home, that’s an advantage. That’s different from the Pac-12 with nine good conference games and a good nonconference game. That’s not a level playing field.”

Riley has been outspoken against lifting the NCAA rules about how football coaches recruit. He likes having brakes on the system. Read about it here in a story I did back in February. His opinion hasn’t changed.

“I am not for deregulation,” Riley said. “I know they are trying to get rid of pages in the rulebook, but we need guidelines. It worked for basketball but the (higher) number of kids recruited in football and staffs on the road, there are a bunch of issues. Staffs will be growing. There will be people text messaging all day, every day and if phone calls are unlimited, kids would be bombarded. If you have contact with them as juniors you would need another staff to do that, or your own team would suffer. We need guidelines to protect what we do, high school players and high school coaches.”

Cliff Kirkpatrick covers Oregon State sports for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at cliff.kirkpatrick@lee.net.


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