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June 27, 2012TUSCALOOSA | Hal Mumme has been, in a way, where college football is trying to go.
The former Kentucky coach has also coached at places such as Valdosta State, Iowa Wesleyan and McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, where he blows the whistle now. As non-Football Bowl Subdivision programs, all those schools participate in a postseason playoff. So when the BCS presidential oversight committee invoked a playoff at college football's highest level Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Mumme welcomed the idea.
"I guess they'll rank the top four and let them play. It's close to a plus-one deal," Mumme said. "That's what I was in favor of."
Mumme was in Tuscaloosa on Monday for the ARC of Tuscaloosa County golf tournament at NorthRiver Yacht Club, which supports programs and services for adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities. The tournament has raised about $2 million over the past 21 years, although ARC director of operations Donna Callahan said this year's tournament will be the last and the organization will begin seeking alternative ways of fundraising. The program assists up to 280 people at any given time. Celebrities including Mumme, University of Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, former Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon, University of Minnesota basketball coach Tubby Smith and more participated this year.
The oversight committee agreed to a seeded four-team playoff beginning in 2014, with a selection committee choosing which four teams will be involved. Semifinal games will be held at rotating bowl sites, while the national title game site will be picked with a bidding process.
It's not quite the playoff Mumme is used to. At the Football Championship Subdivision level, the playoff format will expand from 16 to 24 teams in 2013.
"You've got to start those things right after the season if you're going to have more teams, because you run into all these logistical nightmares," Mumme said. "It's impossible on the fans. You find out who you're playing and where you're playing on a Sunday, and you've got to be there on a Saturday. It's tough for the fans. It becomes a huge burden as you keep winning."
Mumme said the makeup of the selection committee will also be important for the integrity of the new FBS format.
"I think you've got to get it out of the hands of the people who have something to gain," he said. "Get it away from conference commissioners, coaches and everybody like that. I was on a (playoff) ranking committee one time, and I'll be the first to admit I was biased. I think there are some experts around you could get, but it's got to be people who don't have anything to gain, which narrows it down pretty good."
Under Mumme, McMurry made the Division III playoffs for the first time in school history last year, and will make a move to Division II in 2012.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com or at 205-722-0196.