Campus Corner

MU’s Gary Pinkel says Notre Dame, other independents, should be excluded from College Football Playoff

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel signs autographs after he speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Hoover, Ala.
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel signs autographs after he speaks to the media at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media days, Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Hoover, Ala. AP

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel used his appearance at ESPN’s “car wash” to stump for the value of conference championship games and suggest that independent teams shouldn’t be eligible for the College Football Playoff.

Pinkel started by telling ESPN college football analyst Brett McMurphy that all Power 5 conferences should play a championship game.

Currently, the Big 12, which the Tigers left in 2012 to join the Southeastern Conference, is the only conference among the Power 5 without a title game. Last season, regular-season Big 12 co-champions Baylor and TCU were shut out of the inaugural College Football Playoff.

The winners of the four conference championship games — Ohio State, Alabama, Oregon and Florida State — were selected for the playoff.

In addition to expressing his affinity for conference title games, Pinkel decried the inclusion of independent teams in the College Football Playoff.

He believes Notre Dame and programs such as BYU, which plays Missouri on Nov. 14 at Arrowhead Stadium, shouldn’t be eligible for the playoff.

The perceived shot at Notre Dame — which plays nine Power 5 conference teams, one more than Missouri, on its 2015 schedule — received national attention.

Pinkel, 63, also said he isn’t close to retiring.

“Are you kiddin’ me? I feel great,” Pinkel said on “SportsCenter.” “We’ve only just begun.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @todpalmer.

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