Leach dishes on playoffs, concussions & James

WHAT IF MIKE LEACH wasn't a football coach but instead a commissioner – what if he was in charge of making changes to college football's postseason. Leach would institute a playoff but it wouldn't be of the plus-one, 4-team or even 8-team variety. A 16-team playoff? A 32-team playoff? Nope. Think bigger.

Leach would like to see a 64-team playoff, he told CF.C recently.

"I'd like a big playoff, think it needs to be bigger than 8 teams," said Leach. "Everyone other than Division I has a playoff system, I think it would be great. They'd make more money, too. I think the (biggest) question is how they would dole the money out. ..Sixteen teams would be better than eight, but I think 32 or 64."

How exactly would that work, though?

"If you do 64, you cut the season back to 10 games, then if you lose in the first round you have a home and home with someone else that loses," said Leach. "For the winners, you have home and home playoff games and incorporate the bowls. I think the country would be captivated in a much bigger fashion than they are now.

"Teams already play 16 games -- just like they do in DI, DII and DIII -- and in high school, too… I'm in favor of a playoff, always have been. It would be interesting and exciting."

CONCUSSIONS HAVE BEEN front and center in the news surrounding football, particularly in the NFL with the tragic suicides of Junior Seau and Dave Duerson. Leach weighed in on that subject, too.

"I think that it needs to be carefully evaluated. When it comes to technology and the medical profession, you need to make the equipment as safe as possible, and that's always been important. In 2009, we sat down our starting QB for over a month because he had a concussion," said Leach.

LEACH GENERATED some attention in recent weeks during signing sessions for his book Swing Your Sword. Inscriptions, both related to Craig James, made their way onto Deadspin.com, Cougfan.com and other sites -- one read CJK5H. (The acronym CJK5H corresponds to an internet meme that has spread like wildfire over the Web ever since James started talking about making a run for the U.S. Senate: Craig James Killed 5 Hookers.) The inscriptions weren't Leach's idea.

"There was some stuff written about it that was flat out false," said Leach. "…I'm not a big internet guy and so I asked him, ‘What does it mean?' and he kept saying it was just kind of an inside joke…So eventually I just signed it. But I really don't have a problem with it."

Meanwhile, in the world of politics, James has fallen on his face in his bid for the Republican nomination in Texas for a U.S. Senate seat, reportedly capturing just 3.6 percent in the primary polling and conceding the race.

As to James' low vote total, characterized by some media outlets as "humiliating", Leach said the writing was on the wall.

"Well, I don't think he was terribly popular before he met me," said Leach. "I can't say it surprises me. The Dallas Morning News had a mock election, who would you vote for between Mike Leach and Craig James and I carried 96 percent of the vote.

"And I'm not even running for Senate."

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