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San Diego State football: Are the Power Five schools afraid of the Aztecs?

Rocky Long talks about money games and the power of scheduling among Power Five schools.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Some say the new playoff was a good thing for college football but good is all in the eyes of the beholder. The playoff which gives four teams an opportunity play for the nation title but if you ask San Diego State head coach Rocky Long believes that  the new format may give the non-power five conferences a disadvantage especially when it comes to scheduling schools from the Power Five.

He believes that the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC conferences hold all the cards and they dictate what happens in college football including non-conference scheduling. Long who has games against Cal and Penn State this year both games are on the road and for schools like San Diego State the problem is getting a return game.

"I've got no problem with going to North Carolina, like we did last year, or going to Penn State, like we do this year." Long said at Mountain West media days. "If they'll come back to San Diego State. I've got no problem with that, but I think it should be home-and-home."

But he knows teams like that will never schedule a Home and Home series because they have no incentive or in Long's words: "Because they're afraid."

Long feels that schools from the Power five have no reason to play a return game because due to playoff positioning if a team like Alabama or even a Texas travels to San Diego to play the Aztecs a loss would instantly take them out of the playoff picture. Long who believes that the current playoff system precludes mid majors from playing for the National title. Under the current system the odds are against the group of five teams. Getting in the playoff would require a school like San Diego State to go undefeated, upset a couple of top tier Power Five schools while finishing the season with a Mountain West Conference title and the hope that none of the Power Five schools have less than two losses. Even with that much going for them they may still be left out.

Long feels that if the playoff had been eight teams current and past members of the Conference could have won the tournament. "There are teams that were in this league that could have won that tournament, TCU was in this league. Utah beat the heck out of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. [Utah] could have won that tournament. It's not going to happen very often, but it's going to happen."

Long likes to schedule games against the as he calls them the "Resource Five" schools but not for the reasons other major schools do.

"I'm not a fan of playing money games for money. I'm a fan of playing those games to prove that you belong," Long said.

San Diego State who is the favorite to win the Mountain West Conference West Division title this year might not have to deal with the limitations of being a group five team for long back in 2013 the Aztecs and Boise State Broncos were on their way to the Big East before the dissension of the "Catholic seven schools" ruined that plan would be a good candidate like the Broncos to join a power conference if the big boys decide to expand again.