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Plurality of major conference coaches want to play only power teams

ESPN's Brett McMurphy polled all major conference coaches and more are in agreement than not to play just Power Five teams.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA passed autonomy on Thursday giving the Power Five conferences the ability to pass some NCAA rules that only the Power Five conferences can afford. We knew autonomy would be passed and full cost of attendance would be one of the many items.

However, the same day autonomy came out so did a poll conducted by ESPN's Brett McMurphy of all the power conference teams about if they would prefer to continue play the non-Power Five teams. Alabama head coach Nick Saban made a big deal about playing only Power Five vs. Power Five teams, and it now seems that he is not alone in wanting to play a similar foe.

The voting did not have a clear winner as 46 percent (30 coaches) favored playing exclusively Power Five opponents while 35 percent (23 coaches) were opposed and then there were 18.5 percent (12 coaches) who were undecided.

Seven of the 14 SEC head coach were in favor of playing only big time opponents, with five voting no and a pair are undecided. It is odd to see half of these coaches agree to play this type of schedule when the SEC is notoriously known for filing up its schedule with Sun Belt and FCS opponents.

The Pac-12 was the biggest proponent of this where seven of 12 -- including current Washington and former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen -- voted in favor of improving their schedule.

Former coaches and teams in non-Power Five coaches were more in favor of not playing just those Power Five teams. Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is undecided while TCU head coach Gary Patterson and former Utah State and current Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen voted no. Louisville who made the jump to the ACC, who is now coached by Bobby Petrino, was undecided and Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill, previously of Northern Illinois, is also undecided.

The odds of the Power Five teams either breaking off on by theirselves or playing just their own schools is probably never going to happen, and if it does is years and years away from becoming a reality.

However, the argument to go to this type of scheduling is to make sure that all teams play similar schedules so that when picking four teams for the College Football Playoff it is easier to decipher what teams are deserving to make the field.

We know that the non-Power Five teams have basically no chance of making the College Football Playoff, and the discussion about playing just Power Five teams just enhances that notion:

"The Power Five conferences is a different world," said Maryland's Randy Edsall, who was in favor of it. "The scheduling would be more well-rounded and would show who deserves to be in the [four-team] playoff."

Nebraska's Bo Pelini, who was in favor, was one of several coaches that said Power Five schools playing exclusively Power Five schools would make the job of ranking the teams by the College Football Playoff's selection committee simpler.

"Everyone would be on the same playing field," Pelini said. "It would be easier for the selection committee to rank the teams with the schools having more common opponents."

While Power Five vs. Power Five only is a very long way off, if ever going to happen, but this exercise spawned the near fact that these coaches of power leagues do not see the likes of Fresno State, Marshall or Northern Illinois ever making the four-team playoff.