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Page 3C

Fan turns playoff quest into career

By Thomas O'Toole

So, you have a few hours to kill and you want to talk college football. --- of , Ariz., will gladly join you, starting with this topic: Why the NCAA doesn't sponsor a Division I-A playoff.

He will dazzle you with history, statistics and philosophy. He'll do riffs on why major-conference commissioners are too powerful. He'll explain his vision for how a 12-team playoff bracket would work, incorporating the major bowls with multiple games in the same venue for a basketball tournament-like atmosphere.

He spreads the gospel according to him on college campuses and at or on the Web. He'll even fax you his 13-page manifesto, ''Get Damn Mad.''

He is not a former coach, athletic director or NCAA official. He's a fan who has taken the concept of playoff from a passion to a profession. ''We have put everything we have into it -- our efforts, our time, our assets. This is our dream and our life,'' says ---, 36.

College football's national title will be decided tonight and Wednesday in the Sugar and Orange bowls followed by votes of the nation's media and coaches. There is no evidence of serious movement within the NCAA toward a playoff.

Undaunted, he says, ''We're going to work every day and night until it happens.''

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