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Mike Slive: Plus-one 'not necessarily in the best interests' of college football

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott turned heads Thursday by saying that the post-bowl "plus-one" -- a postseason proposal supposedly discarded at the previous round of BCS meetings -- might have been revived by the new SEC-Big 12 "Champions Bowl."

But given that the plus-one would prevent those same Big 12 and SEC champions from playing for the national title against each other (a major problem if they proved to be the No. 1 and No. 2 teams at the end of the season), no one would be surprised if or when those league's commissioners came out in opposition to it. And sure enough, after the Big 12's Chuck Neinas did so when speaking to CBSSports.com Thursday, the SEC's Mike Slive followed suit Saturday.

Speaking at the SEC baseball tournament in Hoover (Ala.), Slive told the Birmingham News that a plus-one would shape the postseason "in a way that's not necessarily in the best interests of all of the conferences."

"It's interesting because clearly what we did (in introducing the "Champions Bowl") created a lot of thinking by a lot of people," Slive said. "I appreciate people thinking about that. But I think what's in the best interest of college football is a four-team playoff. I think it's better for everyone involved in the game."

Slive briefly addressed the process by which those four playoff teams would be chosen, saying a selection committee would be "difficult, but doable."

The SEC commissioner has done little in recent weeks to hide his support for the seeded four-team playoff or his unwillingness to support proposals from the Pac-12/Big Ten axis that might limit his league's postseason influence, such as on-campus semifinals, limiting the field to conference champions, or now the plus-one.

Though not addressing the "conference champions only" proposal directly, Slive did say he opposed "gerrymandering" the selection of the playoff teams.

With Slive, Neinas, and the ACC's John Swofford all on record as supporting the playoff over the plus-one -- not to mention the plus-one's previous rejection at the commissioners' last meeting -- it seems Scott may have spoken too soon. While the "Champions Bowl" may or may not prove to be the "game-changer" Scott called it, the overwhelming support for the playoff suggests that the plus-one is one game it won't change.

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