NEW ORLEANS -- Outlandish doesn't even begin to describe it.
Try outrageous. Classless. Certainly something you wouldn't expect from a college president. Unless that college president is the grandstanding, clueless and hypocritical Michael Adams of Georgia.
|Les Miles: 'There's time for proposals ... it might not be today.' (AP)|
In a system that is drunk with flaws, Adams put down his beer and went straight to heroin. He stated his intentions with a blast e-mail that hit all the BCS commissioners, the NCAA board, the Knight Commission, SEC presidents and various media outlets.
The reaction from some of those e-mail recipients was quick and expected.
"We do not want an NFL-style playoff," Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said.
"An extended playoff will lead to the end of the bowl system," Rose Bowl executive director Mitch Dorger said.
"Clearly free speech is alive and well in the SEC," said commissioner Mike Slive, whose presidents overwhelmingly decided against a playoff at last year's spring meetings.
|Dodd's Power Poll|
|6. Ohio State|
|7. West Virginia|
|12. Virginia Tech|
|16. Boston College|
|17. Arizona State|
|23. Texas Tech|
|24. Oregon State|
Someday, way in the future, a playoff might be a talking point. Right now it is a non-starter, primarily because the Rose Bowl would take its game, its two conferences and go away and hide. Adams has to realize that NCAA control of a I-A postseason would mean that the money would be split somewhat evenly just like it is in the NCAA Tournament. In hoops, teams play for monetary "units" as they progress through the tournament.
In the present system, Georgia would make $17 million for playing in a BCS bowl as an SEC champion. Would it make that much playing three playoff games under an NCAA revenue-sharing plan?
"I'm first and foremost an educator," Adams said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Really, what about putting teams through a 14- or 15-game schedule?
"Students can recover," he said.
So much for education. That's where Adams' uphill climb begins to lose traction. Under the Adams Plan, the playoff would extend through mid-January, a time when the vast majority of schools have started the second semester.
Adams contends that an increasing number of presidents are embracing the idea of a playoff, that it has a "50-50 chance" of passing. That would be news even within his own conference when, last spring, the SEC presidents talked Florida's Bernie Machen out of making his own playoff proposal. Beating Machen with an academic baseball bat might be a better description. After meeting with his peers behind closed doors, Machen dropped his proposal and came out looking like he'd just had a "conversation" with Michael Corleone.
This is about nothing more than Adams and his self-serving Bulldog interests. Georgia didn't get to play in the national championship game despite being one of six major-college teams with two losses. Tough spit. It's also about Georgia not being invited to the Rose Bowl to play Southern California (instead, having to play Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl). Under BCS rules, Dorger would have had to ask the Sugar Bowl to release Georgia from its game. Then the Sugar would have had to say yes.
It never got close to that. So what we're left with is Adams whining and posturing with a big, stuffy, wordy presentation. Where was he when Auburn went 13-0 and didn't play in the championship game? Would we have seen this proposal had Hawaii beaten Georgia?
You've got to love the set on Adams. Georgia didn't even win its division. A tie with Tennessee in the SEC East doesn't count, especially since the Vols won head-to-head. Georgia's only two losses were to teams LSU beat -- Tennessee and South Carolina.
Adams' rambles were amazing for their brass.
• He is apparently upset with ESPN (although Adams never names the network) for its "stage-managed" bowl games. Georgia seems to have done OK with all the millions ESPN has thrown its way for televising its games over the years, including some of the "stage-managed" BCS games back when ABC had the BCS contract.
• He states that the BCS, "has lost public confidence and simply does not work." Really? Wow. No kidding. What are you going to tell us next, that Ohio State is slow?
As shaky as the BCS is, guess those three SEC national championships in the past five years didn't benefit your league at all, Mike.
• He proposes an NCAA selection committee to pick the eight teams and slot them in the four major bowls. A human committee? We're letting computers have one-third of the say right now because we don't trust humans.
• He wants to return to an 11-game schedule. Try telling that to the ADs who are balancing budgets based on that 12th game. Not all of them can make it up by participating in a playoff.
Adams has to realize that the NCAA has studied this issue previously. In 1994, an NCAA playoff committee was formed. As part of its study it asked a three-member student-athlete group to weigh in. Former Florida State star Derrick Brooks got up and basically said, "What's in it for us?"
That smacks of paying players, an issue that makes the NCAA pucker. So much so that the playoff committee was shut down shortly after that.
"I think a lot of water has gone under the bridge since 1994 ... " Adams said. "There is enough parity in college football. It's incumbent on us to allow young people to achieve their goals."
So it's all about the kids? How noble of a man who isn't exactly a leader on his own campus.
The timing was the worst thing. Never mind that we're years, perhaps decades away from such an ambitious postseason.
Surrounded by various national championship trophies, LSU's Miles, on the greatest day of his professional life, was asked about Adams' Dawg and pony show.
"There's time for proposals and time for adjusting the schedule," Miles said. "It might not be today."
Bingo. Would it have killed Adams to wait a day or two? Let the shine from LSU's victory, the SEC's fourth consecutive major sports title (two basketball, two football) take root in the minds of America?
LSU's revelers were still rolling in off Bourbon Street (having viewed the still-warm Ohio State corpse) when the news hit.
"I'm disappointed the story came out today," Slive said. "This is LSU's day and this is the Southeastern Conference's day.
But it's Michael Adams' world, at least it was Tuesday. Let's hope his reign ended there.