In 2008, SEC commissioner Mike Slive attempted to float a plus-one "playoff" proposal to revamp the BCS's method of determining a national champion. But even with the ACC's John Swofford also backing the idea and Slive wielding as much influence as anyone in college football, the proposal never got off the ground.
Ironically, that failure has done nothing but help Slive's league since then; buoyed (in part) by the conference's ever-growing reputation as the closest on-field product the college game has to the NFL, the SEC has won five straight national titles and will add a sixth when LSU faces off against Alabama on Jan. 9--a spot the Tide won in the polls over Big 12 champion Oklahoma State despite finishing second in the Tide's own division behind the Bayou Bengals.
So with the curent system playing to his teams' advantage like that, has Slive tempered his support for the plus-one? Judging from this interview with the Birmingham News, it doesn't sound like it:
"For the last six years, looking at it from our own prism, we were better off without it ... If I knew that for six more years it was going to work this way then I wouldn't be for the plus-one. But I think the law of averages catches up over time.Slive added that he would be "interested" to discover if conferences other than his own (and Swofford's) would support the plus-one if re-introduced. The Big 12 appears to be on board in the wake of the Oklahoma State snub, and while Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has not committed himself one way or another, his league's athletic directors have both voted in favor of one potential four-team playoff format and called the plus-one "inevitable." The Big Ten and Jim Delany may be the only holdouts, meaning that if Slive is still entirely behind the 2008 proposal (or something similar), there may be no stopping it when the BCS convenes in 2012.
"Knowing that any team in our league with one or two losses is one of the top two teams in the country, then I'd have to think very hard about the plus-one absent other kinds of changes. There may be other changes that are laid out on the table that need to be clearly thought out. But we'll go to the table with the plus-one very much in mind."
Slive declined to discuss the likelihood of the dissolution of the BCS's automatic-qualifying status for conference champions, or other changes to the BCS selection process.
"There are lots of different ways to think about it and to overemphasize any one issue would be premature," he said.