Blog Entry

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:13 pm
 

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Few individuals -- if any -- will have as large a say in the construction of the impending college football "plus-one" as SEC commissioner Mike Slive. And as of Wednesday, the construction Slive has in mind is one that won't be exclusive to conference champions.

Speaking to the Birmingham News, Slive said that he was "willing to have a conversation" about restricting the field to champions only, but that it wasn't his preference--no surprise, considering it was his conference that wedged its teams into both slots in the 2011 national title game.

"[I]f you were going to ask me today, that would not be the way I want to go," Slive said. "It really is early in the discussions, notwithstanding what some commissioners say publicly. There's still a lot of information that needs to be generated."

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott previously stated his support for admitting conference champions only, though we're not sure that veiled "some commissioners" jibe from Slive is a shot across Scott's bow or not.

What we are sure of is that Slive is more open to Jim Delany's proposal for on-campus semifinals than Scott's regarding league champions. While stopping well short of endorsing the Big Ten-backed suggestion, Slive also noted some of its benefits and kept the door well open to its consideration.

"There are plusses and minuses to that concept," Slive said. "One is that you're playing a couple games to determine the national champion and to make it a home game for somebody has always been perceived as a competitive advantage ... You have to look at that. The other side is there would be the question of fan travel and the ability to travel to one or more games. You guarantee good attendance (on campus) -- for one team.

"It needs to be looked at carefully. It's on the table and it should be on the table."

Slive also again declined to reveal details on the SEC' 2013-and-beyond scheduling arrangements and said the league wasn't interested in expanding beyond its current 14 teams. Of more interest was his comments on the league's ongoing television negotiations, reopened since the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri.

"They know who we are and what we have," Slive said. "None of our schools will be hurt financially (in 2012-13). But that's just today. It's tomorrow that's the real issue. The discussions are very important. They're longterm. We'll leave it at that."

Knowing that Slive's entire willingness to entertain expansion was -- very likely -- motivated first-and-foremost by a desire to rework the league's (mostly) static 15-year TV deal for something closer to the Big Ten and Pac-12's rapidly expanding, league network-driven contracts, could his emphasis on the "very important" "longterm" be commissioner-speak for a push for an SEC Network? 

We'd be stunned, frankly, if it means anything different. Slive's opinions and preferences on the plus-one matter a great deal where the rest of college football is concerned--but when it comes to the distant future of his own conference, those negotiations may be even more critical.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   

Comments

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:28 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

Yeah, if there is a wildcard allowed, you could add a restriction on having teams from the same conference playing each other on the first round. Personally, I would prefer them to play each other first round so we dont end up with a same conference final again (and no nation-wide interest).



Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:06 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

LSU (SEC) vs Alabama (wildcard)
Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs Oregon (PAC 12)

That is the pairings I think would have been correct. To me, Oregon deserves it more than Stanford because they won their conference. As to choosing one conference winner over another, it still has to come down to rankings or a selection committee to decide which get in. If Alabama had beaten LSU AND the OSU/Oregon winner, then I would have no problem calling them National Champions.



I kind of half agree with you but... like everyone is saying... who wanted to see LSU vs Alabama again?  You want the conferences to prove themselves, then you have to mix it up.  In other sports, I always hate seeing South Carolina and other SEC team splaying each other in the post season.  I want my team to prove themselves like any other team and pairing up conference rivals in the post season doesn't prove much.

LSU vs Stanford/Oregon
Alabama vs Oklahoma State

Looks better to me.



Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:03 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

But with that arguement Ok St. seemed more deserving last year than Bama.  They had the same record and won their conf.  I am not trying to ague that game anymore but I think that unless there is clearly no other choice you chose a conf. champ over a non conf. champ.


That's the problem and we 'kinda' agree on.

I do agree Oklahoma State deserved a shot at LSU.  Did I think they were the #2 team in the country though? No.  They weren't... and to me and a lot of people that's not even a worthy discussion.  This isn't a SEC homer opinion.  Look back at Oklahoma State and Alabama and tell me who was a more complete team.  Oklahoma State losing to a 6-7, 3-6 (Big 12) Iowa State proved this 'on the field'. I think this was also vindicated after the Arkansas vs Kansas State game this year as well.  Alabama dominated Arkansas and Arkansas handled Kansas State.  Oklahoma State squeeked by Kansas State.  You can't point at Alabama's OOC all you want but like you said, they handled it on the field.  You might have questions about Alabama but most of your questions were eliminated from Oklahoma State because of their loss to Iowa State.

Pac12 was weird last year with Stanford/Oregon/Southern Cal being very close in strength (Stanford itching to the top)

The clear top 3 of the 4 teams last year were LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State.  I would have been content with any of these teams making the last spot (Stanford/Oregon/Southern Cal).



Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:03 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

LSU (SEC) vs Alabama (wildcard)
Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs Oregon (PAC 12)

That is the pairings I think would have been correct. To me, Oregon deserves it more than Stanford because they won their conference. As to choosing one conference winner over another, it still has to come down to rankings or a selection committee to decide which get in. If Alabama had beaten LSU AND the OSU/Oregon winner, then I would have no problem calling them National Champions.




Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:52 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

Because the "four best teams across the country" are just somebody's opinion which is all a poll is. Conference champions have proved it on the field.

How does South Carolina losing to Auburn, Kentucky, and Arkansas and beating Auburn (theortically) in 2010 proving it on the field?



Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:44 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

There is a HUGE difference between 'earn your way in through the regular season' and winning your conference.

Like I said early, please tell me you don't think Clempson or Wisconsin was a more deserving team than Alabama or Stanford in 2011 just because they were a 'conference champion'.

Just because a team is the best in the country with the "eye" test does not mean they deserve a shot at the NC.

I think the stronger statement and what should be looked at is:

Just because a team won their conference  does not mean they deserve a shot at the NC.

I agree with you on both.  Clemson and Wisky did not deserve a shot so just because you win your conf. does not mean you deserve a shot at the NC.  But with that arguement Ok St. seemed more deserving last year than Bama.  They had the same record and won their conf.  I am not trying to ague that game anymore but I think that unless there is clearly no other choice you chose a conf. champ over a non conf. champ.



Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:21 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

How do you get those gray bars around things ? It never works for me....

"How do you argue that three or four of the best conference champions getting the four top spots are better idea than four of the best teams across the country?"

Because the "four best teams across the country" are just somebody's opinion which is all a poll is. Conference champions have proved it on the field. Going back to 2004, there is only a few years there would actually be a difference between choosing top 4 over all and top 3 plus one wildcard, but those years it prevents 2 teams from 2 conferences playing it out and replaces one of the second-place finishers with another conference winner:

2011

LSU (SEC) vs Alabama (wildcard)
Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs Oregon (PAC 12)

Result: Oregon gets in as conference champ instead of Stanford


2010

Auburn (SEC) vs Stanford (wildcard)
Oregon (PAC 10) vs TCU (MW)

Result: same as taking top 4


2009

Alabama (SEC) vs TCU (MW)
Texas (Big 12) vs Cincinnati (Big East)

Result: same as taking top 4


2008

Oklahoma (Big 12) vs Texas (wildcard)
Florida (SEC) vs USC (PAC 10)

Results: #3 Texas gets the one wildcard, #5 PAC 10 champ gets in over #4 Alabama


2007

Ohio State (Big 10) vs Oklahoma (Big 12)
LSU (SEC) vs Virginia Tech (ACC)

Results: Same as taking top 4


2006

Ohio State (Big 10) vs Michigan (wildcard)
Florida (SEC) vs USC (PAC 10)

Results: Michigan gets the one wildcard, PAC 10 champ gets in over LSU


2005

USC (PAC 10) vs Ohio State (wildcard)
Texas (Big 12) vs Penn State (Big 10)

Results: Same as taking top 4


2004

USC (PAC 10) vs Texas (wildcard)
Oklahoma (Big 12) vs Auburn (SEC)

Results: Same as taking top 4





Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:15 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

"Alabama would have played OK State and would have DESTROYED them, that is pretty much the same consensus with anyone in the CF world who has half a brain.
And LSU would have played Stanford, and yes would have DESTROYED them.
So in the end you would be left with THE SAME GAME THAT YOU GOT ANYWAY."

But wouldn't it have been fun to watch those games on TV instead of only in your pea-brain ?


Heh, I don't think anyone is arguing that... The problem I have and given what some of your are telling me is that you would have prefered:

LSU vs Clempson/West Virginia/Oregon/Wisconsin
Oklahoma State vs Wisconsin/Oregon

Alabama and Stanford were not conference champions remember? Even though they were most likely both top four teams.



Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:11 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

That is my exact point.  Just because a team is the best in the country with the "eye" test does not mean they deserve a shot at the NC.   You earn your way in through the regular season which is why if you dont win your conf. you should not play in the NC game. 

There is a HUGE difference between 'earn your way in through the regular season' and winning your conference.

Like I said early, please tell me you don't think Clempson or Wisconsin was a more deserving team than Alabama or Stanford in 2011 just because they were a 'conference champion'.

Just because a team is the best in the country with the "eye" test does not mean they deserve a shot at the NC.

I think the stronger statement and what should be looked at is:

Just because a team won their conference  does not mean they deserve a shot at the NC.

"What's the difference between me and you? You talk a good one but you don't do what you are suposed to do" - Dr. Dre



Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Slive: plus-one shouldn't be champions-only

We the people (couldn't help myself), have been complaining but the conferences as a whole have not made any effort to make changes.

I am ok with no effort.  I grew up with the Rose bowl meaning something and remember how bad it was with the AP.  These two factors to me say things are ok, even with LSU/Bama NC game.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com