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.

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Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:35 am

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

The Bottom Line is this.  Larry Scott is now the most powerful commissioner in the BCS.  If he partners up with the Big 10's Jim Delany, ther rest of the BCS is basically at their mercy.  Slive is going to lose this battle.  It will be a 4 team tournament, and for Champions only.  The good news is that in a matter of 4 years, it will evolve into an 8 team tourney for AQ Champions and "at large" teams, much like the current BCS Set up.  Remember we are talking the NCAA here, which means you crawl before you walk. 

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:23 am

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

Explain how you can be the best in the country if you are not even the best in your conf.? 

You are missing a huge and crucial point.  The way the system is designed now... you aren't trying to find the best country.  It's trying to find the TWO best teams in the country.  It just so happens it was decided Alabama was the #2 team in the country.  There wasn't as much as a firestorm when Oklahoma played for the NCG in 2003 despite losing their conference and losing to Kansas State 35-7.

Do I agree with this? Most of the time no... but this would have been a perfect year to have a +1. I'm and SEC fan and I didn't really care to watch the Alabama/LSU game.  I would have loved to watch Alabama play Oklahoma State though... Same with LSU and Stanford.

Since: Feb 14, 2008
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:36 am

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

LSU's 2012 schedule is as follows:

Sept. 1 North Texas
Sept. 8 Washington
Sept. 15 Idaho
Sept. 22 at Auburn
Sept. 29 Towson University
Oct. 6 at Florida
Oct. 13 South Carolina
Oct. 20 at Texas A&M
Nov. 3 Alabama
Nov. 10 Mississippi State
Nov. 17 Ole Miss
Nov. 23 or 24 at Arkansas

LSU plays Washington at home as part of a home and away agreement.  LSU opened the season at Washington a couple years back.  Are you suggesting that LSU should have signed an away and away agreement?  It was my understanding that Idaho is a much improved program, should LSU have refused to schedule them?  If LSU refused to schedule them, wouldn't some people have said that LSU was scared to play them?  I have heard Boise St. fans mention that Idaho was a true test and an indication of the strength of their schedule.

As far as North Texas and Towson, when you play an SEC schedule you need some less difficult games.  In most other conferences, the cupcakes can be found within the conference, which makes scheduling a tough out-of-conference opponent easier deal with.  Which major college teams can say they have no easy victories on their schedules?  I think, in terms of difficulty, LSU's schedule is up to par with any in the country.

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:23 am

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

I think what we eventually get is some sort of compromise between the Slive and Scott positions.  There might be a requirement to win the conference, except in certain cases.    What might those cases be?   Maybe only three conference champs in the Top six or so.  For example, lets say the SEC, B1G and PAC Champs are all in the Top 6, then they would be guaranteed a position in the Plus One format.  But maybe the Big 12, ACC and Big East Champs have a struggle and none break into the Top 6.  Then maybe Michigan State is not the B1G Champ, but ranked #3 even after their title game.  I could see a clause letting them in.   And folks, you know there will be provisions for Notre Dame and BYU and any other independent as well.  Whether you like it or not, a once beaten ND is likely to be in the Top 5 and I can assure you all that ND will not be left out simply because they are not in a conference.

I am torn on this.  I absolutely believed that Oklahoma State should have played LSU last year.  In the current scenario, Bama did not deserve to be in the title game.  But I also believe, had their been some sort of Plus One, Alabama would have deserved to be the 4th seeded team.  I would also caveat that in my mind, whoever the wildcard team might be in any given year, will have to play on the road if we wind up doing this on campus and also should be seeded 4th, even if they are ranked as high as 2d. 

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:06 am

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

Your statement about the SEC's ooc schedule makes no sense.  We haven't lost a BCS Championship game yet,  and until last year we played against the best they had to offer us and beat them.  The SEC also usually wins a majority of their bowl games every year.  Our strengh of schedule is pretty much on par with the rest of the teams in the country.  Don't hate the SEC because they are clearly the superior conference,  but instead question your own conference on why the seem to be unable to beat the SEC when it count's the most.

Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:58 am

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

If your record at the end of the regular season makes you 1 of the two best teams in colleg football,  then you should be playing for the national championship.  Whether you won your conference or not.  If you have to be a conference champ

Explain how you can be the best in the country if you are not even the best in your conf.? 

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:53 am

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

If you do not win your conf.  you do not deserve a shot at the NC.  Bama did show they were better than LSU in the NC game last year but that does not matter, they did not deserve a shot. The regular season matters, you earn your shot during the regular season. 

So Clempson in 2011 deserved to be there more than Alabama and Stanford?

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:51 am

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

If your record at the end of the regular season makes you 1 of the two best teams in colleg football,  then you should be playing for the national championship.  Whether you won your conference or not.  If you have to be a conference champ,  then Notre Dame better get their butts into a conference before the plus 1 takes affect.  you don't have to be the conference champs in any of the other major sports,  so why should it matter in college football.  We all want the best playing the best for the trophy.  A 9-4 team gets into the playoff's because it had a good day and beat the #1 team in the conference championship game sound stupid.  If they use a 4 team playoff system,  pick them from the final top 5 rankings.  If they use 8 teams go to the top 10 rankings.  I want the best playing the best, not the best playing a team that got lucky in 1 game and backed into the playoff's.  I would take a 13-0 and 11-1 team out of the same conference over a 9-4 team any day when it comes to determining who's the best.

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:50 am

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

In short, if you really want every game to be meaningful, then go out and play some real teams in those early season games.  Sure, have one "warm-up" game, but then, dang it, go play someone with a pulse.

How about Boise State play a team with a pulse at least once a month? That would be a start...

Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:48 am

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

well why even play the games then?  Lets use the SEC fans logic.
lets just crown them champions until the end of time and not play the games at all.


What a horrible attempt trolling.

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