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: Jul 10, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:41 pm

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

REMINDER:  The SEC has won the championship with only one team SIX YEARS IN A ROW.

Since: Mar 7, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:13 pm

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

Why not have the stipulation that you have to win your conference title to play in the mini tournament, also that rule should go into effect starting this season as well.

Since: Jan 3, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:09 pm

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

It should be the best 4 teams period.  Demanding that the participant be conferance champions merely waters down the bracket and includes teams that don't deserve to be there.  Moaning because the SEC had two of the top four is just weak sauce. 

And who knows...   3 years down the road it might be your conference with two in the top four.  Back a few years ago when the Big 10, Big 12 and Pac 10 shot down the plus one idea, they never thought it would be them tasting the bitter irony of their own teams being shut out of the equation.   Well now they have been, so now they want to change the rules.  Sorry, it should be the best 4 teams. Period.

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:07 pm

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

Wow the SEC thinks things are not fair you you are willing to back down and give in.
This is the only Sport that only Champions can play for the title.
Yes the wild cards do win because we think it is only fair to let them play.
Are you scared the SEC can not win the title with one team? 

Since: Oct 4, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:32 pm

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

This is the part where Mr. Slives hand should be slapped for reachin too far up the leg. No Mike, Champions only, win your conference then go play for the NC in the mini dance, enough with the teams who cant even win their own conference no matter how good it was that particular year.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:28 pm

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

im certain slive is looking at the current power stance the sec has , why else would he want to exclude conference winners in lieu of some team that didnt win its division much less its conference championship. The thought of a team losing to a team that hasnt even won its own conferential division would be..well wait a minute... oh yeah , i forgot this seasons BCSCG. nevermind, nothing means anything anymore..we are all being fed BS by the BCS and we are loving it !

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:28 pm

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

Because Alabama was a one loss team in the SEC, while Oregon and Wisconsin were 2 loss teams in their weaker conferences. If they cant even beat the bad teams in their watered down conference, whos to say that they could stay on the field with Alabama or LSU? LSU stomped Oregon earlier in the season, and Wisconsin lost to Mich St and to 6-7 Ohio St. THATS how I know that those teams werent better than Alabama or LSU.
all this is said but ok. st played a tougher schedule while bama floated through the watered down teams in the conf.

Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:20 pm

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

If they're going to do a "plus-one", they should do it this way. The top 3 conference champions and one "wild card" non-champion should qualify. If the top 4 teams are all conference champions, then there would be no wild card. In addition, no wild card should be allowed to play a home game if they hold the semis at campus sites. Under this formula, Alabama would have qualified last year but Stanford would not. Also, why do they call it a "plus-one"? Call it what it is-- a 4-team playoff.

Since: Oct 28, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:18 pm

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

Joe Michael : no need to be so defensive. I didn't see anyone say that the SEC deserved special treatment. I personally will be somewhat glad when the rest of the country gets to release all of this pent up hostility toward the SEC. Maybe someone will beat the SEC Champion this year. Then again, to do that you have to play better than you have. :)  Obviously, you were not satisfied with watching an SEC team lose a BCS Championship game. lol

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 7:13 pm

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

How quickly we forget Utah beating 3 TD favorite Alabama in the Sugar Bowl a few years ago

It was 2 National Championships and a Capitol One Smack Down ago, hard to remember back that far.  Any team can win any game.  BSU proved it, App St Proved it, Utah proved it.  There are 100s of examples proving one game anything is possible.  The question becomes, are all conference champions equal?  The answer is no.  The Champion of the BE with 4 losses is a viable option for a 4 team Champions only Playoff, but a 1 loss Stanford with the #1 Pro prospect QB is not.  Southern Miss may get the invite to the Playoffs, but 1 loss Bama with 4 or 5 First Rounders is not able to be considered.

Take the 4 Best.  Eliminate as much of the human bias as possible, and play the games.  If it is a SEC vs Pac Semi finals who cares, if it is all B1G who cares.  Early in the 00 decade, the SEC never sniffed a BCS NCG.  Even with unbeaten or 1 loss teams.  So, the reign on top at some point will cycle elsewhere and the solution at that point should still be take the best and play the games.  

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