It’s the football, stupid.

In case you still wonder which sport carries the water in college athletics, here’s another answer for you.

The SEC will consider abandoning men’s basketball divisions during the conference’s upcoming spring meetings, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said Friday.

When you get down to it, divisional play makes little sense for any sport outside of football.  When the postseason goal is simply to obtain as many seeds for conference teams in a multi-round tournament as possible,  it’s in the conference’s best interest to make sure its tourney is structured to give the cream the best chance to rise to the top.

Football is a different beast.  There is no multi-round playoff, just a BCS title game. The SECCG, just like its brethren in the other power conferences, was set up to do two things:  generate a bunch of money for the conference and give one of its top teams extra momentum in the computer rankings to boost its chances to play in the title game.  It has been wildly successful on both counts, which is why you see a divisional format in place that doesn’t benefit any other sport, and, indeed, poses something of an impediment in certain cases.

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10 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

10 responses to “It’s the football, stupid.

  1. Jack

    You’re up and at ‘em early on a Sunday.

    • Well, you’re up reading it! ;)

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        There are 12 SEC schools now. To make it fair in basketball if you do away with the East-West distinction everybody will have to play everybody else home and away. That’s 22 conference games. Is that doable? They played 16 regular season conference games last season.

        • Matt

          The schedule would rotate. to see how this works, check out the way the SEC women’s b-ball schedule rotates.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Thanks Matt. However, is it fair athletically to not play every team home and home? That seems to be something that nobody cares about in sports any more–fairness.

  2. Scott W.

    That makes sense especially because the SEC is already behind most conferences when it comes to basketball. No sense in hamstringing yourself.

  3. Mike Slive

    But football officiating is just fine.

    • Penn Wagers

      Pssst. Mr. Commissioner. My wife is after me to buy a condo at the beach while the price is right. I’m gonna need a little extra this season to play ball with the conference if you know what I mean. How about double what I had been getting in the past to make sure the right team wins this season. What? This is an open blog and not a private e-mail message! Er, ugh, geez…..never mind!

  4. Mike

    Football is a different beast. There is no multi-round playoff, just a BCS title game. The SECCG, just like its brethren in the other power conferences, was set up to do two things: generate a bunch of money for the conference and give one of its top teams extra momentum in the computer rankings to boost its chances to play in the title game. It has been wildly successful on both counts, which is why you see a divisional format in place that doesn’t benefit any other sport, and, indeed, poses something of an impediment in certain cases.

    Indeed. Back in the day, when the SECCG and division format were first announced, many pundits pronounced that the SEC just made it much tougher to win the National Title. That teams going into the SECCG with a chance to make it to the National Title games risks everything by having to play one more game.

    Of course, since then we have 9 SEC National Titles; Florida with three, Bama winning two, LSU winning two and Auburn and Tennessee both winning one. And rarely has a team lost the SECCG going in with a chance for the National Title. In fact, you could argue that Florida, by winning the SECCG in 1996 and 2006, greatly improved its chances of playing for the National Title. Something that would not have happened had it not been for the SECCG. Wildly successful indeed.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      A cynical person might say that the success of SEC teams getting into the BCSNCG is because the conference’s referees are making sure that the right teams are winning the games, particularly near the end of the season, but I would never say that myself.