Mike Slive, shouldn’t Bernie Machen be the last guy you’ve got speaking out on the SEC’s position about the new postseason format? After all, he did such a bang up job the last time he went on a playoff crusade. Yet here he is again, telling us how it’s gonna be.
Florida President Bernie Machen said today the SEC won’t compromise on its position that the top four teams should be in a college football playoff, not a mixture of conference champions.
“We won’t compromise on that,” said Machen, chair of the SEC presidents and chancellors. “I think the public wants the top four. I think almost everybody wants the top four.”
As Andy Staples points out, Bernie’s public is likely to be different from Jim Delany’s public on what is wanted.
Whether the public wants the top four depends on where the public lives. If the public lives in Michigan, Ohio or Illinois, there is a good chance the public wants some sort of preference given to conference champs. At their meeting earlier this month, ACC athletic directors and coaches backed conference-champ priority even though Commissioner John Swofford had previously stated a desire for the top four. At the Big Ten meetings earlier this month, Commissioner Jim Delany voiced support for a “hybrid model” that would give preference to high ranked conference champions but would also make allowances in case one league had more than one elite team…
Matt Hinton (from his new CBS digs) notes something you could probably guess. Based on the historical record, there’s very little practical difference in the results between the competing proposals. Nevertheless, lines in the sand Must Be Drawn. No compromise!
There’s no back up plan, either.
“I’ve thought about this: Suppose everybody says they’re going to do this (playoff) and one or two say we’re not going to do this,” said Machen, who is on the BCS oversight committee. “I don’t know what the next step is.” [Emphasis added.]
Well, at least he’s thought about it. Color me relieved.
Bernie Machen is a man who got lucky hiring a coach he happened to know from his previous school, a coach who went on to win two national championships at Florida. Somehow that’s been parlayed into Machen being considered some sort of savant (not least of all by Machen himself) on the subject of a college football playoff. He’s not. Yet here we are.
I don’t know if this debate will devolve into a contest to see who’s got the biggest you-know-what, but if it does – and that certainly wouldn’t shock me – don’t be surprised at all if the plus-one is the last proposal standing. And that Bernie will assure us it’s not a compromise.