Please tell me you’re just humoring the guy.

So – University of Florida President Bernie Machen is getting his wish:

University of Florida president Bernie Machen said Sunday that he and his fellow Southeastern Conference presidents will discuss his proposal for a college football playoff at the conference’s spring meetings in Destin in May.

Machen said the fact that other presidents are receptive to discussing a playoff is a major step forward for those who want to see a Division I-A football national champion determined in the same fashion as all of the NCAA’s other team sports.

“I could never get anybody to talk to me before,” Machen said as he celebrated the Florida basketball team’s Elite Eight win against Oregon at the Edward Jones Dome. “Now we’re talking.”

Machen, you may recall, is a staunch advocate of a D-1 playoff. He describes himself as an “incrementalist” when it comes to instituting a playoff, which, when you get down to it, is just a way to avoid describing the format he’d like to see implemented in its final version.

SEC commish Mike Slive, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be able to say even that much about a D-1 football playoff, although he does seem to be willing at least to consider a discussion about some sort of “plus one” championship format. I just don’t have the impression that that’s where Machen wants things to wind up.

So how far down the road does this discussion in Destin go? Probably not very far to start with:

“I don’t even necessarily anticipate any decision in Destin,” Slive said. “[The presidents] know that the whole issue down the road is not that far away. We want to be thinking about it with adequate time to make sure that we evaluate everything that’s important.”

Sounds like committee time, doesn’t it? What comes out of that is anyone’s guess – remember the aphorism “a camel is a horse designed by a committee” – but the key is likely to be who decides who gets to be a part of the decision making process.

It’s not likely to be pretty, in any event. The idea that someone like Michael Adams may be involved in the evolution of college football’s postseason isn’t the most comforting thought I’ve had recently. And don’t forget that whatever differences these guys may have about a playoff, they’re all going to be in agreement about making sure that whatever course of action is recommended protects their turf.


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