Well, Michael Adams’ playoff pitch yesterday got him the main thing he wanted. The attention, that is.
He sure worked the crowd.
… It is one thing to create a media splash, which Adams did Tuesday with considerable skill.
He planted a story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the paper of record in the Southeastern Conference, calling for an eight-team playoff. He held two news conferences that attracted reporters and columnists from New York to California.
He named his targets.
“I find it interesting that our most high-profile sport is the only place where we as presidents have turned the end game over to another group,” Adams said. “There has been a concentration of power among the conference and bowl commissioners. I believe it is time to take the ultimate power out of their hands.”
He’s drawn returning fire.
“We do not want an NFL-style playoff,” Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said.
“An extended playoff will lead to the end of the bowl system,” Rose Bowl executive director Mitch Dorger said.
“Clearly free speech is alive and well in the SEC,” said commissioner Mike Slive, whose presidents overwhelmingly decided against a playoff at last year’s spring meetings.
His motives are questioned.
… This is about nothing more than Adams and his self-serving Bulldog interests. Georgia didn’t get to play in the national championship game despite being one of six major-college teams with two losses. Tough spit. It’s also about Georgia not being invited to the Rose Bowl to play Southern California (instead, having to play Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl). Under BCS rules, Dorger would have had to ask the Sugar Bowl to release Georgia from its game. Then the Sugar would have had to say yes.
It never got close to that. So what we’re left with is Adams whining and posturing with a big, stuffy, wordy presentation. Where was he when Auburn went 13-0 and didn’t play in the championship game? Would we have seen this proposal had Hawaii beaten Georgia?
You’ve got to love the set on Adams. Georgia didn’t even win its division. A tie with Tennessee in the SEC East doesn’t count, especially since the Vols won head-to-head. Georgia’s only two losses were to teams LSU beat — Tennessee and South Carolina…
Questioned some more…
In very related news Tuesday, Georgia finished second in the final Associated Press poll.
It would be unfair to Adams to dismiss his criticism just because his Dawg was gored. But it highlights the problems that university presidents have when it comes to reining in intercollegiate athletics.
And not appreciated in some quarters.
… Not so coincidentally, Georgia wasn’t selected to play in the Bowl Championship Series title game. The Bulldogs won the Sugar Bowl and finished No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll.
So to sound off on an eight-team tournament – whether that position has merit or not – less than 24 hours after rival LSU had just won the title (and in doing so, implying that perhaps the Tigers shouldn’t have been there) was in especially bad taste and reflects poorly on the institution Adams represents.
Even Furman Bisher threw a punch.
… Now, as for the BCS, Adams says, “I’m just convinced that it’s not working and that it’s not going to work.”
Of course not. His forward stance is suspect since his own Georgia team, which also lost to two teams in the SEC, was not among the chosen, a point which he judiciously speaks to. So, why not? Should not the president of a university speak out for the school he represents? No doubt he would not have been so agitated had Georgia not been passed over, nor would he have attracted such attention had he been speaking as president of Auburn or Vanderbilt, just to pick a couple of names. He drew a lot more attention than had he been speaking from the United Nations…
The fundamental flaw in his proposal is noted.
… Adams has to realize that NCAA control of a 1-A postseason would mean that the money would be split somewhat evenly just like it is in the NCAA Tournament. In hoops, teams play for monetary “units” as they progress through the tournament. In the present system, Georgia would make $17 million for playing in a BCS bowl as an SEC champion. Would it make that much playing three playoff games under an NCAA revenue-sharing plan?
And mocked a little…
The reason is simple. In the current format, the power lies with the commissioners of the major conferences. If the NCAA ran the event, the money would flow through the NCAA before it went to the members.
“The absence of a single governing authority,” Sandbrook wrote in his 2004 study, “allows virtually all the revenue derived from the bowl games to flow directly to specific conferences.”
Let’s make a list of all the people who have willingly given up control of millions of dollars. You go first.
No, thank you.
Maisel asks the best question of all: does Adams have the stomach to see this fight through? After all,
On his own campus, where Adams has more sway than anywhere else in higher education, and where there are fewer constituencies to face than there will be on the playoff issue, Adams had to wage a three-year battle to force athletic director Vince Dooley to retire in 2003. If his reception at the Sugar Bowl last week is any judge, Georgia fans have yet to forgive him.
Asking the NCAA to take on the BCS will make the Dooley issue seem like a sorority mixer…
To be fair, Adams did win the Dooley battle. But don’t forget he’s established an aggressive timetable for this new war (mainly because he only serves for two years on that committee) that’s going to be a real challenge to meet, at least if he wants a solution that keeps all of the players on board.
… He is sure of himself. He is sure that college football has reached a tipping point. But just like his budgets, Adams will get out of this crusade only what he puts into it.
UPDATE: Jason Whitlock thinks Adams’ priorities are out of whack.