He’s just being honest.

John Calipari minimizes the significance of the SEC basketball tournament:

“We’re playing for a seed. That’s what we’re playing for,” Calipari said. “Now, we’d like to win this tournament, but it’s not the end-all for us. Our whole goal is that seed, and if we lose our first game, we’re not going to be a No. 1 seed. If we win the first and lose the second, then I think we’ve done enough to get that 1 seed.”

He’s right, of course.  But would you ever want to hear Mark Richt utter something akin to that?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

32 responses to “He’s just being honest.

  1. Scorpio Jones, III

    Seed? Oh yeah, seed, this is about basketball, right, and that tournament that dilutes coverage of Spring Football, right?

  2. Prov

    But, but, you can’t compare Football and Basketball! They’re two completely different sports. Sheesh!

  3. keith

    Prov and senator,
    Last time I checked, SEC football doesn’t have a tournament and never will.

  4. Prosticutor

    Hmmm, I know. Why don’t we just have a double elimination football season? B/c if you lose 2 games, you obviously won’t be playing in the champ-ee-un-ship anyway, right?

  5. Phocion

    When the CFB regular season gets expanded to 30 or more games this might become a relevant comparisson…until then it is little more than a windmill for some to tilt at.

    • Hogbody Spradlin

      If you think a football playoff is exempt from racheting ever upward in size, I have three words for you: En Eff Ell.

      • Hackerdog

        Or FCS.

      • Phocion

        Yes, but what Calapari was talking about was not caring about winning his conference’s title because he would be a #1 seed without it.

        So, again, not before the CFB regular season heads towards 30 games will you hear Urban Meyer say he doesn’t care about winning his Conference title because he will be a Top seed anyway.

        *Remeber, in the En Eff Ell only the top two Division Champs get a bye in each conference….thus, if that is your playoff model, blowing the SEC title blows the top seed/bye that basketball allows.

        • Hackerdog

          It doesn’t have to get to that point. We probably won’t get to first round byes in college football. But we could easily see a team with a loss or two making the playoffs. So it’s not a stretch to get a team voluntarily sacrificing a loss to better prepare themselves for the playoffs.

  6. Dog in Fla

    The SECCG is already the compressed playoff for the league in football. How does John know that Kentucky would not be one of the four #1 seeds even if it lost its first game in the SEC tournament? They may not be the #1 seed in the South but could be #1 elsewhere. I think UConn was first seed in the West last year .

  7. Geronimo Jackson

    I agree, I’d never want to hear CMR say that before playing in the SEC Championship game.
    But here’s a quote that would be worse: “We’re playing in the SEC Championship game to win and then hoping that USC or Texas loses so we can play for the BCS Title.”

    I don’t think anybody is suggesting that football go to a 64-team tournament. But a 4-team playoff would hardly diminish the importance of college football’s regular season, and, in my opinion, any such diminishing would be worth it to crown a real national champ.

  8. 6 Degrees to Nowhere

    (1) Kevin Bacon was in a bad movie about dancing in high school (Footloose). (2) High schools have football playoffs. (3) Playoffs are also known as tournaments. (4) The biggest tournament is in Div I college basketball . (5) Div 1 college football does not play a tournament/playoff. (6)College football, therefore, must NOT play a tournament / playoff or it will be bad like a Kevin Bacon movie.

    Have I got that right, CFB playoff haters?

    • Hackerdog

      More like this.

      1. Playoffs devalue the regular season.
      2. Every playoff system ever instituted has expanded.
      3. The FCS playoffs will soon expand to 24 teams, and they have far less money to motivate them than the FBS.
      4. A FBS playoff would, therefore, devalue the regular season, and then expand, further devaluing the regular season.
      5. Playoff supporters will either deny the first three facts, or blindly insist that the other sports (including FCS college football) have NOTHING in common with FBS college football. Therefore, we have nothing to worry about. Move along. Nothing to see here.

      • Ausdawg85

        While I respect opposing points of view…and even wish for better options…I personally thing the time to destruct the fraud of the BCS is overdue and sadly only a playoff and FBS realignment is logical outcome. You playoff haters (in the plural, not just HD) state the “devalue the season” argument as fact. It’s not, just hypothesis. And why, over time, is #2 necessarily a bad thing? Do you love the ridiculous increase in meaningless bowl games instead of a playoff model? Which has less value? And do we really need to go through comparisons of FBS vs. FCS or any other sport for that matter (that is, afterall, what got this thread started…an absurd comparison of FBS to basketball)? And #5 is not even an argument.

        So, short of the scenario listed below that includes a reduction in FBS schools and realignment, try offering some salient points about how you can either defend the current status quo, or propose how we roll back to a time when disinterested coaches, biased sportswriters and even Presidents helped determing the MNC.

        • So, short of the scenario listed below that includes a reduction in FBS schools and realignment, try offering some salient points about how you can either defend the current status quo, or propose how we roll back to a time when disinterested coaches, biased sportswriters and even Presidents helped determing the MNC.

          That’s kind of hard to do when you refuse to acknowledge that there’s even a shred of validity to my primary argument about expansion, plenty of evidence out there about it notwithstanding.

          Nice straw man, by the way.

    • Not exactly. Right now, there’s a one-game playoff known as the BCS title game.

      • DawgPhan

        shh…dont tell them that they are only arguing expansion and not creation…

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I don’t want to get hypertechnical but, actually, the BCSNC game is not a playoff. The idea was to use the existing major bowls to be certain that the top 2 teams met thinking that this would be the best way to “settle on the field” the question of who was the national champ in D-IA. It started with a rotation among the biggest bowls. Soon a new, separate bowl called the National Championship Game was created. But there never has been a playoff in D-IA, even a one game playoff. A “Plus-One Game” would be a one game playoff.

        • Phocion

          Mayor…you’re not stating that the BCS itself has already EXPANDED, are you?

          Heavens no, don’t point that out to the pro-BCS people that ridicule pro-Playoff people about just such a possibility!!!!

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            I am saying just that. They created yet another bowl, as if we needed another one. But they failed in the basic premise. The BCS now is just a way of matching up teams into bowls. Because of bowl-conference tie-ins you rarely got #1 vs. #2 in a bowl in the old days. You would get #1 vs. #5 and #2 vs. #3, and maybe #4 vs. #6. So if #5 really dusted #1 and the other games were close but unimpressive you had #5 jump all the way to #1 sometimes (i.e. Notre Dame). I say that a “Plus One Game” made up of the winners of #1, #2, #3 and #4 playing each other in 2 bowls (maybe #1 vs. #4 in the Sugar and #2 vs. #3 in the Fiesta), then the BCSNC Game as the “Plus One Game” would go a long way toward getting a real NC for D-IA. The Senator’s logic convinced me that a 16 team playoff would negatively impact the regular season.

            • Phocion

              Why adhere to the 16 team mandate? You could just as easily have a playoff with any other number of number of teams.

              6 Teams gives you #1 and #2 with byes…8 is simple…10 and 12 give byes again to teh top teams.

              And, without a BCS type structure, weak conference champs that the ACC and BigEast like to give us don’t have to be guaranteed bids. Before the bowls in 2009 the ACC champ was#9…in 2008 the ACC champs was #14 and the Big East champ was #13. Lose the guarantee and TCU, Boise State and Utah make a Top 6 or 8 team playoff in those years…all three of whom were more deserving. (just keep that in mind when you let the Senator’s anti-16 team argument sway you because the playoff variant that he supports would protect #13 Cincy and #14 GT.)

              • Hackerdog

                Actually, the Senator supports blowing up the conferences, moving 1/3 of the FBS teams to the FCS, and creating new, variable, conferences of relatively equal strength, and implementing a conference winners only, 8-team playoff.

                That system has a snowball’s chance in hell of ever happening, but it would address several of the weaknesses of current playoff proposals.

                • Actually, that’s more a fun exercise than anything else, as I agree with your last point.

                  My more realistic blow-up-the-conferences concept would be for radical realignment to kick in and mutate D-1 into four sixteen-team super conferences each comprised of two eight-team divisions. Each school would play a 7-3-2 scheduling format, and could only schedule one game with a non-D-1 opponent.

                  Here’s how the postseason would go with that:

                  — conference championship games the week after the regular season ends
                  — national semi-finals two weeks later, hosted by the two highest ranked teams in the BCS standings
                  — bowl games as usual
                  — traditional four BCS bowl games on January 1st, with the conference championship and national semi-finals losers guaranteed slots in those games
                  — national title game within one week of January 1st, hosted at the rotating BCS site

                  Overall it’s not as elegant as requiring a conference to play a round robin schedule to determine a champion, but, as I said, if conference expansion is truly in the cards, it’s a lot more realistic. It preserves the regular season’s importance, maintains the value of winning a conference title, retains the bowls, doesn’t extend the season beyond its current length, keeps travel issues under control and reduces the level of subjectivity in determining the participants. It’s better than what we’ve got now and hopefully is expansion-resistant.

        • The idea was to use the existing major bowls to be certain that the top 2 teams met thinking that this would be the best way to “settle on the field” the question of who was the national champ in D-IA.

          If that’s not a playoff to determine a national title winner, what is it?

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            It is. But as a practical matter it ain’t gonna happen. You’ll never get the conferences realigned the way you need them to be to make it work. Nope, #1 vs. #4 in one bowl and #2 vs. #3 in another bowl as the qualifier to get into the BCSNC game (the real “Plus One Game”) is the shortest distance between two points–a straight line. Very little modification needed.

  9. kckd

    Well, even if he didn’t say it, with a month’s worth of games left last year we were playing for a better bowl game.

  10. I Am still very much in favor of a Plus 1 Game or a 4 team tourney. Otherwise I continue to think the MNC is more M than NC. Top 4 then top 2 would always work for me. Top 2 Only Does Not .

    • Phocion

      How can you argue for a 4 team tourney when the BCS includes 6 conferences?

      Or do you dismantle the BCS and claim that conference champion is not a qualifier for this 4 team playoff?

      2009 happened to have four conference champs as the top 4 teams before the bowls: Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, and TCU

      2008 had two conference champs and two runners-up: Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Forget the conference champion BS. Best 4 teams from the polls. The conferences really are not comparable anyway as the SEC is so much tougher than the others it’s a joke.

        • Phocion

          I agree that conference champs are not all created equally. Small conferences can produce teams every bitas goodas the bigboys…BOISE STATE.

          Since the Senator likes to use the basketball tourney as a foil against playoffs when the example fits his argument, how about this:

          If NCAA basketball used the same type of logic that the Senator supports for determining a football champion then UNLV would never have been allowed to win a title…and I think that we can all agree that Tarkanian’s Rebels were certainly some the best teams college basketball has seen…and their title most certainly a deserved one.

          You also don’t get the Phi-Slamma Jamma Houston team…or Larry Bird’s Indian State team playing Magic Johnson’s Michigan State.

          And NCAA basketball would be poorer today had they excluded those teams because they didn’t hail from conferences with the right pedigree.

  11. Mike

    When Florida was the #1 overall seed in 2007, this after losing 3 of the last four regular season games, the selection committee explained their reasoning as follows;

    “Florida won their regular season conference title and won their tournament title. That was the basis of our selection of picking them as the #1 overall seed.”

    So, those that are representing Calipari’s comments as gospel might want to reflect on the notion that no matter what that coach says, he is not part of the selection committee. A committee that apparently does put some weight on those two accomplishments