You know, the people who shriek about antitrust violations when they look at the BCS tend to forget one unique characteristic about D-1 college football. Unlike any other organized sport at the college or professional level, its postseason isn’t monolithically managed. There’s no league office setting the rules. There’s no NCAA collecting the money and passing out checks.
There are just a bunch of guys out there protecting their fiefdoms. Some do it better than others. Some find areas of cooperation. But in the end, it’s every conference for itself.
Which is why I find Mike Slive’s reaction to the news that Jim Delany has his conference pondering what life with a plus-one might look like utterly predictable.
“Really a lot of this discussion is premature, and I want to respect the process that we’re in,” Slive told members of the Nashville Sports Council during a question-and-answer session. “We’ve had four-year formats since we started. We’ve done it on the basis of four years, so each four-year period you have to sit down and decide what format is going to be going forward. So we have decided to sit down and talk about this from every different side.”
Big Ten, you’re not the boss of Slive! Like I said, it’s hardly a surprise that the SEC won’t let that train be driven by its biggest rival alone.
But here’s where Slive jumps the shark, so to speak:
… He’s also not sure what prompted the current interest in the plus-one plan.
“It’s been an enormous success for us to have four different teams win the national championship over the last six years has been incredible and unusual. It’s a record that’ll never be broken,” Slive said. “Whatever it is that brings people to the table, I’m glad they’re coming.”
Evidently Mike Slive, a man who’s presided over a conference expansion that nobody really was looking for (except the good people at Texas A&M) simply to get a lever to renegotiate the contracts for the SEC’s broadcast rights, wants to have us believe that he’s the only person in America who doesn’t know that money and getting more of it is the primary motivator behind all the changes which have washed over college football in the past few years. Surely he jests.
I think we’ve just been insulted.