It should come as a surprise to exactly no one that Mike Slive is less than enamored with Larry Scott’s conference champs-only plus-one format.
“I’m willing to have a conversation about (only conference champions), but if you were going to ask me today, that would not be the way I want to go,” Slive said. “It really is early in the discussions, notwithstanding what some commissioners say publicly. There’s still a lot of information that needs to be generated.”
Translation: if you think I’m giving up the advantage of having the only conference that seems capable of having two schools in the title game without a battle, you’re crazy.
That being said, I think he’s off base with his complaints about playing the semifinals on the campuses of the higher ranked schools. Sure, there’s a competitive advantage. That’s the whole point. You’ve got to build some incentives into the system to make sure that schools don’t overload on cupcakes or, even worse, decide to take a regular season game off to prepare for the postseason, à la the NFL. That’s an even bigger concern if you adopt Scott’s proposal.
And, turning to the current state of affairs in the SEC, this is too cute by half:
… Meanwhile, as the SEC prepares to welcome Missouri and Texas A&M into the league, Slive said the conference is content with 14 members.
“I still view 14 as an extension of 12,” Slive said. “Going beyond 14 is no longer an extension of 12. Maybe the Pac-12 and Big Ten scheduling alliance may be their way of answering that question. I can only speak for us. I think it’s going to take us some time to absorb these two institutions. At this point, I don’t see us adding more. We’ve never been trying to get 14 so I don’t see us necessarily trying to get to 16.”
Slive said the SEC is currently in future TV discussions with CBS and ESPN and that finalizing future football schedules beyond 2012 does not impact those talks.
“They know who we are and what we have,” Slive said. “None of our schools will be hurt financially (in 2012-13). But that’s just today. It’s tomorrow that’s the real issue. The discussions are very important. They’re longterm. We’ll leave it at that.”
Right. This whole thing just sort of fell in Slive’s lap. And the TV negotiations going on simultaneously? Mere coincidence. If you’re buying this, I still haven’t been able to unload that beachfront property in Hahira and would love to talk with you.