As a power play, Slive’s move to arrange a Rose Bowl counterpart succeeds on a number of levels with other conferences and with the networks. But it’s going to have an impact on the SEC meetings in Destin coming up soon, as well. At least as far as Steve Spurrier is concerned.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier rarely comes to the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla., empty handed. Last year, he used the opportunity to propose that coaches should be allowed to pay into a fund that would go to the players. (Which conveniently minimized the headlines for another bout of Stephen Garcia-reinstatement-related drama.) This year, Spurrier has a more practical idea to discuss.
He thinks the SEC should choose its division champions in football based on division record instead of overall conference record. “Your division champ should be decided on division games. Last year, it wasn’t fair for Tennessee and Florida,” Spurrier said. “They both played LSU and Alabama. Us and Georgia didn’t. So, us or Georgia almost had to win the division simply because of the schedule.”
Good luck on getting anyone to pay attention to that, Coach Evil (Genius). The new bowl game – more accurately, the implications of the new bowl game – is likely to dominate the discussions. And what time isn’t spent on that is going to be directed towards another big subject.
“What’s going to take the day is discussion on the conference’s position on the four-team playoff,” SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said this past week. “The commissioners were charged with going back to their conferences, with each conference stating a position on their preference. There will be a lot of discussion on that.”
It sounds like there will be plenty of that.
Whether the SEC concurs with the Big Ten proposal remains to be seen, but the SEC no longer appears to be fighting the suggestion that all four teams must be conference champions.
“What if the No. 1 team, the No. 7 team, the No. 11 team and the No. 17 team happened to be conference champions?” Alabama coach Nick Saban said recently in Mobile. “You are not really getting the top four teams. If you look at all the years when we’ve had issues with who plays in the championship game, there is an odd team that is left out.
“In 2003, when I was at LSU, USC got left out. Auburn got left out when they were undefeated [in 2004]. Those are the times when people start screaming.”
I’m impressed he noticed.
Seriously, that’s some very major stuff to hash through. Add to that the decision about the size of the conference schedule and you’ve got a very full plate for the SEC. Slive has effectively buried Spurrier’s lede, so to speak.