I don’t know if this is a matter of semantics, or if these guys are serious about the distinction, but the selection committee continues its weekly mission of making me scratch my head.
In wide-ranging interviews with four committee members last week — Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez and former NCAA executive vice president Tom Jernstedt — none cared to compare conferences.
“At this point in the process, I don’t think in terms of conference strength,” Long said. “I think at the end of the day that’s something we’ll look back on and say [how relevant conference strength was.] … The balloting process we do will compare teams against each other and who they’ve played, and I think that’s less about conference than it is who they’ve played, even within a conference.”
“I don’t think there’s any need to make a judgment as to this conference is better than that conference,” he said. “You sit there and evaluate this team versus that team. Our obligation is to select the four best teams.”
If the SEC West plays out as the meat grinder it appears to be and those schools eat each other while continuing to destroy outside competition (no SEC West team has a loss outside the division yet), how is the strength of the conference not relevant to the selection committee’s deliberations?
Well, if the committee members are concerned about something other than spreading the wealth around to the power conferences, that is.