Tag Archives: Mike Slive

Mike Slive keeps shoveling.

If you want to read a tongue bath about Mike Slive’s leadership, this article’s for you.  The capper is this wonderful quote in which he explains the secret of his success:

“By definition, a conference has two seemingly incompatible components that have to operate simultaneously,” explains Slive, “(1) passionate competitive rivalries, and (2) a group of institutions that needs to come together as a single organization to strengthen each and every unit and the conference as a whole.  We’ve had to try and balance that for almost 80 years, but only now is there an expectation that even in the pursuit of our individual goals, the conference needs to get stronger by moving forward together.”

In English, it’s very simple:  whatever pays the most, that’s what he’s for.



Filed under Blowing Smoke, SEC Football

Pavlov’s Commissioner

How pure a knee-jerk response is this?

Not surprisingly, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive opposes Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott’s suggestion of a football “plus one” championship game after the bowl season.

Slive said today the plus-one would narrow the postseason “in a way that’s not necessarily in the best interests of all of the conferences.”

Slive knows what’s best.

“It’s interesting because clearly what we did (with the SEC/Big 12 bowl) created a lot of thinking by a lot of people,” Slive said during an interview from the SEC baseball tournament. “I appreciate people thinking about that. But I think what’s in the best interest of college football is a four-team playoff. I think it’s better for everyone involved in the game.”

Here’s the thing.  Slive says he’s willing to talk about the selection process.  No doubt he is.  Problem is whether anyone else is willing to listen to him.  In the end, his choice may not be between a plus-one and a four-team playoff.  If these people can’t reach a consensus, it may wind up being a choice between a plus-0ne and doing nothing.  Which of those options would set Slive to drooling?


Filed under BCS/Playoffs


From Jon Solomon’s victory lap over the SEC’s emasculation of the ACC:

The ACC can’t even cheat better than the SEC. North Carolina got a bowl ban, Georgia Tech vacated its 2009 ACC title, Bowden lost too many wins to keep pace with Joe Paterno, and the jury’s out on what happens to Miami.

The SEC? South Carolina salvaged its 2010 SEC East title and its future despite NCAA violations, and Alabama and LSU staged the first BCS Championship Game between two teams on NCAA probation.

I bet Mike Slive kvells like a proud papa about that.


Filed under ACC Football, SEC Football

Envy and jealousy: congradulations!

The lede to Paul Myerberg’s preseason analysis of Kentucky made me laugh:

Congratulations are in order for Kentucky. For the whole basketball thing, of course, but don’t forget this: Kentucky is no longer the 11th-best program in the SEC – or 12th, if we believe Vanderbilt can continue building upon James Franklin’s debut. Yes, congratulations: you did it, Kentucky. Today, after Mike Slive and the league’s decision-makers added Missouri and Texas A&M, the Wildcats are the 13th-best program in the 14-team SEC – or 14th, dead last, under the same conditions as above.

Just wait ’til the SEC expands to sixteen.  That’ll show ’em.


Filed under Envy and Jealousy

Mike Slive and CBS: leverage, leverage, who’s got the leverage?

Believe it or not, this doesn’t surprise me.

The latter point first:  The CBS broadcast contract isn’t regional; it’s national.  Technically speaking, the SEC isn’t adding any new eyeballs to the deal by bringing Missouri  and Texas A&M to the table.  So CBS isn’t acting impressed.  You know what would impress CBS?  A nine-game conference schedule.

And on point the first?  Well, if you’re Mike Slive and you’re used to getting your way, there’s only one response you’ve got to CBS’ recalcitrance.  Your own network!  (Plus, that probably feeds into a few presidents’ egos who want to have what their peers in the Big Ten and Pac-12 already boast of having.)  Problem is, it’s not really much of a threat, as CBS is hardly interested in what the SEC will be throwing on its own network.  There’s also the issue of how much schools like Florida, which makes a good deal off of Tier 3 rights, are going to be willing to subordinate their interests to the greater good.  (Answer:  not very, thanks.)

All of this does make me wonder how much due diligence Slive had performed with the networks before embarking on the SEC’s expansion journey.  The jury is still out on how good a job he did negotiating the existing broadcast deals.


UPDATE:  Here’s the full SBJ piece.  If all the SEC is talking about spinning off into its own network is what it had already sold off before, then it’s certainly a doable deal.  As for CBS, this is the nut graf:

CBS still will carry the same number of football games each season as part of its package, and network executives are arguing that schools such as Alabama, Florida and LSU—not Missouri and Texas A&M—drive the value of the conference. Without additional inventory, CBS’s stance has been that it shouldn’t pay more solely because the conference added two new schools.  [Emphasis added.]

You could argue – and CBS probably has – that, if anything, expansion waters down the inventory, because sticking with an eight-game schedule means that some of the conference’s premier draws will play each other less often.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Steven, we really don’t have time for this right now.

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.


Filed under SEC Football


In reaction to yesterday’s news about the new Big 12-SEC postseason game, Paul Myerberg indulges in some romantic thinking.

This is a crisis moment for college football. It’s also a look-in-the-mirror moment for those who dictate the game’s ebb and flow: either the power-brokers – a Mike Slive, a Jim Delany, a Larry Scott, a Bob Bowlsby – can cater to their constituents, like a politician aiming for reelection, or they can do what’s best for the game itself.

What’s best for college football is equality. Don’t be scared of that word: it doesn’t mean socialism, and it doesn’t necessarily mean parity. It means that deserving teams get what they deserve; it means that regardless of the size of your stadium, your career winning percentage, your TV contract or the name on the front of your jersey, you get a seat at the table.

The new system, when in place two years down the road, should ensure that each of every program in the F.B.S. can play for the national championship. It must, for the sake of college football itself. Anything less would be a continuation of our current, flawed system.

First of all, there’s a real danger of getting way ahead of ourselves with this.  All I feel confident about saying right now is congratulations to the two conferences for pulling off a power play:  the Big 12 nailed the ACC badly and Slive has himself a nice bargaining chip to toss in when Delany’s constituents figure out what they really want besides Rose Bowl Forevah!  Besides that, who knows.  It’s too early to call this one item a game-changer.

That all being said, in response to Myerberg’s dream, sorry, not gonna happen.  Or at least not in the way he envisions.  There are too many wheels in motion, too many forces in play for a 120 or so-school FBS to survive.  Things like increased scholarship payments, multi-year scholarships and the end of AQ status for the postseason each on their own may not seem like much, but together they all point towards a sea change in D-1.

A separation between the NCAA haves and have-nots is coming.  The only question for some is on which side of the divide they’re going to fall.  Jim Delany has never been fond of sharing.  It’s ironic that the new postseason may turn out to be the vehicle that gets him his wish.




Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Mike Slive, putting the screws to the ACC

Tony Barnhart tells the story:

The SEC will announce at Noon ET an agreement with the Big 12 for their champions to meet in a to-be-determined bowl game if they are not a part of the anticipated four-team playoff beginning in 2014.

An industry source said the alliance between the two conferences will be similar to that of the Big Ten and Pac-12, whose champions meet annually in the Rose Bowl if they are not a part of the BCS championship game.

“The thinking is, the Big 12 and SEC, we’re in the strongest positions right now. Let’s create a big-time matchup,” a source told CBSSports.com. “I don’t know if other leagues will create matchups like this, but this is a way for the two leagues to develop [a partnership].”

In one sense, this isn’t much:  the bowl game itself is almost meaningless.  There hasn’t been a national title game without a participant now a member of either conference since 2001.

But as a message, it’s profound.  The ACC just found itself locked out of the public perception of being one of the major players.  Now when it comes to football conferences, there’s a big four and there’s everybody else.  (Unless you think there’s a lot more cachet to a ACC-Big East partnership than I do.)  If you don’t think this is going to add more fuel to the FSU fire, you’re nuts.  I’ll leave you to speculate on what Slive hopes to gain here.  Let’s just say that if I were John Swofford’s dog, I’d be keeping a low profile today.

The SEC just chose a side.  The ACC lost.


UPDATE:  By the way, if the next step the new partnership takes is to emulate the regular season scheduling matchup the Pac-12/Big Ten have agreed to, that will take some of the sting out of the SEC staying with an 8-game conference schedule.  Although I will laugh my ass off if the first pairings include South Carolina-Oklahoma and Iowa State-Georgia.


Filed under ACC Football, Big 12 Football, SEC Football

Eight is enough.

Per Jim Delany, no nine-game conference slate in the near future for the Big Ten.

Mike Slive would like to point out that the SEC collaborates, too.  With the Sun Belt Conference.


Filed under Big Ten Football, SEC Football

Bill Hancock’s “jes’ folks”

Flashing the low-key bullshit that’s endeared him to millions, the BCS Director spins the current battle over playoff formats like so (h/t One Foot Down):

“… But generally, there’s up sides and down sides to everything. Obviously if you have 1, 2, 3 and 4, you’ve got a pure bracket: 1 versus 4 and 2 versus 3. But if you take the conference champions — the top four ranked conference champions — then the regular season, which is the best in sports anyway, may mean even more. But then you would have a question about, ‘Well, what about No. 2 Alabama?’ This year, if it had been the conference champions, it would’ve been teams ranked 1, 3, 5 and 10. And is that what the public wants to see? I really don’t know. From what I’ve heard, folks are about divided 50/50 on it.”

“Folks”.  You.  Me.  Jim Delany.  Mike Slive.  Yeah, that’s it – we’re all getting together tonight after work to discuss this stuff over a few beers.  (Maybe we can reach a consensus, although Jim said he couldn’t stay late… said he had some shopping to do, although I always thought he was big on re-gifting.  But I digress.)

Who’s kidding who here?  The folks who think it would have been swell to have the tenth-ranked team dropped in to a playoff ahead of six teams ranked higher are Delany and the people to whom he would have cut those postseason checks.

Bill Hancock really should get out more.  Or blather less.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs