SEC Coaches Agree They Want Rankings To Decide Football Playoff Participants

by The Associated Press  on Wednesday, May. 30, 2012 8:37 am  

This story is from the archives of

Also, basketball coaches are close to finalizing an 18-game schedule that would put teams back into divisions. The coaches dropped divisional play last season.

But the proposed football playoff dominated discussion on Day 1.

"We're so much closer to having the best teams play," Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel said. "Every single game is so critically important in college football and we should embrace that. You can lose six games, eight games in basketball and still win a national championship. You can't do that in college football. I think we're very close."

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney has said the new format shouldn't include a team that doesn't win its conference division - an obvious reference to national champion and SEC West runner-up Alabama.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is pushing to have two semifinal games played at campus stadiums, which seems to address the concerns of playoff opponents who say that such a system would lessen the importance of the regular season. After all, that would reward the two highest-seeded teams with a home game - a huge incentive and major advantage.

Slive believes the semifinal games would be part of the bowl system.

"My guess is that it will end up being in the bowl system," Slive said. "I think it's better for college football as a whole than just a plus-one."

Not surprisingly, Slive's coaches seemed to wholeheartedly back his plan - although South Carolina's Steve Spurrier reiterated his preference for an eight-team playoff.

"Do you know who's won the Super Bowl the last two years?" Spurrier said. "Weren't the Giants 8-8? And the Packers didn't even win their division the year before and got hot in the playoffs. It just depends on how much importance you want to place into a playoff system, a tournament. I know there have been a lot of NCAA [basketball] champions that didn't necessarily win their conference but they got hot in the tournament.

"I don't know how it will play out."

Deciding how to select the Final Four is up for debate.

"I don't know. The way we do it now?" Georgia Coach Mark Richt said. "Just take the top four teams in the BCS instead of the top two. That's one way of doing it. It's already in place. You wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel. Change is here, it sounds like. I suppose it's worthy of discussion as to how to do it. But I'm not for making it a prerequisite that you have to be the winner in your in league. I wouldn't make that part of it."



Please read our comments policy before commenting.