SEC's Slive no fan of pro-Rose Bowl model

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
3:45
PM ET
The fourth and final option for determining college football's national champion in future years was labeled "Four Teams Plus" in an outline obtained earlier this month by USA Today.

It should be called the Delany-Scott plan.

The option calls for the Rose Bowl to remain an integral part of determining the national champion.
The four highest-ranked teams at the end of the regular season would meet in semifinals unless the Big Ten or Pac-12 champion, or both, were among the top four. Those leagues' teams still would meet in the Rose, and the next highest-ranked team or teams would slide into the semis. The national championship finalists would be selected after those three games.

There's little doubt that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott are behind this option. The fact that it remains in the final four choices underscores the influence both men (Delany more so than Scott) have in the room.

But the plan was greeted, understandably, with skepticism, even by Big Ten fans who read this blog.

Not surprisingly, the power brokers in the SEC -- the league that loves to remind everyone it has captured the past six national titles -- don't like the plan, either. University of Georgia president Michael Adams told The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, "This is not 1950, or 1960. There are great schools in the [Atlantic Coast Conference] and the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12. I think it's time to put everybody on an equal footing. I just reject the notion that the Big Ten and the Pac-12 ought to be treated differently in this process."

SEC commissioner Mike Slive agrees. Speaking today to a group of sports editors in Birmingham, Ala., Slive said of the pro-Rose Bowl proposal, "It's not one of my favorites." He said it doesn't help simplify the postseason.

This might stun my pals Chris Low and Edward Aschoff, but Slive is absolutely right.

The "Four Teams Plus" option makes very little sense to begin with, and absolutely no sense for the other major conferences. They could have a team win a "semifinal" game and still not reach the championship because of what happens in Pasadena. What do they tell that team? Thanks for playing?

While Delany and Scott are stumping for the Rose Bowl, an event they genuinely adore, the other commissioners would be doing a disservice to their constituents by letting the plan go through.

Some will paint this as Delany vs. Slive, who represent the nation's two most popular and profitable conferences. But there are others involved, and in this case, Delany is outnumbered.

You have to wonder whether Delany and Scott really think the "Four Teams Plus" plan has a chance of being selected, or whether they're using it to reiterate their loyalty to the Rose Bowl, while advocating for a more realistic option, like having semifinal games on campus.

The next BCS meetings take place April 24-26 in Hollywood, Fla.

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