Playoff proposal favors conference champs

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
4:57
PM ET
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany continues to push the playoff proposal that would give preferential treatment to conference champions.

Meanwhile, SEC commissioner Mike Slive along with coaches such as Alabama's Nick Saban and LSU's Les Miles are on record as saying they don't think there should be any restraints on the four teams selected for the playoff.

It's a fight that will certainly be worth watching as the college football commissioners and other power brokers try to settle on a playoff format over these next few months.

"The idea is to get the four best teams in college football regardless of where those teams are located geographically or what conference they play in," Miles said. "If we're going to have a playoff, let's make sure it's truly a playoff that's open to everybody."

Delany told reporters Thursday that one of the proposals being considered would make a conference champion ranked in the top 6 nationally an automatic qualifier for a playoff. If fewer than four conference champions were among the top 6, the remaining spots would be filled by the highest-ranked teams.

In other words, if LSU and Alabama were to finish ranked Nos. 1 and 2 next season, but the Big 12 champion was No. 3, the Pac-12 champion No. 4 and the Big Ten champion No. 6, then the SEC team that didn't win the league championship would be left out of the playoff.

The bottom line is that the SEC is going to have more than one team ranked in the top 6 nationally in most years.

I can already hear the outcry the first time a non-SEC champion ranked No. 2 or No. 3 gets bypassed by a Big Ten champion ranked No. 6, which is exactly the reason the SEC is fighting so hard to make it an open playoff.

Chris Low | email

College Football

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