Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt
Latest News

Taking A Shot At SEC’s Bama, Big Ten’s Delany Hits Nebraska, Too (Oh, And We Told Ya The SEC’s Schedule Would Be Questioned)

Despite the fact that he’s overseen the greatest, richest run in SEC history and negotiated two television contracts that changed the way all conferences do business… there are still some folks Down South who don’t like commissioner Mike Slive.  Maybe they should try on the Big Ten’s Jim Delany for size.

I used the word “like” above for a reason.  Slive seems likeable.  Even if he’s steaming mad, you wouldn’t know it.  There are rarely — if any — barbs or potshots thrown at other leagues or schools/teams from other leagues.  Whether he means it or not, he presents himself as being pro-college athletics, not just pro-SEC.

With Delany, he makes no bones about the fact that he views all other conferences — athletically and academically — as being inferior to the Big Ten.  He has in the past made it quite clear that he holds the SEC specifically in great disdain.  He did so again yesterday during a conference call with AP writers.  His grumpy attitude is sure to leave people in the Yellowhammer State ticked.

Talking about his desire to reward conference champions and not just the four best teams in the polls, Delany was asked about a team that didn’t win its own division:

 

“I don’t have a lot of regard for that team.  I certainly wouldn’t have as much regard for that team as I would for someone who played nine conference games in a tough conference and played a couple out-of-conference games ont eh road against really good opponents.  If a poll doesn’t honor those teams and they’re conference champions, I do.”

 

Hmmm.  Now what school didn’t win its division but did win the BCS title last year?  Oh, yes, Alabama.  Of the dreaded SEC.  It won’t be long before this comment is put before Nick Saban who will say something to the effect of: “I don’t believe a school should be punished because it happens to play in a tougher division and tougher, deeper conference than another.”  Here’s guessing we’ll get that comment today if someone can get to Saban.

To Delany’s point, one must wonder if he realizes that he’s just said that he doesn’t hold Nebraska’s 2001 team in very high regard, either.  That’s Nebraska of the Big Ten now, mind you.  The Cornhuskers were co-North division champs of the Big 12 in ’01, but they lost the tie-breaker to their championship game thanks to a late-season loss to division rival Colorado.  The Buffaloes went to the Big 12 title game in their place.  So technically, Nebraska didn’t win its division, just like Alabama.  Also like Bama, the Huskers were tabbed to play in the BCS title game anyway (though they lost to Miami).

In a Delany-driven world — where most people would no doubt frown a lot — teams like Alabama 2011 and Nebraska 2001 not only wouldn’t get a shot at the title, but they wouldn’t even make a four-team playoff.

But back to Delany’s comments:

 

“Some people think it should just be the top four teams; some people think it should just be the four highest-rated champions.  I was just floating some ideas of how you might have a hybrid where champions were respected and there was  still room for at-large.

The polls don’t always measure strength of schedule.  Some conferences are playing nine games, some are playing eight.  The Pac-12 is playing nine and then go out and play a round-robin game against us, that’s 10 and some of them are going to play Notre Dame — that’s 11 difficult games.  If they’re ranked fifth in the country and they won a conference championship, I think that’s quite an accomplishment.  Some teams don’t even win their own division.  They started off highly in the rankings, lose early, don’t play a championship game and they might end up at four.”

 

Or at #2, as was the case with Alabama.

The bigger issue here is something that we warned you about back on February 28th when we wrote that by deciding to stick with an eight-game conference schedule:

 

“…the (SEC) would hurt itself rather than help itself by softening its schedule.  Other leagues are making their schedules tougher.  The Big 12 is playing a nine-game slate.  The ACC will move to a nine-game plan when Syracuse and Pittsburgh enter that league.  Big Ten and Pac-12 teams will begin playing on a yearly basis on top of their current in-conference schedules in 2017.  The other major conferences are all guaranteeing themselves more BCS-level opponents per season.  If the SEC sticks with an eight-game plan, all the anti-SEC’ers out there will finally have a reason to vote down the league in future polls.  No longer will the SEC be a mini-NFL.  Oh, coaches will tell you that eight SEC games are harder than nine BCS games in other leagues, but folks outside the South won’t buy it.  You can be sure of that.”

 

So it took what?  About 70 days for other leagues to start pointing out that they play more BCS-level games than the SEC, which appears dead-set on standing pat with an eight-game plan?  Well, told ya so.

And now we’ll tell Commissioner Slive and his 14 league presidents something else — fix this.  If you go to a nine-game schedule, your teams will face each other more often, you’ll make more money from the networks (thanks to better games), fans will be paying to see more conference games and fewer patsies, and you’ll fend off any strength-of-schedule questions that might come your way by rival league commissioners, rival coaches, or — egads — poll voters and computer formulas.

The SEC’s athletic directors want more home games for gate purposes (though they already play more games and make more TV money than they did 10 years ago) and they want more cupcakes on the docket for bowl-eligibility purposes.  While I would love to think that Slive would step up and lead this bunch back to a nine-game schedule at the SEC Meetings in Destin, it appears too much water has passed under that bridge.  By all accounts, Slive and his presidents have let the league’s ADs come up with the new schedule options.  So it’s late in the game to chuck all the eight-game options and break out a new nine-game format at this point.

That’s a shame.

Because you’re already seeing what an eight-game schedule will do for the SEC.  It will give ammunition to all the anti-SEC people in America.  And they are legion at the moment.  With the Big Ten’s Delany right out in front.

 


15 comments
safety guy
safety guy

Delaney is great for business. So is talk about the 4 team playoff because there is no perfect solution.  I made a previous post about smart people being ignorant and the point I was trying to make was that because there are no perfect solutions, anybody can look ignorant because all plans will have huge holes in them.   But I am getting resigned to the 4 team playoff but the playoff will be a complete joke if the SEC champ is not in the 4 team playoff at the expense of a undefeated Big East team (plus 3 other undefeated or 1 loss teams).  It should be the best 4 teams and not the best 4 records and unfortunately the rankings place too much emphasis on record.  Was Cincinnati the 3rd or 4th best team in the country when they got slaughtered by Florida.  Another thing.  A team that does not win their championship should only be eligible for the playoff if their conference champ is in the playoff. Last year is the perfect example.  Alabama (#2) is eligible because LSU (#1) is elibible. But Stanford (#4) would not be and would be replaced by Oregon (#5) as the next seeded team.  If we allow conference runner ups to have an advantage over their conference champs, what is the point of having conferences and conference championship games.

 

Then finally, why not do away with all the other existing bowl tie ins and have the other bowl games equalized to pair up the top 6 conferences in games against each other based on where they place in their conference standings.  Mix it up where each conference is playing a game against each of the other conferences.  So, you can kind of determine the strength of the conferences.  Use that in a BCS formula for next seasons rankings.  Not completely fair but it would add more drama to all the other bowl games. May be too tricked up like baseball all star game, but the teams would actually be playing for their conference in the bowl games and may draw more viewers.  Like I said, ignorant.

 

 

Guest
Guest

Yeah, Delaney would love for the SEC to cannibalize itself by playing 9 conference games.  There's not many other excuses available to the other conferences for SEC domination are there?  If Slive is as clever as advertised, he won't take the bait.  Anyway Bama, the team he took shots at,  has played Big 10 teams the last two years and will open with one this year. See all this for what it is, desperate rationalization from a commissioner who has seen the league under his watch turn into a pucnhing bag not just for the SEC, but other conferences as well.  Don't get too emotional bout his commnents, move on, nothing to see here.

Hogitall
Hogitall

I believe the SEC needs to work out a B1G/Pac12 type agreement with the B12 and ACC. The B1G and Pac12 are creating coast-to-coast coverage of their programs by playing each other. They can get the benefits of conference expansion, without actually expanding their leagues. The SEC, B12 and ACC need to work together to come up with a games package that would surpass what the B1G/Pac12 can offer. OU/LSU, Ark/WV, TX/A&M or Bama, MU/KU, TN/VT, GA/Clemson and others. This would enhance the TV packages for these conferences, and provide college football fans the best that college football has to offer. 

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @Hogitall Considering the B12 has said no to scheduling TAMU or MU in the future, my guess is it would be an ACC vs SEC bond. Since multiple SEC east teams already have multiple ties to ACC schools this is already happening. You already have UF vs FSU, UGA vs GT, and USC vs CU as in state rivals, and numerous games played with cross state rivals already established.

OldArmy
OldArmy

Thanks Bubba, that might explain the no to A&M when we were trying to fill out our schedule for this year and next, after the announcement of admission to the SEC. Had not thought of that angle. Might not be true, but it fits.

JohnVol
JohnVol

MrSEC, 

 

While I understand that eventually the SEC will probably go to nine league games, Delaney doesn't have a point here. 

 

Delaney's argument is essentially that Big Ten teams play a tougher schedule than SEC teams because they play a ninth conference game. But the ninth conference game is against another Big Ten team! Last year Alabama, for example, had to play two top five teams...in its own division. Is Delaney really saying a Big Ten team played a harder schedule than that because they had an extra game tacked on against Illinois or Northwestern?

 

Last year the SEC finished with three top-five teams and a fourth in the top-ten. An eight game schedule against that kind of competition is much tougher than a nine game schedule against some combination of Indiana, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, etc. Stated another way...do you think it would be tougher to beat two NFL teams or fifteen high school teams? That's obviously an exaggeration, but Alabama had a tougher home game against LSU than Ohio State had in its nine conference opponents combined. 

 

Staying with the Alabama theme (because as a Tennessee fan I have nothing to cheer about lately)...this year the Tide will play eight SEC games PLUS a neutral site opener vs. Michigan. After Saban beats Hoke by three touchdowns, I think Delaney should certainly reevaluate just how tough an extra Big Ten opponent is each year. 

 

Delaney is paid handsomely by the Big Ten schools to do what's in their best interest, so it's perfectly reasonable and expected for him to try to preserve spots in any playoff for his league. However he is proposing idiotic and laughable ideas that sound to me like nothing more than sour grapes. The bottom line is this...the SEC champion will be in a playoff every year, and will more than likely win it. If Delaney gets his way and succeeds in only letting one SEC team in, that actually makes the path much easier. 

 

I'm sure Les Miles would've much rather played someone like Ohio State in the title game last year. 

 

Love the site!

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

John, you of all people should know that when Delany says B1G he really means the Ohio State. Every time I see his quotes and exchange B1G with the Ohio State it all makes sense. Just read the paraphrased quote, and you can see why he forgot all about Nebraska and Colorado :

 

"I certainly wouldn't have as much regard for Alabama as I would for someone who played eight conference games - including Indiana - in a tough conference and played a couple out-of-conference games on the road against really good opponents - Like Cal (7-6) , UAB (3-9) , UCF (5-7) , and MIAMI (4-8, the one in ohio) . If a poll doesn't honor the Ohio State and they're conference champions, I do (even if they are not bowl eligible) ."

 

It also helps Delany speak if you substitute Southern Cal for PAC, and Notre Dame for B1G, because according to this quote of his the Irish won a CCG :

 

"The Pac-12 is playing nine and then to go out and play a round-robin game against us, that's 10 and some of them are going to play Notre Dame— that's 11 difficult games. If they're ranked fifth in the country and they won a conference championship, I think that's quite an accomplishment."

 

It really does makes his quotes and anger easier to understand. He is pissed off the Ohio State will not be in the MNC game, and even if Southern Cal makes it they will just get rolled by the Tide! Notre Dame, hah, when was the last year they were in the MNC game!

MoKelly
MoKelly

Delaney is a whinner. He knows the SEC is the superior league and that is why he has consistently beat his drum on Conference winners. He wants to push the point that "all Conferences are equal"  --- so the winner of the Big 10 is automatically better than any SEC team who doesn't win their Conference. He knows that is BS but its his only option. Just look at the recent bowls --- SEC vs. Big 10 --- the SEC went 3-1. The best from the SEC pretty much dominated the best from the Big 10. That's the real story -- not all the Conference Champion's talk.

I4Bama
I4Bama like.author.displayName 1 Like

You know you have them right where you want them when...

FallsChurchDore
FallsChurchDore

Wonder if Slive will do what the Big Ten did and announce a move to a 9-game schedule...5 or 6 years down the road...to both address these types of comments and leave the status quo in place for now that has worked so well for the league.

I4Bama
I4Bama like.author.displayName 1 Like

Hi Jim, Mike here.

 

How about our non-division winning team in a round robin against the entire Big Ten for the privilege of deciding the four team format?  Next weekend good for you?  Maybe we could start with Michigan.

MiloMoon
MiloMoon

The Big 10 has yet to commit to a 9 game conference schedule. Right now Delany is counting their games scheduled with the PAC as the 9th game. They have backed off the 9 game conference schedule as of right now. Many of the SEC teams schedule at least one BCS level team OOC each year. UT tries to have at least one national marquee opponent (with home and home series with OU and Neb already on the schedule). UGA has GT,  UF has FSU, and USC has Clemson. LSU and Bama have both been more aggressive in scheduling the past couple of years. No one will care much about the Ole Miss and Miss St. schedules, but even they have been trying to schedule OOC foes like BYU. So I see this as a challenge to the leagues schools that if they are not going to go to 9 games, at least add one major opponent OOC each year. Now as more conferences go to 9 conference games, it will be harder to schedule the top teams for home and home series, but it can be done. I would personally like to see a BCS conference opponent than another SEC game each year. Variety is the spice of life.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator like.author.displayName 1 Like

MiloMoon...

 

Fully aware of that fact.  We've written on this site previously that every Big 10 team will still be guaranteed nine BCS-level games per year thanks to the Pac-12 agreement.

 

Not all SEC schools do that.

 

One thing that drives me nuts about this site is that if I don't spell something out, people think I don't know it.  In reality, I figure most folks have read that 20 times on this site already.  

 

So I can either re-write the same thing over and over and get comments about not writing anything new... or I can have people say, "you forgot..."  

 

Thanks for reading,

John

viciousdawg
viciousdawg

you forget a very important point... B1G = OSU and Michigan then everyone else. B12 = Oklahoma and Texas then everyone else. Pac 12 = USC and Oregon then everyone else. for "most" years not all. So when you only have one or two good teams in a conference it doesnt compare to the SEC schedule. Most other conferences do have 6 "patsy" games built in the conference schedule.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

viciousdawg...

 

Didn't forget a thing.  You believe the SEC is stronger and that other leagues have "patsy" games.  You're an SEC fan.

 

My point -- quite clearly, I thought -- was that most people are NOT fans of Mike Slive's league and if given the chance to rip the SEC's schedule, they will do so. 

 

Sticking with an eight-game plan gives them that opportunity.  What you or I or Joe SEC Fan thinks is moot.  What does the rest of the country think and how do they influence voters and computer rankings?  If everyone starts poking holes in the eight-game SEC schedule, that will eventually be reflected in the rankings.  Just as the SEC's perceived strength has aided it in the rankings the last few years.

 

Thanks for reading,

John



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC