Well, it was only a matter of time. Yesterday we told you that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany had said that he doesn’t “have a lot of regard for that team,” when asked about a hypothetical national champ that didn’t win its own division. ”That team” was an obvious shot at Alabama.
It took a day, but Nick Saban has responded. Asked yesterday about the Delany’s comment, Bama’s coach said, “Don’t be so self-absorbed,” while not naming Delany directly:
“Too many people are about their own self-preservation rather than doing what’s best for college football. The whole reason we are talking about doing this is for the fans, and the fans want the four best teams. To come up with a plan where, instead of having Numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 playing but you have Number 1, 3, 6 and 12 or whatever, it doesn’t make any sense. They don’t do it in basketball, so for once, let’s do what’s best for college football…
A lot of it (in terms of alternate playoff plans) is targeted at our league. Last year at one point, we had LSU, Arkansas and us ranked 1-2-3 in the BCS. Two years in a row, we played Florida in the championship game and we were ranked 1-2. Some people don’t like that.”
No kidding. SEC fans had better hope that the Mike Slive/John Swofford bloc can hold more sway with small conference commissioners than the Delany/Larry Scott bloc. If not, we could indeed be looking at a four-team playoff that doesn’t invite the four best teams in the country. (Only in college football…)
And for those out there who repeatedly tell this writer that conference champs should be given special treatment because we have no way of accurately selecting the four best teams, we also have no way of accurately selecting the four best conference champions. Under the plans kicked around, those same rankings that would be inaccurate in choosing the top four teams in the country would be used to select which conference champs are in and which are out.