Sprints Loses Patience With Each Side of the Playoff Debate // 05.30.12

Yeah, he's yapping again. But some of what he says actually makes a little bit of sense.

SEC SPRING MEETINGS

The only reason to have a playoff
SEC coaches are smartly deciding not to buy into any sort of conference champions only formula for the college football playoff. I really haven't heard of anyone outside of Jim Delany, John Swofford and whoever's running the Big East right now who thinks this is a good idea, but it keeps cropping up.

One of the few objections I've heard to what the SEC coaches said today is that they want the four "best" teams to play -- but, critics say, it's inherently difficult (if not impossible) to find out who the best four teams are. And while I'm sympathetic to that argument, the old playoff skeptic in me has one question: Then why in blue blazes have you people been pushing for a playoff?

If you want to have a true national championship playoff, try to figure out the best or most deserving four teams in the country are and have a playoff. That's the only advantage I see to having a playoff from an ethical or "fairness" perspective -- to try to determine who is No. 1 by some relatively significant standard. Otherwise, it's just a vapid exercise in further commercializing college football.

If you don't think the best or most deserving teams can truly be determined, let's go back to the old bowl system, have truly mythical national championship that recognizes the flaws in trying to figure out who is No. 1 in a sport as diverse as college football, and stop the kvetching. Because a national championship that's only an excuse to play more games is just as pointless as one that's voted on by coaches and the media.

At least he's being honest about it
Gene Chizik wants to decide whether Auburn plays for a national title. That's basically what he's saying when he talks about keeping the coaches poll as a part of the formula for selecting the teams.

"When I've done the voting, fortunately I've been able to have the experience of playing some of the teams in the top slots," Chizik said. "I think you have a little bit of crossover of seeing teams during your season. You watch some TV on a Saturday night after you get done playing. In terms of us evaluating the quality of teams, I think we have a valid voice."

Steve Spurrier, taking a break from selling his short-sighted and self-interested divisional play scheme, points out the flaws in that idea: The coaches poll is literally drenched in conflicts of interests and questionable voting.

"Obviously, probably most of us vote for our conference guys and our buddies around the country," Spurrier said. "A coaches' vote is probably not as accurate as the media vote."

In fact, before we had the Harris Poll as an example of truly "creative" balloting, it was the coaches poll that came in for most of the criticism. These guys are coaching football games on Saturday -- which means they have better things to do. (And, unlike the Harris Poll voters, an excuse for voting like they haven't watched any of the games.)

Speaking of Spurrier's cockamamie idea ...
The coaches actually seem somewhat divided on the idea -- Les Miles isn't the only one who's willing to at least not dismiss it out of hand -- but Mike Slive has an idea bout what the SEC brass might do with it.

"I think that will be brought to the table for athletic directors to think about," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said.

That sounds encouraging.

FEEL THE HATE
Gary Pinkel has heard that Arkansas will be Missouri's permanent interdivision rival when the SEC schedules are released Friday. And he's fired up about it.

To me, just tell me who our rival is and then they'll be our rival. Obviously we're adjacent to (Arkansas).

Um, coach, that's a bit un-SEC-like. I was already on Twitter asking for Texas A&M jokes as it became more clear that the Aggies will play South Carolina every year; can't you at least pretend to not like the way John L. Smith cuts his hair or something?

Pinkel has a reason to be less than thrilled about the change, and it's similar to the reason that South Carolina wants to play Texas A&M: Access to recruiting in Texas. I think the advantage of playing one game every other year in College Station is a bit overblown, but it's an understandable concern.

Steve Spurrier kind of takes back his jab at Nick Saban
He didn't really apologize, just explained what he meant to say. Which means, basically, that Spurrier found a nicer way to reiterate what he said in the first place when he suggested Saban wasn't proving he was one of the greatest coaches in college football by winning at Alabama.

"No, he's a great coach. I don't know what I was talking about," Spurrier said. "I was just saying, they won their 14th national championship, right? I was just trying to say one reason I love being at South Carolina is that we have so many opportunities to achieve things for the first time ever."

Which Nick Saban, you know, doesn't have. Not that he's not a great coach or anything. He just doing what other coaches have done at Alabama. That's all Spurrier was saying. Click clack.

Reasons to be proud of being an SEC fan, Part 503
This is probably a bit too complimentary, but Missouri athletics director Mike Alden talks about the differences between the SEC and the Big 12. Great stuff.

OTHER NEWS

Or we could just do this
Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman hasn't given up the old plus-one. Like, the vote again after the bowls plus-one. Watch closely as he takes a logic train and boldly drives it off a cliff.

"If we go to an additional game, it seems this would be the best option," he wrote. "It avoids selecting between numbers 4 and 5."

Yes, it will just lead to us selecting between numbers 2 and 3 -- which is what we're already doing and why everyone's arguing about this to begin with. Yeesh.

There is one positive aspect of the old-school plus-one, and it's that it would still give us the possibility of a supernova of a season's worth of voting and complaints and controversy in a compressed 24-hour-or-less period. I'm not sure that's good for the sport, but it would sure be interesting.

I'm slowly adjusting upward the still-slim possibility that this whole thing could collapse under its own weight. Or perhaps because of people who don't want a playoff and would be just as happy to wage this kind of guerrilla warfare against it. (HT: CBS)

Couldn't he name her as ambassador to Syria while he's at it?
President Barack Obama provided Pat Summitt with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday. Other recipients included Bob Dylan, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, astronaut John Glenn and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Admit it: You would pay to watch a fight between Summitt and Albright.

Emphasis on "qualified"
Arkansas has posted the job formerly held by Jessica Dorrell, in case you were interested in applying. The ability to assist in the navigation of a small vehicle is preferred.

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